Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Nature of My Blogging

Nature has a lot to do with my blogging. It all started last year when I got a paper into it -- apologies for the shameless self-promotion. One of the most interesting consequences of that was that two bloggers picked up on the article. One of them was PZ Myers. It's an example of Pharyngula at its best: in a few paragraphs it cuts through ideas that took several years to develop in our collective minds (and were then compressed into the highly compact Nature style) and hits the nail on the head. (The other blog post, in Catalan, is also excellent.)

This was my first real introduction to blogs and I was impressed. I started reading PZ regularly, one thing led to another (literally, or perhaps better, virtually) and I've been hooked ever since. A few months later I decided to give it a try myself. Unfortunately, I quickly found that I rarely have time to write on the blog. When I do, I feel guilty about all the other things I should be doing instead, such as replying to that friend's email, writing the next paper or grant application, planning next week's lecture, ... or reading the latest issue of Nature (authors get a nice subscription discount, you see).

Fortunately, one of the reasons for my low blog output is coming out in two weeks in, well, Nature. I think it's pretty exciting stuff, so I'm going to try and explain what it's all about here. (After all, PZ may have something better to do that week... Dawkins may send him another DVD or something.) Because of their embargo policy, I'll have to limit myself to background for the moment: the evolution of sex and robustness. Sounds kinky, doesn't it?