and so i say so long and thanks for all the fish
Having survived the Rapture, I’m afraid I have sad news to report. Due to the demands of my work and study, with a transition to a new career and the end of my graduate program now in sight, this blog will be coming to an end. This is not a decision that I made lightly because when you spend two and a half years working with any project, much less building it from the ground up post by post, you tend to get quite attached to it and I am absolutely sure that in the first few weeks away from blogging it will require a whole lot of willpower not to log in and check up on comments and updates, much less not to try and make a new post. But all things have to come to an end sometime and Weird Things is no exception. I hope you were entertained, informed, and had fun around here, and thank you for taking the time to read my daily ramblings on all sorts of skeptical matters, physics, and the reality of transhumanism. Over its lifetime, this blog received roughly 1.5 million views, which isn’t much for the likes of Phil Plait or PZ Myers, but quite decent from a science blog built from scratch. It was a real blast to watch it grow and see it mentioned in SEED, Discovery News, and syndicated across the web.
Originally, this blog started in an unusual time in my life; when I was trying to figure out what I really wanted to do for a living, and it played a big role in my decisions as well as adding an interesting project to my resume. I started Weird Things as an experiment, prompted to at least consider it by another blogger, and quickly made it my test of everything I knew about design, promotion, and web marketing. Writing post after post and doing everything I could to encourage whatever spikes in traffic I’d receive was a time-consuming challenge and any attempts to figure out what would bring in solid, steady hits seemed to evade me for months at a time. Those of my friends who thought that blogging was as quick, simple, and fun as blog networks generally make it out to be, were quickly surprised to discover how much time it took to build a more or less professional blog. And all that time and effort paid off. It introduced me to all sorts of blogs and scientific news sites, gave me a brief chance to rent this blog to a big shot blog network (too bad it didn’t work out, but hey, things happen), and last but certainly not least, directly and indirectly got me in touch with people who I now call friends. In fact, if you’d know enough about me, you could make the argument that I’d still be single without Weird Things. That’s why the idea of putting this blog into archive mode feels like having to put down a puppy you just raised.
It was also under the influence of all the science I was reading and the scientists to whom I was talking that got me thinking about diving deeper into the tech world and doing research into machine vision and basic AI, and working as a programmer. Having to constantly dust off my math and critical thinking skills got me in the right mode, and the time I spent searching for good information to back up my stances in posts gave me the necessary patience to start asking questions and spend hour after hour immersed in relevant reading to find answers I could back with evidence. This certainly wasn’t my intent when I started writing, but that’s what two and a half years of science blogging did for me, and if I had the ability to keep working on the kind of posts I’d usually make here day in, day out, I would certainly continue doing it. However, that simply doesn’t seem like a real possibility in the foreseeable future. I still stand by all the nearly 1,200 posts written here and I’m certainly willing to accept that I made mistakes in some of them. When in the next few weeks I flip off a a few switches to make Weird Things static, I’ll feel good knowing that a lot of the posts I wrote cover enough ground to keep their relevance even years down the road, as people wander to this blog via random links and searches. And maybe someday, I’ll come back or start a different kind of blog. I will certainly make an update to let you know. But meanwhile, I want to thank you for staying tuned, and for helping make Weird Things what it was…