Friday, July 16, 2010

First post!

My wife and I decided to start this blog to explore and talk about random ideas that come up in our lives as we try to live "Skeptically". For me, this means:
  • discussing the process of writing for "What Does the Science Say?"
  • podcasts that I am currently enjoying (or not)
  • links the interesting news stories (standard blog fare...)
  • Tips and thoughts from hosting a skeptical playgroup meetup for parents in the San Fernando Valley (and greater Los Angeles area)
  • Anything else from the daily life of a Skeptic
In terms of the first, I am currently in the final stages of a response to a recent Huffington Post article on aspartame written by Joe Mercola. I had previously written about aspartame on my other blog and so had a lot of background information and knew that much of what was claimed in the article was simply untrue. Writing it has taken me the better part of two weeks. All told, It's probably taken me between 15 and 20 hours of research and writing. My wife has provided great assistance by reading my drafts and finding ridiculous grammar and phrasing errors. I certainly wonder if my favorite bloggers and writers have to go through all that... or do they just get it right the first time? A big aspect is in trying very hard to not fall into using logical fallacies (especially ad hominem attacks) to make my case. The science really has to do the speaking.

As I have a full time job and a young daughter, both of which keep me very busy, I have had to start employing what I have termed "5 am skepticism" (though I start at 6 am... so haven't gotten there yet). This was inspired by a great entry by Brian Dunning on Skepticblog, discussing how he manages to be so prolific in a similar situation.

I am working my way up to actually waking at 5 am, giving me an extra hour for writing and research. However, that would really require me to be good about getting to sleep before midnight, as I do need to get enough sleep to function properly at my day job. In theory I could work on my Skepticism at night after my daughter goes to sleep (around 8ish), but I am usually pretty spent from work and, I am ashamed to admit, frequently want to veg out a bit. I am working on that as well.

I hope to get the "article" (what do you call long-winded blog entries?) out by Monday.

Currently reading: "The Faith Healers" by James Randi. Expose into the world of religious "faith healers" and televangelists from the 70s and 80s.

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