Seven Out of Ten: A Midterm Review Of My Performance

Part I: A Hunt For a Respectable Blogger

A blog-post is something designed to be concise. Witty, even. Something that provokes thought, or at least interest on some level.

I don’t read many blogs – as the majority don’t hold to that standard. The majority tend to be the antithesis to my prior description, and evoke some sort of anti-pathos – some aversion to the writer’s lack of ability or effort.

Of course, having chosen a man that has written on quantum physics, I’ve got a bias in his favor.

Dr. Chad Orzel, of scienceblogs.com (http://scienceblogs.com/principles/author/drorzel/ ) has a diction I respect – one that combines languid use of terminology and concepts from mad and complex science (quantum physics – http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2012/10/11/whats-so-interesting-about-single-quantum-systems-physics-nobel-2012/ ) and combines them with fluid ease.

As a college professor in his college’s physics department, he’s a man as up-to-date as one would expect – the article links to another blog post on the same contemporary issues of note in quantum physics at the time of writing.

In the first post I found of his, the issue was – of course – in the field of quantum physics, and dealt with Nobel Prizes. Not the people, but the science behind two of the awards.

The post was in a faux question-and-answer format – posed from the perspective of someone with no knowledge of the subject. It wasn’t alienating; quantum physics (or rather, one aspect of quantum physics, which is a field renowned for its ridiculousness and laws completely alien to those on a larger scale) was explained in straightforward and non-obfuscating terminology. And in a way that actually gave the fake “questioner” a bit of personality.

In essence: Dr. Orzel is the type of blogger I don’t mind reading, as I’m a fan of his subject, of the delivery of it, and of the lack of dull whining that seems to pervade blogs at large. I read two more of his posts that night (one dealing with Lord of the Rings and quantum mechanics http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/10/why-gandalf-is-wrong ), and another dealing with the entrapment of ions.

Part II: My Actions Thus Far

http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/09/23/a-half-transparent-pill/

The blog-post I’ve made that I’d call the best is one I made on technology as a life-aid. As something used to keep me sane, keep me working, keep me thinking, kept me at least in part on track to progressing my life to something I could point at and say “Look, I didn’t screw up too badly.”

What made it strong, what made it something I liked? The voice. The detail. The personal level – the “This relates to me for a very good reason” aspect of the post. The post was done in a polished style, on a personal note, with stylized aspects – like one-line paragraphs! – that (as far as I could tell) made reading it interesting.

 

My second-favorite comment of mine?

http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/11/spacex-revolutionizes-private-space-flight-with-first-successful-iss-resupply-mission/

Not because it has any responses, not because I had any discussion following – but because I raised points I thought were important. Rarely in human history has privatization gone well – Rome’s fire departments, for instance – but in the case of something as brilliantly forward-looking as space travel, which right now is a purely intellectual endeavor not as exploitable by human greed.

What would have made it better? Adding those references. Rome. Why privatization breathes life into a stagnant industry.

http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/07/autopilot-erm-autodriver/

The difference between this post and my prior one is straightforward – in this post I debated, slightly. I argued, I said “Driverless cars would be good,” and argued to that effect.

I consider it my best because it entered a debate. Because the reality of the situation is that technology is neither good nor bad, and I did my best to state why that is the case, and why driverless vehicles are far less prone to error than humans – they can’t get drunk; can’t be inexperienced; can’t ignore signs; and can’t be distracted by their friends in the car. A set of computer-managed cars could function like bees, working in perfect synchronicity, and I see no issues with that.

Part III.  Reflection.

How have I changed? How have I adapted, modified my method of posting? There are two ways to answer that question.

One. I’ve actually started doing it. There was a time when I had simply neglected my posts – neglected my actions, and not done what was required of me. That has been subsequently altered. I have made constructive posts, and those posts – though the comments are better – have been in line with what is expected of me.

Two. I’m engaging in discourse now – instead of a “fire-and-forget” method of posting, I’ve attempted to respond to others, initiate argument – do what people do in conversation, in short. Instead of “Yes, I heard what you had to say there, here’s my reaction,” it’s “Yes, I heard what you had to say and what was said by others, here’s my stance now.” Though a minor difference, it’s a very important one.

At first, I posted comments that were almost – thought not quite – trite. I responded to points raised, progressing arguments one or two steps at most. It was straightforward. It was unnecessary.

In one post in particular (the post on driverless cars), not only did I express my opinion with an argument to its effect, but argued. I debated my point, with logic and reasoning.

I need to add more sources to my posts, yes. It’s mostly been my opinion and thought progress. Were I to add that – were I to add some external validation of my points – what arguments and concepts I’m missing would be added, and reinforced to a quite powerful level.

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