One hundred posts later

When I first started this blog on that lonely September night after watching the movie “Contagion”, I never thought that I would carry it forward to 100 posts, or even to 50. My point wasn’t to blog about things that were unscientific or antivaccine. My intent was to keep up with “The Poxes” and blog about how I was writing it, how I was being inspired to write it, and what the diseases were that I covered in that story. However, slowly, I began to get pulled into expressing myself about the varying degrees of ignorance that are permeating our society. And I thought I’d have a colleague to read from and gain inspiration. But…

I was saddened to see “The Epi Times” washed away in a controversy manufactured by an anti-vaccine activist. From that, I was convinced that my writing had to be pseudonymous in order to avoid the wrath of the cranks. I also made a deal to not name any names in my posts, which is a hard thing to do at times. But that was “Epi Ren’s” mistake. He personally took on a crank, and the crank reacted viciously. Ren also put out his real name for everyone to see. His intentions were noble, to show that he wasn’t afraid, but it kind of backfired on him. So there went that template on how to take on the crazies. However, the more I wrote and researched my posts, the more I kept coming up with very interesting blogs by other people with similar interests.

From my research into what happened with “The Epi Times”, I discovered Liz Ditz, a wonderful person and huge advocate for children with disabilities. Her writings are well thought out and thorough. From her, I learned about Orac and his “Respectful Insolence”. Orac is a physician who blogs about anti-science things that catch his attention, and he does so wonderfully. And how can I forget to mention Todd W. at “Harpocrates Speaks”? His writing is clear, concise, and he addresses things with a very logical, reasonable mindset. “Sullivan” at “Left Brain/Right Brain” takes on the issues facing people of all ages who are on the autism spectrum and lays them out for his audience in a way we all can understand.

There are also some epidemiologists, like me, that blog about things that interest them, things that end up being also anti-science and anti-vaccine nonsense. There’s “Skewed Distribution”, “Mr. Epidemiology”, and “EpiWonk”, though the latter’s blog seems to be inactive nowadays. In short, if you look at my list of links on the right of this blog, you’ll see the kind of blogs I like to read. And read them I do.

Without a doubt, there may be those of you out there who wonder who I am and what kind of a person I am. My Facebook profile and twitter account probably doesn’t give you many clues. I like it that way. I like the privacy of writing pseudonymously and free to not be restrained by the possibility of some nut job taking out their frustrations on me. Some of you may want to verify my credentials to make sure that I am an epidemiologist, that I know what I’m writing about. That’s okay. It’s only human to be curious.

But I can’t put all the cards on the table just like that. Some venomous anti-vaccine or anti-science loon may come out biting.

So just know that I am not lying to you about my credentials, that I will always do my best to back up my assertions with evidence, and that I will not try to fool you. I’m not good enough at mind games (or game theory) to fool anybody.

Finally, I want to thank you. Yes, you, right there reading this. I want to thank you for reading. Whether you agree with me or not, it is because I know you’re reading (via Google analytics) that I keep writing. I once had a crisis of faith when I looked at the prospect of countering so much bullsh*t, but now I’m encouraged more than ever. Truth needs to be defended from those who’d like to bury it in fear. So thanks for reading. I really do appreciate it.

Now, on to post #101…

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5 thoughts on “One hundred posts later

  1. Great going, Mr. Gaines. No doubt that I will continue to read. As for me, I'm not gone. I'm always around… Just not blogging about public health. And I agree, no names, no cursing.Like "Smallville", no tights, no flights.

  2. I "post" under the radar, because in my "other life" when I wrote articles, appeared on TV and testified at public hearings advocating on behalf of developmentally disabled children and adults, I received threatening phone calls at home. One nasty caller terrorized my young daughter because I testified at a group-home siting hearing (NIMBYism is alive and thriving in my neighborhood).I knew when I started posting on science blogs and when I don my hip waders to wade into blogs on the Ho-Po, that I would be targeted. I never post on that notorious anti-vaccine blog where "the stalker" and other assorted cranks blog and post, because I don't want my email or my IP address "out there". I've been the topic of "discussion" however, on that blog and a few other anti-vaccine blogs, because of my strong pro-vaccine and pro-science stance.I also post about my developmentally disabled son, mainly on Respectful Insolence. He is entitled to be protected by his mother's use of a 'nym.Congratulations Reuben on the occasion of your 100th post. Your posts are always interesting and informative. 🙂

  3. Who needs credentials when arguments are supported by evidence and sources? The explanation for an assertion is much more interesting than the assertion itself when you want to evaluate competence.

  4. Go, go , go… and don't mind me. I work under the radar. Though I have been known to be the "vaccine bulldog" at Skeptic Family. (I'll post more soon, I mean we all have family obligations!)

  5. Congrats on reaching 100 posts! And thanks for the shout-out. I feel honored to be mentioned in such esteemed company as the rest!

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