Astronomers eat Kittens, Scientists are Assholes

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My friend, Dr. Phil “Cranial” Plaitt, is a really bad astronomer. He’s so bad, he’s been writing about things not related to astronomy:

This may sound crass, but it’s true: it’s my blog, and I’ll write what I want to. If you don’t like it, there are lots of other sites about astronomy on the web. Spare me the lectures, the drama, and the grandstanding in the comments… In a recent post, I was accused of bashing Christians, bashing religion, saying that all global warming deniers are also young-Earth creationists, and I’m sure if I look more carefully there’s something in the comments about me eating kittens, too. I never said any of that. People are reading their own issues into what I wrote, and and not reading what I actually wrote.

I can’t believe he’s admitting to eating kittens – or, that he’s putting down people who do happen to eat kittens (which I do, on occasion, in a white wine sauce). Seems that this “thought freedom” virus is spreading to other well-known science blogs, like Pharyngula:

…the single most common epithet people were flinging around was ‘asshole.’ Even people who were defending me would often say things like, “You’re an asshole, but…” / There are people who read Pharyngula just for one of those topics, and I get email all the time telling me that one or the other of those is “boring” (except the cephalopods, everyone loves those). I’m not surprised that many people are utterly uninterested in some part of what I write — probably the only person on the planet with exactly my constellation of interests is me, and that’s who I write for. So telling me that some aspect of this blog is “boring” will never have any impact at all, especially not when it is apparently exciting enough to stimulate you to write.

So, why do I write about whatever it is that’s on my mind…? Because, I write about whatever it is that’s on my mind. My audience isn’t just you, it’s anybody who cares to read – and, more importantly, respond. The world has been flooded with tech blogs and tech bloggers, and that makes me more of a commodity if I don’t clearly illustrate that I believe I have a modicum of understanding of the world beyond this stupid (and yet wonderful) keyboard.