Every once in a while I feel compelled to write in clear what should be self-evident to anybody with a working brain; to give a sort of "advice to surfers". I don't expect that such an advice be taken seriously - nobody wants to be told what to read and what to avoid - but at least it is posted, can be referred to, and it provides a sort of "disclaimer of liability".

Writing a serious blog, i.e. one that informs with continuity one audience and provides a true service, is already quite a demanding task; having to cope with the aftermath of articles that may inflame some readers, or with out-of-topic comments, or with the anger of whomever happens to feel outraged or offended, is sometimes too much. Hence the wish to keep that extra work at a minimum, manageable level.

In 8.5 years of blogging (gosh) I have experienced many problems with this blog and its past instantiations, and I have become smarter and more careful with what I publish here. Self-censorship is a bad thing, but sometimes is a necessary evil. However one always hopes that one's readership will automatically adjust to the offer one provides (in the sense that some readers will find the offer uninteresting or not suited to them, and leave), and some kind of dynamic equilibrium will set on. To help this a bit, here is a short set of reminders for your consideration.

1) Don't read this blog if you are a troll.
This of course looks trivial, but it is a real advice to trolls. People who enjoy engaging in comments thread fights will find here very little satisfaction, because of the composition of the audience, who typically is one of readers willing to read about particle physics rather than arguing endlessly, and because I tend to be rather impenetrable to offence, and react with irony to it.

2) Don't read this blog if you have no sense of humor.
I am always amazed by finding myself dealing with people who lack any sense of humor, or who take themselves so seriously that they don't conceive how even the discussion of a serious scientific topic may sometimes steer and foster a good laugh. A good example is the recent posting on SUSY getting scr***d by the LHC: some people just "don't get it", and rather than have a laugh and change topic they will be willing to engage in sober discussions of whether there is sexism underneath or whether women will get offended etcetera. Get a life, and click away. You are the least welcome here. If there is a category of people I can't stand is those who behave as if they have a straight pole stuck up their a**es.

3) Don't read this blog if you hate me.
Also looks self-evident, doesn't it ? However, strange as it may seem, there are colleagues out there who apparently read what I write here in the attempt of finding ways to denounce me as a violator of rules of the experiment, or for writing things deemed inappropriate for the charge I cover (be it member of an experimental collaboration, or specifically chair of this or that committee, or employee of a research institute). If this sounds paranoid, well, let me tell you: I have witnesses for several of the accidents who have occurred during these 8.5 years, and in private I could easily convince you. I attribute a good part of these accidents to envy, unfortunately. Laughable, even (at 47 years of age I am still at the lowest level of a research career in Italy, for a series of  reasons, so I can hardly be envied; however some colleagues are apparently unhappy of the spotlights and attention that I occasionally receive from the media because of my blogging activity), but sad.

4) Don't read this blog if you know it all already and you like to nit-pick.
Why ? Because writing science outreach requires, in the way I conceive it, a trivialization of difficult, obscure concepts, and most of the times in order to achieve the goal without losing your readers you need to be inaccurate, to some extent. An example to clarify what I mean: if I write that the top quark always decays to a W boson and a bottom quark I am being inaccurate: the top may decay in other ways, and to be precise I would need to explain that the probability of the top turning into a bottom quark is proportional to the square of the V_tb matrix element squared of the Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa matrix, which is very close to 1.0 anyway. Explaining this defocuses the main topic which I am discussing, and makes it very hard to keep readers interested.

To all other readers: you are of course very welcome here, and encouraged to participate in horizontal discussions in the comments section. You may ask questions even if just loosely related to the topic of the post. I have very liberal ideas on the use you can make of the comments thread. Even off-topic or mildly offensive comments are accepted (the number of comments I censored in almost 10 years of blogging can be counted on my fingers), but be advised that if you are off-topic I may be quite unlikely to reply. On the other hand, I try to reply to meaningful comments if I have anything meaningful to say. Compatibly with my cronical lack of time, of course.