Patience, my friends, as always there is a reason. And, as always, it will take me 1,000 words to get to it.
Back in the early days of Scientific Blogging, we had a weird thing happen. We were moseying along in July of 2007, watching our traffic go up each month and basically lacking in any controversy. Sure, the Scienceblogs folks occasionally said that we were trying to be Betty to their Veronica, or whichever girl in Archie comics was less attractive, but we mostly let that go because our writers get on Good Morning America and The Colbert Report so we weren't too worried about being second string to anyone (though, admittedly, even today if you just want to be a blogger, you probably want to be on Scienceblogs instead - feature articles are a lot more work) but then in July a funky thing happened.
Scienceblogs anchor PZ Myers, of Pharyngula fame, got together with some fans over a beverage and somehow the talk turned to us. As fate would have it, a blogger wanting to capitalize on the event and maybe get a Pharyngulanche of traffic by appearing in the professor's column wrote about it.
Professor PZ Myers wearing something that says "welcome " and "overlords", thus inspiring the title of this post.
Here's the money quote:
There was a lot of conversation about science blogging in general, and whether or not the "conservative" science blog, Scientific Blogging, was in any way a threat to Seed's Science Blogs, which was somehow perceived as being "too liberal," apparently because there are non-Christians blogging there. (The "conservative" site is remarkable mostly because it really does have to swallow its pride and admit, yeah, no science actually comes out of the DI, and all of the biology done today relies on evolutionary theory.)As you can imagine, this was kind of confusing. I didn't even know what the 'DI' was until this came out and the other folks here told me, and you can imagine the roster of writers we have here weren't all that pleased about a competitor implying they were shills for the Discovery Institute - enemies of evolution and therefore biology, where we rule.
But what really baffled me was the contention that we were a 'conservative' site. We try pretty hard to be politically agnostic here so my assumption was simply that if you are a left wing blogger or fan, the middle probably looks like the right to you. It's just skewed perception. Harmless, though an intellectually sloppy way to live life.
As I wrote then
I always assumed conservatives would be ruthless business people in a capitalist enterprise doing whatever it takes to get ahead but we're not a corporation, we don't have venture capital funding, we don't have a sales force, our writers are not paid a salary - exactly the opposite of the "liberal" site we were being compared against by the blogger.So a guy making a lot of money blogging with the backing of a print magazine that has swanky New York City offices didn't like us - a bunch of people writing just for science outreach and me doing this for free out of my house. I was stunned.
Maybe in the world of science the conservatives are the communists who work together without a salary and don't have deep pockets financing them. More likely we are simply a group of people who want to read and write about science without having politics introduced into it.
Yet if being conservative means we don't have venture capitalists looking for a return, we never have to think about what "sells" to our audience and we don't make science political, that feels like 3-0 in favor of conservatives. Actually, I am surprised more scientists aren't conservative, if that's the case.
But I still wanted to know how that 'conservative' perception was reached. They are scientists too, after all, they don't just attack and then find facts later (well, they did actually) so I did the only thing I could do, not being an internet expert, and I looked on Technorati to see who was linking to us.
As it turned out, the only sites with a political slant that had linked to us were Huffington Post and Slate. As I wrote then, " Conservatives don't take care of each other very well, it seems."
Why rehash this old news now? We have a million people a month and PZ likes us and we like him and we all get along swimmingly and if PZ ever sells a bobble-head doll, I am first in line.
Because, today, for the first time, we got a link from a Conservative site. The National Review's blogging section linked to Beatles Unknown "A Hard Day's Night" Chord Mystery Solved Using Fourier Transform which means conservatives finally showed us, apparently the most conservative science blogging site there is, some love. It's been a long time coming.
I am off to the bar to celebrate. I'll be the guy wearing the "Viva La Reagan Revolucion" shirt. You know, so I fit in with all the other Republicans that will buy me drinks now that I am part of the Brotherhood.
This pic is not me. Conservatives are apparently smart enough to use girls in their advertisements instead of science writers.