As much as the TSZ regulars may have sharp disagreement with many of my views, I actually have a vested interest in seeing TSZ survive and prosper and attract participation with talent and brains. TSZ is valuable because of the quality of the participants, namely, professors (like Joe Felsenstein, Jeff Shallit), textbook authors (like Larry Moran), specialists (Tom English, John Harshman, Mark Frank, Mike Elzinga, etc.), academics, practicing scientists, etc. I suspect JohnnyB and VJTorley might have comparable reasons for their participation at TSZ.
The purpose of me posting here is to see what sort of INFORMAL gentleman’s agreement can be worked out to the mutual benefit of TSZ and my publishing efforts.
I’ve slowly and steadily grown a small publishing and reporting business in private creationist venues, but now am expanding to more public venues. The private venues were private primarily because the content was very obscure (like say the 4D nucleome project at the NIH) and of interest to a handful of creationists willing to pay for my reporting to them directly. A quasi private report that will soon become public is my nylonase paper (assuming it gets through all the approval channels for public release).
The main part of the nylonase paper is 15 pages, the supplemental parts are over 60 pages. This has value to the ID and creationist communities because the nylonase topic has been used as an objection to the published work of several ID authors. So, one can see the cultural and potential monetary value of the nylonase project. Part of the financing of the project entailed covering the week of expenses connected to the Lipscomb conference where I got the chance to confer with biochemists and specialists about nylonases among other topics like chromatin and speciation. See:
My participation at TSZ has cleaned up a lot of errors on material that I pass on to the readers of my publications. I get all this free-of-charge editorial review, and that translates into the value of the product I’m marketing to my paid readers. So, that’s the picture from my end.
I want TSZ to thrive and prosper as a community because I believe it is a good thing that these topics can be debated and explored. In contrast to the way Barry Arrington ran UD, I think there is a place for exploration blogs vs. advocacy blogs. UD was an advocacy blog, and TSZ is more an exploration blog. Whereas Barry was eager to demonize and devalue his opponents, I valued my opponents for their ability to correct my misunderstandings and give me lots of free-of-charge tutoring on subjects I was unfamiliar with. Barry really resented my way of doing business….
So my question is:
What is there of value that I can give to TSZ in exchange for the value it has given me? And if not something of value, how can I at least minimize any negative impact I have of TSZ.
Specifically, what is an orderly way of me alerting TSZ of some of the things I’m publishing without simultaneously flooding TSZ with stuff the readers don’t want to read? How can this be done in a way that adds value to TSZ and aligns with TSZ’s vision?
Now granted, many of you would seem quite happy to see creationists go away forever and thus usher in a Darwinist utopia. If that means I don’t participate here, then this is a time to say so. If however you see some value in me maintaining a relationship, please state how you think I can provide value to you. If all I do is provide free entertainment, then that counts for something.
Now, I owe John Harshman a post on common design. So I have some idea about what you guys want to debate me on, and usually stuff I’m not too good at defending and stuff people feel they can publicly trip me up on. Fair enough. I pick some topics I want to talk about, and some topics the TSZ critics want to talk about. Quid pro quo.
What I had in mind is that I post either in my websites or moderately well-trafficked websites like Crev.Info and somehow alert TSZ about something I wrote. I think I can do the alert through sandbox. For a particularly important article, I may create a separate post here at TSZ. However in that case I view that as me requesting a favor of the participants in reading what I have to say, so I will minimize such postings.
This topic also has some relevance on what value the website has to its readers and value to Lizzie’s original vision for TSZ. It is in this larger context that a discussion of what value I can add to TSZ can be discussed. But I think a conversation or at least some thought might be explored as to why people participate here and why and how the website should continue.
some sample threads I’ve started:
Fwiw there is now TheSkepticalZone.Wordpress.Com website. I give it to the admins here as a present to do what they wish with it.
Many thanks to Alan Fox and Neil hosting my comments and threads here at TSZ.