Monday, January 29, 2007

The pleasures of print on paper

I have received my copy of Bora Zivkovic's compilation of first rate science blogging posts. I was not sure I'd be impressed by the physical book since the publication process is novel and requires damn quick turnarounds by the parties involved in the chain of publication. I am happy to report the LuLu binding of the blogs is as substantial and handsome as anything I pick up off the book racks in the airport or bookstores. Bora and Anton found ways to get a modicum of links into the hard copy, charts and diagrams came through clearly. His preface gracefully directs you to the blogs themselves since blogged writing really is a living thing, "conversational" as Bora puts it.

The book makes great reading in several ways. It is, as I think it was intended to be, an intro to on line science writing for those who have not caught on to blogs yet. It is great reading for both style and content, having been culled from the best of the best. For a person with a few minutes a day to read before dropping off to sleep, the shorter format of the blog post as compared to typical book chapters is ideal. And mostly, it will be a great time capsule of where science was getting traction in a very non-science-oriented society of 2006. 2006 being a good year for the vindication of Darwin's ideas despite the full court press against it by an ignorant but populous rabble, I am reading the posts from Panda's Thumb and Phyrangula with particular relish.

Maybe next year we get more clarity on what to keep and what to toss regarding string theory? In any event, I think this is a fine start to what would make a valuable series of yearbooks from on line science writing.

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