Reality Conditions

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

First post, or, How I got here and What is this all about

When I first discovered blogs, about one year and half ago, I was fascinated and became an avid reader of them. Once or twice I played with the idea of having my own blog, but I was afraid of the thought. Who was I to write a blog? To me, bloggers were learned professors who dominated completely some area of knowledge and could talk with confidence about any subject within it.

Of course, even at that time the vast majority of bloggers were just ordinary people with online diaries, but I was unaware of this. I only read blogs on scientific or academic subjects that linked to other similar ones. But as the blogosphere continued its expansion, I started to discover more and more blogs wrote by people I could identify with -graduate students, for example! And then friends of mine started getting blogs as well. Suddenly it almost felt as if not having a blog were stranger than having one!

And so I am starting this. I suppose I should say some words on what will be the (probable) content of this blog. Topics I would like to write on include:

- Physics. I am doing a PhD at the Quantum Gravity Group of the University of Nottingham, and I will post occasionally on my research, or on seminars or conferences I attend to. I intend, however, to keep most of the material at a not-too-technical level, and will do attempts at explaining physical or mathematical ideas for a general reader. This is a good place to say that despite the research group I am in, I don't really work on Quantum Gravity but on Quantum Field Theory in Curved Space, and so if you are a crackpot with strongly held convictions on the validity of String Theory or LQG or your favorite Theory of Everything, this is not the proper place to post them.

-Philosophy. I have been interested in philosophy since very long ago, and tried originally to study both Physics and Philosophy, but the structure of the University of Buenos Aires, where I got my degree, makes this kind of thing very complicated, and I ended giving up the latter. I have continued to read on philosophy, both in books and on the Web, but had until now no way of channelizing this interest to aything more concrete than discussions at others' weblogs. I hope that will change now.

-Other scientific subjects. I am specially interested on evolutionary theory and the attack on it (and science as a whole) by Creationism and Intelligent Design, which I have followed through sites as this one and this one. More broadly, I am interested on questions such as the separation of science and religion, their compatibility or not, etc.

-Book and movie reviews.

-Links to and comments on interesting or amusing things I find on the Web.

-News on my current life, and perhaps also photos, for the benefit of friends living in Argentina or other countries.

One question I pondered for a long time was in which language to write. My native language is Spanish and I am quite more fluent in Spanish than in English; besides, at least at the beginning most of my readers will likely be Spanish-speaking friends. On the other hand, by writing in English I can eventually reach a much wider audience, and I am sure all my friends know enough English to understand what I write. I thought of writing each post twice, in both languages, but seeing now how tiring it is to actually sit and do it, I gave up the project and settled for English. Maybe I will write in Spanish some of the posts on my personal life, or when linking to sites in Spanish. (Por supuesto, mis amigos pueden comentar en castellano si así lo prefieren!)

And I guess that's all for today. Keep coming!