MetaCognitions | Editorial, Schmeditorial — Further Thoughts on Policy


Recently I’ve updated my editorial policy page to clarify a few things, at least the sorts of posts I avoid on this blog since adopting it. As I type this, the thought goes through my head about why I didn’t adopt it from the beginning.

After all, that’s pretty irresponsible, isn’t it, for a publicly accessible website?

I agree, especially given that with this blog’s general readership, I’m not preaching to the choir and wasn’t even from the inception of the site.

As my writing has evolved, so has the blog, and some of that evolution may be seen in the content of posts dating from shortly after this blog’s founding to the present. Early on, I didn’t adopt the use of graphic headers for posts, organization was looser, and my tone really wasn’t what even I would have been particularly proud of.

Not that I ever received nasty-grams from the tone trolls, but I had doubts about the professionality of some of the material. Some of it seemed less than objective, less than professional, and more polemical than I care for.

Mind you, I’m not opposed to controversy, except when it’s mere click-bait, and I don’t care for inflammatory language, which I’m much better at noticing in myself, along with instances of fallacious reasoning (The false dilemma fallacy was common, and rightly pointed out by reader Aliman Sears in several instances.).

I’ve grown not so much prone to walking on eggshells to avoid offending, but just putting more care into my writing. Adopting an editorial policy, even this late since the blog’s founding, was and is mostly to keep the blog on topic and not simply political correctness (which I despise). I’ve noticed over time major instances of topic-wandering, often for stretches of time in my archives, like a tendency to post too many cat videos in 2010, which in all fairness, was a good year for cat videos, and too many critiques of religion, politics, and faith for a skeptical blog.

The following is the current editorial policy in a nutshell, taken from its page on this site:

…I rarely venture into political issues unless they pertain to critical thinking, science, or skepticism. For the same reason, I rarely touch directly on religion and do not attack religious institutions outright, though the occasional misunderstandings of reality by religious leaders, like similar factual misstatements by political figures, needs calling out and critique.

The focus of this blog’s skeptical side is on claims and process, not beliefs or conclusions. I will never tell anyone what they ought or ought not to believe, or what party or candidate to or to not support for office. That is in fact completely out of my hands in any case.

So that’s it. I’m still moving over my major posting to Blogger this November, but I’m transferring all pages on this site to there before that happens. I’ll continue to read, comment, and otherwise follow and interact with those on WordPress unable to use blogger, on their own sites, it’s just that this site will be closed for updates until such time as I need to use it for that again. The current content, even early material at odds with the current policy, will remain online and publicly accessible unless the content involves broken links to images or blocked, deleted, or otherwise unwatchable embedded videos, in which case the post will be deleted for not contributing to the value of the site.

So I’m not going away entirely. But I’ve been posting here for nearly eight years, and this venue needs a rest. And once I’ve shifted over, the lessons learned here shall be continued there.

Thank you, and…

Tf. Tk. Tts.


Fractal of the Week | Brains in Spaaace!

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 13.33.05

Namaskar. I’ve been busy with study, working on notes, and creating new presets for MB3d now that I’ve finished resizing older ones to economize on file space, and this so far is my favorite of the bunch. It’s a truly alien-looking object that I’ve rendered as a 1600×900 wallpaper. This seems a good starting point for a larger print-sized image. I’m keeping this one’s basic preset with fewer edits than I thought might be needed during this first render shown here. Double-click to embiggen.


All JPEG, PNG & GIF images in this post are original works by the author, created via a variety of apps and unless otherwise stated are copyright 2016 by Troy Loy. I hereby permit the free, noncommercial use of these images, with proper attribution or a link back to the original source. Thank you!

Caturday’s Astrophenia | 2016.07.16

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 21.10.01

Good evening! I’m posting this some hours later than I’d like, as last night I had a fantastic game session and dinner party with my GURPS group, finishing up the prequel to our AEON superhero campaign, and getting our baptism of fire in a major battle. Twitterer @Ravenpenny was our GM for the session.

This fortnight, Juno is still in the news, with the spacecraft’s settling into orbit around Jupiter and sending us our first clear views of the giant planet in a long time.

I’m still importing video posts to Blogger, though keeping most on this site, save junk posts and expired videos and images. I’m considering not abandoning this site entirely, but posting infrequently, say once a fortnight or month, depending on my personal schedule for posting on Blogger. For those of you without Blogger who want to keep up with my posts there, I’ll set up an RSS link and email subscription box on The Collect Call, so you can get updates in your feed or inbox, as I do with several of the Blogger sites I follow. I’ll do that once regular posting is underway there in November.

Stay cool, stay cosmic, and as always,

Tf. Tk. Tts.

The Cat’s Eye Nebula

IC 4628: The Prawn Nebula

The Colorful Clouds  of Rho Ophiuchi

Arp 286:  Trio in Virgo

The Altiplano Night

The Swirling Core of the Crab Nebula

Nocticulent Clouds Tour France

Moon Meets Jupiter

Aurorae on Jupiter

Chasing Juno

M7: Open Star Cluster in Scorpius

NGC 1309: Spiral Galaxy and Friends

NGC 2736: The Pencil Nebula

The North Celestial Tower

Image of the Fortnight

The Tarantula Nebula on the Large Magellanic Cloud

The Astrognuz:

Dark Energy Illuminated

Hubble Photo of NGC 6814

The View from Juno

Full Speed Ahead for Solar System Exploration

Dark Region Grows Eerily on Sun’s Surface

One Year after New Horizon’s Pluto Flyby

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Microbes: Resistance is Futile

The Next Mars Rover’s 2020 Launch

The Constellation Boötes

Plans to Test Space-Debris Clearing Satellite

The Call for New Tools to Search for ET

Matter Wobbles around a Black Hole

Carbon Nanotube Mirrors in CubeSat Satellites

The Moon Photobombs the Earth: DSCOVR

“Independence Day”: Core Values

“Frankenstein” Galaxy Surprises Astronomers (Astronomers love surprises!)

xkcd: Juno

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Ubi dubium, ibi libertas. – Where there is doubt, there is freedom.


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