Welcome

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope I don’t bore you too much.

I come, perhaps, late to the blogging scene, and with some small amount of reluctance: I really, really hate fads and herd mentality, and don’t have an impression that I have anything astounding to say. The purpose of this is to have a place to note observations and intriguing thoughts, to link to some past writings of debatable use, and to keep my hand in at writing when main projects stall out.

The title “Walkabout” comes in part from an Australian Aboriginal term referring to breaking away from routine and wandering off – it is often considered that this is a spiritual journey, but the evidence for this is lacking. Spiritualism is, of course, what you make it.

More to my point, however, is that going walkabout is one of those things that we all need from time to time, whether it be vacation time or simply reading blogs at work (not that I can come to your defense if you get caught doing this). We tend to get ourselves into ruts, not only doing the same things over and over again, but thinking the same way, and never paying attention to details outside of immediate concern. Nature photography is one way I have of going walkabout, and it frequently leads to some fascinating things.

“Walkabout” is also the title track of an album by The Fixx, and is a song about examining religion and belief. Their usage of the title refers to a journey of discovery, of answering questions by simply seeing how it all works. When you realize that virtually our entire base of knowledge comes from this simple practice, it sometimes seems funny that we can be so bad at it. Click below to hear the track.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

And finally, this is a “skeptical” blog, though I have to admit I don’t like the term “skeptic,” primarily because of the meaning it seems to have for most people, which is “dismissive” or “cynical.” I think that “critical thinking” conveys the idea much better. Not giving out your bank account number to the “wife of a dead Nigerian minister” is critical thinking. Is this being dismissive, cynical, or distrustful? You betcha, and with good reason. Distrust is not a failing – it’s an important survival trait.

Almost invariably, whenever I use the term “we” in posts, I am referring not to some arbitrary group distinction such as skeptics or atheists, but we as a species – everyone human. We all have the same traits and tendencies, emotions and desires, and I see no point in trying to create a divide where none exists.

So with all that, welcome, and I hope you find something of interest!

Small additional note: Comments on posts close after sixty days, as an automatic function to limit the amount of spam (works great!) While I figured that this was well past when anyone would likely want to comment, it is not intended to prevent or discourage comments on older posts. If you want to say something, contact me and I’ll post it for you.

Comments are closed.