Still Waiting for My Pepsi Cash, but…

Sharon July 9th, 2010

I’m back to work at scienceblogs.  They exceeded my requirements, I had said I’d come back to work if they met them, they did, I’m back.  Or rather, actually I’m on vacation in coastal MA, visiting my parents, but that’s vacation not “vacation.”

I know a lot of you like this blog better, and I really appreciate that.  Unfortunately, there are things about science blogs that can’t be duplicated from here – most notably the fact that it gives peak oil awareness a public boost, and puts information about resource depletion out in a place where you don’t have to know about it already to find it.  That’s why I took the gig and that’s why I’m staying at Scienceblogs for the forseeable future (which may not be that long, if my colleagues are right that Seed Media is circling the drain ;) ).  But I will try to give this site equal attention – which may be more annoying, because now you have to check two blogs.  Best I can do, though.


24 Responses to “Still Waiting for My Pepsi Cash, but…”

  1. Karen says:

    Goodness. Take a break from reading for a couple of days and I miss a kerfuffle. I love gossip and trouble in summer to lighten my mood and make me feel like I used to feel when (blindly) all was well with the world! Thanks!

  2. Raye says:

    Typing in about four extra characters (since the browser fills in the blanks) is not exactly what I would consider annoying. Wherever you write, I will be happy to follow.

  3. Mia says:

    I read the news in my Australian news feed this morning. Nice work!

  4. John Powers says:

    I’m one who likes this blog better. And I very much applaud your return to Science Blogs.

    I find myself between worldviews. I know you are right about what lays ahead and what needs doing, but so many of the relationships in my life are intertwined with the worldview of grow premised on abundant energy. The worldview you champion in your writing is so necessary! It does make a difference when you write with an audience convinced that abundant energy is a given into the foreseeable future.

  5. Ann says:

    I had stopped reading because there was nothing left. I didn’t like the science blog. Something just seemed wrong, and I couldn’t convince it to take my mild-mannered comments. I thought I’d check in here today because it is stormy and I can’t go outside.

    So what did you expect? You get paid, you’re back into the antiquated corporate system and you trade personal dignity for peanuts. No, we can’t say goodbye to it yet because money is the only medium of exchange accepted for most things. It will be a long transition. But could we go forward most of the time instead of about-face backwards?

    Your audience may have been smaller, but since when has small lacked influence? What’s wrong with connecting to home people who share rather than rich influential old white men who don’t listen? Where are we headed anyway, and who is growing and who is toppling? Is your own sustainable community not enough fame and fortune? Is a good meal less than an opportunity to talk to people who may read but don’t listen? Do encouraging comments mean someone listened or just that you made them feel good? Is feeling good enough or is doing better? Where are you going, and is it really there? Will it be there tomorrow?

    Word of wisdom from an old woman: Beware of flattery. It’s deadly. Run fast, hide quickly.

    Did you even ask yourself why a science blog would want an English major? It was a trap and will continue to be. Suggestion: go through old comments. Cross out flattering ones. Perhaps what’s left is gold.


  6. cornish_k8 says:

    Ann ,

    That was powerful – I await Shaon’s response.

  7. Ohio Mom says:

    Another truth you learn as you get older…its impossible to keep everyone happy all the time. Hope things settle down for you soon. Just keep blogging! :)

  8. Sharon Astyk says:

    Ann, I respect your opinion, but given the potential effects of our collective crisis, I think the answer to at least one of your questions – about small communities rather than larger ones is that larger is simply better. I realize that you seem to think this is primarily about my personal fame and fortune, and all I can do is disagree – you can decide whether you believe me or not.

    But to me, this is about awareness – the more people who know about what’s coming and deal with it, the better off everyone is. Dealing only with people who have already discovered all of this and helping them enhance their preparedness is all very well, but one person per 20 square miles with some kind of measure of preparedness is a lot less good than 5 people, or 10 or 100.

    The demographics of science blogs readership tends heavily towards college and graduate students, and by gender they are pretty evenly divided. The audience is younger than my readership tends to be here (and I have one of the youngest readerships in the peak oil community). Both readerships tend to be affluent and white, with a strong sub-set of white and non-affluent.

    I get more praise and less criticism here, so by your reasoning, I should dump this and go to science blogs ;-) . Actually, that’s one of the reasons I do like science blogs – people call bullshit fairly often, and like everyone else, I mostly benefit from it, even if I don’t enjoy it.

    You seem to think that the money binds me more than it does. So far I’ve been paid $635 dollars from Seed Media – I’ve gotten three checks. As I said in the other post, I may be a whore, but I’m not a cheap whore – if I didn’t think the benefits were worth it, I don’t think I could be bought for that.

    As for the rest – I simply don’t see the case for fewer people knowing about peak oil and climate change and everything else coming down the pike because this place is comfier.


  9. Sharon Astyk says:

    BTW, Ann, thanks for the assumption that I couldn’t have gotten to science blogs on my merits, because I’m an English major.

    They wanted to make money on my content. I wanted to raise awareness on their platform. Moreover, I figured I could trust my readers to see through the ads and the bullshit. And mostly I think they have.


  10. Edward Bryant says:

    I was already checking both sites, so I don’t see any reason to change. Frankly, I like each site foe different reasons; on Châtelaine’s Keys, it is mostly “old hands” going in depth on the home/farm front. Science Blogs’ has more new blood, so old assumptions get tested and refined and new thoughts get vetted.

  11. dewey says:

    Although if you read what the hatemonger crowd at Scienceblogs has to say about you, it is either that being a nonscientist means you have no right to an opinion, or that doubting the cornucopian paradigm makes you unscientific and therefore you have no right to an opinion. These are people who cannot be reached; what I’m not sure of is whether they are a vocal minority of the audience, or whether they are a large share (or will be as the more civil people get tired of the insults and abuse and decamp).

  12. K. B. says:

    “Did you even ask yourself why a science blog would want an English major? ”


    When I was in high school, the school board was trying to save money (a perennial issue, I’m sure). They, in all their wisdom, decided that students that did well in science and math didn’t take arts and music, and students that did well in arts and music didn’t take shop or gym, and those that did well in shop and gym…. well, you get the point. So, they took the 4 high schools in town, and “specialized” them. You could get all the core courses needed for graduation, but the extras you wanted decided which school you went to.

    They couldn’t have been more wrong, and the experiment only lasted a few years (destroying the city’s best music program in the process, since that happened to be at the “science and math school”, thus disproving their theory before it even started).

    It’s too bad, in the 20 years since, people still think “Science” and “English” are mutually exclusive. Science, at least the science I know, personally, from having run a research lab for 15 years, welcomes other voices, as long as those voices have the data to back up their opinion. Which Sharon does.

    As for who reads which blog, I read ScienceBlogs, and this one before Sharon crossed over. I still do.

  13. Liz says:

    Here in the local Transition group we have several people with scientific training: BSc Chemistry, BSc Biology, someone who teaches engineering/physics, a paramedic and quite possibly others I’m less aware of.

    From what I’ve seen, people with scientific training are likely to take peak oil seriously and try to do something about it. That is even more true for climate change. I don’t think dismissing scientific types as corporate shills is helpful or true. Some are, definitely, but many aren’t, but if you need a scapegoat, I’d go after economics which pretends to be a science when it isn’t.

  14. Sharon says:

    Dewey, I know about ERV and others, and I just don’t care very much. So what? Besides, you should hear what they say about each other ;-) . There are some benefits to blogging in a community, but it does remind me of well, high school.

    Liz, I’m not sure who you are speaking to, but it was certainly never my intention to dismiss scientific types as corporate shills at all – the only people I think of as corporate shills were the PR flacks who were (briefly) blogging at science blogs.


  15. Ann says:

    The point I was trying to make is that it isn’t a science blog, regardless of the name. Compare it with valid science sites. Science is a method, not a memorizing and screaming about “facts”. There is no science represented in that blog. I am not trying to belittle anyone’s background or skills. I am not saying you don’t know anything. I am saying that the site is a fake, and that there are valid questions that you should be asking yourself about participation so that you don’t get marginalized in your efforts. Question always.

  16. Sharon says:

    I’m not even sure who you are talking about, Ann – my blog or someone else’s. Science is a method – and one I’m intimately familiar with, and there’s a lot of good material published by the 70+ writers there. As for why they wanted me – well, assuming that what they said had something to do with it, they wanted me because I’m a farmer, not an English major. You know, hands on science?


  17. para kazanma says:

    Thanks , I like each site foe different reasons; on Châtelaine’s Keys, it is mostly “old hands” going in depth on the home/farm front. Science Blogs’ has more new blood

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