5 Blogs That Make Me Think

Thursday, June 14, 2007 18:09 | Filed in Blogging, Disability, Faith & Forteana, Memes, Standards, Technology

After I was meme-tagged by Roger Johansson, I thought I should maybe list five blogs that make me think. Roger asked the people on the list not to feel obliged to continue the meme, because of how some people feel about memes.

Okay then Roger. I don’t feel obliged to, but I will anyway as I quite like memes. But equally I don’t expect the people I list to take part if they don’t want to. In fact I would be surprised if any of them did; but I’d be delighted if any of them would. And one of them’s excused for having done it before.

I’m using three key criteria here. Firstly, the blogs have to make me think. I read plenty of interesting blogs, where I find out new stuff, but here I’m talking about something that takes me beyond my comfort zone. Secondly, I’m also only listing blogs that are updated relatively regularly. Thirdly, I decided not to list Roger’s blog, nor any of the ones he mentioned so that I didn’t sound like a suck-up with no ideas of my own.

Me being me, the choice is fairly eclectic: if you’re expecting them all to be web design, you’ll be disappointed. I have many and varied interests — anything I can rant about, really — and the blogs I have chosen reflect that.

Also, I had been going to give out a few ‘honourable mentions’ to people who I read regularly but don’t make it onto this list. Then I decided against it. Those people know who they are, I comment on their sites, they may be on my blogroll and (I think) they’re sufficiently well-grounded people not to go in a huff just because I don’t mention them here. Hopefully.

And now, without further ado — ‘cos we’ve had enough ado already — let me introduce you to five blogs that make me think:


An obligatory web design one. I read a lot of web design ones, but one of the things that stands out to me about Eric’s site is that fact that not only is he frequently talking about something I didn’t previously understand properly, he’s frequently talking about something that I didn’t even realise that there was any need to know.

For me, the classic example of this would have been his recent post on the formal weirdness associated with styling form elements — things I’d never even considered before. Not only does Eric make me think of entirely new things, but he’s a rather fine speaker in person too, so well worth a mention.


With a distinct bodyswerve away from web design and into the realm of personal blogs comes Bloodbus; a glimpse into a world that I’m only too happy that I don’t inhabit, and that I’ve rarely even glimpsed. Bloodbus relates the tales of the legendary night bus driver in a dark and frightening world full of drunkies, junkies, muppets and neds.

The Driver pulls no punches in his tales of vomit, violence and vitriol-soaked verbiage: be prepared for strong language, strong concepts, and a startling slice of the lives of the night-time Glaswegian. Welcome aboard the Bloodbus. Tickets, please…


The AMNAP blog is a collection of articles, snippets, anectodes and other vignettes into the world of para-science. Not pseudo-science, which is bullshit dressed up as science usually in order to sell cosmetics, but para-science, which is investigations carried out scientifically into areas that scientists would normally dismiss, such as ESP, life after death, reincarnation — come again? — and so on.

It’s interesting and often very thought-provoking reading. It’s particularly thought provoking because although I know I’d like it to be true, I’m still sceptical about it. This means that when I’m reading about a scientific experiment into ESP, say, I’m trying to weigh up what I can find out about the experimental methodology — perhaps even drawing the conclusion that either the experimenter was either right about ESP or was fraudulent — and wishing the research would be followed up by someone else.

Fortunately, AMNAP re-visits old stories and in this particular case the results of a sceptic corresponded quite closely with that of the original experiment.

My preconceptions are frequently challenged here because I find myself asking: is this nonsense? If it is nonsense, why does the experimental evidence seem to back them up? Are they making stronger claims than the experimental evidence would suggest? Do they have a reasonable case? If it isn’t nonsense, why are these theories so rejected by the wider scientific community — and if it is nonsense, how come no-one is showing these people up as frauds?

It makes me think.

The Editors

The Editors is the blog of the BBC News editors who often provide an interesting commentary on the stories behind the news items — why was the information presented in that particular way? Why use the term ’67 Arab Israeli War instead of “the six day war” or “the setback”? What do you do to older news items that would give the wrong impression if read now — for example, how to handle the conflicting accounts of Bob Woolmer’s death?

In general, phrasing is an attempt to steer a politically neutral path. It seems to be working, as some people seem convinced that the BBC have their own private agenda of being a bunch of pinko liberals hell-bent on enforcing political correctness, whereas others would argue that the BBC are the tool of big business determined to crush the truth behind … well, everything. It just goes to show you can’t please everyone.

It’s interesting to see not only the reasons why news stories have been presented in a particular manner (particularly the controversial ones), but also what the general public think about it. Although of course when I refer to the ‘general public’ here, I’m referring to that particular cross-section who read and comment on the Editors’ Blog — I’d suspect these are a very different group to Bloodbus’ drunkies, junkies and neds!


This bit of a mouthful is the mouthpiece for The Goldfish, whom I discovered quite recently as a result of her tireless efforts to promote Blogging Against Disablism Day 2007. The Goldfish is someone who writes with a great passion and humour about her topic — whatever that may be — and as someone who has directly inspired me to write multiple posts — as well as the disablism thing, she produced the fantastic Goldfish Guide To Talking About Stuff Without Sounding Like A Racist.

In addition to this, she mentions things on the web I would otherwise never have come across — like Big Blogger 2007 who for some reason didn’t want me in the house. She also has taken part in this meme earlier, so you can already read the blogs that make the Goldfish think if you want.

So, well done to Lobololo… blogloboblo… The Goldfish.

Technically, the rules for this meme indicate that you shouldn’t take part unless you’ve been tagged as someone else’s “thinking blogger”, but if you want to take part anyway, I promise not to tell ‘em…

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

14 Comments to 5 Blogs That Make Me Think

  1. The Goldfish says:

    June 16th, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Thanks very much Jack. :-)

  2. Matthew says:

    June 18th, 2007 at 3:29 am

    Thanks for the plug Jack. I hope to provide fresh and thought-provoking material on AMNAP. I just got back in town from a spectacular long weekend of backpacking and photography, but I’ll try and come up with my own list soon and post it to AMNAP. . .

  3. Bloggeries says:

    June 26th, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    Great blog Post Jack. I have not visited all of the sites on your list however I do wholeheartedly agree with you regarding meyerweb.com ; Eric really makes me think which is something I can’t say for many things in today’s world let alone the net.

  4. Matthew says:

    July 6th, 2007 at 2:27 am

    OK Jack I finally posted my five blogs. . .

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