I am back. This time it was a longer intermission, after many weeks of steady continuity. That regularity mostly had to do with my being urged on by the efficient Jaymie Shook of the Bohlsen group to write more routinely than I have been. The main reason behind that is to spread the word around on what the subject of my recently released book is about, and I hope I have done a somewhat convincing job.
On my march to spread the word, I also dared to take up something I have managed to cower from thus far—the social media. The thought that a social media presence is a must in order to fetch interest, and target right audience gave me willies. I am zealous about the subject, its scientific order, and mathematical views, love talking about it to an audience, in person, or over e-communication with the people I am acquainted with, and I am passionate to hear their views, what fascinates them most, and ideas. Shooting out tweets, and hurling jottings and condensed utterances on Facebook in a fully open landscape boundlessly seeped with all different opinions, interests, and intentions is something entirely different. And it gave me jitters! I guess such a reaction would be more common in people who have worked all their lives in structured environments of an academic setup, where you cave in comfortably within a premise, relatively sequestered from majority of the outside scenarios. It feels far less risky.
The notion of scientific outreach in an academic institution is itself a very modern, and indeed fruitful, thinking, and many able researchers have caught up with that very well, and take pleasure in popularizing science. Some launch their intellectual views right in the public arena, bypassing the slippage that would be encountered if gone to a specific collegiate field mostly for the interdisciplinarity of their viewpoints.
For the most part I too liked to be tucked in covers, within a well laid out premise. But our scientific quest has come to a point where moving forward necessarily involves large chunks of interdisciplinary views, and takes. And we all are acknowledging that the things are opening up within science, as well as outside of it. The comfort zone on its own is expanding, as we find ourselves plunging into it.
So there it was, I set up a twitter account and started tweeting, opened a Facebook page, and went buzzing, connected with Goodreads, and put up giveaways, and tried to be at LinkedIn more often. The exposure has been better than anticipated. And it is satisfying to see how many original thinkers, and established academics take time and effort to be there in a common open ground, constantly twitting, pitching and improvising. That most of the genuine organizations are in a constant update of their face, voice, and initiative. Their tone isn’t always as weighty, and the cadence at times exceedingly popularizing. And at times I have myself felt that they have gone a bit too far. But I think at a common level that incites to be curious and creative, and importantly there is a conduit to connect to them, and discover new and fascinating places that would have lay hidden without the cause of social media.
I connected to a few, and discovered many new. It is productive, informative, and in a strange way real. We discuss and follow numeric, abstract, real and mysterious ways to mathematics (and mathematicians!), the articulations of space-time, including about the recent discovery of gravitational waves, and the interconnected black holes, keep abreast of up-to-date scientific findings in all flavors, once in a while take in the humor part (which is mostly indispensable), philosophy (not the wacky type but the resolving kind that is essential) and indeed some of the current affair outside of science, and personal flavors.
Shedding hesitation is a tough work, but I guess it is worth pursuing one’s and parallel interests in the growing web of virtual space-time.
I am sure many of you already are trekking the cyber social landscape. You can join me there, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, GoodReads.
Also, don’t miss out on having a chance of grabbing a gift copy of my book. Find the “giveaway” in the widget area below. If you win one, I would very much welcome your response, thoughts, curiosities, and even a review. Thank you!
Let me know if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
See you all soon,