Page 3.14

Pack of Strays


Y’all may have noticed that there are a bunch of us blogging on Stochastic.

That’s because there are a bunch of us working at Seed.

Here’s my (and a little bit of our) story:

My name is Christopher. I was hired as a writer. Now I’m an editor, managing editor, web producer, writer, project manager, graphic designer, human/systems interface designer, information architect and general layabout.

On the masthead I’m listed as a web editor. But everyone wears more than a few hats here at Seed, according to our respective abilities. For instance our Science Blogs editor also coordinates podcast production. The editor of does layout. And our art director writes snappy one-liners for our magazine covers (which, much to my chagrin, are rarely if ever retained in the newsstand version of the magazine.)

Remember that scene in The Life Aquatic when Bill Murray offers his purported son Ned (Owen Wilson) a position on his ship, and Ned protests that he doesn’t have the background for it?

“I want you on Team Zissou.

– I don’t think I can do that.

Why not?

– Well, it’s not my field.
– I don’t have the background for it.

No one here does.

Klaus used to be
a bus driver.

Wolodarsky was a high school
substitute teacher.

We’re a pack of strays.
Don’t you get it?”

Pack of strays: that’s the staff at Seed. Which isn’t to say that our Editor in Chief, Adam Bly, just picked us up off the street. It’s more to say that every once in a while – and I think magazines and the field of writing in general tends to encourage this – a bunch of folks from disparate backgrounds come together and find out that their weird, peculiar, sometimes highly specific talents can find a place where they’re best utilized, after all.

For those of us who aren’t fresh out of school, our ranks include:

A former neuroscientist (me), string theorist (Josh Roebke), nightlife editor at an alt-weekly (Nikhil Swaminathan), VP for marketing at Sony (Michael Tive), square-rig sailor (Don Hoyt Gorman), and hippyish world traveler (Laura McNeill) – to name but a few.

We’ve got people with backgrounds in anthropology, all manner of biological sciences, physics, chemistry, literature, and nothing in particular other than an interest in forgoing higher education all together and going straight for the brass ring.

What, you thought we all went to journalism school or something?

Anyway, what’s *your* story?


  1. #1 Lee Billings
    April 19, 2006

    I’m shocked you didn’t include my former life as a pro gamer in your post. Shocked, I say!

    The Life Aquatic ref is spot-on, though… That’s exactly how it is around the Seed offices, people. We each get issued our own 9 mm… Except for interns, they all have to share one.