Reveal yourselves, O Hidden Ones!

i-4a5bff908462cca810676fe402880c39-delurk6.jpgI learn from Janet, Bora, PZ, and Afarensis that this week is supposedly National Delurking Week. Lurkers, for those of you who aren't hip to the Internet lingo, are people who read blogs (or, for that matter, any form of online forum), but never (or only rarely) leave comments or posts. They are said to be "lurking." During National Delurking Week, we bloggers are supposed to ask lurkers to delurk momentarily and leave a comment. Given that Respectful Insolence averages somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 unique visits per day on most weekdays (a little more than half that number on weekends) and that most posts average less than ten comments (posts about antivaccination loons excepted, as they not infrequently exceed 100 comments), there are a lot of lurkers out there. It's time for you to join the party, if only for one day!

I remember that I did this once before on the old blog back in September 2005 and got 81 comments. My traffic is probably three times higher now than it was back then. Does that mean that I should get 240 comments this time? Let's find out. In any case, I think that waiting 15 months to do it again isn't too brief a time. In fact, looking up the old post, I can't believe it's been that long.

So, consider this to be an open thread, another thing that I don't do very often at all.

Lurkers: Reveal yourselves, O Hidden Ones! (Just for one day, anyway.) How long have you been reading? Why don't you comment? What do you like? What do you hate? Remember: If you don't comment (at least today), the terrorists win.

The rest of you: Time for any comments, criticism (hopefully constructive), and random blather.



More like this

Orac mentioned that he runs recurring De-Lurking Days on his blog. "Lurking" is to hang around a web forum or a blog without making your presence known. "De-Lurking" is to come out into the light of on-line day, however briefly. Aard currently has about a hundred visits by returning readers every…
Over the past year, CogDaily has had about 400,000 unique visits. During that same time, we've received 3,075 comments. Wow! We're humbled by those numbers. Yet simple division reveals that fewer than 1 in 100 visits actually results in a comment. There must be hundreds -- possibly thousands -- of…
Dear loyal readers, quiet lurkers, constant commeters, and trolls, On or before the 24th of May (hopefully not later) will under The Branding. The Branding is not a phenomenon found in a cultish horror movie involving corn and a school bus, nor will it involve British schoolboys…
A while back I wrote a brief, snarky post about a bizarre hypothesis that I considered so risible as not to be worth applying my usual 1,500 to 3,000 words of not-so-Respectful Insolence to. My original post was in response to a press release announcing a book by Michael J. Dochniak and Denise H.…

Of course I can't let this one get away unscathed. We don't discriminate. I mean, like, equal opportunity for all is our motto. Can ya dig it?

To be really honest with you, I don't read every post sent to my addy but I do read quite a few. What I don't understand is that I only registered once yet I receive double posts and end up breezing through the emails for double posts then they get deleted. Tthat's why I don't read eveyone of them... Snork!


Who made it that? I mean, surely it wasn't lurkers themselves?

There are many blogs I read and rarely post on - often because I have nothing to say, or others have already said it. Plus, any post where the responses are in double digits and more, and arguing is going on, doesn't invite me to add to the melee...

Hello. Not sure how long I've been reading your blog. Probably a year or so. Don't comment b/c I usually don't have anything to say, or someone beat me to it. When comments start getting heated, I don't even bother reading them much less want to contribute. I read the blog for your ideas and thoughts, I'm not too interested in what the 'community' thinks about it. Anyway, keep up the good work. Back to lurking now.

Same for me. I don't usually have anything intekkigent to add that hasn't already been said. Who came up with the term 'lurking' anyway? That has negative connotations, I think, but it's the default position.
So, I read your blog most days, when I'm not swamped with my own work, and often enjoy reading the comments. Very infrequently, I might even comment myself.
Thanks, Orac.

By gravitybear (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Long time lurker from Saskatchewan, Canada. I delurked for PZ, so it's only fair if I also delurk for you, Orac. I read both blogs daily, but have never felt the necessity to comment on either. As others have already said before me, anytime I actually have something to say, someone has already beaten me to it (see, this comment is also unnecessary, because this point has already been made...) I was led to this site by some JREF posters over a year ago. I was interested in alties and their woo, and this blog has been very informative on that subject. I visit Pharyngula for my daily atheism fix, and I visit Respectful Insolence for my daily woo fix (or, at the very least, Friday woo fix). Thanks for the excellent blog, Orac!

Hi. A lurker from new zealand here, been reading this blog daily for a few months. Generally just don't have much to say on blogs, and when I do get the urge to post something I'll often find that someone else has managed to post exactly what I planned to say in a far more eloquent fashion than I could hope to accomplish. Love the hitler zombie posts...

By Ray Illston (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Lurking from Pennsylvania. Your blog is pretty readable and not too tilted to one side (usually to the far left, as blogs seem to go). I'll comment when I think I actually have something unique to say that someone else has not. I'm not in a field anywhere near yours, and I don't have much background in the medical fields. So I sit back and read, read, read. ... Oooh! Time's up - back to lurking now.

A lurker named Ray
Outs himself with a Haiku
Hello to Orac

Hi Orac,

I'm pretty sure I've commented here before, and I know we've exchanged e-mail in the past. Still, those comments were few and far between, which, as I said at Bronze Dog's place, makes me decidedly lurkish. I've been reading for, oh, geez, gotta be a year at least. ::rummage, rummage, rummage:: Oh, here it is. April 13, 2005. Wow! Going on two years, now. Originally found your post on The Orange Man via Skeptico, as I explain in the entry on my blog I linked to. I'll keep coming back as long as you keep writing.

I have been a lurker now for 4 months on this blog. I found my way here by the way of the JREF forum. I was doing some research on "theraputic touch" after our secretary said she paid $1500 for a session to "fix" her horse. sigh .....

Anyways, I read this blog as time permits, and haven't posted any replies for the same reasons as many above have stated (either I'm too slow in responding or someone else has said it way more eloquently than I ).

Started reading you when you had your 'classic' blog and followed you here. As a stay-at-home mom of three young kids it's nice to read something more intellectual than 'Cat in the Hat' but as a stay-at-home mom of three young children my brain is too fried to make intelligent responses. Like the Hitler Zombee and the Friday Woo. Thanks

delurking for a moment here.

You, PZ, Ed, Carl Z, and Mark Chu-Carroll are my favorites here.

From Memphis, TN. Unfortunately in the "buckle of the bible belt".

By Christian (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Well I certainly can't let the terrorists win can I. I read nearly all the science blogs, but post seldom, now all of you are making me feel guilty. But really, is lurking really bad?

By ERIC JUVE (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Not sure how I got here (no doubt linked from another blog), but I've been reading for a few months. I love the Friday Doses of Woo and the posts of the Katie/Starchild stories (the AP doesn't quite tell the whole story). Thanks for letting the lurkers see the light of day!

De-lurking. I'm a post-doc in a dept of medicine lab. I've been reading your blog for a couple years probably. I'm quiet by nature, in-person and online. I enjoy seeing your perspective on medical issues in the news. I've learned much about skeptics, vaccines, and holocaust denial here.

I'm usually a lurker, although I commented earlier today. I read you every few days, and enjoy your measured, reasonable, and thorough treatments of your subject. (compliments all)

Although I did give you a little snark here earlier. Hope I was respectful enough...

I guess I've been reading for 4 months - I work in medical publishing (print and electronic) and have become terribly addicted to reading medical blogs (which also explains how I got here). I particularly like your blog design (great visual clarity and interesting links) and the Friday Woo. I'm unlikely to comment unless a subject has great personal relevance and I feel my contribution would be useful. Keep up the good work :)


Hey. I'd explain why I don't comment around these parts, but someone already beat me to it.

Unlurking for a brief post.

Discovered Science Blogs from the Nature list of "most popular." I read about 20 daily, all science related.

Enjoy yours the most.

By double helix (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

I comment!

Not often, but I do. Lurking is my natural state, even in meatspace.

I have commented, but I'm usually quiet around here.

By Tara Mobley (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Delurking.... Looking around... WTF is THAT? ... Scrambling back into Lurk.

Been lurking here since early summer. I believe I've even commented once or twice.

I have a love of all things science and undoubtedly found you from one of those links.

Love the Friday Dose of Woo, but I really wish you had better news regarding the drug eluting stents I had installed last May ...... oh well, it will certainly give me something to discuss in March with my cardiologist.

Orac, I love this blog. I have posted once or twice, but your posts about alternative medicine and woo in general keep me well-informed. I often hear people hawking woo-woo solutions to common ailments, or talking nonsense about the more serious ones. Thanks to reading your blog I have been able to change quite a few minds about the "virtues" of altie woo. I only hope that it spreads even further. You do a great job.

Hello. I've been reading for about two months, but I have yet to comment because I have not had anything intelligent to add. Keep up the good work! You're a regular Woodini--there's no woo you cannot escape from.

By Fjord Penguin (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

I think I've been lurking for 6 or so months, since something from badscience was linked back here...and I was linked to badscience from dansdata. Ah, the internet.

I reads almost every day and have posted, uh, twice. I think. I usually find everything I would say has been said (which is excellent as lurking is my default). I love reading the comments on articles.

Lurker reporting for counting.
I've been reading you since before you moved to Scienceblogs.
I enjoy all your respecful insolence that you dish out.
That's why I keep reading. Keep dishing it out.

I guess I'm kind of a lurker, maybe? I'm getting better at it, I really am, I just need to stretch a little, and remember my forum days. Like almost every other lurker, it seems, I just don't have much to say. I really enjoy your style, and Ihope too keep reading for a while yet. Keep up the good work, o cantankerous block of circuitry!

Well, I've been Lurking for almost two years now. I found your blog around the time of the RFK Jr. vaccine scare piece. I've posted a handful of times now, but generally don't have the time (or motivation) to get involved in these discussions. And yes, the L in TonyL stands for Lurker.

Living in the heart of Dixie (home town is Birmingham and studying in New Orleans), I read you, Ed Brayton and PZ to get a good dose of reason. Ahhh sweet, sweet reason. I usually don't comment, because I prefer to observe and weigh the opinions of others. My area of study is Physics and Philosophy, so I lack expertise in Biology. I have more to learn than to teach in the organic world.

I'm a very occasional poster, and I move around the whole gamut of science blogs so my presence on any one is rather minimal. But I have a special love for Orac who once posted a comment on my blog, which gets about 2-3 hits per week if I'm lucky. On the other hand, I am soft on woo andam often arguing the "Neville Chamberlain atheist" line.

I lurk at most of the blogs I visit, so my lack of comments is nothing personal. I'm a geologist, and I love reading about medicine and skepticism, but often don't feel I have much to add.

By Sylvanite (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

I've been lurking for a bit over year now. I got started reading blogs through my fellow midwesterner PZ. Still read him but now generally prefer Brayton. I read you and Tara to keep up to date of medical issues. I mostly come for the Woo. My girlfriend regularly visits a chiro and considers medical advice from her message lady as the word of a highly trained professional, so I come hear to assure myself that there are other rational people in the world.

I might be a lurker, but I vote! In the Weblog awards you guide me to. For you. Woot!

Hello from New York City! Love the blog - keep it up!

Well, I certainly don't want the terrorists to win.

Consider yourself commented!

By Robert M. (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Long time lurker from Sydney Australia enjoying another lovely summer's day. I enjoy reading many of the blogs here at Scienceblogs. I have nothing to contribute to the science as I'm a systems accountant / consultant. However my eyes have been opened to the garbage peddled by the woo shysters and I have forwarded several internet debunking links to a good friend of mine whose husband was going to spend money on various homeopathic remedies.

Keep up the good work.

I lurk because your other commenters usually cover what I want to say. I always read because you comment on things that interest me greatly.

And where else can you find the Hitler Zombie and Eneman?

Longtime lurker via RSS, since probably summer '05 or so. Barely enough time to read my feeds these days, even as much as I've whittled down the list, hence the lack of commenting (/maintaining my own blog). Glad to have such a convenient collection of quackery-rebuttals, though. Slightly bigger fan of the insolence than the respect; go figure.

Cloaking device back on.

YALRFD. (Yet Another Lurker Reporting For Duty). Math/Programmer. I found Scienceblogs in August following a (New Scientist? SciAm?) list of "top Science Blogs". I visit you, Mark Chu-Carroll, and the Mungers daily; others occasionally. Bored beyond belief with all the anti-Creationist scienceblogs, on the basis that soon Young Earth will have as many adherents as Flat Earth, so why bother? Love your treatment of Woo -- you have a real talent for making humor out of obvious nonsense -- but I enjoy nearly all of your articles. Thanks for keeping it up -- it's part of my day!

I read you and The Cheerful Oncologist daily while at work. I don't comment because I can't afford to waste any more time on the intertubes than I do already. But since you asked for it: I enjoy the vast majority of your writing, particularly when you talk about your interactions with patients. However, the Hitler Zombie posts are uniformly terrible - I just skim them to see who's invoked Godwin's Law (or one of its corollaries) this time. I'm not a huge fan of EneMan, either. Please stick to your more serious writing, it's the most engaging part of your blog, and what keeps me coming back.

I'm that rare bird (bad pun, I know, given my name) that has left comments, but I wanted to answer your challenge to make a comment. Apparently, I'm not the only one that's never heard of this National Delurking (whatever).

By Robin Peters (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Hi Orac. Long time lurker, first time commenter. Thanks for the great stuff. I have used your information to try and disuade my father from using chelation therapy. He won't listen. He did change his diet though. His cholesterol went down and he credits chelation therapy! Arghhhh. Fuckin' retard. I swear I'm adopted. Anyway, thanks Orac. I'm goin' back to the shadows. I've never learned anything from talking, only listening. Peace.

Scott A

Delurking -- I have greatly enjoyed my Friday Dose of Woo for several months now; I believe I linked through something posted on Amy Alkon's blog? Veterinarian/fellow surgeon/enjoy reading about how the other half lives...

Okay, I admit it. I lurk because I'm lazy and usually don't have anything interesting to say anyway. But I delurked at Pharyngula, so it's only fair that I do the same here. I'm a material science student in Germany and the Friday Dose of Woo never fails to amuse me. The post about quantum homeopathy was spectacular. I admire your patience in dealing with this stuff. I'd go crazy refuting the same stupid claims again and again, especially when it concerns unfunny stuff like vaccines and cancer treatment.

I've been reading for about four months. I love science (physics is my favorite flavor) and skepticism. I rarely comment because I rarely even keep track of the comments.

I like how you hold a skeptical attitude even towards those you agree with (eg Dawkins). That is the skeptical ideal!

First day reading, so I'm an extremely short lurker. :-D
Came here from Michael Shermer's reference to your Airborne post from the Skeptic Column in Scientific American.

Looks good so far, keep up the good work.

I've been reading since last spring. I work in the woo industry and hardly a week goes by that one of my woo-full coworkers fails to scare me half to death with some new brand of nonsense. I love your Friday Dose of Woo; it helps me realise that I am not the crazy one.

As for commenting... well, I am a mythological beast and most likely never existed.

By PlaidDragon (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

ame here from Michael Shermer's reference to your Airborne post from the Skeptic Column in Scientific American.

Michael Shermer linked to one of my posts? And I never noticed?

Where? This is fantastic.

I lurk, therefore I am...
Too deep? Not enough?
How about...
I think, therefore I lurk...
Hmm... still not quite right.

A dedicated lurker from Edmonton Canada
(You know, all those quiet, polite Canadians)

Delurking due to request (though I have dropped a comment in here and there.) Respectful Insolence is generally a daily read (along with PZ and Ed).

Like many of us, I answered PZ originally but it's only fair to post my answer here too:

So that's what I am - a lurker. And I thought I was the only one.

Greetings from (excessively sunny) Canberra, which - as all you intelligent well-informed people know - is the capital city of Australia.

I got here via initially reading The Loom, but then widened to Pharyngula, Orac, Ed, grrlscientist, Wilkins etc etc, until it became a dangerous obsession. Marvellous info for the layman who tries to take an intelligent interest in science.

God bless you all - oops, well you know what I mean.

By John Monfries (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Lurking from Australia, for about four or so months. Sometimes I even write a comment, then delete instead of submitting. Mostly I just can't think of the right way to articulate a thought, so I don't post.

Found you through a link from a philosophy site, then clicked on another link, and there you were - being all insolent.

By dessessopsid (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

I've only been reading about a week, but I enjoy it so far. I rarely comment on public blogs though as there often doesn't seem to be much point. Plus, I'm shy. =)

I have been reading for about six months or so.

I don't always lurk, as I sometimes post in blogs of people I know. I don't comment here in scienceblogs becauseI am more interested in reading what others have to say than in putting in my trivial comments. A lot of the material is over my head despite my having a degree in biology from over 30 years ago but I find it a good way to keep up with the hot topics in science.

I just found you via elfs. I love to lurk, because that way I can get...nyrhed !

Hi there! Just dropped by....oh, what's this? A Lurk party! WooHooo!

Thanks, Orac

I don't think I've posted specifically on your blog, as opposed to scienceblogs more generally.

Someone tell me why it's National Delurking Week. The internet knows no national borders. Or is it, like, "digital nation"?

Been on Lurk-O-Matic for a bit more than a year now...

dropping by from New England. I enjoy your blog. Thank you. Now, back to my previously scheduled lurking.

By Mom of Es (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

I'm so flattered that y'all think I might have something to say. Alas, I do not.

Been reading RI since it was at the old site. Not sure how long that is. I check the science blogs every Tuesday. Clearly I lead quite an exciting life.

By Bad Penny (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

I do comment occasionally but only where needed, i love your work been reading now for several months and you and few others are starting to inspire me into my own blog (probably a history of science and that sort of thing) if i can find time to get it up and running of course, any hints?


Long-time lurker, occasional poster, Seattleite, mathematician, skeptic, and big fan of your blog. I've been reading on the order of a year, or a year-and-a-half; I really don't quite remember when I first got addicted.

I lurk mainly because my area of expertise is pretty far-removed from most topics discussed here.

You tricked me. I was expecting some sort of Lovecraftiana, though I should expect that from Pharyngula.

Greetings from a software engineer lurking from Guadalajara, the land of tequila, mariachis and a good bunch of the things you can associate with Mexico. Like half of the lurkers here, I don't comment because when I come to read everything I could say has been said.

By MartÃn Pereyra (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Count me in. Since there aren't many biology teacher blogs out there (my field), I wind up drawn to the medical ones (next best thing). Thanks for the info - it's a good way to stay current.

Maybe people don't comment because they have nothing worthwhile to say?

I've been lurking for some time now. It seems every time I finally think up something good to add, the thread has moved on. Maybe I should start my own blog. Something like "Humanity: an Outsider's Perspective". (Sometimes, I really feel that way.)

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

I'm an equal opportunity lurker from San Francisco. I love the Friday Dose of Woo!

Random logical puzzle: If a plane flies 1 km south, 1km east, then 1 km north and ends up where it started, how many points could it have started at?

Yes, the North Pole, that's obvous. What else?

Try this: go close to the south pole, and find a latitude where an entire circle around the Earth traveling due east is exactly one mile. From any point on this circle, go north one mile. You can start here, then once you go south you can go east 1 km and return to your same location. Then go north 1 km and you're back where you started!

So, we've added a circle near the South Pole to our list of locations, but that's not all. We can also get close enough to the South Pole that we'd circle it twice. Or close enough that we'd circle it three times, or four, and so on. In fact, there's an infinite number of circles here where you could be.

So, the final result for the number of points is:

Infinity (countable) X Infinity (uncountable) + 1

Greetings from Baltimore. The vaccine stuff got me hooked; now I hang around and soak up the sciencey vibe. I love your snarkalicious ways!

By chesapeake (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Thought not exactly a lurker, I read a whole lot more than I comment.

Why do I stick around? It's because Orac, who despite the fantastic supercomputer moniker is really a human being like everybody else (well, maybe not exactly like everybody else), just does such a good job smacking down all the idiocy out there. Critical thinking doesn't seem to be all that in vogue for a lot of people nowadays, but I can count on Orac to deliver Respectful Insolence in the appropriate dose.

By ThomasHobbes (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Hi. I had no idea there was a name for this. It seems I've been lurking from Canberra, Australia, for several months now. I got here from PZ's blog, although I don't know how I found his anymore. Love your posts. As a natural skeptic with a medical science degree, I find your posts on alternative therapies/woo to be very amusing and informative, although sometimes worrying as well. Like others, I haven't left comments before because I either don't have much to say or others have already said it better (or I'm just wary of exposing my ignorance). I'll try to be more vocal in the future if/when I feel I can contribute. Thanks!

Hey Orac, I love your blog. I was turned on to it by reading Amy Alkon's. I lurk on many, many, many blogs so there's no way I can post comments everywhere. I've been reading your blog for about 9 months now.

I love the medical cases and the woo doses. I hate that you don't write more. (Is that too much sucking up?)

I'm only half-lurker... on my Mother's side

By Freepotato (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Hey, Orac. I've been reading your blog since (I believe) just after the switch from your old site to SB, which I found either from Bowditch or PZ. I've been trying to start commenting more often but I either can't think of anything to say or don't have the time to craft a comment since I'm at work at the time. As frequently mentioned above, I like the medical cases and the Friday woo, even if some of the latter is above my head as a physics and math person, but I also enjoy the sporadic WWII posts.

Orac: I've been reading Insolence for a while now--since before the switch to ScienceBlogs. In fact, very shortly after discovering this blog, I had the opportunity to read THE ENTIRE THING, every entry, in one night. (The blog was much smaller back then.) This was because I was up all night while NuLytely did its magic in prep for a colonscopy, and needed something to read. (I later found that I much prefer Fleet Phosphosoda, brought to you by the makers of the Insolent mascot, Eneman, but the doc says it can interfere with biopsy microscopic findings, so even later it was back to HalfLytely, which as the name suggests, is only half as vile as NuLytely.) Aren't you glad you asked? Maybe that will put and end to these de-lurking events!

Oh, and by the way, anyone that suggests mixing Fleet Phosphosoda with Gatorade is nutters. The last thing Phosphosoda needs is more salts/electrolytes [gagging choking noises]. The acidity of Lemonade is best. But not Tropicana--it has salt too!

Delurking as requested! I've been reading your writings for a long, long time now (going way back to when you were a regular on several Usenet groups), but I almost never comment because I'm lazy. A pitiful excuse, I know.

I found your blog while looking for refutation of the autism/mercury madness, look forward every week to my Friday Dose of Woo, and comment rarely but mention that I covet your Dalek cookie jar far more than is seemly.

Sometimes I wonder if you ever sleep. I currently think you shouldn't be offering to do Dr. Dawkins's work for him. It'd do him a world of good to do his own research on subjects he's not an expert in before he starts writing about them.

You're in my blog list :), I haven't commented because medicine/etc isn't my field (I'm more a math/cs guy). I read because you have some o f the most interesting and easiest to read postings that I've come across.

Not my first post here but the only time I post is when I feel I have something relevant to add (which isn't all that often but...) and due to time zone differences most of the time I'm beaten to it by others.

By Knight of L-sama (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Hello from Michigan! I've been reading your blog for a long time. Your writing is excellent, and I love the topics you cover here, particularly the anti-woo stuff.

Aloha! I guess I got here through one of the autism blogs. Yours is one of the blogs I read every day.

Hello from Austria - read your blog since sometime around, dunno, 2004?, every day.
Es war sehr schön, es hat mich sehr gefreut...

Good day from Bulgaria! Thank you for writing this blog and helping me keep well informed! Also, love Your Friday Dose of Woo (which falls on Saturday in my time zone). Bravo, Orac!

By hipparchia (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

Me comment. Me not comment often. Me think more clever people comment first. Me not comment.

Damn, I am a lurker. I feel like I've been a part of many posts and their responses after reading them. I'm especially interested in your vaccination posts but enjoy the knowledgeable anti-cancerquack articles. Found you via Phil Plait's excellent Bad Astronomy blog. I don't know how you find the time to be honest. Well done. Cheers from New Zealand

By SlicedKiwi (not verified) on 10 Jan 2007 #permalink

I don't normally lurk elsewhere, but your combination of fecundity and sagacity leaves little left to be said. Been hanging around here daily for a year or so.

Love the woo-whomping in any form.


OK then, delurking for a moment. Regular reader since sometime back on the old blog. Found your blog via Skeptico (I seem to remember). I only comment when I think I have something useful (or at least witty) to add; haven't happened yet...

I lurk because I care.

Lurking is fun! Better than a dark alley are the labrynthine recesses of the net.(whatever that means) My usual excuses for breaking cover include grammatical blunders (others and mine) and puns. The ideas I encounter are fun as well as fuel.

I think I only commented over here to make vaguely pro-Tigers remarks after they drafted my Tar Heel Andrew Miller. But considering I delurked at Pharyngula and reading this blog pre-SB was what led me over there in the first place, I feel obliged to do the same. I love this blog, particularly the anti-woo, and the whole Science Blogs community is a big reason why I'll be returning to school for a second degree in biology as soon as my contract here in Korea is up. So thank you!

By jeonjutarheel (not verified) on 11 Jan 2007 #permalink

I began lurking and occasionally commenting at medical blogs several months ago following a brief surgical hospitalization (my first as an adult though I'm very old) that made me curious about the people populating the medical profession (which is odd because every other person in my family is a nurse or a doctor or a chiropractor or some sort of medical professional and I admire them all as human beings and professionals).

The hospital experience was thoroughly good in that all the professionals were, well, professional and very kind as well, and I've had a good recovery. Anyway, while reading the medical blogs I've learned a lot, and have come to have great admiration for many of those who write. As others have noted for themselves, I don't comment often because I don't think I have anything to say that would add to the post. I'm very grateful for the blogging, though.

One subject trend I've noted in the many med blogs I read is discussions about the need for the public to take more responsibility for their own health instead of popping into the doctors' offices or emergency rooms to demand meds. I like being responsible for my health; why people choose helplessness is a big puzzle. Doctors should discourage that though it may not be good for their financial bottom line.


I'm not quite a lurker (I've commented on a few posts before), but I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much I can appreciate your "anti-woo" stance. Though we've never met, I think you'd be a level-headed, no B.S. kind of guy, which is a great trait for a physician (and a scientist, for that matter). Keep up the good work...and I'll keep reading!

By medrecgal (not verified) on 11 Jan 2007 #permalink

Hi... I'm a Lurker from Brazil... I love your blog specially the "Your Friday Dose of Woo"... Sorry for bad Grammar XD

Hi there-- sometimes post, but lurk most o' the time
anjou from Bucks County PA

Lurker from Boulder Creek, CA.

Lurker and occasional poster from Glenville, NY

Let the terrorists win then! I refuse to comment!

Wait a second... ah, well, never liked those terrorists anyway...

By valhar2000 (not verified) on 11 Jan 2007 #permalink

I don't know if my infrequent commenting counts as lurking or not. But I don't remember commenting in the last couple weeks so it probably does.

I actually read your blog because you seem quite sensible, when commenting at other blogs - I really like your attitude. I also enjoy your disection of woo, especialy alternative healthcare. I use very little of that sort of thing, but have many friends who are quite enthusiastic about it. I occasioanly use a few plant meds, but only for pain relievers and narcotics to help manage my insomnia. I use them only because I have no reall access to health care. It enfuriates me to see people who will actively discourage patients to seek evidence based medicine, on top of the "natural" regimine they have been given.

I generaly read you, PZ and Ed on a daily basis. I started reading Ed because he's my brother. I read PZ, because he and my brother seem to get into it, while I disagree with PZ on his notions for dealing with the religious, I love reading his blog, especialy when it's pure science. I started reading you because you're all to sensible about the whole thing. I comment most often at Ed's blog because I get directly into a lot of the issues he talks about, while I just learn from you and PZ - rarely is there a good reason for me to comment on either blog.

I lurk in various blogs. I generally don't comment because I'm not any sort of specialist in things biological and medical. Plus, I'm lazy and most of the times I'm late to the discussion. And most of the time, I would just write "great post", which would be nice but not add much to the discussion.

Every Friday, this is my first blog I go to, purely for my Woo fix (I am SO addicted to it!). I also stick my head around here several times a week to see if there's any other wooiness out there that might hold me over until then.

Orac, is it okay if I make a request for a Friday Woo article?

I'm curious how much of chiropractic is real and how much is woo. In particular, I'd like to get your perspective of sublaxations. I'm a reader of, but they don't attack it with the same amount of Insolence as you deliver... and let's face it, that's what makes it so fun.

By doctorgoo (not verified) on 11 Jan 2007 #permalink

Orac, I first de-lurked on your blog last year. It was my first ever blog comment, but since then I've been a bit less shy. All you total lurkers - don't worry about not being highly intellectual. You couldn't be sillier than those anti-vax loons Orac regularly hears too much from.

Boy, two de-lurks in as many days for me...first on PZ's site and now here. I rather enjoy being a lurker, though. It's so "Babylon 5" :D

Thank you for the great site, Orac. Came for the autism info, stayed for the Friday Woo and Hitler Zombie.

De-lurking from Ottawa, Canada to encourage the post count and your further efforts to keep the masses on the path of science and rationality rather than "other" crap.


By Scott Turner (not verified) on 11 Jan 2007 #permalink

I'm here every day---think you are the greatest! Lurk because most people have already thought of what I think of to say--but never stop learning from you and them!

I love to lurk.

Hi,Orac. I am delurking just for today. I will continue to lurk because my comments could be construed as abuse of my internet privileges for work. I keep my comments to a minimum because it would just be another distraction from my busy workday. You have become one of my favorite site though so please keep up the good work!

By Redyns Drahcir (not verified) on 11 Jan 2007 #permalink

Sorry, I'm definitely in the category of lurker. I tend not to post much because I feel I can rarely add anything useful to a conversation and I hate 'me too' posts.

I've commented a couple of times in the 8-10 months I've been reading, but I was so affronted at being called a "wanker" by Common Sue that I stopped posting (just kidding -- actually I read your blog at work and can't take still more time to post). Though not a doctor, I work in a technical medically-related field, and find your vaccination and other scientific debunking posts fascinating. Finally, you are one of about six people on the Internet who understand the correct use of "its" and "it's", for which I can't thank you enough.

Not a lurker.
But I find it funny - all the lurkers claim to never have had anything to say, or someone else said it first. Yet, how many posts here have that excuse? How many times has it been said?

Seems a post like this works to serve its intent. Congratulations.

Hello from Dallas, TX. I've been reading for some time--since prior to your move to Sb--but I don't remember if I've commented before. So hi there!

Delurking. I'm a student - someday med student - been reading for maybe half a year, and was I think first drawn to your site through Randi and then stayed for the very logical, well-researched tone. Love the work, esp. YFDoW.

Lurker here.

BAT may find lurkers' rationales funny, which is fine and good - I find his seeming contempt for us just as amusing. The fact that most lurkers offer a similar explanation (or as BAT prefers, "excuse") doesn't in any way invalidate same.

That said, luckily for all of us this is not BAT's blog; thank you, Orac, for consistently delivering cogent and compelling skeptical tidbits.

I admit somewhat sheepishly to being one who might be described as a borderline magical-thinker (think casualty of philosophical abstractions and misguided anti-Materialism, rather than credulous pigeon for obvious confidence games).

I began a sort of cathartic rehabilitation-of-worldview last year, re-examining some of my more egregiously irrational positions. As part of that process, I reviewed most of the sites within the Skeptics' Circle. After that review, only the Two Percent Co., Skeptico, and this site remain frequently visited.

Keep up the good work, Orac. The slice of the population that exists between those of intractable faith and those who are unconflicted empiricists (i.e., the choir, in this context) is inarguably narrow. Those of us who exist within it appreciate the effort put in by those of you in the skeptical community to keep the dialogue open.

Best wishes to everyone for 2007.

I don't know exactly how long I've been reading this blog... five or six months I guess. I can't even remember how it is I stumbled across it, but I think it had something to do with Skepchick. Anyway, I'm not really smart enough to come up with anything worth while to say. I usually read and say "Wow. This guy's really smart! I should keep reading and I will get smarter, too!" Then I repeat my mantra "Do not say something dumb. Do not say something dumb." So I tend not to say much at all.

Now that you know I am here, I will go back to my no-longer-secret lurking place.

I have liked Orac since Usenet! Also, I am just a stay at home mom, who sews!... but Orac explains things so that I can understand. Okay, I did once take statistics and science in college... but nothing to do with biology (it is too ooky).

This place keeps me sane... especially since I live in a bipolar place. On one hand there is this great research university (Univ. of Wash) and great hospital ( but then there is substantial woo-woo! This includes Bastyr Univ. and (the latter I was told by my son's special ed. preschool teacher is run by someone who means well, but has gone over the edge... or fringe).

Oooh, scary... I drive near one of you guys once a week to my daughter's violin lesson (near the Woodland Park Zoo).

Grew up in a household with a skeptical surgeon for a dad and fallen atheist (now Bible thumping) mother RN. Fortunately, I took after Dad.

Orac has been a light in the darkness... and I say this as I listen to more WOO on the TV: our local talk show host has invited one of her "most popular guests:" a spirit medium.

In the immortal words of Bill the Cat: "ACK."

By lisaleese (not verified) on 12 Jan 2007 #permalink

I guess I'm mostly a lurker. I found you during a search for autism information after my son was diagnosed. I rarely comment I guess because I have little free time and my thought are often along the lines of other comment anyway.

I love how you deconstruct woo. Lots of that among autism parents. Cheers.


I've been reading for several months now I think. I found you during the time when I was populating RSSOwl with a bunch of ScienceBlogs. I don't like commenting that often because I forget easily what I've commented on and what I haven't, thus it tends to get one-sided and annoying for anyone refuting/debating me. I like reading your blog among other blogs because even though I don't have a very thorough backing in biology, medicine, history, or law, you (and other ScienceBloggers) write in an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand format.

By Justin Hirsh (not verified) on 12 Jan 2007 #permalink

Another lurker reporting for duty!

I tend not to comment as I don't feel qualified, but I enjoy being made to think! I did study chemistry and physics at A-level and work in IT. I have been reading your blog before you moved to ScienceBlogs, and I may have found you because you posted something about Crohn's disease (which I suffer from), although I really can't remember.

I remember watching the original Orac on TV - I was only nine though.

Hello. I enjoy your blog! Keep up the good work debunking woo, holocaust deniers, vaccine paranoia, and other banes of the skeptical community!

Thanks for the site. I've been reading for about 1 year. I found your site after getting fed up with watching people destroy their health and endanger their children in my practice and community through believing in irresponsible health claims by alternative medicine charlatans and anti-immunization or anti-allopathic medicine conspiracy theorists. FP doctors are supposed to be empathic and supportive, but I now regularly challenge these assumptions (nicely) and insist on using only "scientific medicine" in my practice. I think you are too dismissive of the reality and epistemologic necessity of religion in human life, but that hasn't kept me from learning a lot from your thoughts. Thanks

By John Brown, MD (not verified) on 13 Jan 2007 #permalink

I probably zip through once a week if the links lead here, but admit I don't seek you out--it's not my bag. But I usually enjoy reading your blog.

By whomever1 (not verified) on 13 Jan 2007 #permalink

I like your site, but don't typically comment, as I'm an Engineer and not sure what my ditinct skills and thoughts would offer on your site.

However, I also do not typically respond on other sites either, as it doesn't appear that you can have open dialog unless you agree with the website you're reading.

It's easier to read, chuckle and move on. You get tired of ad hominen attacks or you're labeled a troll if you don't believe as the rest of the bloggers do on a particular site. So it's easier to avoid ant not respond, even if you want honest discussion.

I usually check in once a week and catch up. I came across the site many months ago while researching the Wernecke case to which I was soon to be assigned as a Guardian ad Litem. I try to read quality post on many subjects and have enjoyed yours. I don't comment as I rarely have anything but the obvious to add.

By a172driver (not verified) on 16 Jan 2007 #permalink