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Posted by on Feb 12, 2015 in Announcements, Personal | 7 comments

Farewell, friends

Sadly, this is a farewell post. After two years, I’ve decided to leave the Skeptic Ink Network.

Before I go any further, let me emphasize as strongly as I can that this decision in no way indicates any ill feeling between me and the network, or Ed Clint, or anyone else involved with SIN. I’ll maintain a close interest in how this site fares into the future, and I have nothing but positive feelings toward it and my fellow bloggers here. Ed remains a friend and ally, and we’ll be staying in touch. Perhaps you’ll even see me make a guest post on SIN from time to time.

However, I can’t see myself getting back to regular blogging at any time in the foreseeable future. I find it difficult enough fitting in the time and energy to write regularly for Free Inquiry and New Philosopher, and to make occasional contributions elsewhere, such as to The Philosophers’ Magazine. I haven’t been posting, either, at other fairly high-profile sites where I have standing invitations, including at Talking Philosophy, where I’ve posted quite frequently in the past.

I need, for now, to concentrate on my own books, my more significant articles and book chapters (for example my recent chapters in 13 Reasons to Doubt and Christianity is Not Great), on editing The Journal of Evolution and Technology (which is always running too far behind), and writing for a small number of selected places such as Free Inquiry … as well as any markets that might actually bring in some money.

I’ll be frank about the income thing. People who’ve followed my blogging over the years probably know that I currently have an honorary research position at the University of Newcastle, not a position as a salaried member of the academic staff. I’m very happy with that arrangement, as I am free to research/write about pretty much anything I want, while receiving benefits such as staff library access, etc.

Moreover, I have some modest assets that I built up during an earlier phase of my life. I’m not complaining, as I’m in a relatively privileged position in that respect, but I have no regular income. I can live comfortably into the indefinite future, but I need to raise at least some funds to do what is needed to get my message across (e.g. by being able to travel to the Northern Hemisphere more frequently, since most conferences, etc., that I should attend do not have the funds to pay travel expenses from Australia). So I’ll be looking to make some money from my writing and editing, most (not all) of which is currently done on an honorary basis or for relatively token payment. Advances and royalties for the sorts of books that I write and edit generate only a few hundred, or at most a few thousand, dollars per year. I need to reach larger audiences, if I can, and to bring in more serious funds from my professional writing and editing.

The other factor worth mentioning is that there are some family issues (relating to my father’s health) that take up a fair bit of my time and energy each week. The main issue, though, is simply that I need to concentrate on my own books.

This blog will now return to its old home, but don’t expect, for the foreseeable future, to see anything frequent or regular from me there. Skeptic Ink/Ed Clint will maintain an archive of the posts I made on this site.

I have every faith in Skeptic Ink, and once again I wish the network and its team of bloggers all the best for the future. Please follow my feed on Twitter, where I tweet as @Metamagician, and stay tuned for some exciting announcements that I expect to be making as 2015 unfolds.

  • Cheers, Russell – best wishes for a productive year, and I’ll see you at one of those conferences, no doubt!

  • RussellBlackford

    Thank you, Jacques – that’s appreciated.

  • It’s been a genuine pleasure Russell; On behalf of the network, please accept our warm thanks for all of your hard work and leadership. I look forward to working with you again some day, and perhaps seeing you around the ol’ rationalist conference water coolers. Cheers!

  • Thanks Russell – it was a privilege being on the same network as you. Good luck in 2015!

  • ronmurp

    Best wishes Russell, but not farewell, because I’ll still be following you elsewhere.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    Best wishes for the future, it’s been a pleasure to read you here and you’ll be missed.

  • Legend, Russell. Apologies for my belated farewell to thee. Cosmosspeed.