This is an “on break” post with reflections on the blog. Regular posting will return January 4, 2016.
Gazing over the landscape of what we’ve done so far, more or less without planning it, I seem to have hit upon a viable posting schedule. 11 weeks = 22 posts, so if I think of this as a term, and take a couple weeks break in between, then four of these make a year. It’s a quarter system, which is (unusually) what I experienced most often as a student and teacher, and which I prefer.
It’s a good time to impose bit of order onto this whole “blog post upon blog post, one by one, world without end” medium. But as I hope you’ve also seen, biology isn’t a linear sequence, it’s more like the spokes of a wheel. The posting to date has hit a number of the spokes, with any luck enough that you can see the wheel, however many questions it may raise for you, as well it should. Next “term” I’ll be adding a couple more and going over the same spokes, with great care to show how I think a new post relates to the “first term” construct as a whole.
The net effect is, deliberately, barely-controlled chaos. I’m still choosing what to post mainly by preference and enthusiasm than according to a fixed sequence. Sometimes I introduce something complicated in order to arrive at the simpler causes and concepts which underlie it, and sometimes, I do it the other way around. I want to stay at a particular presumed level of audience interest/knowledge, churning it up constantly, rather than moving on in a 101-102-103 sort of way. Ideally I’d like someone to be able to jump in whenever, and after a little while – and given enough explicit references – to start seeing the wheel.