The blogger David Dobbs, who has covered neuroscience at Wired since 2010, has announced he is leaving the magazine's website today "so I can focus more steadily for a time on finishing my book, tentatively titled The Orchid and the Dandelion."
He explains his departure with characteristic flair and precision: "I know some people manage it, but I’ve found it hard to reconcile the demands of blogging at a venue like Wired and of writing a serious book that requires deep immersion: a matter of not just the time needed for each venture, but of the mindset and what you might call the focal length of one’s mental lens," he writes at the end of a post that is the first in a series recapping highlights of his time at Wired.
Starting today, you should be able to find Dobbs at http://neuronculture.com, where he will self-host his blog, hoping "experiment a bit more" and to take a "more Tumblr-like approach" to his blogging. (Dobbs hasn't moved as of 5 pm EDT on the 7th, but he still has 7 hours in this time zone to make his deadline, and more time in some others.)
Dobbs's book is an outgrowth of his 2009 article in The Atlantic about "orchid children," who are "fragile and fickle, but capable of blooming spectacularly if given greenhouse care." He uses them to illustrate "a provocative new theory of genetics, which asserts that the very genes that give us the most trouble as a species, causing behaviors that are self-destructive and antisocial, also underlie humankind’s phenomenal adaptability and evolutionary success."
Best wishes to Dobbs for the completion of his book (from one who knows what it's like to blog every day and write a book).