Friday, August 27, 2010

Blogs

In a fit of internet narcissism, I recently installed Google Analytics. Turns out this blog gets about 25 visitors a day, which is at least 20 more than I would have guessed. At least half come from Crooked Timber, presumably clicking on my "Lemuel Pitkin" link. So evidently, if I want more people to read this stuff (do I?), I need to find more blogs to comment on. But which?

I used to be a regular at Lawyers Guns and Money, but I can't deal with Charli Carpenter. Apostropher is dead. The Poorman might as well be dead. Three Quarks Daily is ok but no one comments there. (Why?) Unfogged is too big a commitment. So is LBO-Talk (rocking it old-school mailing-list style), altho I'm tempted. Commenting on obscure blogs that no one reads is a mitzvah but, well, no one reads them. How about the heterodox econ blogs? Real World Economics Review? oh, but there are so many cranks. Angry Bear? Bruce Webb is good, but the rest of them... DeLong? I could comment on DeLong, but I'd get very angry. EconoSpeak? I like EconoSpeak, I was reading it back when it was MaxSpeak. (I got the original email announcing the creation of MaxSpeak, yo.) But it doesn't feel like a community there.

It's a mystery why there are so few left-of-liberal blogs. (It's because the leftists are all too busy doing serious organizing work. Ha.)

Got to start a new group blog, clearly. Any of you 25 interested?

16 comments:

  1. I don't have any good suggestions as to where to comment (I read a fair number of law blogs, but I'm not sure they'd interest you) but you're right, LG&M has gone down hill. Carpenter is part of the problem, but also Campos and Scott Kaufman, but mostly just because I've felt like I know exactly what everyone there would say for a long time.

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  2. Matt-

    Yeah, Kaufman is as irritating as Carpenter. Would you rather hear about the greatest threat to Afghani civilians is our failure to sufficiently censor critical accounts of the war, or about how liberals should be proud to have supported eugenics? None of the above, please! While DJW and Dave Noon, who are great, hardly post there at all any more. Have to kind of disagree on Paul Campos, tho: He annoyed the crap out of me at first, but I warmed to him. He's got integrity.

    My hypothetical group blog might include some lawblogging. Partly depends on whether I can convince my brother -- a law professor and former contributor to Prawfsblawg -- to take part.

    Hidari: Send me an email: jwmason@econs.umass.edu.

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  3. I remember him from Prawfsblog. (That's certainly a mixed-bag sort of place, as are most of the law blogs, w/ some good stuff and some terrible stuff.) I agree that Noon and Watkins where the best at LG&M, and don't post enough. With Campos, he just takes too much of a lawyer's approach to things- never backing down, no nuance, etc. I find it unbearable. (It was one of the worst parts for me with clerking. When parties presented their worst arguments as being as good as their best ones, I wanted to treat them as all being equally bad, though I had to keep reminding myself not to.) Also, I don't think he's properly repented yet for his part in getting Ward Churchill fired for his political views.

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  4. I don't think he's properly repented yet for his part in getting Ward Churchill fired for his political views.

    Whoa, what?

    I did not know about this.

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  5. Right when the nonsense over Churchill started Campos wrote several op-eds in the Boulder and Denver newspapers calling for him to be fired because of his "little Eichmans" article. This was used as cover to show that it wasn't just a right-wing thing, that even "liberals" could see that Churchill should be fired. Campos debated w/ Brian Leiter over it at the time, completely unapologetically, arguing that it was not a violation of academic freedom nor the first amendment for U. Colorado to just fire Churchill for his clearly political statements. I'm pretty sure he's never taken it back, either. He even appeared on Bill O'Reily's show on Fox arguing that Churchill should be fired for his political views. It was really pretty gross.

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  6. That's pretty bad. I'd already stopped reading LGM, but that makes me feel better about it. Yeah, that's unforgivable.

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  7. I'm flattered, LP/JW, and I actually do have a few posts going up soonish. Matt, I think I owe you an email--I got really behind on correspondence of all sorts earlier in the year, but I'm now semi-settled in my new job (which, so far, is great) and things are getting back to normal.

    FWIW, I think Paul's position that tenure protections are too strong is very, very wrong, but it's not something he simply busted out against Ward Churchill. He's held that position for a while.

    Anyway, you can count me as one of your 25 readers. (And your comments on Henry's Marxism-RCT post were outstanding and uncharacteristically restrained...)

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  8. Thanks, DJW.

    Yes, I'm trying to be less of a dick on the internet. Which is two steps forward, one step back, at best. But if you do get something up at LGM I'll find something constructive to say about it.

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  9. Just found this; happy that there's a place you'll be consistently writing if you're not commenting about LGM. As you know, I think you're wrong (and not just a little wrong, but deeply, tendentiously wrong) about a great many things, but I've always valued your commentary.

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  10. And I suppose, to kick off a bit of discussion, that I should say that I don't really understand the logic of either a) quitting a blog because you don't like one author, or b) quitting an author because you strongly degree on one particular issue. With regard to Paul, I think he's very wrong about Churchill, but my belief that he's wrong doesn't stop me from deriving value from his other posts. Similarly, while I think you're engaging in a misreading of Kaufman, why it should matter for reading, say, his Mad Men posts is beyond me. And if you really don't like Charli's posts, then why not just skip them?

    This should be read as less of a "please come back" than a genuine mystification at a particular blog reading strategy.

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  11. Hi Rob.

    You may be right: Why stop reading your stuff and Scott's, just because I can't stand some of your co-bloggers? It seems irrational.

    (Altho I suspect that if people were more rational about how they spent their time, the blogosphere would be a much thinner place in general.)

    In my partial defense, you must have noticed that I am far from the only one of your readers to respond to Charli this way. If you look at her most recent Afghanistan post, you'll see ten comments (plus one spammer), every single one of which is strongly opposed to her point of view, most angrily. Could it mean something?

    Also, I think that Scott is just as wrong about Mad Men as he is about eugenics. Don Draper is a figure of the American future, not the American past. :-)

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  12. "Could it mean something?"

    Very possibly; Charli regularly steps outside of the zone of comfort that many of our commenters have. That most of the comments in that thread are non-responsive to the actual post, but instead refer to previous posts on somewhat similar subjects, suggests that it's not as simple as people disagreeing, but rather that tribal loyalties have been activated. But that's neither here nor there.

    And the bit about Kaufman is reasonable enough; the logic that you use to discuss Kaufman, Carpenter, and Campos is quite bizarre. In this thread you have argued that you found Paul's writing valuable, then when someone told you that he once said something objectionable, you indicated you were glad that you didn't read him anymore. That sort of logic bothers me; it's a dispositional kind of thinking that runs "Paul thinks bad things, therefore I ought not to read Paul", rather than "Some of Paul's views are unsound, so I should weigh his arguments carefully."

    For my own part, because my field of study involves military affairs, I tend to read a lot of bloggers who are generally right wing but that say interesting and useful things about military affairs. Developing cognitive distinctions between their ability to say interesting things about military affairs and obscenely stupid things about Glenn Beck has never been a problem.

    I suppose that my larger gripe is that the blogosphere tends to be distressingly dispositional, in the sense that individual bloggers become subject to friend/enemy distinction in lieu of a more complicated appraisal of subject matter or situational value.

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  13. "Could it mean something?"

    Very possibly; Charli regularly steps outside of the zone of comfort that many of our commenters have. That most of the comments in that thread are non-responsive to the actual post, but instead refer to previous posts on somewhat similar subjects, suggests that it's not as simple as people disagreeing, but rather that tribal loyalties have been activated. But that's neither here nor there.

    And the bit about Kaufman is reasonable enough; the logic that you use to discuss Kaufman, Carpenter, and Campos is quite bizarre. In this thread you have argued that you found Paul's writing valuable, then when someone told you that he once said something objectionable, you indicated you were glad that you didn't read him anymore. That sort of logic bothers me; it's a dispositional kind of thinking that runs "Paul thinks bad things, therefore I ought not to read Paul", rather than "Some of Paul's views are unsound, so I should weigh his arguments carefully."

    For my own part, because my field of study involves military affairs, I tend to read a lot of bloggers who are generally right wing but that say interesting and useful things about military affairs. Developing cognitive distinctions between their ability to say interesting things about military affairs and obscenely stupid things about Glenn Beck has never been a problem.

    I suppose that my larger gripe is that the blogosphere tends to be distressingly dispositional, in the sense that individual bloggers become subject to friend/enemy distinction in lieu of a more complicated appraisal of subject matter or situational value.

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  14. (this is the third time I've tried to post this, so if a bunch appear, my apologies)

    "Could it mean something?"

    Very possibly; Charli regularly steps outside of the zone of comfort that many of our commenters have. That most of the comments in that thread are non-responsive to the actual post, but instead refer to previous posts on somewhat similar subjects, suggests that it's not as simple as people disagreeing, but rather that tribal loyalties have been activated. But that's neither here nor there.

    And the bit about Kaufman is reasonable enough; the logic that you use to discuss Kaufman, Carpenter, and Campos is quite bizarre. In this thread you have argued that you found Paul's writing valuable, then when someone told you that he once said something objectionable, you indicated you were glad that you didn't read him anymore. That sort of logic bothers me; it's a dispositional kind of thinking that runs "Paul thinks bad things, therefore I ought not to read Paul", rather than "Some of Paul's views are unsound, so I should weigh his arguments carefully."

    For my own part, because my field of study involves military affairs, I tend to read a lot of bloggers who are generally right wing but that say interesting and useful things about military affairs. Developing cognitive distinctions between their ability to say interesting things about military affairs and obscenely stupid things about Glenn Beck has never been a problem.

    I suppose that my larger gripe is that the blogosphere tends to be distressingly dispositional, in the sense that individual bloggers become subject to friend/enemy distinction in lieu of a more complicated appraisal of subject matter or situational value.

    ReplyDelete