It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Willard explains blogging

Via IM:

All blog posts are the same:

1. Here, look at A.
2. See how it's stupid
3. Maybe we should ponder on that.
4. Instead of a conclusion, look at that link I just fished in a ten second search.
- Willard, schematically

8 comments:

guthrie said...

No, that is just a speific sub type of blog posts.
What I often post is something like this:
1. Look at this cool/ odd thing I found.
2. I wondered what it is for so did some research.
3. Here's the results.
4. isn't that interesting?

OK, some go:
1. Argh! See what the stupid ****** ***** (censored)
2. It is bad/ mad because of xyz, have some links.
3. (censored)!!!!!!!!

Michael Tobis said...

Willard also points out that each blog has a preferred A.

In my case it is Andy Revkin.

willard said...

guthrie's right, for then your very post would not be a post.

We should generalize, then:

1. Look at THIS
2. This is _p_
3. Since _p_, _q_.
4. It makes me think of THAT.

The variable _p_ and _q_ can be replaced by about any adjective in the english language, and many, many more language. It would be interesting to compile the most frequent ones. It is interesting, odd, cool, ironic, farsical, revolting, exasperating, dubious, extraordinary, beautiful, etc.

The third part is mandatory, but not for the blogger. The readers can send praise, indignation, etc.

We could also supplement:

- Prefacing (As readers might or might not know, etc.)

- Photo-editorializing (a photo is worth a thousand words, but which ones?)

- Generalizing (going from Revkin to journos in general)

I think the main point is #1: a blog post needs to audit another blog post. And since this is recursive, it is a neverendingaudit :-)

Steve Bloom said...

Was this especially inspired by kk, willard?

willard said...

Steve Bloom,

No, it's not inspired especially by Keith, although he too tends to attack talking heads, because that habit is very widespread. Everyone does that: it's easy, instructive and fun.

(Here comes the time where I should say that it's not a criticism of the blogs, simply a more or less formal description. Spot an error; show it's an error; epilogue; show a nice graph; show it's nice; epilogue; et cetera.)

The only counter-example I could think is **Science of Doom**, which shows that it's not really a blog.

That was just a witty repartee, you know. It's less than half-baked. Without being an historical authority in the matter, my gut feeling is that blog wars are mainly fed by judicial rhetorics.

There must be communication studies about blog rhetorics. Here goes my ten seconds web-search:

http://bit.ly/96iNXi

Have fun!

willard said...

Found another counter-example:

http://climateethics.org

See for instance **Ten Reasons Why Examining Climate Change Policy Controversies Through an Ethical Lens Is A Practical Imperative**:

http://climateethics.org/?p=435

willard said...

It seems that Keith Kloor is on his way to demolish my model:

First, by presiding a discussion between sensible persons instead of letting talking heads running the show:

http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/06/14/our-uncivil-climate-debate/

Second, by focusing on an email he received to create a well-deserved attention, without putting forward his opinion:

http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/06/16/the-main-hindrance-to-dialogue-and-detente/

Third, by abstracting away a previous thread discussion and artifically (ok, journalistically) enhancing a debate:

http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/06/18/who-started-this-ruckus-anyway/

I so I stand corrected, and so I will have to hide behind ceteris paribus clauses.

willard said...

Judith Curry had two students make presentations in her class discussion, a while ago. The first student is a 2nd year graduate student, slightly older and with a mature and broad perspective.

Here is how he generalizes CA’s discussion:

1. attacking a paper on global warming, before reading it very carefully or understanding the context of the paper, assuming that the author is either dumb or has an “agenda”

2. a plethora of statistical activity of a fairly rudimentary nature

3. realization that the issues are complex

4. some attempts at trying to gain physical understanding of what is going on

5. realization that the issues are even more complex

6. give up and move onto something else

Source: http://climateaudit.org/2006/09/22/more-bender-on-emanuel/#comment-64366

Later on, the only real counter-argument offered is that step 5 never occured regarding any of **the Team**’s members works. This counter-argument was repeated at least three times.

That might be true for CA, but it appears that it’s exactly what occured here:

http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/06/16/the-main-hindrance-to-dialogue-and-detente/#comment-7824