Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Blogging is a Dream Come True" (#iba11)

The above quote is from Professor Bryan Caplan, of the Department of Economics at George Mason University (GMU), from a blog post entitled Why Do So Many GMU Economists Blog? (via @stephenkinsella).  

In the post, Caplan contradicts the argument that GMU "faculty can't publish "real articles" in "real journals," we took our marbles, went home, and started blogs" - he has three problems with this view:
  1. GMU economists who blog the most also publish the most journal articles
  2. Most of the GMU faculty who don't publish in academic journals don't blog either, they don't write anything at all
  3. He asks - "how many leading economists would do conventional research in their spare time for free?"
Blogging allows us bloggers to "live the life of the mind" - it may not make all our dreams come true as Caplan suggests, but it gives us all the liberty to learn and say what we want. Most people who write blog posts really think about and reflect on what it is that they are going to write - having an audience (however small) almost forces us to do this.

Caplan concludes with an excellent thought:

Here's a forum where you write for a sizable, high-quality audience about anything that interests you. Here's a forum where you can eternally debate other people obsessed with ideas.  Here's a forum where you can instantly pose as a public intellectual - and try to "fake it till you make it."  Here's a forum that actually penalizes atrocious academic writing!  

I couldn't put it better myself!

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