No More

I read a lot of blogs. What you see on the right-hand side of my blog are what I consider to be the best-of-the-best in terms of what I read. I've also omitted a few blogs that everyone follows, that everyone loves. Like XKCD.com. It would be duplicitous to advertise for a well-known and universally loved blog like that. But at any rate, I read an enormous amount of blogospheric material.

Because I read so much of it, it becomes necessary to focus only on those blogs and websites that produce material worth reading. I cannot be bothered to comb through a blog post to find the single nugget of wisdom that it might contain. A writer will either deliver the goods, or he/she will not. I suppose I am not sufficiently charitable a reader of expository writing to look for the needle in a haystack of poor writing or bad argumentation.

Generally speaking, I stop reading blogs when the balance tips too far into personal insult, cantankerous whining, "clever" comment moderation, concept-spam/punditry, and so forth.

The bottom line seems to be, I stop reading when subsequent blog posts don't offer anything new for me to think about. If a writer chooses to engage in personal insults, I will at first be inclined to think through the idea of why that writer is doing so. You know, is X economist really "a lunatic," is there something behind that kind of a claim? Is it worth thinking about? Or, is the writer just doing the ad hominem thing? Is the writer using grumpiness for rhetorical flair, or does he just have a bad attitude? Are there genuine problems in the comments section, or is the moderator skewing the discussion to make the writer look better? Do new posts offer some new thought the writer has been considering, or is it just "NGDP, twenty-four hours a day?"

Too much of the bad and not enough of the good will lead me to just stop reading. So much of the blogosphere is self-referential that I usually don't miss out on much by not reading, say Paul Krugman's or Matt Yglesias' blogs.

Well, add Scott Sumner's Money Illusion to my list of foregone blogs. I think the guy is really smart, but he seems to have hit a blogging peak at about 2009. No real point continuing with that one, really.