Strong opinions, weakly held

A good blog should be self-subverting

I liked this quote from Tyler Cowen:

A good blog should be subversive and help you see the faults in the author’s own positions. Ask whether the blogs you are reading in fact provide that service. Self-subversion ought also, in the long run, to benefit liberty and other important values.

1 Comment

  1. There was an interesting recent thread at Making Light that was about moderation that had me thinking about this. The guidelines suggested in the original post there were of the aggressive troll-squashing type, perhaps appropriate for a lot of places with very bad behaviour and a limited community of regulars, but I protested in that thread that I thought that approaching all moderation with the “moderator is always right” attitude was problematic. Because nobody is right all the time, and it’s easy to lean from “squashing trolls” to “squashing people who criticize me”, and the latter ought to be one of the best uses of blogs. Being open to learning ways you might be wrong is painful, but it’s also the only path to fixing what errors exist in your thinking.

    (And not to be harping on How Evil Republicans Are all the time, but the rejection of self-criticism that runs through conservative thinking is one of its biggest problems. If you don’t learn, you will fail in your endeavours as you try to apply outdated knowledge to new concerns. That, like basing your decisions on reality and not wishful thinking, is something that Republicans are going to have to accept is not a liberal position but one that all successful political groups have to accept.)

    The Well has had that function for me to some extent over the years. Blogs, being all about the person writing, would seem to have a stronger effect. I think that’s why I’ve been reluctant to write one, in fact. I don’t want to expose my unconscious prejudices and mistaken thinking to public view! But doing so is good for you, so maybe I should.

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