Openness, or: Reason #353 Why I Blog

Andrew Gelman nicely summarizes an important reason why he blogs — and, incidentally, why I blog, too:

2. Openness: In a blog I can write about the limitations of my work. It’s a real challenge to discuss limitations in a scholarly article, as we’re always looking over our shoulder at what referees might think. Sure, sometimes I can get away with writing “Survey weighting is a mess,” but my impression is that most scholarly articles are relentlessly upbeat. Sort of like how a magazine article typically will have a theme and just plug it over and over. In a blog we can more easily admit uncertainty.

More here.

I feel as though that reason is especially important in economics the social sciences, where one’s salesmanship is often what makes or break one’s papers owing to the fact that readers often make up their minds about the quality of a paper before they reach the end of the introduction. In the sciences, articles are much shorter, and there is a sense that no article is perfect.

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