Aaron just quoted Andrew Sullivan’s worries about blogging dulling his mind, “The unexpressed thought, the nascent idea, the emotion that struggles to become, over time, an actual argument: these can so easily be lost in blogging, and they are vital to a healthy mind and soul.”
As Aaron might say, sorry, but … no. Well, not for me anyway. The difference is that Sullivan is a journalist with a broad beat. Same goes for Klein, Drum, Cohn, and many of the others I revere. (Though, notably, not for Krugman, and many of the economist bloggers I read.)
But I am not like Sullivan. Despite today’s odd exhibition of non-health policy/economics blogging, I’m pretty focused on what I do for a living. I blog what I’m thinking at or related to work. I blog about the papers I read and in preparation for grant, paper, and column writing, as well as presentations.
For me, blogging has provided an enormous enhancement in my ability to express that thought, that nascent idea, and to make the argument that would otherwise struggle to become. They are not lost in my blogging. This blog is where they come to life. It has also connected me with the health economics community in a way that I may never have achieved otherwise.
And, for the record, I think Andrew Sullivan is terrific. I’ve read a lot of his writing over the years, though I don’t regularly read his blog. There’s only so much volume I can handle, and I focus more on economics and health policy blog reading. When Sullivan has a gem, others link to him, and I click through and catch it.