Taking a break

With a hugely successful fundraising appeal just completed, this seems like a good time to take a break for a few weeks. When I come back I hope to have some new ideas, new features, better defences against trolls and spammers and some policies to promote discussion and discourage flamewars.

In the meantime, I’ll probably post a bit at the Risk and Sustainable Management Group blog, and maybe also at Crooked Timber occasionally.

While I’m on this topic, I should note the departures of Mark Bahnisch from Larvatus Prodeo and Helen Dale (Skepticlawyer) from Catallaxy. Both have made big contributions.

9 thoughts on “Taking a break

  1. Many thanks, John.

    I’m now seeing it as a sabbatical rather than a departure, inspired mainly by workload considerations this semester, but I’ve also been thinking the odd break isn’t a bad idea at all to recharge the blogging batteries.

  2. Thanks John. Like Mark, I don’t think I’ll be gone for all time, but I do have other work to get done and found that blogging can get rather distracting!

  3. Perhaps with John’s hiatus for a few weeks an opportunity presents itself here for me to answer a challenge, put most succinctly by Jill Rush when I was giving Mike the Pledge Rann a serve. I have been terse with Professor Quiggin and others too. Essentially I’ve been most scathing about what I see as the new evangelism of GW and the misguided enthusiasm of its early embracers. I think they’re heading off in the wrong direction and have a critique of that and can offer a direction as to where I think they should be heading. If nothing else, popping my head and standard above the trenches should provide some well deserved target practice, before John Quiggin sees fit to close all you trolls, spammers and flamers down and enter into more sober discourse naturally. Now the topic at hand is very large (and somewhat daunting to keep tight) and would require a number of postings to do it justice and to seek honest feedback or ridicule as the case may be. However I feel the need is pressing to enunciate and discuss-
    “A Third Way: Beyond Keynes, Friedman and the Economics of Growth�
    What say you all and the good professor?

  4. Have a good and well-deserved break, John.

    Thanks for running such a great forum, which as I have said before is to me an exemplar that one can be caring without being flaky and hardnosed without being inhuman.

    On another issue, the nature of the blog discourse: what I tend to notice with blogs in general is that all too often, certain threads, as they develop responses, seem to go more and more towards subsiduary particulars and away from matters of overarching strategic impact. In parallel, the quality of evidence and the level of courtesy also seems to diminish.

    There may well be papers on what might be termed blog thread dynamics – any suggestions welcome.

  5. Mark,
    I would have thought that the normal result of a conversation – which to me at least a long blog thread bears a more than passing resemblance. The dropping of the level of civility is also normal, if unfortunate, as people try to understand each other less and try to “win” the argument a bit more.

  6. Andrew,

    I agree some conversations are just like that. But in others there are processes where someone says “Hey guys, what are we trying to achieve here – let’s get back on track” and suchlike. I suppose I am describing relatively unfiltered processes like the conversation you describe and blogs on the one hand and filtered processes like meetings with a charter, an agenda and a chair,or letters to the editor and manuscripts submitted to journals on the other.

  7. I have had a break myself, mostly because the conversation often seemed to degenerate into personal remarks rather than discussion. Consequently, I can appreciate that your desire to do the same may be some magnitudes greater. Anyway, thank you for explaining some of the arcane terminology of blogging. Who coins these expressions?

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