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A half-decade of blogging

We started this blog in October, 2004, as a way for people in my research group to share ideas, and for us to promote and elicit comments on our work. I soon came to regret that we hadn’t started a year or so earlier; it appears that, up to 2003, all the blogs linked to all the other blogs. Starting in 2004 or so, the bigtime blogs mostly stopped updating their blogroll. (Luckily for us, Marginal Revolution didn’t get the memo.) On the other hand, we benefited from late entry in having a sense of what we wanted the blog to be like. If I’d started blogging in 2002 or 2003, I suspect I would’ve been like just about everybody else and spewed out my political opinions on everything. By the end of 2004, I’d seen enough blogs that did that, and I realized we could make more of a contribution by keeping it more focused, keeping political bloviating, sarcasm, and academic gossip to a minimum.

Just to be clear: I’m not slammin those other kinds of blogs. Political opinions are great, and I think we really can learn from seeing ideas we agree with (or disagree with) expressed well and with emotion. Sarcasm is great too; it’s what makes a peanut-butter-and-sandpaper sandwich worth eating, or something like that. And, hey, I love academic gossip; it’s even more fun than reading about celebrities. These just aren’t the best ways for me personally to contribute to the discourse.

When I started with the blog, I figured that if we were ever low on material, I could just link to my old articles, one at a time. But it’s rarely come to this; in fact, I don’t always get around to blogging my new articles and books right when they come out. The #1 freebie is that things I used to put in one-on-one emails or in referee reports, now I put on the blog so everyone can see. Much more efficient, I think. The only bad thing about the blog–other than the time it takes up–is that now I get occasional emails from people informing me of developments in the sociobiology of human sex ratios. A small price to pay, I’d say.


  1. Kaiser says:

    Congrats, Andrew. Your blog is one I always make time to read. It's getting harder and harder to keep up as you show no sign of slacking!

  2. Thank you for keeping "political bloviating, sarcasm, and academic gossip to a minimum."

    Sometimes it seems like almost ALL blogs out there are strongly politically slanted and their writers openly insult different people and things in each entry. It is starting to get a little old.

    Thank you for always keeping this blog fresh.