Bring back blogging

I came across a short article arguing that we should bring back personal blogging. The basic suggestion is that, for example, Twitter is failing and that personal blogs allow us to have more control over the platforms that we’re using.

I have certainly felt that the days of blogs are over and maybe it is now too late to go back to the days when blogs were prominent and popular.

However, the article has motivated me to try and blog more regularly. I may not succeed, but my intention is to try and write posts a bit more often, even if they are short and dull.

There are some issues that I do often think about and maybe I should try and use this blog to articulate my thoughts. I’ve become more and more interested in how we identify, and counter, misinformation. Similarly, I’ve become increasingly interested in the role of science in society, and it is a topic I’d like to explore more.

One factor, though, is that I’m finding myself more and more frustated with the tendency to have strong definitive views about topics that are complex and are probably more nuanced than many commenters are willing to acknowledge. If I manage to avoid doing this myself, this may make my posts rather convoluted and uncertain. However, maybe expressing my views will help me to clarify them, even if it doesn’t help anyone else.

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42 Responses to Bring back blogging

  1. Rachel M says:

    What do you mean the days of blogs are over??? No they are not. Social media will never replace blogs. Blogs may not have the same virality of social media but they’re enduring. Tweets come and go in less than 24 hours but blog posts from 10 or even 20 years ago are still around.

  2. Rachel,
    That’s a fair point. I was being a bit extreme. What you highlight is one of the points made in the article. With a blog you typically have control over the content, the moderation, and they have longevity, unlike other platforms that could simply disappear. Also, as you say, even if your actual tweets persist, it’s unlikely that anyone will find one from 10 years ago.

    My own impression is that blogs are less prominent than they once were, but that may be simply my own experience, rather than something more general.

  3. Willard says:

    > the article has motivated me to try and blog more regularly.


  4. Twitter was, and is, a failure (from the get go). :/

    It was always more of a punching bag then anything else. Being popular does not make something inherently useful. Musk runs teh Twitter now, so its to the Mars with you Alice.

    On this side of the pond it is much more about the 2024 elections. You really can’t put the cork back into the misinformation bottle. Small Hands is running for a 2nd term, as in OMFG!!! It will only get much worse over here as time passes, post 2024 even, no matter who gets elected, in my honest opinion. I hate the USofA with more passion then I have ever hated it before.

    Some people call something others think is complex as being wishy-washy in their presentations. If everything were so complex that might lead to gridlock, where almost nothing gets done, sort of like not zero by 2050. But yes, you need to get out more. Maybe I will try to go off the rails less often, maybe. 😀

    Someone else thinks that climate science is so complex that uncertainty is vastly underestimated. I, of course, do not hold that view at all, but there you have it. I, for one, would love to see all this nonsense go away, but I can’t, because Freedom Fighters. :/

    Psst, it is all a vast left wing conspiracy.

  5. “My own impression is that blogs are less prominent than they once were”

    For climate science, they sure have, both pro and con, but mostly pro, as in the science is mostly settled. The MSM rarely lets loose with their opposing views deserve equal time nonsense anymore with regards to climate science as far as I know, thank the great almighty, whomever that is (minority female one hopes).

  6. A. I. Sajib says:

    I think people’s short attention these days lead to a lack of readers, which definitely contributes to a lack of interest in writing/blogging.

  7. A. I., I agree that that is an issue.

  8. Hi! I don’t think blogging ever died, I actually have the impression that it’s coming back in a diversified form – e.g. under some platforms (not all good). Maybe socials gave the impression that longer posts were a thing of the past, but I think that after a good time of socials heyday we’re realising that – as it’s always been the case in human history – ideas matter, and ideas need time and quiet to develop and spread.

  9. Twitter changed science — what happens now it’s in turmoil?

    No comment right now, likely will never comment on this.

  10. “You’re unable to view this Tweet because this account owner limits who can view their Tweets.”

    That account owner being …

    Replying to @CT_Bergstrom

    Yeah, the Twitter is just so GRRRRRRRR8

  11. cagedunn says:

    Clarity is good, and is often found after hours of writing around it.

  12. verytallguy says:

    I think people’s short attention these days lead to a lack of readers, which definitely contributes to a lack of interest in writing/blogging.


  13. Willard says:

    Say hi to Joe:

    [NARRATOR] No, it doesn’t.

  14. Willard says:

    You may not got to love David Simon:

    Quite a shitpiece Mr. Sparky Car has turned out to be.

    But I do.

  15. Joshua says:

    I like blogs (obviously) and Twitter. As they say, is a cesspool…

    But in case we get carried away thinking about blogs, I bring to you from “the AirVent” – (one time watering hole for the “skeptic” elite)…

    And there’s also this:

  16. Willard says:

    BREAKING – We’re Taking Back Alaska

    Beavers are taking over the Alaskan tundra, completely transforming its waterways, and accelerating climate change in the Arctic.

    The changes are so sudden and drastic that they’re clearly visible from space.

    See also:

  17. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Similarly, I’ve become increasingly interested in the role of science in society, and it is a topic I’d like to explore more.”

    Coincidentally, I just got to this bit in Feyerabend’s “Against Method (New Edition)”:

    … a community will use science and scientists in a way that agrees with its values and aims and it will correct the scientific institutions in its midst to bring them closer to these aims. The objection that science is self-correcting and thus needs no outside interference overlooks, first, that every enterprise is self-correcting (look at what happened to the Catholic Church after Vatican II) and, secondly, that in a democracy the self-correction of the whole which tries to achieve more humane ways of living overrules the the self-correction of parts which has a more narrow aim – unless the parts are given temporary independence. Hence in a democracy local populations not only will, but also should, use the sciences in ways most suitable to them. The objection that citizens do not have the expertise to judge scientific matters overlooks the important problems often lie across the boundaries of various sciences s that scientists within these sciences don’t always have the needed expertise either. Moreover, doubtful cases always produce experts for the one side, experts for the other side, and experts in between. But the competence of the general public could be vastly improved by an education that exposes expert fallibility instead of acting as if it did not exists.

    Certainly made me think of climate change and COVID. I don’t think they really support Feyerabend’s “should” there! ;o)

    I have to say I have been a bit disappointed with “Against Method”, but I do still have another 20 pages to go, so you never know ;o)

    Personally I don’t have enough worth saying to have a blog, but I do like reading them, when the topic is of interest.

  18. Read this as “bring back flogging”.

    That is all.

  19. dikranmarsupial says:

    of dead horses?

  20. “Bring back flogging” a blog by Jacob Rees Mogg? 🙂

  21. Well, I would enjoy seeing more posts here. You’re a good blogger (a better blogger than commenter, if I may be so bold) and this is a good blog.

    Maybe I’ll follow your example and revive one of my three blogs. Can’t decide if following energy is more important than following the climate conversation or the Green New Deal. Hmm. Don’t have time for all three…. hmm.

    The world broke the 600 Quad barrier this year, kinda big news. Maybe I’ll start there.

    Keep at it, ATTP. Like I said, this is a good blog and you’ve cultivated a good crop of commenters.

  22. Searching For Nirvana … is not the name of our new public open transfer of information internet thingy.

    It is just an idea … hopefully no one will try to do this … because it would be an utter failure.

    A not for profit, not for private ownership, not for siloing (or stovepiping to use military jargon) internet thingy. Where never there is heard (or seen or felt or …) a dissention or music or humor or dancing or cooking or … or anything that is not strictly intellectual (meaning only in ones mind). Fudge (please excuse my very foul mouth) talking or interacting with normal people about sciencey stuff or stuff in general, except to stop spreading misinformation as we see it.

    There is no such thing or place, so please stop searching for it. Do whatever you can, to find groups to transfer information, by any means possible. But do not ever expect to live in an echo chamber forevermore. Unless, of course, you move to Mars with Elmo Musk (great grandson of you know who).

    Free speech is an important concept, free speech that starts literal fires, not so much, in my honest opinion.

  23. Willard says:

    For the love of God, don’t let Pat find that post:

    Kip asked for a nice arithmetic demonstration of why he is wrong. He also rejects a statistical approach. This is silliness. Statistics, looked at from one point of view, is a mathematical toolkit for dealing with uncertainty. Kip’s arithmetic approach is, within its assumptions fine, but it makes assumptions which are unlikely to be realised in the real world and also demands absolute certainty which is something you’re unlikely to find outside of pure maths. An arithmetic refutation might be had using the method outlined above. I don’t use anything more complex than the addition of random numbers. However, I imagine that he would cry “statistics” or somesuch fol-di-rol and ignore the whole thing.

  24. izen says:

    People – Events – Ideas

    Tik-Tok and Twitter deal mainly with people, and mention events they may be involved with. They are short and simple in form.
    Blogs deal mainly with ideas, and how that may impact events.
    As the digital media becomes monetized the financial institutions look for the largest and least sceptical audience.
    That will always be those that deal with people. So blogs get no mention or support. They can still exist, and will carry out their traditional function, but have/will become a backwater of the digital media scene.
    The money will follow the largest audience, which in turn draws in a bigger crowd…
    Until the social dependence on a monetary measure is displaced.

  25. Willard,

    Yes I saw the original at WTFUWT?. 😦

    No need to go elsewhere, as the original is not even wrong, ask R. Tol, ask N. Stokes, ask Brandon Gates even, or me even, as I will not even post on something way beyond not even wrong.

    Free speech in action. Homer Simpson levels of free speech, but nonetheless, free speech. Wonder how free speech works in the classroom? Yes, one would fail even an undergraduate level course in statistics/probability as Kip does at WTFUWT?

  26. Willard says:


    You’re right to emphasize the asymmetrical warfare in which the most contemptible and abusive rhetoric is not only sustained but enhanced by its proximity to normal discourse, as David Simon puts it op. cit. Attrition matters, and number isn’t on our side. Too many Freedom Fighters powered by fear, ignorance, and sometimes hate. Notwithstanding the exhilaration of the food fight.

    That’s one of the reasons why I prefer blogs with linear (i.e. non-branching) threads. Too easy for Goblins to invade a comment section by starting local skirmishes. Look at Roy’s. Look at Judy’s. Same with Tony’s. Even the Auditor had problems. He or his janitors felt the need to run the zamboni from time to time. Compare with Keith’s, Lucia’s, Paul’s. Even Eli’s could survive onslaughts because visitors needed to stand in line.

    In a way, Lord of the Rings was prescient.

    At least Kip is somewhat constrained by reason. The same does not apply with the cranks at Roy’s or the meme megaphones et Elon’s. What to do in that case?

    Tough problem to crack.

    One thing is sure – we should beware the Streisand Effect, which some argue should be renamed the Musk Effect after the private jet tracker fiasco. It is important to underline and correct contrarian mistakes, but without investing too much time on them. Otherwise we are shooting ourselves in the foot.

  27. izen,

    The concept of free speech is so important that it should never be left in the hands of private concerns or governments even. Please remember that it is free for a reason.

    Is the internet really free though, you might ask.

    Google 😀 “Is the internet really free?” or somewhat harder, go ask someone in say Russia or China, someone who has never seen anything outside of their own domain. :/

    I’m going to Mars, my remains that is, as Musk has promised us all free speech there.

  28. “It is important to underline and correct contrarian mistakes, but without investing too much time on them.”

    There be Sealioning!

    But the time was invested, right at the originating website, even. Go elsewhere and you will be accused of siloing for heavens sake. That includes classrooms and textbooks and teachers. I did not start the fire. At what level of stupidity do others say stop? WTFUWT? has no bottom and their most famous contributor is someone called “Guest Blogger” so go figure.

    As to wasting ones time, I do not think you or Joshua are wasting your time at Curry Fruitcakes, Etc., not for one moment, but most of the rest of the world does have other things to do, I even left ATTP’s for quite some time, not because I had better things to do, but because I had different things to do.

    There are too many literal fires to put out with this thing called free speech, of that I am certain. Beyond that, it really is not free speech to begin with in the 1st place. So there!

  29. Also, the so-called Hall Minotaur (yes I still watch) over there has made it so that I can no longer post (at least for the moment), but given that, their S/N ratio is below measurements, in my honest opinion.

    Some of us do know most of the right answers, it is just that no one cares to ask, or that we are ignored for the most part if we are (or are not) asked. Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated, on Mars no less.

    As to different things to do, I do not mention things like STEM or climate science or religion or politics or sex or anything else that is even remotely controversial, because I am very carful too make sure that I do not offend anyone, less I be blocked by others (even visual gestures gets me blocked by others at my current favorite FOR PAY (although technically it is so-called free, but free is boring, or too slow or you will lose something called coins which have no real value outside (or technically inside of said) site)).

  30. Willard says:

    I’m glad you did not mention anything remotely close to anything that could be interpreted as playing the ref, Everett. That’d be uncool, as there’s nothing worse than a peanut gallery that turns into a shirt ripping contest of commenters wishing to ask to speak to the manager. Thank you for understanding.

    Roy’s is the closest we’ll ever get to Total Climateball. Feel free to join any time.

    In unrelated news, Twitter was meant for that kind of content:

    Not food fights.

  31. Willard,

    There is a referee everywhere, for everything. I am actually very sorry that I brought it up, however tangentially. Is than not what the so-called Twitter Files (yes I have been out of the loop for a while, go figure) are about, to begin with in the 1st place.

    You do understand the concept of being outside the loop, for example?

    I do believe that all this falls under free speech issues, as if there were actually such a concept AND that it would work in the real world without referees whatsoever.

    There are many others who happen to be outside the loop as it were. I think you need to catch up to the real world as someone should not assume that everyone else is thoroughly connected in mind, in space and in time. :/

    I sort of claim to be the 1st no borders person though, but only sort of.

    Oh and replace Russia and China above with Iran and North Korea, because there really is no such thing as (totally) free speech. Want that book from your favorite Idaho library? Not so fast there grasshopper. :/

  32. Willard says:

    No worries, Everett. Twas just a preemptive warning. Nothing personal.

    Since the resurgence of blogging seems to be related to Elon becoming the chief Twit, I might as well continue to post stuff related to him to make points related to what AT says, e.g.:

    So once again we see the advantage of having a network of communities exchanging together. And once again we see that tweets don’t suffice for longer form.

    That letter is pure gold.

  33. Joshua says:

    Assuming of course that there’s a multifactorial causality, I think it’s interesting that there’s very little trolling and very few food fights at Andrew’s blog. Of course stats, per se, isn’t very s*xy but many of his posts are either explicitly political or politics adjacent – and some are even climate change adjacent and even more than just adjacent.

    I don’t know how man lines might be drawn from his blog to a blog focused on climate change.

    Even the Hall Monitor stops by every now and then but it’s interesting to see how different his tone is generally when he comments there.

    Maybe it’s just variability, and in another universe Andrew’s blog is full of food fights and Judith’s blog is full of good faith discussion.

  34. russellseitz says:

    Willard, natural history happens:

    Beavers are to tundra as asphalt is to urban heat islands. Big Time solar heating gain arises from Castor faber ponds, because water has on average only a third the albedo of land.

    I ran the numbers upon learning from the Museum of Comparative Zoology two decades ago that in the two centuries since beaver hats went out of fashion, the industrious creatures ave turned 100,000 square kilometers of Canada into black water.

    One inconvenient radiative forcing identity is that the 1 hectare pond habitat of an average beaver traps as much heat annually as the emissions of six SUV’s

  35. verytallguy says:

    Blogs get the commenters they deserve, Joshua. It’s an Iron law.

  36. izen says:


    Speech is free.
    Broadcasting it beyond earshot always costs.
    Either you have to sell something people can buy, or at least buy into.
    Or you have to pay for the broadcast infrastructure. While that is the hands and regulatory capture of entrepreneurial institutions, they will follow and create the biggest audience.

  37. Willard says:

    Why of course:

  38. Joshua says:

  39. jacksmith4tx says:

    Has anyone noticed how the different factions react when one of their own (comrades/freedom fighters) strays into hostile territory? Oliver Stone is at Davos and has now become a pro nuclear fanatic. I predict his comments will be used as a hammer to bash the ‘enemy’ unmercifully.
    “Headline: Filmmaker Oliver Stone slams environmental movement over ‘destructive’ actions on nuclear

    Stone: We had the solution [nuclear power] … and the environmental movement, to be honest, just derailed it.

    And what they did was so destructive, because by now we would have 10,000 nuclear reactors built around the world and we would have set an example like France set for us, but no one … followed France, or Sweden for that matter.”

    Olive Stone joins other provocateurs like Glen Greenwald, Michael Moore and Russell Edward Brand who pollinate right wing blogs and social media with glee. This is different than some of the other Heros of the Cause like James Hansen that has switched to pro nuclear, but without the pissing on the Greens.

    I think we are swimming against the tide with nuclear and most fossil fueled Rankine cycle power plants. Centralized power plants should be limited to about 20% of the load and mostly for industrial demand. The technology and economics say we are going toward microgrids and away from centralized power plants. The directional vector of technology is manifest in the network effect. Telegraph to telephone, radio phone to internet connected smartphone to the IoT (Internet of Things). Each step is more distributed and discrete but also more interconnected. [Warning: It would seem the logical next step would be neural links but when you realize someone else could rewrite your own memories maybe we don’t want to go there.]

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