I don’t write about some topics for a reason
This is just a reminder that, while I write about a broad array of topics here (the economy, monetary policy, investing, banks, Europe, technology, etc., etc.), there are some topics about which I don’t know enough information to take an informed stance. I have views on these issues, but my expertise is limited enough – and my views are not strong enough – that I can’t take a strong stand. That’s why you haven’t seen me writing a lot about the likelihood of radiation contamination in Japan, or about U.S. mortgage laws regarding foreclosure or about unions in Wisconsin, for example. A Japanese friend living in Tokyo asked me why I haven’t taken a clear stance on the nuclear situation there on this blog. That’s the reason.
The problem with blogs is that people have a license to write about any and everything they want. Basic human psychology is such that it is easy to follow a particular blogger down the garden path from an area of expertise to one of conjecture to one of total bull$$it. The expertise in the one region deceives readers into thinking that this person actually knows something about another area, when in fact the person doesn’t. Bloggers know this, of course. If one builds up enough of a following, the temptation is there to stray into the bull%^it area of blogging and influence the debate about a pet topic where one is not as well-informed.
I am not going to do that. If I write about something, I do so because I have something to say which I think meaningfully contributes to the conversation on that issue. And where I am unsure, I at least try to use more cautious wording or just say, "I don’t know". Is there anything wrong with just acknowledging that you don’t know the answer? I figure there is enough disinformation out there that I don’t need to add my own to the mix. That isn’t to say I don’t sometimes get it wrong. I do. And when I do, I try to be honest about it without trying to weasel out of it. See here on German bailouts, for example.
Where I actually do talk more liberally is on Twitter. That’s a different medium. It’s even more conversational than blogging is. And I will float the odd question about the reporting on the Japanese nuclear plants. Personally, I like Twitter for that reason. It lends itself to my natural skill in absorbing large bits of information and sorting them out into something coherent and, hopefully, well-informed. And Twitter also gives me a chance to talk to a connect with a lot of people.
One day I might write something about unions or whether nuclear is a viable alternative to fossil fuels. But expect those posts to be few and far in between.
P.S. – I had a ‘corporatist’-themed post at the ready on the union issue two weeks ago. But then I decided not to post it because I just didn’t have enough data. One day, maybe.