The World Needs More Blogs

by John Holbo on June 13, 2018

Remember when there were blogs? Ah, those were the good old days. Whenever I see we haven’t been watering CT properly with fresh posts, I feel ashamed.

You know who’s got a blog? My dear old advisor at UC Berkeley, Hans Sluga! Here it is. Remember when blogs used to link to blogs all the time, and that was a lively and friendly thing to do? We should do that again.

(You may say I’m just an old man, clinging to my legacy media platform here at CT. Maybe you are right. But I truly do miss when there were more blogs.)

In comments, feel free to promote your favorite blog, including your own.



David Strohmaier 06.13.18 at 7:46 am

I’ll happily follow your invitation to promote my own blog at

My blog discusses theories of choice and in particular motivational change from an interdisciplinary perspective. But I’ll also post on other things.


Adam Roberts 06.13.18 at 7:48 am

Blogs are great. I used to run multiple blogs, but now I only maintain two (a general literary/essay/review-y one and a more specialised one for my academic work on Samuel Taylor Coleridge). It suits the way I work: I generally don’t really know what I think about something until I write out my thoughts, and blogs give me the opportunity to do that, at length (often) and more or less unconstrained by other factors. The problem comes if I then want to do something more permanent with my research, since publishers don’t like running reprints. So for example, pursuant to an Anthony Burgess project I was doing over the last couple of years I re-read his entire run of novels and blogged my thoughts as I did so, but now that the actual project is nearing its actual publication I’ve deleted that blog so as not to tread on its ‘official’ toes. I did something similar with H G Wells: having been commissioned to write a literary biography of that horny old geezer I read through his whole output and blogged my thoughts as I went. Now, through the rest of this summer, I’m going to start pulling my actual thoughts into proper order, and cannibalising my own blogposts as I do so, and when I do that I’ll take the Wellsblog private.

I think the reason blogs work so well for me is that they have this Poe-like purloined letter quality of being hidden in plain view. See the two blogs I linked to above? Hardly anybody reads the things I post there. I have a few dedicated readers, and their comments are often immensely useful to me, but thsoe commentators all in effect friends of mine and I can count them on the fingers of one hand. In a broader sense nobody cares about and nobody reads what I blog. And that’s good. A blog is public enough to force me into at least a degree of finish in what I write; so its not just jumbled and incoherent notes in a private notebook; but at the same time a blog is obscure and overlooked enough that I am not intimidated by the thought “thousands will read this, I’d better make it super-good and polished”. It slots neatly in between the two.


bob mcmanus 06.13.18 at 8:32 am

Pause and Select. Twenty-something, in or just out of college, interested in trans and queer anime, informed by theory

I don’t know to embed or anything and have a hard time choosing among his work so will just link to the page.

Old folk can learn new things.


Matt 06.13.18 at 8:49 am

Thanks for the link to Sluga’s blog. There’s some interesting stuff there (or linked there), but I wish there were more on his specifically philosophical interests.

Of blogs not included in the blog roll here, the one I read most regularly is probably Robert Paul Wolff’s:

Philosophically, I disagree with Wolff more often then I agree, I think, but it’s an enjoyable place and often has interesting thoughts.


Gabriel 06.13.18 at 9:17 am

I was intending to commend Jonathan McCalmont’s ‘Ruthless Culture’ to everyone, but it seems to have gone away. Hopefully temporarily.


Paul 06.13.18 at 10:24 am

Thank you for these. RSS feeds from blogs are still my main source of information/stimulation.


PDiddie 06.13.18 at 10:36 am


john crowley 06.13.18 at 11:06 am

I will soon have a blog, connected to my rather skeletal website — — and CT is certainly one I’ll link to. I remember the list of blogs and sites that ran down the left side of my LiveJournal, growing as recommendations and discoveries cae in. Is it odd — is it slightly fatuous — to experience nostalgia for an aspect or former state of the Internet, which is hardly out if its infancy even now?


Georgios Iordanou 06.13.18 at 11:07 am

Another vote of support for Robert Paul Wolff’s blog.
I also blog at and increasingly feel that there’s only very few of us left, at least outside established media structures such as newspapers’ opinions columns/blog sections.


Lee A. Arnold 06.13.18 at 11:20 am

Metafilter community weblog about art, politics, science & everything else, many people know by know.

People may not know the dazzling Everlasting Blört, going on for almost 20 years, totally addictive and the links often go to deep places. The complete archives are down the side in convenient weekly chunks:


David Howell 06.13.18 at 11:41 am

I blog at and still have hundred or so sites I faithfully follow in my RSS reader! Some good ones to follow are ribbonfarm and The Last Word on Nothing.


LFC 06.13.18 at 11:59 am

Would it be wrong to hear a somewhat Foucauldian tone in Sluga’s April 28 post about London and “the quandaries of modern individualism”?


Adam Conrad 06.13.18 at 12:51 pm

Agreed! The web used to be weird and fun, and you could actually get great advice outside of big sites. Also, from so many successful people I’ve talked to, they’ve all said that blogging was what got them to where they are today. Partially because blogging requires you to really learn what you’re telling the world about. It’s also because it makes you a better writer and communicator. And if you’re lucky, it also makes you look like a thought leader. I see pretty much 0 downsides besides the time commitment.

I wrote mine ( to teach people about building websites from an area where most people start when they want to build a website – the UI layer. That used to be a hobby, now it’s called front-end development and is a whole specialty of programming.


SamChevre 06.13.18 at 12:53 pm

Blog that I like that is somewhat-aligned with the kind of blogs I would expect CrookedTimberites to like. Alan Jacobs on “technologies of knowledge,” Text Patterns.


John Jackson 06.13.18 at 1:20 pm

I have a blog on the history of the “Alt Right.” I’m particularly interested in the postwar interactions between the “libertarian right” and the antisemitic/racist right. My latest posts are about Jonah Goldberg’s terrible new book:


Russell Arben Fox 06.13.18 at 1:37 pm

I’m still here. Politics (mostly state and local, these days), philosophy (still communitarianism, mostly), and crappy pop music since 2003.


Manta 06.13.18 at 2:21 pm

Scott Aaronson: mostly on quantum computers, but sometimes also on politics

Terence Tao: by far, the best blog.
If you want to know some maths, Terry has probably written a neat explanation for it.


John Holbo 06.13.18 at 2:31 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions!


Theophylact 06.13.18 at 3:05 pm

Among my favorites : John Scalzi’s Whatever, and the Nielsen Hayden Making Light. The latter hasn’t had a new post since the end of April, though, perhaps for family/medical/moving reasons; I hope for its return to life.


John Holbo 06.13.18 at 3:07 pm

I like this art and illustration blog:


Adam Roberts 06.13.18 at 3:30 pm

John, if you like art/illustration blogs you should check out (you probably already know) Colossal.


marcel proust 06.13.18 at 4:11 pm

tl;dr version of Sam Chevre:

If this is the sort of blog that appeals to a reader like you, I think you are the type of person who will find it to be something of interest


JRLRC 06.13.18 at 4:26 pm

The world needs more blogs -and less Twitter!
I won´t promote my own stuff, I´m a mexican political scientist and my blog is mostly written in Spanish… But I want to promote “Understanding society”, Daniel Little´s fine blog. Finding it was great, because of the shared epistemological perspective, yes, but not only: his blog is multi-thematic, informed and informative, well written, and more.
“The Monkey Cage” is also recommended.


Neville Morley 06.13.18 at 4:44 pm

Tried to post earlier; apologies if it now appears in duplicate.

Basically, what Adam Roberts said. I love my blog; it’s a place to try out ideas as preparation for writing something more formal, for playing around with topics that are either too small or too frivolous ever to form the basis of a ‘proper’ academic piece, for thinking about issues in teaching and other aspects of university life, for commenting on non-work stuff like music and German novels, and for writing jokes and parodies and polemic. And one of my favourite posts every year is the one where I pull together all my favourite blog posts by other people over the course of the year – though I occasionally wonder about doing this monthly instead.

I’ve occasionally wondered about trying to do a vlog (I do occasional music-focused podcasts), as apparently that’s what the with-it people are all doing these days, but that would involve making a specific chunk of time available, and preparing everything properly, whereas I can work on a blog post in odd moments on the train until it’s finished.

Hossein Derakhshan has interesting things to say about the decline of blogging; he blames social media, though actually I find most stuff via Twitter.


Dr. Hilarius 06.13.18 at 5:12 pm

No blog of my own but I want to second Theophylact’s choices at 19.


joha 06.13.18 at 5:19 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, y’all! For those who can read German, my blog can be found here.


dmf 06.13.18 at 5:37 pm


nnyhav 06.13.18 at 8:03 pm

Ray Davis keeps track of a bunch for ya.

(also, to add to Manta’s, Peter Woit)


LizardBreath 06.13.18 at 8:39 pm

Anyone who feels nostalgic about Unfogged, it’s still there. I hardly post any more because I’ve become boring, but there are still posts and still a wildly disproportionate amount of comments.


trane 06.13.18 at 9:05 pm

Here’s another vote for Robert Paul Wolff’s blog.

I like what he writes about, and I like the straightforward yet quirky yet funny yet profound way he writes.

I started reading Wolff’s blog some years back when he was writing an autobiography divided up in small parcels, about one a day (Brian Leiter linked to it…). That was a really enganging read. I don’t know how it works if you read the complete document of all the autobiographical instalments. But have a go at them.

Another good place to start is series of posts of Wolff’s reading of Thomas Piketty.



Bjorn 06.13.18 at 10:54 pm

Another vote for Robert Paul Wolff’s blog. He is always such a pleasure to read.


faustusnotes 06.14.18 at 12:09 am

My blog (link on my name) is almost at its 10 year anniversary and although I post less than I used to I still really enjoy blogging. I have had a few hits (my review of star wars the last jedi seems to be very popular still) but it mostly slides by unremarked, since it’s mostly about gaming.

I regularly read LGM, I visit unfogged a few times a week, and I read Andrew Gelman’s blog a bit too. But for some reason I don’t understand I only ever comment here…


LFC 06.14.18 at 12:19 am

The U.S. Intellectual History blog ( is something I read and have occasionally written a guest post for. I used to have my own blog but I stopped posting a couple of years ago, though the site is still up.


Thomas Lumley 06.14.18 at 1:07 am

Ok, my first attempt seems to have been eaten by the system.

1. the NZ group blog Public Address:

2. My (recently relocated) blog:

3. My department’s blog:


nnyhav 06.14.18 at 2:06 am

but then look at what happened to bloggers, like Michael Bérubé


Lyle 06.14.18 at 3:08 am is a daily pleasure. The comments are almost always sane, as very few trolls are interested. John Cole is a mensch.


Mathis 06.14.18 at 8:33 am

Agreed. Twitter is fun, but the whole blogging & trackback ecosystem was wonderful while it lasted.

I recently saw someone argue that Google is to blame because they killed their RSS reader. Feedly works well, but I wonder how many users it has compared to peak Google Reader.


Xavier Marquez 06.14.18 at 9:59 am

Here’s my blog

And here’s an unsystematic and incomplete selection of other blogs I have often found interesting : Justin E. H. Smith; Noel Maurer at the Power and the Money; The Scholar’s Stage; Ribbonfarm (sometimes); Pseudoerasmus (though it’s been a long time without posting)


Xavier Marquez 06.14.18 at 10:14 am

(My previous attempt didn’t go through, so here I’m trying again)

My blog:

An unsystematic and incomplete collection of other blogs I’ve often found interesting:

Justin E. H. Smith:
Noel Maurer, The Power and the Money:
The Scholar’s Stage:
The Sociological Eye:


oldster 06.14.18 at 11:16 am

nnyhav–thanks for that link to Berube.

I have to say that when I read your post I had a sudden shock of fear that something unfortunate had happened to him. Instead it was great to hear his voice again.

And interesting to see that his taste in blogs and writers has evolved pretty much as mine has–I still read LGM, but have added Jamelle Bouie’s twitter feed and newsletter. I started reading Yggles and Klein even before they were the juice-box mafia, and still read them at Vox (they have gone from adolescence to the brink of middle age as I have gone from old to ancient).

Berube used to grace the pages of CT, and I remember that he and I once did some off-line high-fiving about a particularly funny debate with some right-wing visitors here (but to quote one of your biggest hits, Michael, I just haven’t met you yet).

It amazes me that CT is still afloat, and I think this is primarily a testament to the incredible stamina and devotion of its main posters, who are willing to overlook what a dysfunctional and pathological swamp the comments section always becomes. Somehow, CT is sort of the anti-“Making Light”. Over there, the front-pagers have atrophied quite a lot, while the community chugs along with incredible good will and cooperation, and it can truly be said that the comments are better than the posts. Here, the posts remain good although the comments inevitably degenerate into toxic waste-dumps.

Thanks for doing it–CT is still a valuable community resource.


Theophylact 06.14.18 at 2:09 pm

An off-beat but always interesting one is Jeff Manaugh’s BLDGBLOG (“Building blog”), about architecture in all its forms, natural and intentional. (Also worthwhile is his book A Burglar’s Guide to the City.)


LFC 06.14.18 at 3:14 pm

Disagree that the comments here degenerate into toxic waste dumps. The moderation system has improved things, IMO.


Cole Haus 06.14.18 at 4:40 pm


oldster 06.15.18 at 12:23 am

LFC @ 41–

I’m sure not going to fight about it, and if I’m wrong then I’m happy to be corrected.


EWI 06.15.18 at 1:40 am

Not my blog, but the premier online hang-out for Irish leftists and leftist radicals, namely the Cedar Lounge Revolution:


Barry Freed 06.15.18 at 4:03 am

LGM and Unfogged. Especially Unfogged.


Alex Ameter 06.15.18 at 1:44 pm

I’m an Afghan vet who now works at a foreign policy think tank. Here’s my blog,


Bill Benzon 06.15.18 at 3:04 pm

FWIW, Tyler Cowen is in favor of more blogging. Given his astonishing blogging output, I suppose, that’s not surprising.


Bill Benzon 06.15.18 at 3:06 pm


Kai Arzheimer 06.16.18 at 3:23 pm

For more than 10 years, I have been blogging at about research methods, the Radical Right, and German/European politics. I post every couple of weeks or so for what sometimes feels like an audience of one, but I still immensely enjoy having my own space.
While I have developed a bit of a twitter dependency, I get most of my news from RSS and follow about a 100 blogs including CT, which is actually one of my favourites.


Phil 06.16.18 at 5:37 pm

Blogs are great; I run four, though two are very intermittent. Worker’s Playtime, my main blog, is getting a bit intermittent too – no new posts since April, which I regret but don’t seem to be sufficiently motivated to do anything about. I’ve got no desire to start comment section wars by taking a controversial position (I see enough of that on Twitter) and not very much desire to develop my ideas at length on less controversial issues (I can do that quicker on Twitter). Also, to be honest I’m still a bit disappointed in the numbers for my extended series of posts last summer meditating on death and the afterlife (catch up here!).

I’ll get back to it. Stray thought – is anyone out there using blogging s/w for short fiction?


GeoX 06.18.18 at 12:10 am

Do you like Disney comics? TOO BAD. Here’s my blog about Disney comics, linked in my name.

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