This Is A Group Blog Again

The first stop to overcoming a problem is to admit you have one. So: I admit I’m addicted to blogging. In terms of total interesting intellectual insight, I’m actually pretty proud of my 5.5 years of blogging – I doubt I would have produced more insight had I blogged less. But my friends, colleagues, academia, patrons, etc. don’t want me to just find insights, they want me to gain prestige and have influence. And at this point in my life, they are right — intellectual influence *is what I should want. My insights will matter little if I can’t package them in a form that will tempt others to assimilate and build on them.

So, I am writing a book (which I’ll say more about in due time). Which feels great. Alas, I think readers prefer near-daily blogs, I’m reluctant to let this blog die, and as it is I get too easily engrossed in blog post topics. My solution: move Overcoming Bias back to a group blog, by including the young rising stars Katja Grace and Robert Wiblin, of whom I’ve long been a fan. We have mutual respect, similar interests, and similar styles of thought. With them posting more, I’ll hopefully be ok posting less. Overcoming Bias will continue at a similar rate and on similar themes, my less frequent posts will be more thoughtful and less newsy, and I’ll actually get a book written. What’s not to like? 😉

Btw, we aren’t seeking more authors – just the three of us are ok for a while.

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  • gwern0

    > So, I am writing a book (which I’ll say more about in due time)

    About time! I’ve wondered what insights you’ve missed because all your material is so fragmented…

    • Iamreddave

      > So, I am writing a book (which I’ll say more about in due time)Great news. If Robin needs to prove there is a market could he sell preorders or have a kickstarter campaign or something?

  • Spindritf

    What’s the topic for the book? Bias, ems/singularity, signalling, futarchy or other take on prediction markets, a combination of those, something else entirely…?

  • How did you decide writing a book was the best way forward? Also, looking forward to Robert and Katja’s contributions!

  • Doug

    Yes, finally a Hanson book! 

    Take your time, make sure it’s polished and well thought out. Critics are going to be afraid of your larger ideas and themes. 99% of them won’t have the intellectual capacity to counter them, so they’re going to try to nitpick and attack you over minor details. A lot of the more pathetic ones will probably resort to ad hominem as well.

    So make sure you proof and fact check the hell out of the book. Get a lot of your sympathetic but disagreeable friends, like Tyler, to be as critical before you release it. Given the uniqueness and clarity of your insights it has the potential to ultimately be one of the most influential works of our era. But they’ll be a lot of small minded people who violently oppose it, so you have to be make sure you’re correct about every detail.

    • Oliver Beatson

      (No pressure though!) 😉

  • Guest

    I’d like to see you develop careful predictive models of status and near/far. I’m a little afraid that these concepts are still at the phlostogon stage where they can be used to explain any possible outcome.

    I’d also like to see you differentiate your statements more with the degree to which they actually are supported by the scientific literature versus mainly being your own speculation.

  • john

     This is fantastic news. Onward and upward!

  • Robert Koslover

    OK Robin, here’s the deal: I’ll buy a copy of your book, but only if you autograph it.  🙂

  • 3 years of daily insightful commentary is astounding.  You’ve made my days more interesting.  Thanks.

  • It’s about time you wrote a book, you’re practically the only GMU econ blogger who hasn’t, and almost none of them are nearly as insightful.
    I thought you were a better blogger when it was a group blog. But that may have been because you restricted yourself to talking more about bias and how to think rather than issues of the day or pet theories on farmers/foragers or near/far (not that those haven’t been interesting).

  • Looking forward to the opportunity to share my ideas with more people! Also very glad Robin is going to get his vision together in a polished form.

  • Siddharth

    This is great! Just yesterday I was thinking that I would comment here from today with the name ‘Robin Hanson, please write a book’. And he decides to write a book. I can’t wait…

  • Brandon Reinhart

    Will Katla also be posting? 😀

  • Jayson Virissimo

    Apparently, gwern and I will need to update our subjective probabilities:

    • gwern0

       Don’t count your books until they’re actually published! I’d update upwards, of course, but not as much as one might expect.

  • Greg

    Self recommending.

  • Dean Jens

    David Friedman blogs infrequently, and in spurts; he has 10 posts since the end of March, with one month-long gap and one three-week gap.  His signal-to-noise ratio is very high, though.  Since I follow the blogs I follow in an RSS aggregator, this works well for me; if I tried to follow by going to the site every now and then to check in, it would be fairly annoying.  I think whether a reader cares (much) about frequency is likely to be a function of how s/he reads your blog.

    Of course, if you can increase signal without increasing noise, all the better.

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  • Hopefully Anonymous

    Katja Grace is a major upgrade -she’s asymptotically closer to the archetypal unbiased thinker than some of your past co-bloggers.

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