Posts filed under “Philosophy”

Why Blog?

The latest spasm careening through the blogosphere tangentially referred to a minor rev share offer from Seeking Alpha, one of the major blog aggregators.  We saw the usual hand wringing discussions of “blogonomics,” as well as an article discussing the challenges of blogging (its hard).

Pretty much, most missed the point (though props to Abnormal Returns for getting the philosophy right: Blogging: a means not an end).

I can think of many reasons why someone might start and maintain a blog:

Blogs? Yeah We Got That

1. You have something to say

2. You enjoy the craft of writing

3. You want to figure out what you think, and do so in public

4. You want to be part of a larger community of like minded individuals

5. You have a hobby or interest that you are really, really into

6. You want to maintain a presence on the Intertubes

7. You have an expertise and you want to share it

8. You have an eye for content (text, graphics and video) and you enjoy leading other people to them

9. You want to create a permament online record of what you are reading, looking at or thinking about

10. You like engaging in debate with total strangers

That’s off the top of my head.

Note that each of these bullet points begins with YOU. Blogs are about what YOU want to produce, regardless of how many readers shows up. The Big Picture would more or less be the same content with 100 or a 100,000 daily readers.

People are often surprised to learn that I write for me, not for the readers. That keeps it honest (as opposed to the SEO-driven content-farm material). It also helps to quiet the voices in my head.

Notice what I specifically did not list as reasons to blog:

1. building a business;

2. developing a brand;

3. monetizing content;

4. getting media exposure;

5. Getting a book deal;

6. Getting bought by a larger company.

While all of these things may come about through a blog, they are not, and should not be, the purpose of writing a blog. Instead, if you happen to produce outstanding content and have great insight, then these things might occur (emphasis on might).

If you want to pour your thoughts out on a daily basis because you find the process helpful and gratifying, then by all means, have at it. If you seek fame or fortune through blogging, be aware of the long odds you face: Very, very, very few people manage that.

I find the process very worthwhile. I’ve been doing it — first on (the now defunct) Geocities, then Typepad, and now WordPress — for about a decade.

If any of those first 10 factors apply to you, than give it a whirl. No pressure, you never know what might happen.

If your motivations are in those half dozen reasons not to blog, well then good luck — you are going to need it . . .

Category: Philosophy, Weblogs

A Few Thoughts on Steve Jobs / Apple

The announcement yesterday that Steve Jobs is taking a leave of absence from Apple is one of those events that leads to a reflexive  spasm of half thought out commentary. The mad rush to publish something often leads to some pretty silly statements making the rounds. As a long standing Apple fan, I deferred piling…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Technology


Category: Philosophy, Weekend

Checklist for Pundits

The recent shootings in Arizona came after some very heated and ugly rhetoric from the extreme ends of the political spectrum. Do these folks understand the environment their words create? Perhaps a checklist might be useful for those who might not be aware of what the impact of their inappropriate language is on the public….Read More

Category: Humor, Philosophy, Politics

Searching for the Truth in an Age of Disingenuousness

On the last day of the year, I like to think back about the truths I learned this year. Some were revealed accidentally, others were the work of challenging data analysis. We happened upon some Truths during deep contemplation, and occasionally stumbled across them accidentally. And of course, there was Wikileaks. Regardless of your method,…Read More

Category: Investing, Legal, Philosophy, Really, really bad calls

Intelligence Hierarchy: Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom

We have been having a series of interesting discussions lately on various aspects of the economy and markets. I notice that some traders have a hard time discerning between different aspects of the intelligence hierarchy. They obsess about data,  but get lost in it. losing the ability to create context and meaning. They have information,…Read More

Category: Digital Media, Philosophy

The Sole Purpose of Education

In 1914, John Alexander Smith, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford, addressed the first session of his two-year lecture course as follows: “Gentlemen, you are now about to embark on a course of studies that (will) form a noble adventure…Let me make this clear to you. ..nothing that you will learn in the course of…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Psychology

The kinda-eventually-sorta-mostly-almost Efficient Market Theory

“I guess we’re all behaviorists now” -Richard Thaler   One of the most widely believed theories on Wall Street is the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH). Adherents of this charmingly naive thesis believe that markets are an incredibly effective distributor of information. Because of this, say EMH theorists, it is impossible, therefore, to beat the market,…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Psychology, Really, really bad calls