Monday, March 05, 2007

Bloggers That Make You Think

Peter Levine was kind enough to tag me as a "thinking blogger," which coming from him is really equal to or better than all the other compliments as I've received in the four years since I've started blogging. (Hey, that's right...my anniversary is coming up.) I wish I could repay the compliment by tagging him, as there are very few--if any--bloggers that consistently produce the kind of thoughtful, engaging, opinionated yet open-minded material that Peter does, and has for a long time. Unfortunately, Richard at Philosophy, et cetera, had already tagged him. So let me see if I can come up with five more....

1. Jacob T. Levy. He was probably my earliest blogging inspiration. I followed him to the Volokh Conspiracy, I waited through his hiatus, and now that he's back to his own digs I couldn't be happier. Everyone knows this, but let's say it again for the record: Jacob is smart, sharp, surprising, and always worth reading. He doesn't produce as much original material as the country (or Canada, for that matter) needs, but what he does produce is first rate.

2. Lee at A Thinking Reed. I've enjoyed Lee's contrarian-if-mostly-conservative-in-some-sense perspective for a long time now. He recently rebaptized his blog, formally Verbum Ipsum, into something that will focus somewhat less on politics and more on the Bible, Christianity, social justice, philosophy, and ethics. The level of high thinking hasn't changed a bit.

3. Joel at Far Outliers. Joel rarely writes extensively about his own perspectives and opinions; what visitors to his blog instead find are excerpts from fascinating and provocative and often little-noticed or long-forgotten books and articles and internet finds. Mostly it'll have something to do with Asian history or politics or society, or the historical experience of expats and immigrants with such; however, sometimes it'll be American politics or film reviews or just about anything else. I link him in my mind with Eomann Fitzgerald's Rainy Day or Geitner Simmons's gone-but-not-to-be-forgotten Regions of Mind--a couple of great old blogs that, like Joel's, show what happens when a curious and insatiable intellect meets a high-speed internet connection.

4. TNR's Open University. It hasn't lived up to its promise yet as another Crooked Timber, but with Michael Kazin, John McWhorter, Linda Hirshman, Sanford Levinson, David Greenberg, and Alan Wolfe all regularly posting, it's succeeding much better at providing scholarly blog-thoughts than some other academic-heavy blogs ever did.

5. Finally, two graduate students, whose respective political positions are probably about as distant from each other as any graph could record, and who both produce a lot of tremendously thoughtful, often provocative and just as often persuasive posts: Rob Jubb, and Daniel Larison. Read them both every day.

6 comments:

Rob Jubb said...

Thank you. I'm terrible at gratitude, so that's all you'll get, but I am really grateful.

Anonymous said...

Joel rarely writes extensively about his own perspectives and opinions; what visitors to his blog instead find are excerpts from fascinating and provocative and often little-noticed or long-forgotten books and articles and internet finds. Mostly it'll have something to do with Asian history or politics or society, or the historical experience of expats and immigrants with such; however, sometimes it'll be American politics or film reviews or just about anything else.

I haven't read Far Outliers yet, but from that description, I think you might enjoy this guy.


Helen

Lee said...

Aw shucks! Thanks, Russell - that's quite an honor coming from you, who are in many ways the uber-thinking blogger! With your relatively infrequent, yet long and meaty posts, you're sort of the anti-Instapundit (and I mean that in a good way).

Joel (Far Outliers) said...

Wow. Thanks. Rainy Day and Regions of Mind were my inspiration to start blogging. One problem for me as a blogger is that I read voraciously but write very dilatorily and distractedly. It took me a couple of years' worth of weekends to finish my dissertation: Saturday to work up a new head of thoughts, Sunday to crank out a few more laboriously crafted paragraphs. If it weren't for the combination of a great variety of books, a scanner, and OCR software, I'd be posting a whole lot less.

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