Saturday, March 07, 2009

Clear and simple as the truth...

is Robin Hanson's new favourite book. Here's a short excerpt:
Classic style is neither shy nor ambiguous about fundamentals. The style rests on the assumptions that it is possible to think disinterestedly, to know the results of disinterested thought, and to present them without fundamental distortion. In this view, thought precedes writing. All of these assumptions may be wrong, but they help to define a style whose usefulness is manifest.
I suppose the post isn't all that thrilling (though you should still go there and read it), but it speaks to something I've been thinking about regarding my own blogging: what tone should I strike in my writing?

Over the past year or so I've decided that most people (including me) are massively overconfident in many of their opinions. I wrestle with this when I write my posts, which are often opinionated. I often discard overly long posts and am unhappy with ones that I end up posting. They seem to ramble and not have a clear point. Part of this is just that I'm not a great writer, but sometimes it just reflects my attitude towards the complexity of whatever I'm thinking about.

The posts I like better are shorter with an unambiguous point. I say I like them, but I'm wracked with guilt for committing a sin which I do not forgive in my enemies.

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