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O Blog!

I have been thinking a lot lately about the status of this blog in relation to my academic work. When I began this blog, I had the idea that it would be a nice way for me to formalize my note-taking process and create a space within which I could test out ideas before committing them to paper and to the process of peer-review. Lately, however, I have begun to wonder if blogs, as one of many public fora, might work against my professional development. Could something that I write here in this blog, even if it is cast as only tentative, cause problems for me in the future? Might someone I inadvertantly criticize or discuss someday be on a job committee that would consider whether or not to hire me? Could what I take to be an offhand or lighthearted comment get contrued as damning evidence of my stupidity or incompetance? These are risks we all take every day, just by having conversations with people, but the problem with blogging is that there is a public record of things that I have written, warts and all. Perhaps the only problem is my writing about academic matters–if I stick to my personal life, then perhaps the boundaries between personal blogging and professional argumentation would be more clear. At the same time, I feel like my professional identity will always involve a very strong component of public writing–writing for a public and also writing in venues that are not peer-reviewed. What is one to do? I am open to all ideas. My feeling, for now, is that I am going to keep writing this blog in the way that I have been writing. I’m willing to take this risk right now because I believe in the things that I am writing. I stand behind them. Or at least stand behind the good faith in which I propose ideas tentatively in this space.

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