Today is Three Years Old


I have previously discussed my rationales for blogging, in the brief initial entry to my blog, and in the blog entry celebrating the second anniversary of the blog.

Many human activities have multiple motives, and blogging is no exception.  Today I want to focus on a secondary, but important motive for maintaining

A few decades ago, when I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, I was wise (or fortunate) enough to participate in a voluntary, non-credit, informal seminar offered by Deirdre McCloskey on research and (mainly) writing in economics.  The advice expressed in the seminar was eventually expanded and refined in McCloskey’s wonderful essay "On Economical Writing."

One of the bits of advice in McCloskey’s essay is that in the research phase, it is useful to carry around some 4 by 6 cards on which to write quotes, and thoughts, related to the research.  Good ideas would not be lost to failed memory, and in the latter stages, the card format lent itself to organization and re-organization.

I embraced this advice with over-the-top enthusiasm, not only purchasing a bunch of 4 by 6 cards, but even purchasing them in several different colors.  (I may have already been primed for this advice by my days of carrying boxes of index card evidence around, when I was on the Riley High School debate team.)

Of course all this was before the days of the personal computer.  I still carry around little note pads for the times when inspiration hits without closeness to keyboard.  But most of the time, a keyboard is handy.  There are software programs, such as Microsoft’s useful "OneNote" in which one can add notes, and organize them, in a private fashion.  And I often use OneNote.  But often it occurs to me that a quote or thought that seems useful to me in my research, might also be useful to someone else in their’s. 

The cost of putting such a quote or thought on my blog is only very slightly higher than the cost of putting it down on OneNote, so I often bear the slight cost, with the hope, in the spirit of Albert Jay Nock, that some unknown member of "the remnant" will put the quote or thought to creative good use.


"You do not know and will never know who the Remnant are, or where they are, or how many of them there are, or what they are doing or will do.  Two things you know, and no more: first, that they exist; second, that they will find you."


Nock, Albert Jay. "Isaiah’s Job." Atlantic Monthly, March 1936.


One thought on “Today is Three Years Old”

  1. Congratulations, Art. Thank you for persevering in your blogging efforts. I find the blog format (I was a note card man myself before personal computing) to be a useful form of mental discipline. Lord knows, I need some mental discipline.

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