Blogging about blogging about blogging: Dillow versus Lewis
You’ve heard of blogging about blogging haven’t you? Well, this is the next frontier; blogging about blogging about blogging.
The funniest Tweeter on the political twittersphere, one Helen Lewis, has had a spat with the best political economist on the blogosphere, one Chris Dillow – and I’ve spent the last 8 minutes acquainting myself with their falling out (the next 8 writing this).
Basically, Dillow thinks that economics can explain more than just numbers (perhaps even EVERYTHING) and Lewis is an example of a writer who explains a great many things without necessary recourse to economics.
This style of Lewis’, for example, has been reduced to what Dillow has called “whining” and “complaining”.
So perhaps this is an academic argument. Lewis has one way of making her case (let’s call this the first principles ethical road to egalitarianism) and Dillow his (the first principles economic road to egalitarianism), and Dillow has taken exception with it.
But I think this debate has wider ramifications. Is it to do with what blogging can be used for?
For the pessimists, blogging is a place where people can sound off about nonsense. For optimists blogging can replace or at least challenge mainstream writing and in effect is a very noble thing indeed.
For that reason blogging about blogging might be seen as crass or worse can set back blogging to a thing that, doesn’t challenge the mainstream, but proves its ultimate worth.
Dillow, I think, sees Lewis’ style as something characterised by this. Which might well be fair. Might be. But there is, I feel, still worth in it.
In the piece that followed by Lewis, responding to Dillow, she made light of the fact that people enjoy the things she writes about. This is enough for me. It might not be seen as the most important writing ever (blogging about Twitter or, indeed, blogging), but there is certainly worth in it.
So a debate that might well be seen by some as an economist looking down his nose at a blogger about blogging, actually turns into a debate about whether we should bother to write about seemingly mundane things. I say we should.
And my appreciation for both writers stays in tact!!