Usin' My Noggin

[Thinking Blogger]

Amy Kane recently tagged me with a "Thinking Blogger" award. Yeeks! I'm humble, gratified, and—a little—discomfited. Because it gives me a peculiar kind of Blogger's Block: now I gotta be thoughtful? My fingers hover over the keyboard … beads of sweat appear on my forehead … time passes … <voice imitation="lucille_ball">waaaaah!</voice>

Oh, well. We'll extend our usual Pun Salad guarantee to cover this: we'll make you think, or twice your money back. Ah, there we go, I can type again.

This game was started back in February by, appropriately enough, "The Thinking Blog". And I'm asked to link to five further blogs that "make you think."

Well, they all make me think. But I'll take it to mean that "thinking" is the primary reaction to the blog: not amusement, not amazement, not appreciation, and not approbation (specifically, not me pumping my fist in the air, shouting "Yes! What he (or she) said!") Instead, we're looking for bloggers that put the wrinkle in my brow and start the cogs turning creakily underneath.

  1. Bill Gnade of Contratimes is an easy choice. Not prolific, but his posts always bear close reading, crafted with care and wit.

  2. Kip Esquire of A Stitch in Haste reminds me of an old Usenet guy, Blair Houghton, who I believe came up with the classic Usenetism: "Cogito ergo I'm right and you're wrong." Kip is, as near as I can tell, never agnostic on any issue. If I disagree, he makes me aware that I'll need to crank the Rumination Dial up to 11 to make sure I know why.

  3. I've been reading David Friedman since—well, since we were both a lot younger. His wide-ranging blog is titled, simply enough, Ideas. Here's the start of a recent post:

    There is considerable evidence that both falling in love and long term attachment are associated with the levels of various chemicals in the brain. Suppose we learn enough about the process to be able to control it artificially. What might the results be and should we approve?

    I'll try to pretend my thoughts on this were much deeper and nuanced than: "I held my nose, I closed my eyes. I took a drink."

  4. Virginia Postrel blogs at, the name reflecting her notion that the most important modern ideological conflict is between "dynamists" who embrace technological and social changes associated with 21st-century capitalism, and "stasists" who don't. She's also non-prolific, but her posts are always worth reading and thinking about. Even if most of my thinking is along the lines of: "Virginia Postrel is a frickin' genius."

  5. Darn, I'm running out of numbers, only this one left? Well, let it be Megan McArdle, aka "Jane Galt", at her blog Asymmetrical Information. She describes herself as a "squishy libertarian", and is right now gamely defending her pro-immigration views against a whole bunch of irate commenters. Similar to Kip, if I disagree with Megan, there's an uncomfortably large chance that I'm wrong.

Last Modified 2012-10-19 12:51 PM EDT