2010-10-06 23:43:32Word limit


John, I seem to be greatly exceeding my quota of electrons this morning.  If you feel the need to impose some kind of word limit on us, I will understand and won't be offended.


2010-10-06 23:55:50


I wouldn't worry about it; it's what you've got to say and how you say it that counts. If you're referring to your two posts on coherence, they're energetic and packed with ideas, worthwhile.

See this article


by the fellow who did the science journalism spoof, especially the part near the end about long-format journalism. 

2010-10-07 00:54:04

Thanks for the link, Doug.  I had seen (and loved) the original spoof, but the followup is actually even more worthwhile. 
2010-10-07 07:30:32Imposing a word limit on Ned
John Cook

Youre kidding, right? Those lengthy comments are fantastic - well argued, clearly articulated and easy to understand but what I like best is the tone you write with. You don't hold back from criticizing our own side which gives your criticisms of skeptics more weight. Even TIS had to agree with your arguments. That tone of reasonableness is what I've aimed for with SkS in an attempt to outreach rather than alienate skeptics (although my target audience is undecideds, not skeptics).

if anything, I would suggest remolding those comments into a single blog post. Considering how popular the "social science" posts always turn out to be (a fact which kind of annoys me as I like the physical science posts more), such a post would I'm sure have a big impact.

2010-10-07 21:41:17

I recall John inviting us to turn our detailed comments into blog posts. Shame on us for not taking his words seriously.
2010-10-07 22:06:36Turning detailed comments into posts
John Cook

The way I think about it is taking advantage of our homeground advantage. Often skeptics post comments and I think, this is an ideal opportunity to turn this into a teachable moment. Sadly, I rarely have time to write all the posts I have bouncing around in my head. Often there are fantastic comments posted by our local authors. A blog post lets you reach many more eyeballs and set the agenda of the discussion. Rather than let that gold languish deep within the comments threads, I encourage all the authors to be on the lookout for potential blog posts, in your own comments and in other authors.

As for me, I'm always on the lookout in the comments threads for more people to join us in the forum and am regularly inviting more people to the forum.

2010-10-08 03:22:40

Thanks for the kind words, John.  I feel a bit embarrassed every time I click on the "Recent Comments" link and see a bunch of nice short comments, followed by one of mine that goes on and on and on.