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Mises Community Blog Project

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Marko Posted: Thu, Oct 4 2012 8:08 PM

Undeterred by a complete and total absence of feedback I am following up on my proposal that we try to set up a joint blog to whom all the forum members interested in participating would contribute. I think a good way to begin to try to move this along is by collecting pledges.

I'm sure you know about how the Free State Project is collecting pledges, that is they have people promise they will relocate to New Hampshire as soon as 20,000 other people have promised to do the same. So this thread is for collecting pledges from people that they shall contribute to the Mises Community Blog once 14 other people have pledged the same.


OK here are the rules I am proposing and that will be in place until somebody suggests something better:

— The Mises Community Blog will be set up when at least 15 people have promised to contribute to it. Obviously the blog would be open to taking on additional writers who were not original pledges, but there is no sense in launching the blog if there is not enough initial backing for it. (I actually think a significantly fewer number of committed authors would be enough, but feel it is wise to make allowance for possible attrition.)

— If you have pledged to participate, but the number of 15 pledges was not reached then you are not required to do anything, since the blog will not be set up anyway and the MCB project will be over.

— There is a 45 day limit on the pledges collection. The 15 pledges have to be collected in 45 days or the MCB project is over, as it is unrealistic to expect of people to maintain a promise to contribute to the MCB at its startup indefinitely. 

— By pledging the pledges promise to write one blog post for the joint blog in each 15-day period for the first 6 such periods of the blog's existence. In other words each participant will in the first three months of the blog's existence publish at least one post every two weeks. This means that by pledging all that a forum member promises to do is write a measly 6 blog posts, jet the joint blog is guaranteed at least 90 posts in as many days.

— 'Mises Community Blog' is a provisional name, which may be easily changed if a few pledges state they do not like it and come up with something better. 

— The website will clearly and visibly state that each participant's positions are their own and are not necessarily shared by any of the other participants.



Encouragement:

I encourage people to pledge and to take part. By pledging all you are promising to do is write 6 blog posts and even then only if a few other number of things come together. If 14 other people do not sign up you are not obligated to do anything. If the 14 other people do not sign up within 45 days from now you are again not obligated to do anything. You are only required to contribute to the blog for 90 days. Once the blog is 90 days old, you are no longer required by your pledge to continue blogging (though we hope you do). It isn't a big deal really, it's a small thing. You should do it.

Good reasons to pledge:

Blogging is good for you. Blogging will improve your writing. It will force you to think about things you are interested in more thoroughly and seriously. Going on public record about issues online will improve your state of mind and make you far less irritable in real life. Once you have penned a carefully considered and stylishly written 2000-word tearing down of the welfare state and published it for all the world to see, who gives a crap anymore if your stupid cousin lets slip something that is pro-Obama? You are now a public philosopher who makes addresses to the whole world, and getting into an argument with your family is now a complete and utter waste of your time and is therefore beneath you.

Project MCB is a good thing. Maybe you don't care about blogging yourself, but you would love for this or that forum member to start or re-start blogging so that you may read his stuff? Pledge to MCB and it will serve as an encouragement for the people you would like to read to sign up themselves. Do your tiny bit to make sure MCB project takes off and you'll have another vibrant libertarian blog for your bookmarks. This one actually updated by the people you know from your favorite online discussion forum. 

Multiple-author blogs are the best kind of blogs. Maybe you toyed with the idea of blogging in the past, but were uncertain of how it would work and did not go ahead? Well with MCB you would have at least 14 other bloggers for support. Also as I explained, for most people a joint blog is their best bet of blogging for an actual readership. Personal blogs struggle because they generally can not generate enough regular updates to keep hold of daily visitors to the page. But with a joint blog how it works is that your co-authors make the regular updates for you and keep the readers' interest for until you are ready to make your post. I am not promising you that you will have that with MCB, or have it right away, but I am promising you that if you want to blog while having the peace of mind that you did all you could have done to have your blog posts read, then you should write for a multiple-author blog.


Further explanation/thinking:

Editorial policy:

I propose a good editorial policy may be that posts should be primarily commentary of current affairs from a doctrinarian Austrian and doctrinarian libertarian perspectives. Posts on libertarian theory, philosophy, Austrian theory, history and economic history would be welcome as well. Brief posts like those at the LRC blog would be perfectly fine, but the important thing to keep in mind would be focus.

Participant bloggers should be aware the kind of readers we would potentially get may not be interested in what they have to say if it revolves around something that is far removed from the kind of things we discuss on this forum. If something seems as if it may be esoteric for the Austrian/libertarian interested crowd it may be best left for your personal blog.

I think the blog should scorn all word-for-word reposts, from either the participant's personal blogs or from the forum, but if participant bloggers further developed their points from the forum on the blog that would be great.


Editor:

I think having a content editor-overseer may be good, if only for the peace of mind of the participants, as I don't think he would have much actual work. But it may also work at the beginning to try doing without an actual person-editor, but just have a general consensus-based editorial policy that participant bloggers try to adhere to on their own, and go from there.


Technical-logistical stuff:

I propose the blog should be WordPress based, because WordPress has a much better commenting system than BlogSpot and with this potential blog being a blog of forumites I would hope that posts comments would end up an important and highly visible and voluminous part of it.

We would need a place for internal discussion, a tiny forum of our own somewhere would be best I think, albeit a new Mises community group may be fine as well.

Somebody would obviously have to set all this up. I will be hoping someone else states their readiness to set it up by himself, but if no one does, I am ultimately, in the interest of Project MCB, willing to do it myself. This certainly isn't going to fail because nobody found the time to install a forum and open up a blog page, that would be pathetic.


One further thought:

As someone who was active in an online gaming clan for years I can say I have found that what works best in making a small online team vibrant is if there is not too much emphasis on rank, rules or procedure that would stifle initiative. So if things seem like they are ill-defined and hanging in the air, do not be alarmed as that is usually for the best.

 

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Marko replied on Thu, Oct 4 2012 8:10 PM

So yes, my pledge:

I pledge to write one post for the group blog provisionally known as the Mises Community Blog every fifteen (15) days for a period of ninety (90) days total, if at least fourteen (14) other forum members will pledge to do the same in the next fourty-five (45) day period ending with November 19th. If these other pledges do not materialize in the time period given consider my pledge withdrawn. Also consider that I withdraw my pledge if a small number of subsequent pledges should express their opinion it would be in the interest of the Mises Community Blog project if I were to do so.


So we're 1/15th of the way there already.

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Sorry Marko, I was going to reply to the other thread but then I forgot.  I'd definitely like to see this.

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I pledge to write one post for the group blog provisionally known as the Mises Community Blog every fifteen (15) days for a period of ninety (90) days total, if at least fourteen (14) other forum members will pledge to do the same in the next fourty-five (45) day period ending with November 19th. If these other pledges do not materialize in the time period given consider my pledge withdrawn. Also consider that I withdraw my pledge if a small number of subsequent pledges should express their opinion it would be in the interest of the Mises Community Blog project if I were to do so.

2/15

Come on, guys!

Actually, I'd probably be interested in featuring these posts on LibertyHQ if this thing takes off. I'll make a new thread about it.

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How long would our blog posts have to be?

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Marko replied on Fri, Oct 5 2012 1:14 AM

2/15


That's way cool. I'll be nominating you for editor-overseer. I must admit you moderates are useful for certain things. Like moderating.

How long would our blog posts have to be?


One paragraph / a few sentences of your commentary is perfectly fine if you're bringing something else to the table as well. Perhaps a news link to a story that will be interesting to liberty-minded people, or else a passage from a book that you're reading and just had to highlight and share with everyone.

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Great.  I'll probably join, I just don't want to pledge now and then not have time to do it.  I'll have a quick think.

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Marko replied on Fri, Oct 5 2012 10:18 AM

That's nice to hear. Very responsible of you.

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Do we get equal say for equal work done?

 

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Marko replied on Fri, Oct 5 2012 11:31 AM

I don't know what you mean. Can you explain? You can have all the say you want. I'm just taking the initiative until somebody else does. No personally I don't think "equal say for equal work" would be a good rule . That sounds cumbersome, something that would be a drag. Also you can't measure who does how much work can you?

I've found in the gaming clan I was a part of that what works best is something we may call "decision-making by consensus of the interested". Lets say the question is what background color the blog is going to use. Somebody raises this question of the background color and opens a topic where he makes his suggestion, asks for alternative suggestions and asks people to signal their agreement with his suggestion. Then after a few people have come together to signal they like this or that color best or that they are at least able to live with it, the tech-person is asked to make the change when he can get around to it. The point is that you do not necessarily wait for everyone to weight in, as that would take a long time and prevent improvements from being made quickly, and would needlessly fuss participants who do not care about the question of the background color, or are happy for other more involved, or more detail-minded people to settle this question among themselves. So no, you would not get equal say, you would get as much say as you want, or as little as you want.

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I was joshing. Anyway, I am interested in joining.

 

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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I suggest we change the charter so that all blog content is released under copyleft.

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Marko replied on Sun, Oct 7 2012 1:37 AM

I suggest we change the charter so that all blog content is released under copyleft.


Absolutely. The post edit function doesn't seem to be working at the moment, but consider it as good as done.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:16 PM

BUMP. Come on, you lame-os!

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Neodoxy replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:34 PM

 

 

 

 

That's a pledge from me BTW.

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Maynard replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:40 PM

It seems we have 4 5 possible commitments. I would be willing to write as well. Is there going to be any kind of criteria for subjects we write about? Or will it be open to any topic?

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Marko replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 5:08 AM

As things stand now (9 days into pledges gathering phase):

Pledges (3):
Marko
Wheylous
Neodoxy

Expressed interest (3):
Aristippus
Daniel Muffinburg
Maynard


I'd say we are just about on schedule seeing we gathered 1/5th of the pledges in 1/5th of the time allocated. 


I would be willing to write as well. Is there going to be any kind of criteria for subjects we write about? Or will it be open to any topic?

I'm thinking as long as it has some kind of a free-market/freedom connection and would therefore be of interest to freedom-oriented people. So maybe a post where you express your love of Country music and go on to explain how actually everyone feels the quality of Conway Twitty's output is far superior to that of the ridicilously overrated Waylon Jennings except that men are afraid to admit it because of the respective images of two performers, may not be appropriate. But if you've put time in arranging and uploading a neat 20-song compilation of anti-authoritharian country songs on Youtube and wish to plug it on the blog then that's welcome as we'd really like to hear it.

Anyway this will probably sort itself out over time, I'm sure in the beginning there may be a post or two which may raise eyebrows or have question marks appear over people's heads as to its relevancy, but over time we'll discover what the precise focus works best for our site, a very wide one or a slightly narrower one. We can't know everything in advance and you're not required to have a 100% perfect feel for what is appropriate right from the start. We'd all be doing this in order to learn and improve after all.

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Groucho replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 5:49 AM

While my participation here has been somewhat intermittent, I'm at a time when I need to keep my mind active. Eviscerations of the State sounds like just the thing!

So count me in: I pledge too.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Wheylous replied on Sun, Oct 14 2012 10:23 AM

Let's bump this up, people!

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a carefully considered and stylishly written 2000-word

Is this the expectation from an average post? Or the goal to which to reach?

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Marko replied on Sun, Oct 14 2012 11:03 AM

It is not an expectation, if you look at the LRC Blog most of their posts are tiny, and it is a great blog nonetheless. It is also not a goal because everyone may set up their goal for themselves.

But I can say that many who take up blogging will discover oftentimes the length of their posts will just balloon and balloon from what they envisioned it would be before starting on it, and that the real challenge is keeping length under control and the post a manageable one. 2000 words is really nothing sometimes.

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Ok, then count me in.

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Marko replied on Sat, Oct 20 2012 3:49 AM

5 pledges (Marko, Wheylous, Neodoxy, Groucho, Andris Birkmanis) in 15 days. I conclude we remain on schedule.

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Groucho replied on Fri, Oct 26 2012 6:19 AM

I have a feeling Telligent does not support 'stickes,' so.... bump.

 

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Bert replied on Fri, Oct 26 2012 9:21 AM

It's early, I sort of skimmed the post (I thought this was about having a new forum again), and I've been up since 5, so I probably missed something, anyway...

I'd be interested in contributing (keep things interesting), but I haven't even wrote a thought out post on politics/econ in some time, regardless I think I can add something of substantial content on something.

If something seems as if it may be esoteric for the Austrian/libertarian interested crowd it may be best left for your personal blog.

Err, like something that's just not in lines with the format, conspiracy theories, or something like Clayton's posts on Blavatsky?

Also, can we rehash old posts on here and rewrite them for the new blog?  I think this would be a good way to save "old thoughts" on here and catalog them in a better manner (important posts that were substantial can become a blog post in itself).

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Wheylous replied on Fri, Oct 26 2012 9:40 AM

I think that at this point he might say yes :P

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Bert replied on Fri, Oct 26 2012 9:48 AM

The way this sort of seems is that the regulars are going to have their own site to make posts while keeping up on the news/kicking around ideas here on the forum.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Merlin replied on Mon, Oct 29 2012 3:45 AM

If the pledges stop at 14, I’ll be last one.

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If the pledges stop at 14, I’ll be last one.

Does it mean you do not want your pledge before that point to encourage somebody else to join?

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I'm in.

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Merlin replied on Mon, Oct 29 2012 4:10 AM

Andris Birkmanis:

Does it mean you do not want your pledge before that point to encourage somebody else to join?

I think this is a good idea but I’m not sure I can devote it the time it deserves. On the other hand, it would be a shame if it failed by a slim margin, so I’ll pledge if no one pushes it beyond 15 in the allotted time-frame (and, of course, than I'll devote enough time to it).

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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On the other hand, it would be a shame if it failed by a slim margin

Then pledge right now :)

If we do not reach 15 - you have no obligations, that's the whole point.

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Merlin replied on Mon, Oct 29 2012 4:26 AM

It’s not exactly the same thing, for if I pledge now and we beat the target by one (say, 16 pledges) I still must contribute angel

But yeah, what the hell, I’m in!

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Another demonstration of faulty logic (and even manifestly faulty logic) affecting human action :)

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Merlin replied on Mon, Oct 29 2012 10:04 AM

Care to think again?

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Sorry, I didn't mean that as an insult :(

But it was kinda funny, that despite seeing a fault in my argument, you agreed.

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Merlin replied on Mon, Oct 29 2012 10:13 AM

I thought you were referring to my post, sorry  blush

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Neodoxy replied on Mon, Oct 29 2012 1:54 PM

So when are we getting this show on the road?

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Our contractual obligations kick in on November 19th, or when we get 15 signatories, I guess.

Though we can easily start before that, purely on pro bono basis. Wait...

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Marko replied on Tue, Oct 30 2012 9:14 AM

But yeah, what the hell, I’m in!

Welcome! As you say, you haven't been posting much lately but I remember you had your fans when you were.

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