The latest EconTalk podcast begins with this quick exchange between two economics professors.
Mike Munger: I think I’d like to be like Mr. Ed. He only talked when he had something to say.
Russ Roberts: That puts you in a very small group in the academic community.
Related post: Write-only articles
6 thoughts on “Wait until you have something to say”
I’ve often thought, one of those great skills, is to be able to talk about things in an entertaining fashion, until you DO finally get to something worthwhile. “90% of everything is junk”, as Ted Sturgeon used to say. But you never know which of the 100% is the quality 10% until after the fact.
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” — Plato
Being very introverted (which is not the same as “shy”) I am often frustrated by some people’s need to think out loud. I have lots of dumb ideas floating around in my head but, unlike some, I try to think them through before sharing them with everyone who might enjoy the sound of my voice.
this seems somewhat at odds with having a blog though. Thoughts?
Zach: Not at all. On my blog, I only write when I have something to say, not on a schedule.
Academics are required to write papers to keep their jobs. They write whether or not they have anything important to say. Academics often say they intend to play this game only until they get tenure, but then by the time they get tenure they’re used to it. A few slow down and only publish good papers, but most don’t.
Ah I mistook their meaning then. I do think it does apply to a lot of blogs though.
I was obviously not implying what you had to say is worthless (since I am reading it).