I had an epiphany the other day, right when I was about to write up an extensive comment on an article at another site. It occurred to me that, if it was important enough for me to go through the hassle of opining somewhere else, I might as well make it a blog post instead. As an added bonus, this obviates the problem of having to come up with material, the lack of which (for those of you who haven’t tried this yet) presents a serious challenge to a blogger.
Consider for example this article, where the author argues that data derived from split (or A/B) testing “never lies.” I was about to lay down the law* in a comment about the philosophy of science (knowledge of which I acquired through numerous arguably wasted but reasonably entertaining years in grad school), when I realized that I’d be spending an inordinate amount of time creating material that a) very few people would read, and b) fewer still would associate it with me. Whereas, if it’s on my blog, presumably visitors are there to read the articles, and it’s easy for them to find out who I am.
For those of you who aren’t bloggers, I’d encourage you to leave your comments below. The rest of you should know what to do by now.
*Data without theory, while interesting (and a useful starting point) is essentially meaningless, because you can’t replicate the results. In other words, just because you flip a coin and get heads ten times in a row, you might not want to bet against tails simply based on the outcome of your previous observations unless you have a specific reason (such as you suspecting the coin has two heads) to believe you’ll be correct. If you don’t have a belief to be falsified (e.g., “I bet they’ll like this design best because…”), you can’t make forward progress in ferreting out the variables that determine why a particular design is better than another, and you’ll end up going around in circles on design decisions.
See what I mean? Blogging material!