February 22, 2007

Five (Sorry broke the rules- Seven) Blogs to make you think

I was told by Freemania that I make him think which is a lovely complement but like all complements it came with a pay off that I had to list five blogs which make me think about things. I'm wondering if towards the middle or end of the year I might do an Iain Dale style list of intelligent blogs- blogs which make you rethink your ideas a bit. It strikes me that in general you might say that whilst we in Britain have used blogging well to gossip about politics and critique the mainstream media and launch rebuttal services (the two blogs I've linked to are examples of the best of the genre gossip and rebuttal blogs but there are other good ones too, on both right and left), despite that we haven't been as good at manufacturing original analysis and ideas. Personally I think we need to do a bit of promotion on that front which is why at some point I might come up with a list of good analytical blogs that we could update like Dale's list from time to time- its just an idea.

Back to the matter in hand- Freemania has kindly posted the instructions for this meme on his blog and as I'm not one of those original thinkers, I'm going to copy him, indeed I think amongst the instructions for the meme is to be unoriginal in its presentation- oh well,

The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote

So five blogs that make me think- bear in mind that this isn't an exclusive list- its just what I've come up with on the spur of the moment, so there are many blogs that make me think that I haven't included but here are five very good, very impressive analytical blogs with different interests and political orientations which make me personally think,

1. Stumbling and Mumbling is in my view one of the best British blogs around- indeed he might even be the best blog in the British blogosphere. He always produces interesting research and summarises it well and provides an illuminating discussion. In many ways this blog's approach to history and to culture is inspired by his to economics. He comes from a particular viewpoint somewhere on the libertarian left, but he isn't doctrinaire and he is willing to discuss things. Even if you disagree with him, he is indispensible reading every day.

2. Sinclairs Musings is a blog run by Matthew Sinclair. Matthew is a good friend of this blog- he comes from the right and has some very pronounced views. But he is open minded and very willing to engage in discussion- he has engaged with me in a couple of discussions about history (I need to post replies soon) and with Stumbling and Mumbling at the moment on Rawls etc. He writes well and interestingly- again I often disagree with him, but I often find his posts difficult to pick apart and interesting to read.

3. More than Mind Games is a blog run by James Hamilton and its an incredibly interesting blog. It mainly concerns itself with sport and its focus within sport is with football but its interested in the psychology and history of the game rather than in a mundane he played well analysis. Often the insights that James produces aren't just relevant to football but relevant to all sorts of other fields of life, his writings about football's history and its place in our culture constitute a fascinating tour of a really important part of our national psyche in this century. Furthermore he uses youtube in a very entertaining and interesting way- often demonstrating points by video clips. His blog is another that you just have to read every day.

4.. Rethink by Ashok is a blog whose articles I often have to read several times to understand. I often disagree with Ashok but he is one of the most interesting people blogging on the net from America and he isn't very well known. His recent series on Macbeth was a very interesting set of posts- he read the play very closely and his conclusions were fascinating. He is another whose criticisms are always polite and very acute- especially of this blog. He writes well about complicated subjects and he always causes me to ponder. Its difficult to comment on his blog, not because its difficult nor because he doesn't welcome comments but because his posts are so intelligent that you have to think very hard in order to discuss them. His is a superb blog.

5. The Granite Studio is a fantastic blog. A bit more lighthearted than many of those on this list, he is a very interesting blogger because he writes easily about China, its history and its culture. I don't know anything about China, its history or its culture and the Granite Studio gives me a very pleasant read and a very pleasant way in. He is definitely a must read for anyone interested in the world around them- which I hope means everyone reading this blog.

That list of five is of course not exclusive there are so many other good blogs out there- the Inky Circus is the best of girl geekdom out there, fun and interesting its great, another one that immediately strikes me to be a must read is Abu Aardvark the best of writing on the Middle East on the net, I could go on but there are so many blogs which are interesting and inciteful on the net- I'm going to break the rules here and say that I'm naming seven, to have this list without Inky Circus or Abu Aardvark is to neglect two of the best blogs on the internet.

I hope there is something that takes your fancy here- these seven are all great blogs and definitely make me think, some of them with a wry smile and some of them with a very furrowed brow trying to track their meanings- all of them are written by people with engaging personalities and interesting things to say.


Ashok said...

Thanks so much for the compliments! Unfortunately, because you were the one who tagged me, I can't cite you as a blog that makes me think.

btw, did I come across you at StumbleUpon? If so, I'll friend you immediately.

Gracchi said...

Yeah I'm on there- as Henry 80 so if you friend that account you'll find me!

The compliments are all deserved!

ilker said...

Well.. rules are made to be broken? =)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Gracchi, thanks for drawing my attention to these new-to-me blogs. I will check them out.

Anonymous said...

I know a couple of these and will check them out like Welshcakes, you are a community of academic and very high thinking bloggers, it's wonderful to have such diversity.

James Higham said...

Glad to see that I don't make you think, Tiberius. I do tend to the trivial, I know, such as debating Bishop Berkeley's theory at this moment with Deogolwulf.

I can imagine your reply to this.

This, then, is the problem of lists - the exclusion factor - and why I feel Iain did us no favours in this respect. Doughty was a much better idea.

Gracchi said...

Course you make me think you bloody idiot- yours is one of the first blogs I look at every morning! I'd say your blog was one of the more interesting around on the internet- and I've linked to you in previous memes as I hope you remember.

As to lists I know what you mean there is always the problem of exclusion and that's why Blogpower is such a great idea. As to Doughty I have my own doubts about it- partly because the guests seem to come from a cadre of bloggers and partly also because its often only one kind of political discussion- I haven't seen much analysis on there- they had a really good interview with Peter Hennessy but they are also addicted to the second rate people like Claire Fox say. Their foreign policy analysis is also in my view very problematic- I'd like to see more experts on other regions and less of your theorists about every region. So I'm not sure about Doughty.

James Higham said...

That's an interesting take on Doughty. Have to thnk about that one again. Had to smile - I actually laughed out loud - to read the 'bloody idiot'. Just re-read my own comment and cringed. Ha, ha. Keep up the wonderful work, Mr. Gracchus.

Gracchi said...

Thanks James!

Jeremiah Jenne said...

Thanks for the nice words. Though being nominated by you does put me in a bind--I'll have to think of the next 5 most thoughtful blogs out there after yours.