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Some guy thinking about thinking about thinking about an idea. Drawing by Brady Dale, copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

The first part of starting in on something new


So I'm working on a new project.

I'm not far enough along to say what it is. And I'm definitely not far enough to have any idea what I'm talking about when I'm trying to talk about it. But I am far enough along to know that I have found a thing worth working on.

So here's the interesting question: at what point are you ready to start blogging intelligently about a topic?

I mean, I think the modern answer would be: as soon as you want! Who cares? But that's not a good faith answer. That's an answer that's born of the American inclination to always affirm anything anyone says they want to do.

<<<In fact, let's be honest: the other modern answer is — never! No one should blog.>>>

We all know that there's plenty of stories online of the horde piling onto anyone who tried to comment knowledgeably on a thing that they don't understand yet. At the same time, there's no particular problem, usually, with a n00b beginning o express their worldview when they've started to get somewhere.

The hard part is how do you tell when you've started to get somewhere?

This is a thing that I should understand by now. The whole job of a journalist and of an activist is to dive into some issue and poke around until you reach some level of expertise. The goal in each is to talk publicly and knowledgeably about something.

So I've gone from the state of ignorant to well-informed any number of times, and it's hard to really put the story back together looking back. It always feels like I always had some level of expertise.

And yet there's this moment each time where you realize that you know enough to talk about something without being a complete moron. But it always seems at the beginning like that moment is unbelievably far away.

—Brady Dale
May 29, 2019

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