I need to lower my standards enough to let out a few half-baked ideas.
If you read my last post (on the crime rate in Fairbanks), you may have left with the feeling that it was not the most thorough piece of argumentation you’d ever read. Frank Cox called it a “rough and ready first cut at analyzing the crime situation in the city and the borough.” That was fairly kind.
The causes of crime in an urban area are a topic that deserves quality research — and a topic for which a lot of quality data are probably available. What’s more, when I start trotting out the suggestion that crime is related to income and possibly race, I’d like to present a good case . Many of us may have that intuition or may have read some such statistics, but when it comes to the possible appearance of denigrating a class of people, I’d rather be cautious and thorough. My last post was neither.
However, by demanding the most thorough research and brilliantly crafted arguments for everything, I could completely paralyze myself. I already feel that I’m not posting enough. Instead of having few postings of spectacular scholarship, I would rather post often, on a wide variety of topics, and (with luck) initiate more discussions.
I’ll save my scholarly work for scholarly publications, cut a few intellectual corners where needed, and try just to get some ideas out there.