Right. Any person undertaking to write informed work about all those topics is ambitious. In these days of social media, they're also doing something unthinkable. They're refusing to contain themselves to a brand.
When I started writing online, every piece of advice I received told me to specialize. Pick my topic. Stick with it. Regular content even if it was mostly links. Make sure people know what they're getting when they come to me. Looking around at my peers, I have to admit that the advice looks useful. Specializing is a great branding strategy.
It's not a great writing strategy. At least, it doesn't work for me. I'm not a specialist by training or by temperament. I'm a generalist. I want to write about all the topics that interest me, and I want to explore the places all these topics intersect. I want my politics to be informed by science. I want to write about art through a lens of politics. I want to commit art when I write about sex.
That can make me a hard sell to people looking for predictability. If you're here, though, I don't think you're looking for predictability. You're here because something I wrote made you say, "Hmm. I hadn't thought of it from quite that angle." That's what you want more of, whatever the topic happens to be.
I can do more of that with your support. I can spend more time chasing down alleys that might be blind or might end in a small ray of sunshine. I can afford to take the time to apply different lenses to a problem until I find one that brings it into sharper focus. I can consume and study broadly and bring you back the small gems I find among it all.
Is that a brand? I don't care. It's who I am and what I do. Thank you for helping me do it.
If you want to sample my approach, here are a few topics I've covered:
- The Politics of the Null Hypothesis
- Why We Marry, Part I: The Ceremony and Part II: The State
- The Failure Mode of Naked
- Let's Stop Exercising Our Gender Anxieties on the Backs of Trans People
- What Is Race Good For?
- Family Matters: How Geek Communities Turn Dysfunctional