Saturday, 1 November 2003

Rhetorical questions

Someone needs to tell Cori Dauber, current guest blogger over at the Volokh Conspiracy, to take it easy on the rhetorical questions.

This seven sentence post contains five rhetorical questions. And this twelve sentence post contains seven rhetorical questions.

I’m not saying there’s never a place for rhetorical questions, but, like exclamation points and all-caps they should be used very sparingly.

Overall, Cori’s blogging style gives me the impression that he’s about to blow an artery. So it doesn’t surprise me that he links to Little Green Footballs here, in a post that consists of four rhetorical questions out of eight sentences.

Sorry Eugene, this guy is your worst guest blogger since Clayton Cramer.

Sunday, 2 November 2003

Cori, Clayton, and Fisk

Brock noted Cori Dauber’s inauspicious start at the Conspiracy yesterday, and I agree that her blogging has been a bit uneven. However, her critique of the San Francisco Chronicle’s fawning piece on Robert Fisk is spot-on. But I think the key paragraph in the article is on Fisk’s attitude toward objective reporting:

Fisk doesn’t believe in the concept, calling it a specious idea that, as practiced by American reporters, produces dull and predictable writing weighed down by obfuscating comments from official government sources.

Of course, a lot of critics of the American media—on both the left and right—would argue that American reporters don’t practice “objective reporting” either.

As for Brock’s contention that Dauber is worse than Clayton Cramer, I think that’s about like contending that Gerhard Schröder is the worst German leader since Adolph Hitler—it may be objectively true, especially if you consider that Germany as a united country has only had three leaders since Hitler—Schröder, Helmut Kohl, and Admiral Karl Dönitz, the last of whom did virtually nothing except surrender to the allies, but the comparison is still invalid. Besides, Cramer, unlike Dauber, was intended as a permanent addition to the Conspiracy; apparently Eugene was under the mistaken impression that Cramer would drop his obsession with homosexuals when blogging before a wider audience.

Tuesday, 4 November 2003

Cori Dauber roundup

It seems that Cori Dauber has rapidly become everyone’s least favorite Volokh Conspirator. In addition to my criticism of her excessive use of rhetorical questions, here’s what other bloggers are saying about her:

Okay, that last quote is taken out of context. But why let context get in the way of a good snark?

And damning with faint praise, Will Baude agrees with Chris that Cori Dauber is not as bad as Clayton Cramer was. Will has also done us the favor of adding a link to the Dauber-free version of the Volokh Conspiracy to the Crescat blogroll, listed as "Purer Volokh".

I should make that "almost everyone's least favorite Volokh Conspirator." Lest it seem like everyone hates Prof. Dauber’s blogging, I note that Glenn Reynolds likes her. Heh.

And just to clear up a bit of confusion on the part and Will Baude and me, this picture indicates that Prof. Dauber is in fact a woman.

[Chris here: I’d add “Purer Volokh” to the blogroll, but it would end up off in Den Beste-land along with the people who don’t do pings. So our readers will just have to deal with Cori, or bookmark the link above.]

Monday, 23 February 2004

Trackbacks at Volokh

The Volokh Conspiracy has added trackback links, courtesy of Technorati.

It’s about time. No matter how much I dislike some of the individual conspirators (or guest conspirators), the Volokh Conspiracy remains one of my favorite blogs. And trackback links are to me the innovation that sets blogging apart from other media. I frequently find that following trackback links is more enlightening than the forward links that bloggers themselves provide, and it's a great way to find blogs that you didn't know about before. For some reason, I'm much more likely to enjoy a previously unknown Blog B that comments on Blog A, which I already read and enjoy, than I am to enjoy an unknown Blog C that Blog A comments on.