Eugene writes about why he has no responsibility to blog about the Plame affair, and I totally understand where he's coming from.

If I ran the Institute for Reporting Governmental Scandals, which raised funds and paid me a handsome salary on the premise that it evenhandedly reported governmental scandals, then you might well tell me "Taxi! Take me to the Valerie Plame Affair," and I might feel a responsibility to say "Yes, sir, that'll be $2.40/mile." But the blog isn't that Institute, and it isn't my paid job -- governmental scandals aren't even my main area of hobby specialty (I think I've covered very few of them, in part because they require one to keep up with a lot of facts and commentaries, both the originally reported ones and the new items that are written every day, often on subjects that don't interest me, and with the pretty high standard of care needed when one is throwing around accusations of criminality). So, no, I don't feel responsible to give you a lift wherever you want to go just because you insist on it.

Remember, people are suggesting that various people who blog for fun have a responsibility not just to express their views on a subject, but to invest the considerable time and effort needed to acquire well-informed views on the subject, and to maintain them as the story develops, and also to risk embarrassment if it turns out that their judgment isn't well-informed enough and their accusations prove unfounded. No, thanks. That kind of socially pressured blogging isn't what I signed up for.

That's why I don't write much about artificial intelligence or computer science. When I do, I have to get it right, because that's my field of expertise. But the pressure to get it right and say something important and interesting makes blogging feel like work. That's not to say that I don't enjoy my work -- I do -- but that's not what I write about here.

The title of this blog is Master of None, and one of the two meanings behind it is that I make very little claim to know what I'm talking about. That's not to say I don't think I'm generally right, or that I don't think my opinions are reasonable and justified, it just means that I am not an expert about most of the things I write about. I'll argue with you about our disagreements, but I acknowledge that I'm not an authority on many of these topics (despite the fact that I play one on TV).

If I wrote about my ongoing efforts to adapt the backpropagation through time learning algorithm to a continuous, non-discrete input stream, and some moron showed up and started calling me a "tool" in the comments, then I'd have to defend myself and my work, and I'd have to make sure I was right. As long as I stick to writing about the application of fictional morality systems to international relations, it's all just fun and games.

I'm still right, of course, but I couldn't care less if you want to wallow in ignorance by disagreeing with me.

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