post by Bill Gardner
I have the sense that the health blog conversation is in a doldrums. After the struggles of 2009 and 2010, the ball is in the Supreme Court, as it were. Blogging about health seems less urgent, perhaps because I do not expect those ladies and gentlemen to change their views based on whatever data I can assemble in the next month.
Is persuading the decision makers ever the point of blogging? Perhaps it is for Krugman. For the rest of us, it is just an opportunity to participate in the political discourse, and if possible to inform it with science. This is not a new idea. Pericles again:
We alone regard a man who takes no interest in public affairs, not as a harmless; but as a useless character… The great impediment to action is, in our opinion, not discussion, but the want of that knowledge which is gained by discussion preparatory to action.
Blogging is changing the world in ways that we cannot easily measure. Consider how women used to learn to mother. You consulted your mother / grandmother / aunt / sister, possibly your priest, or read a book by an elderly male pediatrician. Now there are tens of thousands of talented peers writing everyday about what marriage and family mean. Culture matters, for health as much as family, and we can shape it.