Saturday, August 01, 2009

Blogging "Self-Nudge"

I recently finished reading Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's book Nudge. It concerns what the author's call "libertarian paternalism" and focuses on ways that people can be conditioned towards certain behaviors without compromising their freedom or incurring unwieldy costs. It was a very good, provocative book. I was reading it as part of an online book club that I'm a part of called the "Republicrat Reading Group." We're a small group of mixed political and ideological leanings and we read works of non-fiction on contemporary topics that will hopefully expose us to arguments and perspectives that we wouldn't normally gravitate towards on our own. "Nudge" was our first book and we are now in the process of discussing the book, though the discussion is taking its time, which is perfectly fine.

In any case, the premise of the book has encouraged me to try a little "Nudge" experiment that will hopefully get me blogging more regularly. And I want my readers (all five of you!) to try to help nudge me. Thanks to the helpful suggestions of Thaler & Sunstein, here's what I propose to do.

1. I will average at least one blog posting per day tallied on the last day of each month. In other words, at the end of each month, I need to have made 30 or 31 blog posts for the month (28 or 29 for February). There are no conditions on the posts. They can be as short or as long as I want them to be.
2. Only up to three posts per day count. If I make more than three postings in one day, they are to be considered lagniappe and do not count towards the monthly total. In this way, I cannot wait until the last day of the month and make all the posts then.
3. If, at the end of each month, I do not meet the goal of averaging one posting per day for that month, I will contribute a dollar amount equal to the number of days in that month either to the Republican National Committee, SarahPac, or the David Vitter campaign. If, God forbid, it should come to that, I will post on this blog sometime over the subsequent month whatever receipt of my donation that I receive.
4. If I fail to live up this promise, there is nothing anyone can do about it. But I will lose face with anyone who follows my challenge. And I wouldn't want that to happen.
5. As anyone familiar with's program knows, a blogger can alter posting dates. I promise not to do so. And I encourage anyone to verify this promise by visiting my blog and keeping regular track of my blog postings.
6. Finally, I can end this arrangement at any time by announcing my intention to do so in a blog posting. If I make such an announcement in a particular month, it applies only to subsequent months. In other words, I must meet my obligations for the month in which I announce the end of the arrangement. For example, if I announce my intention to quit the arrangement on September 30, 2009, then I am off the hook for subsequent months starting with October, 2009. But if I announce my intention to quit the arrangement on October 1, 2009, I am bound to uphold the arrangement for the month of October, 2009.

There you have it. As of today, August 1, 2009, I commit to this arrangement. A little blogging "self nudge" so to speak. And this posting counts as the first of the month. I have 30 more to go! Wish me luck and keep me honest!

1 comment:

jkim said...

Now, I wonder, Jimmy, if a month long commitment is not a big enough nudge... Have you considered a three-month stint? Imagine how much money SarahPac could get over a quarter of a year!?