Fascinating study of blog ecology (PDF) via Kevin Drum. No thoughts, but here's a language nit: "The denser linking pattern of conservatives begged the question of whether the conservative bloggers had a more uniform voice than the liberal ones did." Philosophers are always bothered by this usage. We prefer to reserve 'beg the question' for venerable 'presuppose your conclusion'. But there is considerable pressure in favor of the shift. Not only is it clear how the phrase could mean what these authors mean by it, but 'x demands that we ask y' is just plain something you often want to say. And 'begs the question' is really better than 'x demands that we ask y'. "The denser linking pattern of conservatives demands that we ask whether the conservative bloggers had a more uniform voice than the liberal ones did." That makes it sound like I'm too worked up, like our little puzzle has just gotta vault to the front of the line. But why doesn't 'begging' sound irrelevantly fawning? Probably because logicians have pawed all the connotations off it. Now that it's worn smooth and servicable, all these folks want to take it from us, damnit. Should I give in? Worry about something important? What do you think?