As you may recall, the psychiatrist and blogger who uses the pseudonym “Scott Alexander” at his prodigious SlateStarCodex blog (prodigious both in verbose length but also in insight and thoughtfulness), was going to be doxxed by the New York Times, which is bad form in general and flagrantly wrong in the case of a psychiatrist dealing with genuinely crazy people. He protested loudly and the doxxing article has never appeared yet.
Back in September, Scott wrote:
At this point I think maintaining anonymity is a losing battle. So I am gradually reworking my life to be compatible with the sort of publicity that circumstances seem to be forcing on me. I had a talk with my employer and we came to a mutual agreement that I would gradually transition away from working there. At some point, I may start my own private practice, where I’m my own boss and where I can focus on medication management – and not the kinds of psychotherapy that I’m most worried are ethically incompatible with being a public figure.
As I pointed out back in 2015 in “Moneyball for Medicine, Anyone?“, Scott has the skill set to become the Bill James of psychiatric medicines. There is a lot of data available to be analyzed that could help psychiatrists guess faster which, say, anti-depression medicines are more likely to work for different individuals, but there’s no culture of studying these numbers the way America has a huge culture of high IQ guys studying baseball statistics.
I’m trying to do all of this maximally slowly and carefully and in a way that won’t cause undue burden to any of my patients, and it’s taking a long time to figure out.
I’m also talking to Substack about moving to their blogging platform. While part of me wants to jump right back into blogging here and pretend nothing ever happened, the Substack option has grown on me. I think I’d feel safer as part of a big group that specifically promises to defend their bloggers when needed. And also, I’d feel safer with a lot of diverse income streams, and Substack has made me an extremely generous offer. Many people gave me good advice about how I could monetize my blog without Substack – I took these suggestions very seriously, and without violating a confidentiality agreement all I can answer is that Substack’s offer was extremely generous.