PEA Soup was founded as a place where people would try out new ideas, posting about an idea for a paper and not a completed, fully armored, paper. We don’t want to discourage discussion of completed work. Indeed, we have partnered with many great journals, whose recently published papers are commented on and discussed here at quite a sophisticated level. We love those discussions. But we miss and feel the need to especially encourage the more half-assed posts about papers that are still just a twinkle in the author’s eye.
It seems clear that three things help explain the drying up of the unguarded, exploratory posts that used to be the Soup’s bread and butter, if you will. First, Facebook happened. Now people informally try out ideas with their friends on Facebook and this, we fear, feels like a more low stakes way of testing the waters. Second, our friends (and our friends of friends) who have joined PEA Soup have aged and become more decrepit, er, we mean reputable. And perhaps, as a result, a little less adventurous and willing to try out publicly ideas that have not been vetted by those we let see our warts. For a while now we have resisted adding new contributors out of fear that there would be too much posting. We have now decided that that fear was misguided and will again be open to inviting new contributors. Third, Soup itself has perhaps become somewhat reputable and now feels like a more high-stakes venue to post on than it once did. Consequently, younger folks likely feel rather intimidated about posting what they view as less-than-stellar ideas or comments.