We spent the last week trying to think of a name for this blog. Because Sandeep has bad taste lots of really good names were rejected and we in the end settled for an ok but not great name, Cheap Talk.

This blog-christening process points out an important asymmetry in the creative process. It is much easier to think up interesting names for *some* blog than it is to think up names for this particular blog and these particular bloggers.

For example, some bloggers, somewhere in the blogosphere would love the name “Vapor Mill.” It’s a pun on “Paper Mill” which, especially for academics, suggests productivity. But “Paper” is replaced by “Vapor” which turns it into a symbol for fanciful and ultimately useless ideas.

But those bloggers are almost surely not going to think of that phrase if they just sit down and search their brains. I am not saying it takes great creativity to come up with it. Its almost purely accidental. But that accident happened to me and not to them and unless the name finds them there is lost welfare.

Yes the welfare loss is tiny but every time you have a specific purpose that you are looking for an idea to fit just right you come up with many good ideas that don’t quite fit your specific purpose but would be really great for somebody else’s purpose and each time a valuable thing just disappears. It adds up.

I guess its an argument for the space program and all of the resulting Tang that comes with it.

Hey, that’s a great name for a blog!:  Tang.

(appendix: I hate the word blogosphere and I can’t believe that I only lasted one post in my short blogging career before I had to use it.)