Here is a rough paraphrase of my words yesterday to one of my doctoral students:
"It is not I, Tyler Cowen, your doctoral advisor, who will give you the most aid on this dissertation. It is the Phantom Tyler Cowen inside your head. You have a model of me, a pretty good one, and you know what I will object to and what will delight me. The Phantom Tyler Cowen objects, in your head, before the real Tyler Cowen has much of a chance.
That is why the real Tyler Cowen is sometimes so silent."