Friday, November 10, 2006

No offence?

Well well, I hadn’t anticipated that I was lighting a fuse with my FT article on economics. There has been more follow-up in the FT itself – Paul Ormerod wrote a very nice Comment which was partly something of a response to some of the letters claiming that economics ain’t like that any more. Paul’s point is that yes, perhaps academic economics has moved on in many ways (I should have been more explicit about that myself), but the stuff that students are taught is still very much rooted in the old tradition. And these are people who graduate and then presumably go into business and politics believing that that is what economics is about – which is precisely my concern. This squares with what Robert Hunter Wade, a professor at LSE, says in his letter to the FT about how the simplistic picture of market efficiency is what tends to filter down to policy makers. All this leaves me thinking that it’s precisely for this reason that the simple picture of rational maximizers, equilibrium and market efficiency is perhaps a rather dangerous place to start from – sure, academic economists often (even generally) then move beyond it, but not everyone who draws on economic theory has learnt it beyond graduate level.

Much of the discussion prompted by my article has taken place in the blogs, however. Some of those I’ve spotted are here and here and here and here. A lot of the debate seems to focus on how stupid and misinformed my article was (although I can’t help thinking that there wouldn’t be quite so much discussion if it was that easy). I decided to take up the challenge on Dave Altig’s blog, which has been an instructive experience. At first I was taken aback by the aggression of the discourse, which was something I’ve just not experienced in the natural sciences. I don’t know if this is something specific to the economics world, or to the blogosphere generally, but it was not a pleasant discovery. However, I’m very grateful that Dave Altig has made some very gracious and polite comments that have cooled the tone and facilitated a far more constructive exchange. I was at fault here too, taking initially a more gung-ho tone than I needed to. (I think I was probably riled by some comments I received separately from an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, which had a character I’d not experienced since the school playground.) It seems also that my FT piece was misread by some as being more insulting to economists than I’d intended – if that’s the impression I gave, then I regret it. I do think one sometimes needs to be provocative in order to spark a discussion, but I’d hoped to do that without seeming to jeer or ridicule.

I can’t possibly summarize all the blogging discussion; it’s there if you’re interested. But the discussion on Dave Altig’s site has been very useful for me, helping me to sharpen what it is I want to say while pointing to some issues that I need to go away and consider. His post of 9 November gives particularly valuable food for thought; thank you Dave.


postblogger said...

Yup, aggression is fairly common in blogland. Have you read many comments in Pharyngula recently, for example? And if you're particularly interested in schadenfreude, here's a fine selection of blogosphere etiquette, in which the author of a mistaken Navier-Stokes solution answers her critics. Very but-for-the-grace-of-God in some places...

Anonymous said...

歐美a免費線上看,熊貓貼圖區,ec成人,聊天室080,aaa片免費看短片,dodo豆豆聊天室,一對一電話視訊聊天,自拍圖片集,走光露點,123456免費電影,本土自拍,美女裸體寫真,影片轉檔程式,成人視訊聊天,貼圖俱樂部,辣妹自拍影片,自拍電影免費下載,電話辣妹視訊,情色自拍貼圖,卡通做愛影片下載,日本辣妹自拍全裸,美女裸體模特兒,showlive影音聊天網,日本美女寫真,色情網,台灣自拍貼圖,情色貼圖貼片,百分百成人圖片 ,情色網站,a片網站,ukiss聊天室,卡通成人網,3級女星寫真,080 苗栗人聊天室,成人情色小說,免費成人片觀賞,

傑克論壇,維納斯成人用品,免費漫畫,內衣廣告美女,免費成人影城,a漫,國中女孩寫真自拍照片,ut男同志聊天室,女優,網友自拍,aa片免費看影片,玩美女人短片試看片,草莓論壇,kiss911貼圖片區,免費電影,免費成人,歐美 性感 美女 桌布,視訊交友高雄網,工藤靜香寫真集,金瓶梅免費影片,成人圖片 ,女明星裸體寫真,台灣處女貼圖貼片區,成人小遊戲,布蘭妮貼圖片區,美女視訊聊天,免費情色卡通短片,免費av18禁影片,小高聊天室,小老鼠論壇,免費a長片線上看,真愛love777聊天室,聊天ukiss,情色自拍貼圖,寵物女孩自拍網,免費a片下載,日本情色寫真,美女內衣秀,色情網,

Anonymous said...


女優王國,免費無碼a片,0800a片區,免費線上遊戲,無名正妹牆,成人圖片,寫真美女,av1688影音娛樂網,dodo豆豆聊天室,網拍模特兒,成人文學,免費試看a片,a片免費看,成人情色小說,美腿絲襪,影片下載,美女a片,人體寫真模特兒,熊貓成人貼,kiss情色,美女遊戲區,104 貼圖區,線上看,aaa片免費看影片,天堂情色,躺伯虎聊天室,洪爺情色網,kiss情色網,貼影區,雄貓貼圖,080苗栗人聊天室,都都成人站,尋夢園聊天室,a片線上觀看,無碼影片,情慾自拍,免費成人片,影音城論壇,情色成人,最新免費線上遊戲,a383影音城,美腿,色情寫真,xxx383成人視訊,視訊交友90739,av女優影片,