With no high-quality smackdowns of DeLong on offer, let us turn to Robert Lucas's extremely bizarre reaction to the Volcker Disinflation...
With no high-quality smackdowns of DeLong on offer, let us turn to Robert Lucas's extremely bizarre reaction to the Volcker Disinflation...
Should-Read: This piece by the interesting Geoffrey Pulham seems to start out non-optimally.
There is a difference between (1) true "AI" on the one hand and (2) successful voice/text interface to database search on the other. At the moment (2) is easy. And we should implement (2)—which requires that humans do a little bit of adjusting in order not to use "not", for figuring out within which superset of results any particular "not" is asking for the complement is genuinely hard, and does require true or nearly-true "AI".
Thus to solve Pulham's problem, all you have to do is ask two queries: (i) "Which UK papers are part of the Murdoch empire?"; (ii) "What are the major UK papers?"; take the complement of (i) within (ii) and you immediately get a completely serviceable and useful answer to your question.
That you need to do two rather than one query is because Google has not set itself up to produce short lists as possible answers to (ii) and (i), and then subtract (i) from (ii), and that the reason that it has not done that is a hard AI problem rather than the brute-force-and-massive-ignorance word-frequency-plus-internet-attention that is Google shtick.
But what amazes me is that Google can get so close—not that "true AI" is really hard.
And maybe that is Pelham's real point:
Geoffrey Pulham (2013): Why Are We Still Waiting for Natural Language Processing?: "Try typing this, or any question with roughly the same meaning, into the Google search box... http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2013/05/09/natural-language-processing/
Noah Smith: Noahpinion: Handwaving on health care: "There's a particular style of argument that some conservative economists use to dismiss calls for government intervention in markets:
- Step 1: Either assert or assume that free markets work best in general.
- Step 2: List the reasons why this particular market might be unusual.
- Step 3: Dismiss each reason with a combination of skeptical harumphing, handwaving, anecdotes, and/or informal evidence.
- Step 4: Conclude that this market should be free from government intervention.
In a recent rebuttal to a Greg Mankiw column on health care policy, John Cochrane displays this argumentation style in near-perfect form.
Ah. A correspondent informs me that he has John Cochrane's response to my claims that:
Could somebody at Hoover please do an intervention?
And if Hoover won't, could somebody at Stanford please do an intervention on Hoover?
Comment of the Day: Marc C.: Monday Smackdown: The Elementary Arithmetic of a Value-Added Tax (VAT): "Asked Cochrane if he would respond. [Cochrane wrote]:
No. The response is obvious and elementary. It's easy to calculate the VAT rate under various assumptions. Brad's insults, slanders, ad hominem attacks, and outright lies do not merit responses.
It would be nice if I could start off October with another real DeLong smackdown: an incisive critique of a place where my argument has been wrong, or at least pathetically incomplete and one-sided.
But it is not to be: the environment is just too target-rich.
Somebody who wishes me ill sends me a link to Paul Gigot and Gerry Baker's execrable Wall Street Journal, and provokes me into clicking it. It is John Cochrane from Stanford's Hoover Institution: claiming a hypothetical tax rate is 20%, when five minutes' thought gets 42.9% as the true number:
John Cochrane: Tax Consumption Through a VAT, and Voilà https://www.wsj.com/articles/tax-consumption-through-a-vat-and-voila-1504550331: "If the administration and Congress drop the income tax, it won’t be difficult to achieve 3% growth...
Must-Watch: Joshua Gans: Danny Kahneman on AI versus Humans: "At our AI conference last week, Nobel Laureate Danny Kahneman was commenting on a paper by Colin Camerer: https://digitopoly.org/2017/09/22/kahneman-on-ai-versus-humans/
Comment of the Day: JEC: "Any Community... Flourishes only When Our Members Feel Welcome and Safe...": "I see a couple of persistent misconceptions in this discussion... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/09/any-community-flourishes-only-when-our-members-feel-welcome-and-safe.html?cid=6a00e551f08003883401b7c922959a970b#comment-6a00e551f08003883401b7c922959a970b
Consider the 256 GB memory iPhone X: Implemented in vacuum tubes in 1957, the transistors in an iPhoneX alone would have:
Hoisted from Ten Years Ago: After World War I: Weber: Marxism, liberalism, and what we will here call "nationalism"—just to be polite... http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/09/lecture-notes-f.html
We read Norman Angell: We did not read Max Weber: nationalism as social-darwinist doctrine:
Should-Read: Eve Fairbanks: Can Your Best Friends Be Books?: "I, too, had book friends as a child, and at a time when making real friends could feel like too much to bear... http://lithub.com/can-your-best-friends-be-books/
If I were you, if I were trying to understand Washington, DC today, I would hold tight to four points:
About a month and a half ago I decided that there was really no place in any of my classes for my "what you really ought to know about doing economics" lecture http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/07/how-to-think-like-an-economist-if-that-is-you-wish-to.html: it would be either incomprehensible (because students would not understand it) or unnecessary (because students would already know it).
The Economics Department is responding to the current Berkeley budget crisis by enforcing a work speedup on our GSI section leaders
This is an opportunity and a challenge
Cosma Shalizi reminds me of the internet "data scientists are (good and empirically oriented) statisticians" discussion of 2011-12.
Let me say three things:
You should never use Excel to handle your data.
I don't know whether it is depressing or exhilarating to recognize that, for me as for Cosma, how often my reaction these days is: "I already wrote something incisive and very much worth reading about that—now to find it in my weblog archives..."
Increasingly, data management, analysis, and presentation are things that many more people need for their jobs than statistics departments can reasonably expect to funnel through their major programs. It's like in the middle ages: the number of people who needed to have a good, clear, legible-penmanship chancery hand vastly exceeded the number of professional calligraphers and illustrators. Data management, analysis, and presentation skills are, increasingly, the legible-penmanship chancery hand of the twenty-first century.
Weekend Reading: Paul Romer (2016): The Trouble with Macroeconomics https://paulromer.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/WP-Trouble.pdf: "Abstract: For more than three decades, macroeconomics has gone backwards. The treatment of identification now is no more credible than in the early 1970s but escapes challenge because it is so much more opaque. Macroeconomic theorists dismiss mere facts by feigning an obtuse ignorance about such simple assertions as 'tight monetary policy can cause a recession'. Their models attribute fluctuations in aggregate variables to imaginary causal forces that are not influenced by the action that any person takes. A parallel with string theory from physics hints at a general failure mode of science that is triggered when respect for highly regarded leaders evolves into a deference to authority that displaces objective fact from its position as the ultimate determinant of scientific truth.
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: I'm sorry for inflicting these on you. But you really do need to get a flavor of these transcripts if you are to understand the world we now live in, and pieces like this are the quickest way to get that:
Jonathan Chait: Australia’s PM Slowly Realizes Trump Is a Complete Idiot: "Trump in his private negotiations is every bit as mentally limited as he appears to be in public... http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/australias-pm-slowly-realizes-trump-is-a-complete-idiot.html
Should-Read: Cosma Shalizi (2006): Accents, Heritability, Measured IQ, the Flynn Effect, and Intelligence: ">Q: Would you put on your right-thinking left-liberal educated-in-Berkeley-and-Madison hat for a moment?... http://delong.typepad.com/egregious_moderation/2007/07/cosma-shalizi-a.html
The puzzle about just how and why the brain eater ate Clive Crook's brain—how it was that, starting about a decade ago, one of the most interesting (and intelligent) of the Tories simply lost his grip on reality—remains, to me at least, a mystery.
Here I am hoisting from one of the first full-blown signs of it in 2007.
A little background: By 2008 the brain-eating was overwhelming. For example we had Clive Crook on the "huge success" of the nomination of Sarah Palin—meaning, that is, that she was highly qualified to be Vice President and would attract lots of new votes to the McCain-Palin ticket:
Clive Crook (2008): Democrats must learn some respect: "The problem in my view is less Mr Obama and more the attitudes of the claque of official and unofficial supporters that surrounds him... https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2008/09/democrats-must-learn-some-respect/8803/
July 21, 2017 at 07:38 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Obama Administration, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science: Cognitive, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (1)
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Note: I will collect stuff relevant to this assignment desk here: http://www.bradford-delong.com/stream-the-road-to-xanaduthe-invisible-college.html
Assignment Desk: http://www.bradford-delong.com/assignment-desk.html
I am looking for somebody to write something to tell me what I should think—these days about website (re)design, and the assorted and related topics that I think of as "The Road to Xanadu" and "The Invisible College".
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any organization with a website that has not been redesigned in two years will find itself thinking about starting yet another website redesign process. Hence my throat clearing for http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/07/what-you-need-to-read-today-reading-reihan-salams-why-i-signed-up-for-obamacare-hoisted-from-my-archives.html yesterday and my hoisting of http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/07/should-read-well-its-been-two-more-years-ezra-klein-2015-i-have-sat-down-a-couple-of-times-to-write-up-what.html today...
Is it me? Or is it him?
I find an interesting link on Making Light http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/016593.html, follow it, immediately find that the introduction annoys me—gets my back up—and then I notice that it is by John McWhorter. Other people like McWhorter a lot: http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/016593.html#4335396.
But I read:
John McWhorter: English is not normal https://aeon.co/essays/why-is-english-so-weirdly-different-from-other-languages: "Hwæt, we gardena in geardagum þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon...
...does that really mean ‘So, we Spear-Danes have heard of the tribe-kings’ glory in days of yore’? Icelanders can still read similar stories written in the Old Norse ancestor of their language 1,000 years ago, and yet, to the untrained eye, Beowulf might as well be in Turkish...
And my immediate response is: the cards have been dealt from the bottom of the deck here.
So I took Sidney Coleman's wonderful 1994 lecture: Quantum Mechanics in Your Face!. And I grabbed the automatic Youtube subtitles from it, cleaned them up somewhat, and attached them to the video. But...
(Progress on this assignment, if any, will be tracked here...)
The first thing you need to know is that ZeroHedge http://zerohedge.com is a grift: the idea is to tell gullible people that the elites are hiding the truth from them and that only ZeroHedge dares tell the TRUTH!!—the first words I see on ZeroHedge right now are "Worst Crash In Our Lifetime Coming This Year Or Next". And if you scare your gullible readers enough, you can keep their eyeballs glued to the screen and sell them to advertisers—many of whom will be selling their own grifts to an audience already selected for being easy to grift: Gold. Physical gold. Kept in Singapore. For a small fee, of course. Also ammunition.
Hoisted from the Archives: Are Commenters on the Tulipmania Rational?: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds Weblogging http://www.bradford-delong.com/2013/10/are-commenters-on-the-tulipmania-rational-extraordinary-popular-delusions-and-the-madness-of-crowds-weblogging.html: Every once in a while someone is impelled to try to claim that one or the other of the more notorious bubbles in history was in fact not a bubble--that the market was in fact functioning efficiently, that asset prices were equal to fundamentals, that traders were behaving rationally given the information they had, and behaving rationally in their decisions to spend resources acquiring information, so that buyers and sellers were making investments that were good and appropriate from a rational ex ante perspective.
There is a big problem with this deluded enterprise.
The key seems to me to build intelligent machines that will assist workers in labor-intensive industries, rather than build intelligent machines that will eliminate workers in capital-intensive industries. The first is a clear win. The second can be a major loss if the things made in capital-intensive industries are close enough substitutes for the products of labor-intensive industries to greatly drop their value.
But what I have to say so far is limited.
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Donald Trump hires only the best people!
Richard R.J. Eskow: The Secret Republican History Of Sean Spicer’s Holocaust, In 7 Steps: "It’s possible to get carried away with outrage.... But... http://crooksandliars.com/2017/04/secret-republican-history-sean-spicer-s
This is an interesting, if an Aesopian, article by Olivier Blanchard...
Our age--meaning 2000-2020, and longer, but how far into the further future I do not know--is not an age of the Rise of the Robots.
It does not, primarily, see the replacement of human workers by information technology on a large scale, and the consequent generation of technological unemployment.
What it does see, primarily, are two different ongoing processes:
The extraordinary build-out of our global mobile communications infrastructure, the shift of people's leisure and work time toward making use of that infrastructure, and consequent large potential gains in human utility largely unconnected with increases in measured GDP or measured productivity.
A now fourteen years-long and continuing era of near-deflation and slack aggregate demand producing first a small and now a large chronic shortage of jobs.
But, as the very sharp Larry Mishel keeps pointing out with increasing frustration, ours is not the age of the Rise of the Robots.
: As Cosma Shalizi (2010) Says, "The Singularity Is in Our Past": Look at the bleeding edge of urban North Atlantic or East Asian civilization, and you see a world fundamentally unlike any human past. Hunting, gathering, farming, herding, spinning and weaving, cleaning, digging, smelting metal and shaping wood, assembling structures--all of the ‘in the sweate of thy face shalt thou eate bread’ things that typical humans have typically done since we became jumped-up monkeys on the East African veldt--are now the occupations of a small and dwindling proportion of humans.
Cosma Shalizi (2010): The Singularity in Our Past Light-Cone (November 28) http://bactra.org/weblog/699.html
March 15, 2017 at 02:54 PM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, History, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science: Cognitive, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (5)
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I still can barely believe that Kevin Hassett used a law professor and a philosopher to urge that CERN's LHC (a) might destroy the earth and so (b) needed to be stopped and shut down (c) using the only means available to the U.S.--(d) an airstrike on the Swiss-French border:
Hoisted from the Archives from 2010: American Enterprise Institute "Economist" of Mass Destruction Kevin Hassett Strikes Again (Republican War on Science Department): Carrying the Republican War on Science to previously unplumbed depths of human stupidity:
Live from the Whirlwind: Things I will never believe I understand: "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding: Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
Sean Carroll (2008): [Sean Carroll]: "The important distinction... is...
Ernest Gellner (1990): The Collapse of the Eastern European Marxist Faith
This is a passage from the 1990 Tanner Lectures series: Ernest Gellner (1990): The Civil and the Sacred analyzing the collapse of the Eastern European Marxist faith to which Vladimir Lenin had played St. Paul to Karl Marx as Jesus.
What is "civil society"? What does it do that is useful for a society?
What happens to a modern industrial economy if there is no "civil society"?
Why did the Eastern European Marxist belief system contain the idea that when it was in power it could survive without--indeed, needed to do away with--"civil society"?
What does Gellner mean by his claim that the Eastern European Marxist belief system was at bottom a middle class, a "bourgeois", idea--a reflection of the beliefs of the middle class in combination with their social and economic position?
Gellner divides really-existing socialism--the Eastern European Marxist faith in power--into five epochs: Origin, Terror, Thaw, Squalor, and Collapse. Why did Lenin's and Stalin's (and Mao's) rule-by-terror not weaken, but actually strengthen the belief system?
Most faiths survive empirical disconfirmation. Jesus Christ does not return while people who have known St. Paul are still alive. YHWH with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm does not raise up an Anointed One from the House of David to reestablish his and Solomon's kingdom. And yet the faiths thrive... Why was the Eastern European Marxist faith different from these others?
Gellner's analysis does not seem to apply at all to the vicissitudes of Marxism and the Communist Party in China--to "socialism with Chinese characteristics". I cannot ask you to provide answers as to why what Gellner lays out as the apparently-inescapable process of dissolution and decay followed by collapse of the Eastern European Marxist faith did not happen in China. But do think hard about it: understanding why the historical trajectories have been so different is one of the most important and most mysterious historical questions of our time.
Read not just the excerpted passage at http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/02/weekend-reading-from-ernest-gellner-1990-the-civil-and-the-sacred.html, but the whole Tanner Lecture at http://tannerlectures.utah.edu/_documents/a-to-z/g/Gellner_91.pdf!
From Ernest Gellner (1990): The Civil and the Sacred: "This... characterization of the south- easterly Muslim neighbor of Atlantic civilization... makes a neat contrast to the Marxist eastern one...
...there, we witness a virtually total erosion of faith, combined with a strong, in many cases passionate, yearning for Civil Society. In fact, the present vogue of the term originates precisely in the politico-intellectual life and turbulence of that region.
Question to Self: Are these the two best books on literature ever? If not these, what?:
Every time I start thinking about Thomas Jefferson, I get distracted by the family psychodrama—and by the plight of the Hemings family—and by the fact that TJ named one of his sons by Sally Hemings, born at the start of Jefferson's second term as president, "Madison".
I wonder what Jemmy Madison thought of that, and whether Jefferson told him personally that he had done so...
January 31, 2017 at 06:09 AM in Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science: Cognitive, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: (Wednesday) Economic History, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth | Permalink | Comments (6)
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For almost my entire adult life--since I was a sophomore, IIRC--I have thought that the key social theorist for our age is neither Marx nor Mill nor Toqueville nor Weber nor Durkheim, but rather John Maynard Keynes. Now I think, I am slowly swinging around to thinking that the key social theorist is Karl Polanyi. The problem is that Polanyi writes so damnably badly--a fault he shares with, among others, Hyman Minsky. Just as Charlie Kindleberger is a much better Minsky than Minsky is, we need a much better Polanyi than Polanyi...
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Paul Krugman: Things Can Only Get Worse: "If America had a parliamentary system, Donald Trump...
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Duncan Black: America's Worst Boss: "You sign up with the devil because you figure it'll be a great career move...
Barry Eichengreen (2011): Economic History and Economic Policy http://eml.berkeley.edu//~eichengr/EHA_Pres_Add_9-9-11.pdf
As you read, formulate your answers to the following questions:
What does Eichengreen think are the uses of history, as shown in the use of history in trying to understand the macroeconomic crisis that began in 2008?
What does Eichengreen think are the abuses of history, as shown in the use of history in trying to understand the macroeconomic crisis that began in 2008?
What rules and approaches does Eichengreen arrive it for future people trying to use history better?
Do you agree with his rules and approaches?
Trevon Logan (2015): A Time (Not) Apart: A Lesson in Economic History from Cotton Picking Books
I--that is, Brad DeLong, the lecturer--am an economist. Trevon Logan is an economist too. We focus on numbers: prices and quantities, incomes and expenditures, productivity and preferences. In our view, the economy is overwhelmingly what you get out of it for what you give up, and what the alternative options are. Here in his presidential address Trevon Logan argues that that economists' approach misses a good part--half? more than half?--of what is really going on and what is really important. Do you think he is right?
Think about this during the course. Would you feel comfortable answering a question on the final exam about how taking Trevon Logan seriously ought to have led me to teach a different course? There may well be such a question...
Trevon ends his article with: "It is relatively easy to count up the pounds of cotton picked per person per day, but much harder to face the reality of what that calculation means to those whose hands picked that cotton. Economic history requires that we face that reality.... There are lived experiences beneath the data, after all, and there are lessons beyond what is recorded in quantitative sources which may be far more valuable to our empirical knowledge. If we are to tell the lessons of economic history we have to be certain that we are telling all of it." Numbers are required to understand whether anecdotes are typical or exceptional. Anecdotes are required to learn what numbers mean. I assigned this paper primarily because I want you to take it to heart. I want you, throughout this course, to remember it and be constantly asking yourselves "what do these numbers mean?"
Richard Feynman: Math and Science: "I’m going to describe to you how Nature is—and if you don’t like it, that’s going to get in the way of your understanding it...
...It’s a problem that physicists have learned to deal with: They’ve learned to realize that whether they like a theory or they don’t like a theory is not the essential question. Rather, it is whether or not the theory gives predictions that agree with experiment. It is not a question of whether a theory is philosophically delightful, or easy to understand, or perfectly reasonable from the point of view of common sense. The theory of quantum electrodynamics describes Nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And it agrees fully with experiment. So I hope you can accept Nature as She is—absurd.
George Orwell (1946): In Front of Your Nose: "Many recent statements in the press have declared...
...that it is almost, if not quite, impossible for us to mine as much coal as we need for home and export purposes, because of the impossibility of inducing a sufficient number of miners to remain in the pits. One set of figures which I saw last week estimated the annual ‘wastage’ of mine workers at 60,000 and the annual intake of new workers at 10,000. Simultaneously with this—and sometimes in the same column of the same paper—there have been statements that it would be undesirable to make use of Poles or Germans because this might lead to unemployment in the coal industry. The two utterances do not always come from the same sources, but there must certainly be many people who are capable of holding these totally contradictory ideas in their heads at a single moment.
Comment of the Day: James: Nancy Letourneau: Republican Confusion Over Obamacare Repeal: "Hoisted from 2012 http://www.bradford-delong.com/2012/10/john-podhoretz-badly-needs-some-better-friends-than-fred-barnes.html...
...But there is something serious to be written here about Orwell, "1984", and the ability of the Inner Party to keep its understanding of the world separate from the propaganda they feed to the Outer Party and to the proles.
I always assumed they knew this and were just trying to figure out who to blame when they didn't pass a plan.
January 11, 2017 at 04:04 PM in Information: Better Press Corps/Journamalism, Moral Responsibility, Obama Administration, Politics, Science: Cognitive, Streams: (Monday) Smackdown Watch, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Comment of the Day, Streams: Cycle | Permalink | Comments (2)
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Must-Read: Time to go back to Sigmund Freud: "Mob Psychology and I-Analysis", or perhaps to Karl Schmitt. The politics of the public sphere and the loyal opposition--the politics that emerged in Britain after the shock of the seventeenth-century Civil War followed by the Commonwealth of the Saints. That politics and public sphere is one of the division of resources and the discernment of the best path for a society. For Karl Schmitt, by contrast, politics was the identification of enemies and then the conquest and punishment of them. The first requires a certain farsightedness, and overlapping coalitions on different issues: your enemy on the question of the authority of the Duke of York becomes your friend on the question of Titus Oates and somebody you seek to persuade on the question of military subsidies to the King of Prussia. The second requires short-sightedness plus coalitions based not on shifting interests but on stable identity: climate change must be a hoax because the libtards worry about it, and ObamaCare must be a disaster because it was imposed on us by the Kenyan Muslim Socialist.
Paul Krugman: @paulkrugman on Twitter: "The whole Streep-Trump thing reminds me of a theme that has been running through my thoughts a lot lately -- namely, the death of honor...
For thirty-five years the market has been selecting for optimistic and enthusiastic bond bulls.
Sidney Coleman (1994): Quantum Mechanics in Your Face: "The problem is not the interpretation of quantum mechanics. That is getting it backward. The problem is the interpretation of classical mechanics...":
Daniel Kahneman et al.: Noise: How to Overcome the High, Hidden Cost of Inconsistent Decision Making: "At a global financial services firm we worked with, a longtime customer accidentally submitted the same application file to two offices...
Weekend Reading: John Hempton: When Do You Average Down?: "Warren Buffett is famously fond of "averaging down"...
Live from Cyberspace: Noah Smith: On Twitter: "The history of Twitter in three tweets..."
A correspondent reminds me of [a moment] almost four years ago that powerfully drove home to me how low the intellectual standards are on the American right. This will be very important to remember over the next four years--especially since the Trumpists are not the brightest of the lights on the American right as it stands today, never mind how it stood before the ascendancy of George W. Bush fifteen years ago, and never never mind how it stood before the ascendancy of Newt Gingrich twenty-five years ago.
It takes some wind-up, however. Let's start with the (usually) very sharp Thomas Nagel:
Thomas Nagel (2012): Mind and Cosmos: "If I decide, when the sun rises on my right, that I must be driving north instead of south...
[a moment: http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/03/why-oh-why-cant-we-have-a-better-press-corps-andrew-ferguson-of-the-weekly-standard-edition.html
Looking Forward to Four Years During Which Most if Not All of America's Potential for Human Progress Is Likely to Be Wasted
With each passing day Donald Trump looks more and more like Silvio Berlusconi: bunga-bunga governance, with a number of unlikely and unforeseen disasters and a major drag on the country--except in states where his policies are neutralized.
Nevertheless, remember: WE ARE WITH HER!
The purpose of this weblog is to be the best possible portal into what I am thinking, what I am reading, what I think about what I am reading, and what other smart people think about what I am reading...
"Bring expertise, bring a willingness to learn, bring good humor, bring a desire to improve the world—and also bring a low tolerance for lies and bullshit..." — Brad DeLong
"I have never subscribed to the notion that someone can unilaterally impose an obligation of confidentiality onto me simply by sending me an unsolicited letter—or an email..." — Patrick Nielsen Hayden
"I can safely say that I have learned more than I ever would have imagined doing this.... I also have a much better sense of how the public views what we do. Every economist should have to sell ideas to the public once in awhile and listen to what they say. There's a lot to learn..." — Mark Thoma
"Tone, engagement, cooperation, taking an interest in what others are saying, how the other commenters are reacting, the overall health of the conversation, and whether you're being a bore..." — Teresa Nielsen Hayden
"With the arrival of Web logging... my invisible college is paradise squared, for an academic at least. Plus, web logging is an excellent procrastination tool.... Plus, every legitimate economist who has worked in government has left swearing to do everything possible to raise the level of debate and to communicate with a mass audience.... Web logging is a promising way to do that..." — Brad DeLong
"Blogs are an outlet for unexpurgated, unreviewed, and occasionally unprofessional musings.... At Chicago, I found that some of my colleagues overestimated the time and effort I put into my blog—which led them to overestimate lost opportunities for scholarship. Other colleagues maintained that they never read blogs—and yet, without fail, they come into my office once every two weeks to talk about a post of mine..." — Daniel Drezner
"I now know it is a rising, not a setting, sun" --Benjamin Franklin, 1787
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