Daily Archives: 03/19/2011

I wonder what DeLong makes of Krugman's reading habits


When I mentioned offhandedly that I don’t read Kos or Brad DeLong, DeLong ripped me a new one with his typical grace:

Let me say that in my view this is a serious mistake: reading people with whom one does not already agree is, after all, the only way one can can become smarter. Otherwise one becomes stupider every day.

Of course, it’s not my disagreements with him that keeps me from reading DeLong. I read and regularly link lots of left and left-leaning blogs: Crooked Timber, Charles Stross, Kevin Drum, The Reality Based Community, Balkinization, and a bunch of law professor collective blogs most of whose authors lean left.

I don’t read Delong because it’s not possible to get smarter by reading the smarmy vitriol pumped out by such a completely hateful person. Recall my post "a discussion with the likes of Brad DeLong is not productive"?

I figured that out a long time ago. But now my friends Larry Ribstein, Jonathan Adler, JW Verret, and Todd Henderson have figured it out too. I won’t bother you with the merits of the argument, because you can’t have an argument–let alone a conversation–with someone with Delong’s consistent pattern of, as Adler puts it, "selective editing" and misrepresenting his opponent’s positions. To quote Adler again, "Yes, this is the same Professor DeLong who repeats baseless accusations against other academics and then, when asked to substantiate his charges, selectively edits his comment threads and then dissembles about said editing when called on it."

I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who said "I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."

Hence, I agree with Larry that "a discussion with the likes of Brad DeLong is not productive." With luck, this’ll be the last time his toxic style of intellectual thuggery and execrable personality will be mentioned in these pages.

I’m prompted to make an exception to my non-DeLong policy, however, by a recent post from the electronic pen of his buddy Paul Krugman:

Some have asked if there aren’t conservative sites I read regularly. Well, no. I will read anything I’ve been informed about that’s either interesting or revealing; but I don’t know of any economics or politics sites on that side that regularly provide analysis or information I need to take seriously. I know we’re supposed to pretend that both sides always have a point; but the truth is that most of the time they don’t. The parties are not equally irresponsible; Rachel Maddow isn’t Glenn Beck; and a conservative blog, almost by definition, is a blog written by someone who chooses not to notice that asymmetry. And life is short …

I take it then that DeLong will agree with me that Krugman is geting "stupider every day"?

In any case, confident that he’ll soon be posting something about how I’m an idiot, I now return this blog to its usual status as a DeLong-free zone.

I wonder what DeLong makes of Krugman’s reading habits
Steve Bainbridge
Thu, 10 Mar 2011 20:03:36 GMT


Chris Hedges the Prophet on Print Culture Turning to Image Culture (via Prometheus Unbound)

The proposition is that writing is dead, or quickly dying. There’s actually a lot of the written word to plow though now with blog and such. The writing elite is shrinking, but I don’t think writing is dead. Not yet anyway.

Former New York Times war correspondent, Chris Hedges, has, over the past couple of years, taken on the mantle of a secular prophet—an emperor has no clothes truthteller—writing scathing (and I think powerful) books and essays documenting the messes that we find ourselves in and our ridiculous responses to them. Here he is talking about America's cultural shift from being a print-based culture to an image-based culture: [youtube=http://www.youtub … Read More

via Prometheus Unbound

Ann Althouse: “I remember when I was growing up, the rule was, ‘Don’t call anyone after 10 p.m.’Now the rule is, Don’t call anyone. Ever.”

Times change.

Telephoning is over.

blog advertising blog advertising

"I remember when I was growing up, the rule was, ‘Don’t call anyone after 10 p.m.’ … Now the rule is, ‘Don’t call anyone. Ever.’"
annalthouse@gmail.com (Ann Althouse)
Sat, 19 Mar 2011 02:41:12 GMT

Reality TV

I’ve read the SAT had a question on reality shows and their implications. This wasn’t presented in a favorable light.

Maybe a more challenging essay topic could have been chosen, but I think a smart kid should be able to say something insightful with broader implications than saying:  "I really hate Billy on survivor"  (I know there’s no Billy.  I’ve never watched Survivor or more than 5 or 10 episodes of reality TV, unless you count Mythbusters)

My own take on reality shows is that they reflect a movement in entertainment, especially TV away from what I think of as aspiration oriented to reality oriented, and that’s been at least in part unfortunate.

Forty years ago TV reflected the kind of people we wanted to be.  Hardly any dad is as wise as Robert Young on father knows best.  But we all wanted to be, and what we aspired to reflected itself on TV.  Since the 70’s shows seem much focused on being real or believable.  Characters became much more flawed.  Maybe we see more what we don’t want to be now.  I suppose that has value as well, but I miss aspirational TV.

Quake Video

&*)*^ My Plant Does

Actually a pretty good if a little scatalogical

What Is the New Normal Unemployment Rate?


Recent labor markets developments, including mismatches in the skills of workers and jobs, extended unemployment benefits, and very high rates of long-term joblessness, may be impeding the return to "normal" unemployment rates of around 5%. An examination of alternative measures of labor market conditions suggests that the "normal" unemployment rate may have risen as much as 1.7 percentage points to about 6.7%, although much of this increase is likely to prove temporary. Even with such an increase, sizable labor market slack is expected to persist for years.

What Is the New Normal Unemployment Rate?
Justin Weidner, John C. Williams
Mon, 14 Feb 2011 08:00:00 GMT