Nicolai Foss has kind words for me

Here is his post on economics and postmodernism.  Given the topic, how can I do better than to quote him quoting me?

Some performers manipulate the style of their product to shift the
incentives of critics to pay attention … Unclear authors, at least if
they have substance and depth, receive more attention from critics and
require more textual exegesis. Individual critics can establish their
own reputations by studying such a writer and by promoting one
interpretation of that writer’s work over another. These same critics
will support the inclusion of the writer in the canon to promote the
importance of their own criticism … In the economics literature,
enormous attention is devoted to the vagaries of John Maynard Keynes’
General Theory. The monetary writings of Milton Friedman or Irving
Fisher, far clearer and not inferior as practical guides to monetary
policy, do not receive equal attention from historians of thought.

That is from my 2000 What Price Fame?


A nice point, and not limited to critics. Most disciplines have ways of putting themselves at the centre of the universe of knowledge. And most scholars try to put their own work at the centre of their discipline (or, to mix metaphors, at the edge, as long as it's a cutting edge). The literary theorists manoeuvre is my favourite, I think:

1. There is nothing but the text (ie, texts are the world)
2. The author is not the expert on the text, the interpreter is.

1 + 2 => literary theorists are our interpreters of the world, and so at the centre of knowledge.

The non-Keynesian economists' manoeuvre is, surely, that there are markets in everything :-).

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