A few of you have written in and asked me why some people, such as Kevin Lewis and Samir Varma, are designated as say “the excellent Kevin Lewis” on Marginal Revolution.
It is simple — I view this recognition as resulting from a combination of their intelligence and persistence, and thus their excellence in finding and sending me links and interesting commentary. (I have met them both, and they do seem to have other virtues, but those other virtues are not the ones being recognized here.) The word is completely unironic. I view “belief in excellence” as one of the underlying philosophies of MR, and also belief in the notion that excellence should be mentioned and promoted.
In this sense, those designations are quite similar to the ongoing series “My Favorite Things [xxxx]“.
This designation of excellence is also related to why MR does not spend a great deal of time on all of the political depredations of our time. Yes, they are important, but I fear that focusing on them too much would a) make me stupider, and b) distract from an underlying vision of excellence I wish to communicate. I am too selfish to wish to be made stupider in that manner.
More generally, for any media source you are reading, what is the underlying vision of excellence? Or are they just pukers?
If you can trace their underlying vision of excellence (or lack thereof), you will understand much of their material much better.