Category: Weblogs

Felix Salmon’s new Reuters blog

Up and running, welcome back Felix.  Here is one to-the-point excerpt:

Andrew Ross Sorkin
has been digging around in the FDIC’s charter, and has discovered that
it is barred from incurring any obligation greater than $30 billion.
Which is a bit inconvenient, seeing as how it’s about to guarantee as
much as $1 trillion as part of the PPIP bank bailout program.

The sneaky way that the FDIC is getting around this obstacle is to
say that the value of those obligations is actually zero, since zero is
the “expected cost to the corporation”.

How agreeable are econ bloggers?

Leigh Caldwell offers up some data:

Surprisingly (at least to me), economics bloggers are more
agreeable than not. "Agree" articles (category 3) showed up more than
twice as often as "disagree" (category 4). When measured by titles, the
trend is not so clear, with a majority "agree" articles (category 1)
when measured over the last two months but more "disagree" (category 2)
when taking the last 7 days alone.

So far, so good and indeed Leigh is a smart fellow to see the truth of that.  There is, however, a villain in the piece and dear reader it is you:

However, blog readers are
not so magnanimous. On the content measure, the mean number of comments
on an "is right" article (category 3) is 3.66, while there are an
average of 6 comments on an "is wrong" article (category 4).

the title filter is used, the difference is even greater: there are no
comments at all on the category 1 ("genius") articles, and an average
of 21.6 on category 2 ("idiot")!

Are bloggers simply nicer people than readers?  (Or should I say "all you idiots"?)  How would blog comments change if they were attached to your real name like glue and came up any time someone googled the commentator?  Which of us is the real human, the blog reader or the blog writer?

Ben Casnocha theorizes as to which is the most natural "you."

The highly worthy Ross Douthat

is soon to be Bill Kristol's replacement at The New York Times.  This is a Pareto improvement for everyone but The Atlantic Monthly and readers of Ross's old blog (hey, that's a lot of people!).  Let's hope that he, like Krugman, continues to blog in addition to writing his column.  In the meantime, do you all have advice or requests for Ross?

Addendum: He will still blog!

Obama on blogs

Maybe he should be reading MR:

“Part of the reason we don’t spend a lot of time looking at blogs,” he
said, “is because if you haven’t looked at it very carefully, then you
may be under the impression that somehow there’s a clean answer one way
or another – well, you just nationalize all the banks, or you just
leave them alone and they’ll be fine.”

It does seem, however, he has been reading some other blogs, or at least he is told about them.

Addendum: Alan Blinder has a very good column on the topic.

Thoughts on blogging

Daniel Drezner is an excellent political scientist and a first-rate blogger. Here is his recent take on why he has found blogging worthwhile (400,000 unique visits to his page, in the first year).

Here is his advice to new bloggers. He says yes do it, think quality over quantity, and draw attention to your blog by writing about religion and Harry Potter.

For his earlier posts on how blogging has evolved, click here and here. He predicts the ascendancy of academic bloggers, who are used to giving away ideas for free. He also argues that blogging promotes excess certainty of opinion. He cites a Rand Corporation document on how easily electronic communications are misunderstood and lead to unnecessary hard feelings.

Two interesting blogs

On corporate law and governance, check out the new Corporation Law and Economics, with occasional discussions of wine as well. Stephen Bainbridge, main blogger, is professor of law at UCLA.

I also learned of a blog on neuroeconomics. Neuroeconomics is a new “movement,” I would define it as trying to better understand economic choice by looking inside the individual brain. Neuroeconomists take the Austrian economists literally in viewing choice as a process. My colleagues Kevin McCabe and Dan Houser are central to this research, they spend much of their time with brain scanners, trying to see which parts of the brain are used for which kinds of economic decisions. Neuroeconomics is a new field, and spans the disciplines, which makes a blog especially useful.

Long Live the Marginal Revolution!

It looks like our short-lived technical difficulties are over (cross fingers!). If all continues to be well we should now be available at our permanent address, which is easier to remember than (the old address will continue to work just fine of course as they map to the same place). I have a question for the techies. Do different browsers use different DNS servers? I was very puzzled to find that the new address worked from IE at least several minutes earlier (and perhaps longer) than from Mozilla. Email me if you know the answer.