Category: Weblogs

How to follow current events

On Iran, Andrew Sullivan > Σ MSM. 

Megan McArdle offers some reasons why.  I would add that MSM is unwilling to rely much on information aggregators such as Twitter and they are reluctant to report things in the uncertain, hanging narrative kind of way that blogs (sometimes) excel at.  MSM needs the definitive-sounding soundbites for people who are tuned in for only a few minutes and don't come back or don't come back with any memory of what was said before.

We're seeing a revolution in coverage of current events right before our very eyes.

Blog on economics and comic books

Today I received this email:

I am a student of
economics in New York, an avid comic
book reader since childhood, and a big fan of Marginal Revolution.  I
just wanted to draw your attention to a blog that a friend and I have
created.  It's called Ecocomics
and deals with economics in comic books.  It's meant to be a fun read
and currently includes posts on topics such as how Two-Face
funds his crime sprees, the lucrative construction industry in comic
books, Jonah Hex and 19th century real estate, millionaires in
comic books, and Superman and labor unions.  I think you might really
enjoy it!   

Robin Goldstein is excellent

He writes to me:

Also wanted to let you know that I've just started a new blog, "Blind Taste" (http://blindtaste.com),
which covers the food and wine worlds from an edgy, unusual
 perspective that draws from neuroscience, economics, and, of course,
gonzo journalism.

If you will recall, he is one of the guys who wrote the paper about pâté and dog food.  Robin Goldstein and I once sat down over pescado saltado to compare notes on D.C. (and global) food and, while you cannot take me as speaking for him in any formal sense, we agreed to an astonishing degree.  Here is his critique of molecular gastronomy.

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).

When
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.