Category: Weblogs

This is a test (but not a trick)

I'm interested in understanding why MR has such a high-quality comments section.  I'd like you to consider this passage, from today's Guardian (not today's Onion), and try to write high-quality comments on it.

The statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's
permanent observer to the UN, defended its record by claiming that
"available research" showed that only 1.5%-5% of Catholic clergy were
involved in child sex abuse.

Let's see how you do.  If you can indeed produce high-quality comments, it means you're better than the other blog commentators.  If you can't, maybe it means that Alex and I are in some way better with regard to what we post and how we present it.  In that case, once our splendid framing is off-scene, you revert to your usual, rotten selves.  I want you to end up with most of the credit.

Maniacs, all of us

Is blogging declining?  Matt writes:

Laura at Apartment 11D offers an excellent précis
of the ways in which the blogosphere of today lacks much of the charm
of the blogosphere of four or five years ago. I would say that there
are compensating benefits to the new, more professionalized, more
institutionalized blogosphere. But it really is different and the
change has been for the worse in many ways.

Laura links to many comments.  I'm more optimistic.  Very few (if any) of my favorite bloggers have quit and of course there are some new ones.  It's surprising how few of them have quit.  (If blogging is so great, why hasn't competition competed away their returns?  What about comparative advantage in this sector is so persistent?)  The rest of the output you can ignore.

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" (,
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.