"Top X" economics blogs
by Mike Kimel
I recently got an e-mail from a fellow blogger asking me to link a list that blogger made of “top X” economics blogs. (And no, I will not link to the list or identify that blogger.) My response:
Hi. Umm…. I looked over your list, and while there are some very good blogs on it, there are also some that frankly, from what I can tell, specialize in peddling misinformation. By that I do not mean blogs that have a perspective with which I disagree. I tend not to agree, for example, with the folks at Marginal Revolution on many things, but they produce an excellent blog with well thought out posts and which generally get the facts right. I myself have listed them as a daily read at Angry Bear and would recommend them to anyone.
On the other hand, your list contains four blogs that from what I can tell are more likely to state or link to “facts” that are not true. There are also several blogs I do not recognize on the list so it is possible that there are more misinformation peddlers than that on the list. I am very sorry, but I cannot recommend your list to anybody.
How should one deal with those that peddle misinformation? Your thoughts?
Don’t know if this is the same thing, but a couple of years back there was a site that thought up a great way to gain lots of credit with Google. The compiled lists of the top 100 blogs (economics, politics, whatever) then asked all those on the lists to link to the list they were on.
Absolutely does wonders for your pagerank, links in from all those hundreds of well regarded blogs that you’ve just listed.
Freedom of speech, as enshrined in the US Constitution or in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has nothing to do with pressuring private individuals to diseminate lies. In fact, the concept places no requirement on anyone to actively do anything. It is a prohibition on actively suppressing speech.
We hear claims that “competition in the marketplace of ideas” will serve to separate truth from lies. There is a good bit of evidence to the contrary, but never mind. That notion of competition reasonably includes Mike deciding to foster some assertions over others, for any reason he chooses. Mike is not external to the marketplace. Calling a spade a spade, editing comments, ignoring stuff that doesn’t deserve repeating – that’s part of the functioning of the marketplace of ideas.
Snuff out lies where ever and how ever you can. Human nature being what it is, keeping lies out of circulation is probablyl the most effective way to do that.
Don’t be constrained by an urge to be polite. The world is full of liars insisting that we not call them liars because it’s rude. All the more reason to point out they are lying.
Well, Mike, you could post a list of blogs you don’t reccomend and note that these sites play fast and loose with the facts.
You’d think, but I’d characterize this as a mostly friendly to the right/libertarians list. (There are centrist exceptions – Calculated Risk and Econbrowser, plus one genuine lefty – Thoma, but they’re the exceptions.) But that isn’t my problem with the list. I am not exactly a right winger or a libertarian but I gotta quibble – its not just the inclusion of some real buffoonery, its the omission of some first rate blogs. (Where is the WSJ’s Real Time Economics, or your home, the Adam Smith Institute’s blog, to name two obvious examples? And since a number of smaller blogs are on the list, why not Dave Altig or Bill Polley (even if he’s a bit inactive at the moment)?) I wouldn’t characterize this as a list of right wing and libertarian blogs produced by the Onion, but it contains too many crazies and BS artists and not enough of the rational folks.
I’m not calling for torching anyone. I am asking, how do we deal with the nutjobs (on either side of the aisle)?
@nanute, life’s WAY too short for that approach…
I was toying with that. I note that I have, over the years, called out a lot of folks as charlatans. But I’m extremely careful, in each case documenting as precisely as I can. Nobody likes getting sued. I’m not sure I want to make a career of poking under rock and then carefully writing down example after example of “see, this person contradicts him/herself here” or whatever. Blogging is a hobby, and I prefer to spend time doing stuff that I find more interesting than poking through the latest pronouncement by this or that lunatic (though I do a bit of that too as a change of pace).
There are opinions, and there are facts. I understand your concern.
typically, i just paste a contrary link, which is effortless for me…
but dont imagine you can rid the earth of lies, they’re as old as the species…
Upon your link I will not click, to see a dead Osama pic.
I will not click to catch my stalkers, nor to see a pair of knockers.
I will not look nor give a damn. I will not click you, Spam I Am.
Vote for the lesser weevil?
American politics and the american economy are Founded on disseminating misinformation. I have devoted far too much of my own time to counter the Big LIe against Social Security… to very little effect.
Folks love their lies. They live by them.
“I am asking, how do we deal with the nutjobs”
Oooh, I know the answer to that one! You invite me into your homes, offer me your wives and daughters and…..what, sorry, I’ve been promoted to “non-nutjob” recently?
Its partly a matter of who the competition happens to be. 🙂 Granted, you’re across the pond, but around here so many folks of the libertarian / right wing persuasion that are rational or semi-rational can’t be called libertarian / right wing because they have essentially been disavowed (Bartlett, Frum) by those that do use the title.
Many of the remaining can’t figure out a calculator, or believe in the sort of stuff that used to get you assigned a spot in the nuthouse (usually three or more varieties of science denial). And we haven’t even gotten to the tax cuts pay for themselves crowd.
There’s plenty wrong on the left too, but those of us who are a bit to the left of the center have given up trying up to argue for how to run this or that welfare program better because that’s now a relatively small (and relatively less dangerous) target relative to “dismantle everything, Galt for everyone.” Believe me, I’d prefer to tinker with what works OK and make it work better than be dealing with the Tea Party nonsense.