Strong opinions, weakly held

Being a blogger

In a post about how economists often separate their personal beliefs and professional work, Tyler Cowen describes bloggers like this:

In many ways the core of blogging is a willingness to apply what you know to every problem you encounter, and see how good a job you can do of it in a more or less integrated fashion.

That’s pretty much a perfect explanation of what my goal is for this blog. I break down the problems I encounter in terms of the things I already know and believe. I make mistakes and try to learn from them. There are a lot of blogs that don’t fit this model, but it certainly describes many of the blogs I enjoy most.


  1. What other blogs would you recommend reading (in addition to your own, of course!)

  2. I never post lists of my favorite blogs for lots of weird reasons. (Not least of which because I would hate for anybody to be insulted because I didn’t include theirs on the list.) That said, I’ll make some kind of a list and post it.

  3. I interpret Cowen’s comment less favorably. My impression is that economists all too often try to fit their imperfect model of the world (supply, demand, markets) to absolutely everything, no matter how appropriate or inappropriate such a fitting may be. And then they make grand pronouncements about the nature of things based on these ill-fitting analyses.

  4. Everybody has to model things somehow to understand them, and economics is one model that can be applied to many situations. I have a problem with people who refuse to see the models they use as abstractions and acknowledge with the inevitable shortcomings of those models, but I don’t have a problem with using models in a general sense.

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