I’ve been redditing a lot lately, under the name Pendergrass because that’s who I was listening to when I made my account and I’m not very creative when it comes to making using names. Mostly on /economics.

I don’t know why… it is kind of a sad reflection of the state of affairs in my life that I’ve been spending hours a day engaging in economic and political arguments with people whose sense of surety comes from reading Paul Krugman or Naked Capitalism.

I do know why: it has been making me a better writer, more easily able to state my opinion clearly and concisely (regular readers <all two of you… hi Mom!> are probably in disagreement with this self-assessment).

Mainly I am just trying to be a good Samaritan by clearing up misconceptions and explaining technical stuff. Generally, most of the feedback I get is positive, which I guess is another reason I go there (to get feedback). At the end of the day, if I can light a candle for someone, I guess it makes it all worthwhile. If I seem so nonplussed about it, it’s because the level of discussion leaves something to be desired. It is better than most of the internet, but it is still the internet…

I was going into /politics at first but realized that it is pretty useless leaving meaningful comments there, since its all just an ideological pep rally. /economics is only slightly better than /politics in this regard.

One thing that both groups have made me notice is the divide between liberal people’s understanding of economics, and conservative people’s understanding of politics. I think a lot of liberals have very well-informed political ideas and realistic models of political organization, but they don’t have as much of a grasp on economics, particularly the “hard science economics” of mathematical equations. Conversely, I think the conservatives are blind to the realities of politics, but they seem (in general) to have a more solid understanding of rigorous economic models. I think a lot of this is just an accident of ideology, and it could speak more about my own ideology than about America or the world at large, but it is an interesting phenomena nonetheless.

Does anyone know of any good economics forums that are inhabited by grad students and Ph.D’s? I like most of Marginal Revolution’s commenters, but its not exactly a forum or community.

Categories: Culture, Economics, Technology
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