Bookblogging: Dead Ideas Introduction

by John Q on July 15, 2009

Discussion on the first post in this series went really well, so I’m carrying on. Here’s the proposed introduction.1 Again, comments, both favorable and critical are very welcome and the best will be rewarded with a copy of Dead Ideas from New Economists (I’m back with the original title at present).

Updated As Chris Bertram points out, my second (or higher-order) hand attribution of the “Thesis, antithesis, synthesis” triad to Hegel was incorrect. As with Mundell’s impossible trinity, these terms weren’t used by Hegel (apparently they were borrowed from Fichte by Hegel’s popularisers). I’ve changed the text a bit and added a bit more about Marx and idealism/materialism, still trying to keep it at a level that will be good for a broad audience and avoid the risk of bringing in yet more errors. There’s lots more in the thread I will take into account in later parts of the book, coming soon. Thanks everyone, and keep the comments coming,

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WaPo: Surveying the flaming wreckage

by John Q on July 15, 2009

A DC-based friend wrote today to say that he had finally abandoned the Washington Post, a paper he used to really like. The final straw was this piece allegedly written by Sarah Palin, a substance-free rant claiming that a cap-and-trade scheme for CO2 emissions would be economically ruinous. But much more damaging is the observation that, if this piece had come out (with the obvious stylistic variations) under the byline of George Will, Robert Samuelson, David Broder or any of the other rightwing/Villager hacks on the Post op-ed page, it would have slipped by without any real notice. The sooner this insult to the memory of Katherine Graham and Ben Bradlee1 goes out of business, the better.

1 Yes, I know Ben Bradlee is still alive, and even still associated with the paper. But his memory will be forever associated with the Post in its glory days, and not with the travesty produced by Fred Hiatt and Katharine Weymouth.