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Being against idealism is like being against confirmation bias. Everyone who says they're against it accuses everyone else of having it, and doesn't seem to take into consideration the fact that they've got it just as much as anyone. Or being against signaling. Everyone signals. That's just the reality. Your ideals simply involve things which you have decided are "causally effective", and this post is a symbolic gesture against other people's ideals, since it obviously won't be "causally effective" in getting rid of the idealism of others. It's an attempt to signal your commitment to pragmatism vs. idealism, but that's just another kind of idealism and your actions are another form of symbolic behavior. /rant
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2011 on Against Idealism at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
"Economics in One Lesson", by Henry Hazlitt.
DrSwaraj: Fair enough!
No offense, but I would be willing to bet that most people who write off libertarians as people who think libertarians want corporations to rule the world probably haven't read either Rawls or Nozick, and probably haven't heard of them either.
I had heard that Kuhn and Popper (ironically) got into it pretty seriously at one point, though I don't know the details.
Toggle Commented Mar 7, 2011 on Hot Pokers and Ashtrays at Coordination Problem
Pete, I think Scott Sumner is the perfect example of someone who was unable to influence his peers through traditional means who has used blogging to clearly do exactly that. Do you deny that he has effectively used blogging to shape the debate among economists? Not arguing against your main points, just saying you may also be underestimating the role blogging can play.
Excellent post. You'd be horrified to learn that your critiques apply to a frighteningly large proportion of academic and scientific research, too--even for something as important as medical research.
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I can understand how they might control for income of parents, but how could they possibly control for "innate ability"?
My favorite argument is the idea that everything that is common among the majority today was the purview of some minority beforehand. That freedom allows for trial and error to occur among numerous subsections of the population before anything is adopted more widely.
Toggle Commented Jun 8, 2010 on Irving Kristol on Hayek at Coordination Problem
Two basic questions I always ask about studies that make these sorts of claims: 1. Was the sample randomly selected? 2. If not, then how can they determine that the difference in lifespan wasn't a factor of the kinds of people they observed, rather than the amount of exercise that they did?
Toggle Commented Dec 16, 2009 on Exercise Prolongs Life at The Jeff Galloway Blog
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Well if a study shows it, it must be true! In seriousness, I doubt that twitter will be causing any revolutions any time soon. But the study seems to me to be pretty erroneous. It's not as though revolutions historically involve majorities or even substantial minorities overthrowing a regime. It's always a pretty small minority that's able to get organized and seize control, when an overthrow actually does occur. I think Macur Olson's Logic of Collective Action gives the reasons why this tends to be the case.
There's a great post over at Think Markets about the debate that's been spurred up by Krugman: http://thinkmarkets.wordpress.com/2009/09/13/the-great-moderation-in-macroeconomics/
Toggle Commented Sep 15, 2009 on The Macro War at Growthology
One piece of nitpicking: We have never been in a Gaussian world, where anything involving human social systems was concerned.