Posts Tagged Potpourri

Final Post

So I’ve been thinking about finishing up with this blog for a while. I have completed my economics degree now and have a lot less to say than I did before, at least without turning it into the type of blog where I repeat myself, which was never its purpose (its purpose was to allow me to think critically through different topics and ideas). I’ve had about half a million views on this blog over the past 3 years, and over 5000 comments on about 170 posts, all of which I am grateful for (well, almost all of them), but I think the time has finally come to stop using this page. I can’t guarantee I won’t use it again, but I don’t plan to at this stage.

However, don’t think that this entails me disappearing entirely. Here’s what I will be doing:

  • Starting my postgraduate studies in economics.
  • Writing for Pieria as before, but I won’t cross post to my posts from here.
  • Contributing to a new blog/newsletter at IDEAnomics, a new project focused on bringing dynamics to economics and on reforming economics education (I’ll be more involved with the latter). This project is headed by Steve Keen, and the blog/newsletter will (afaik) include contributions from Cameron Murray, Ann Pettifor, Michael Hudson and others. Be sure to subscribe!
  • Tweeting too much.
  • I have uploaded a full-length pdf of my recent series “Is the Economic Crisis a Crisis for Economics?’, and have also posted an abridged, listicled (ha) version on Pieria.
  • I have written an essay for the new student-led journal Perspectivesstarted by the Economics Society at King’s College London, which is expected to be published in October. It is on the subject of whether economics is – or should be – a branch of science or philosophy. Incidentally, Noah Smith just wrote an article in a similar vein, but mine is more long winded comprehensive.
  • I will still respond to emails at unlearningeconomics at gmail dot com (hopefully more reliably than I have done in the past – sorry!) Alternatively, feel free to comment on my ‘About‘ page.
  • Hanging around the blogosphere.

Thanks to my readers, frequent commenters, and followers of various stripes. I will leave you with a few, similar bloggers you should follow if you like my blog, but who I haven’t recommended before (afaik): Cameron Murray at Fresh Economic Thinking; Graham Joncas at Linguistic Capital; Ramanan at The Case for Concerted Action; Squarely Rooted (who wrote this exceptional piece on Piketty); Robert Nielsen; Dan Gay over at Emergent Economics; and Dan Kervick over at Rugged Egalitarianism. Or why not click ‘random post’ in the top left and see if there’s something you haven’t read?

So, erm, keep unlearning, or something…

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Links and Stuff

This (semi-)post will meander.

The website mindful money followed up on its recent post about ‘New Economics’ sites, in which I was happy to be mentioned, with interviews with some of the bloggers, including Steve Keen and me. Here is the interview ‘home page,’ and here is my interview. A brief excerpt, sure to be hated by economists:

In economics, the elephant in the room is, and always has been, assumptions…many economic models are invalid before we even begin, simply because the assumptions don’t resemble the real world at all.

Vaguely related, I recently claimed on twitter that Bob Solow was the most quotable economist of all time. My above point about assumptions reminds me of another of his – on why he doesn’t engage neoclassical economists:

Suppose someone sits down where you are sitting right now and announces to me that he is Napoleon Bonaparte. The last thing I want to do with him is to get involved in a technical discussion of cavalry tactics at the Battle of Austerlitz. If I do that, I’m getting tacitly drawn into the game that he is Napoleon Bonaparte.

To this end, Miles Kimball – a guy who is so nice and open minded I feel like I am kicking a puppy by daring to disagree with him – has a post on economic models that I would surely be excoriated for (‘straw man’) if I were to post it as a parody:

The closest we can come to treating consumption, leisure and the public good in this model as ordinary goods is if we imagine a social planner…in other words, the social planner I am talking about is not a fallible human, but the Invisible Hand.

I’m sure Gavin Kennedy would take issue with the use of the Invisible Hand metaphor, but seriously? There is an obvious chicken and egg problem if we are to invoke the ‘free market’ as a mechanism before trade takes place. I mean, I also object to the idea that there is some sort of magical omnipotent force making everything perfect in a market economy.

In other news, OWS have a video in which Raghuram Rajan repeats various crap and John Cassidy is unable to escape the governments versus markets mentality. Nonetheless, I am glad to see it. Anyway, I could ramble on for a while but I’ll stop here.

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