New Year's Blogging Resolutions
By Arnold Kling
Pete Boettke writes,
we are convinced that Mises and Hayek identified in the 1930s through the 1950s the central elements of sound economic and social analysis: the problem of economic calculation and the division of knowledge; the cultural and institutional conditions which make possible social cooperation under the division of labor; and the arranging (and re-arranging due to changing circumstances) of heterogeneous and multi-specific capital goods into a coherent production plan that must mesh with diverse consumer demands.
That is part of a New Year’s renaming of his group blog. Read the whole thing. It got me thinking about making New Year’s resolutions for my own blogging.I started my first blog late in 1999. It was “The Internet Bubble Monitor,” and its goal was to satirize the valuations of Internet stocks. In less than a year, the bubble had popped, and there was no longer a point to the satire. I switched to writing an educational economics blog, called “Great Questions of Economics.” This later became EconLog.
Some time around 2004, it began to appear to me that group blogs (Corner, Volokh Conspiracy) were the wave of the future. EconLog became a group blog, adding Bryan Caplan and, more recently, David Henderson. They have made outstanding contributions. Oddly enough, since I have started using an RSS reader to follow blogs, I have become less enamored of the group concept. In fact, I just checked and it turns out that none of the blogs to which I currently subscribe is a large group effort (I do not subscribe to Corner or Volokh). My revealed preference using RSS is to read blogs written by one or two people.
The following blogging resolutions for 2010 are my own–they do not necessarily reflect the views of Bryan or David:
1. Try to focus long term. Prefer topics that can be developed into continuing themes. Here are some themes that currently interest me (with the first two, you will notice overlap with the themes cited by Boettke):
(1a) the conflict between those who favor policy decisions made by experts and those of us who favor trial-and-error market processes
(1b) the rules that people choose to live by, including how the rules are arrived at, how well they work, and how one might go about trying to change them.
(1c) the causes and consequences of economic growth (a main theme in FP2P, my recent book with Nick Schulz)
(1d) problems with mainstream economics, as I see it, and corresponding advantages of Masonomics. The Recalculation Story has been a prominent part of this lately.
2. Continue to discuss issues of political economy where fundamental reform is vital, including
(2a) government’s accumulation of liabilities, including liabilities embedded in entitlement programs
(2b) reforms that would disperse power (a main point of my other recent book, Unchecked and Unbalanced)
3. Make occasional references to topics on which my views seem fairly stable, but do not dwell on such topics. These include health care policy (I continue to stand by Crisis of Abundance), causes and solutions for the financial crisis (I continue to stand by “Not What They Had in Mind”), and intellectual property (I continue to believe what Nick and I wrote in FP2P).
4. Try to refrain from reacting to short-term issues and rhetorical point-scoring. Instead, try to write posts that I will still want to reference years from now.
5. Encourage high-quality comments. My theory is that comment quality is subject to multiple equilibria. You either get lots of polite, intelligent comments or you get flame wars. I am a fan of dousing flame wars and banning people who take part in them, in order to tip the odds in favor of the better equilibrium. I also notice that the tone that I set in my posts can affect the tone in comments, and I need to be more careful to speak in the tone that I would prefer that commenters use.