Kansas City BBQ and Blogfest
By Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen reports on the barbecue competition. He and I, along with a Princeton University Press person, Seth Ditchick (sp?) arrived in time to go to lunch at Oklahoma Joe’s. It was the best BBQ I can remember ever having. It was also the only BBQ I can remember ever having. Tyler is the foody, not me.
The blogfest starts today. It is a conference to which I was invited as an economics blogger.
I have been telling Tyler and others that my intention is to dial back my discussions of current events and return to the “roots” of my blogging. That means trying to point economists and economics students toward interesting material, while expressing my point of view. For the last six months, the current events goal and the interesting material goal have been compatible, but I see diminishing returns starting to set in on the current events stuff.
Don Boudreaux says he enjoys my occasional expressions of anger. But that’s not who I am. At some level, all the nonsense going on in financial markets and government has no more effect on me than C.C. Sabathia’s horrible month last April (only fantasy baseball nerds will get that analogy). Since I owned C.C., and my other starters were all having injury issues, my team was near the bottom of the standings for quite a while, which cost me a lot of sleep. It would have cost me moresleep, but I decided to just ignore it until it got better. It did.I think I am on a panel talking about the financial crisis, but nobody gave me any indications of what to prepare. In my mind, there were going to be a dozen attendees, mostly Ph.D’s, so I had in mind a talk with a lot of nerdy inside lingo, focusing on how the crisis has affected my views on macro.
Instead, there are many more people here than I expected, including some real luminaries, but very few economist bloggers. Mark Thoma, Don Boudreaux, Tyler and myself are the ones I can think of off-hand.
Non-economist bloggers include Tim Kane who organized the conference. [UPDATE–correction: Kane has a Ph.D from UCSD. He also points out that other PhD’s in attendance inclded Bob Litan, Michael Mandel, Jeff Cornwall, Mark Perry, Alison Schrager, and Lynne Kiesling. However, most of them were not at the BBQ dinner.] Also Steven Malanga (the link goes to a post he wrote on California’s budget problems, I recommend reading it), Virginia Postrel, whose blog was in some ways a precursor/inspiration for my first economics blog, David Warsh, the only journalist who could pass my test for being a certified macroeconomist (which consists of going through the list of Nobel laureates and correctly identifying the ones cited for their contributions to macro), and Robert X. Cringely (a pseudonym–more here , who I think of as the author of Accidental Empires, which I have very fond memories of reading.
Non-economist, non-bloggers include Amity Shlaes, of The Forgotten Man fame (or infamy, depending on your point of view. I’m a fan, Brad DeLong not so much.) Also other folks,who I am forgetting. A lot of the people here don’t know me or econlog, which is another thing I hadn’t counted on in thinking about what I might say (I was not planning on repeating any of my oft-repeated views on the financial crisis).