I'm Not "David Henderson"
Tyler Cowen posted a response to my critiques of his articles this morning. Unlike Tyler, I will do him the courtesy of linking to his post.
Someone named David Henderson responded. If you know me, you know that that’s not me. That’s not my style at all.
I did post two comments on Cowen’s post, under my name David R. Henderson, the one I always use to post comments and the one I always use in my articles. I didn’t address the merits of Cowen’s case. I simply posted to let him and his readers know, assuming his readers care (I think Tyler does), that I am not the David Henderson who commented.
Update: Tyler Cowen offered to delete the “David Henderson” comments and I thanked him.
Oct 27 2020 at 4:36pm
Cowen went down in my estimation today. Honest disagreement and robust debate is one thing. Disrespect is another.
Oct 27 2020 at 5:02pm
Oh, sure. And I’m not nobody. And this is not a pipe.
Honestly, is there anything an economist won’t say?
Oct 27 2020 at 5:22pm
I’m pleased to see this update, because one of the many things I like about this blog is the tone when a writer is expressing disagreement. I aspire to always sound like Bryan Caplan, though I don’t always succeed. In fact, I think libertarians generally do a better job of disagreeing without being unpleasant about it.
Oct 27 2020 at 6:43pm
Thanks, Tom. Yes, the tone of that “David Henderson” comment was so outrageous and borderline threatening to Tyler that I thought people would understand it wasn’t I. It turned out that one friend thought it was and that this lockdown has gotten to me, which, by the way, it has.
But I learned from a friend in graduate school named Tom Nagle (who sometimes posts comments here) not to get triggered or, if I do, not to act on it. It’s paid HUGE dividends.
Oct 27 2020 at 8:51pm
Thanks for clearing that up, it did throw me for a loop. The comment seemed unexpectedly caustic, but the lockdown and pandemic has got us all a bit on edge, so I figured it wasn’t too far out of the realm of possibility.
Oct 28 2020 at 10:46am
Yes, that’s what my friend said. We talked on the phone and his feeling of relief was palpable. It was like “Yes, this person on the phone, not that guy in the comment, is the David Henderson I know.”
Tyler, to his credit, has removed the phony comment and so I don’t recall it exactly. But I think at the end, the guy actually made a threat. That’s not just not in my nature.
Oct 28 2020 at 9:09pm
Someone commented on a post here a little while ago about how many sites require you to log in to Facebook (or Google plus or another social media account) to comment, and wondered why this was. It didn’t occur to me then, but perhaps identity verification is one such reason? Not just if you’re a known person whose identity could be coopted otherwise, but also as a means of ensuring stable username usage (e.g., so someone doesn’t accidentally or maliciously comment under a handle generally used by someone else; even anonymous people may value their reputation). Just speculation of course.
Oct 29 2020 at 5:02am
That was likely me. You make a good observation, and that may be one reason for the requirement. However, my experience with those required social media sign-in’s is that they typically (or don’t always) involve sites, such as this one or Marginal Revolution, where sign-in is for the purpose of posting a comment, but rather sites where sign-in is needed to simply view content. In order to post this comment, I was required to “sign-in” with my name and my e-mail address. I’m no technical expert, but I perhaps naively think that if someone were to try to sign-in here with my name and a different e-mail address than mine, that attempt would be flagged. Or, that at least it *could* be flagged.
I think there is or was another service called Disqus that served this verifying function for comments. Disqus allows one to sign in with a social media account, but does not require it. On the other hand, while Disqus itself is not a “social media account”, I suspect they make money from analytics in a similar fashion to Facebook, Twitter, etc.
By the way, I think Google Plus went out of business in 2019. It’s not as easy as some think to challenge Facebook’s dominance.
Oct 29 2020 at 9:10am
David, I saw this comment on MR yesterday, and based off all I’ve read by you, I immediately thought “this really doesn’t sound like him. I’m guessing it’s not really him.” At least in my case, your reputation preceded you.
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