Comments on: How blogging is like being bad at math http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/02/how-blogging-is-like-being-bad-at-math/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Len.Williams http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/02/how-blogging-is-like-being-bad-at-math/comment-page-1/#comment-16514 Thu, 08 Jul 2010 14:53:40 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4557#comment-16514 I totally agree that most of the time we don’t really get the meaning of what we read. Probably because there’s just so much information everywhere and we’d like to grab most of it, if possible. More than that, we move from a thing to another because they’re so eye-catching and we sometimes forget why we actually clicked on. But you’re also right that this kind of superficial skipping around articles and posts on various blogs helps us make complex connections between very different things, so who knows what innovative idea or discovery could come up to our filled up brains just before falling asleep…

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By: GingerYellow http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/02/how-blogging-is-like-being-bad-at-math/comment-page-1/#comment-16401 Mon, 05 Jul 2010 09:17:43 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4557#comment-16401 I had pretty much the opposite experience with maths A-level. Up until the year before A-levels I was in the top stream for maths, which was strongly accelerated. We were doing freshman undergrad level stuff by the time I left. I certainly wasn’t near the top of the class, but I wasn’t struggling either. But when it came to A-levels, I realised I wanted to go in a general humanities direction, so I took maths instead of double maths (my only sciencey subject). And I found, dropping down into the stream for people who weren’t doing Further Maths, that I really struggled to remaster material I’d learned and moved on from a year or more before. Most of the advanced topics we’d covered were of no relevance at all (at least for exam purposes) to the basic maths A-level and because we hadn’t spent much time reinforcing the knowledge required before switching to some other topic, it didn’t stick as well as it should have.

I still managed to get an A, but it was a lot more of a close thing than it should have been.

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By: Derrida http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/02/how-blogging-is-like-being-bad-at-math/comment-page-1/#comment-16400 Mon, 05 Jul 2010 05:59:38 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4557#comment-16400 Substitute “barber/surgeon” for “economist” and “medicine” for “economics”, and Dr. Athreya’s essay makes perfect sense. He is writing from the perspective of someone who has studied bloodletting for years and feels no one from outside the discipline has any useful perspective on medicine, as they are not good bloodletters. We can evaluate the prescriptions we receive from oncologists against the clinical outcomes; Lucas’ models are inherently untestable. Instead “modern” macroeconomics only has internal consistency and elegance, like the barber-surgeons’ work. Economics at all levels has no practical benchmarks for the success of its work, except for perhaps Esther DuFlo. Of course people are going to trample on a discipline like that.

The times in which change occurs most rapidly are when an institution feels threatened from the outside.

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By: williamperkins http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/02/how-blogging-is-like-being-bad-at-math/comment-page-1/#comment-16395 Sun, 04 Jul 2010 17:07:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4557#comment-16395 but maybe you’re saying blogging is like being good at math? I don’t think anyone, even the best math people, really understands the hard math concepts the first time they see them. they just immerse themselves and eventually it sinks in.

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By: DanHess http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/02/how-blogging-is-like-being-bad-at-math/comment-page-1/#comment-16392 Sun, 04 Jul 2010 01:39:00 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4557#comment-16392 It seems like the total failure of most pros and particularly those in government to see the macro tsunami that washed over us catapulted financial blogging to the big time.

Folks hate being knock upside the head from something they don’t see coming and you can bet they are looking for some visibility now. How much macro visibility are folks like Athreya providing us these days?

At least much of the blogosphere has been able to work out a pretty good story for what the heck just happened. And better still, it is lit up with possibilities for what might happen next. To listen to those whose living is at the intersection of economics and government, you would think that a gigantic 10,000 year financial asteriod came in from outer space and soon this will all be just a bad memory.

Those among us who pay attention to history notice that foul economic weather is actually pretty common and we aren’t interested in being stuck in a blizzard in our bermuda shorts like last time.

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By: xyz70 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/02/how-blogging-is-like-being-bad-at-math/comment-page-1/#comment-16391 Sat, 03 Jul 2010 23:28:57 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4557#comment-16391 Yet another blog post about blogging.

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By: HBC http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/02/how-blogging-is-like-being-bad-at-math/comment-page-1/#comment-16389 Sat, 03 Jul 2010 20:18:13 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4557#comment-16389 This article attests to the power of positive drinking, of which Kartik Athreya might try doing a bit more before next setting pixel to screen.

The consequences of enshrouding economics in arcane incomprehensibility are all around us, yet more agonizing than any World Cup defeat. In the aftermath of drastic failure, whether systemic or criminally contrived, trite mythological substitutes for history from which no human being is likely to learn, nor care to, are pseudo-academic, mathematically futile and no fun at the pub, either.

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By: prospector http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/02/how-blogging-is-like-being-bad-at-math/comment-page-1/#comment-16388 Sat, 03 Jul 2010 18:56:02 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4557#comment-16388 As a layman reader of this site and other econoblogs for quite some time, I have to say I agree with most of the premises of Athreya’s essay. Economics is hard, I don’t fully understand it and the entire mess likely would be better left to highly trained professionals.

But as someone who has had to make some hard decisions, I have come to realize that while I can allow highly trained professionals to give me advice or even make my decisions for me, the consequences of those actions will always remain with me alone.

While macroeconomics may be a technocrat’s dream (the complexity of formualae!), it is ultimately the layman’s problem. I think the econobloggers understand that point much better than the academics do.

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By: Curmudgeon http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/02/how-blogging-is-like-being-bad-at-math/comment-page-1/#comment-16387 Sat, 03 Jul 2010 18:33:41 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4557#comment-16387 Having pursued in MS in math after a couple of degrees in the social sciences (where you can most definitely fake it), I can appreciate your analogy.

However, unless I’m missing something, all you seem to be saying is that some people are good at detail, while others are good at the big picture. Hardly a revelation.

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By: martin66 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/02/how-blogging-is-like-being-bad-at-math/comment-page-1/#comment-16385 Sat, 03 Jul 2010 16:38:35 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4557#comment-16385 Very nice. Perhaps simply summed up by the (revised) title of Tyler Cowen’s book “Infovore.” Admit to not having read it, and am not even sure what it is about. But the title speaks to this issue quite succinctly I would suggest.

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