October 16, 2002
I regret to announce that, in gross breach of website policy, movable type has taken upon itself to eat the comments on three posts:
- Dwight Meredith Is Unhappy with Michael Kelly
- Tits on a Peacock
- Failures of Our Educational System
I assure you that the software has been punished severely, and will be punished even more severely in event of a repeat of its misbehavior.
Now to try to resurrect the comments (or some of them) from backups...
Posted by DeLong at October 16, 2002 05:47 PM
Well, my comment was that peacocks don't have tits, but flamingos and pigeons give milk. Do a google on flamingo milk.
The discussion on "Failures of Our Educational System" sucked. Don't bother.
Coincidentally, I was just about to comment on the "Failures" piece (it is among the highlights of you front page). Your sample is biased. The overwhelming set of examples of individual thinking about public policy issues, or almost any other issue, available to most of us are drawn from journalism. Yes, journalists are mostly educated people, but so are accountants and dentists. I would not rely on the view of an accountant, unless I was familiar with his or her thinking, on areas outside of accounting. Accountants are specialists, with little training in economics (can you believe it?), geopolitics, game theory and the like. Yes, that is an educational deficit, but not a surprising one.
The problem with journalists is they are not selected for their grasp of the above listed areas of study, any more than dentists or accountants. They are chosen, often, for having earned a number of college credits in journalism. They are also chosen for their ability to win recognition for their writing. In other words, they get credentials, then win popularity contests. Editors are just journalists who got promotions, more likely than newly minted journalists to represent real (rather than textbook) jounalistic standards. On top of it all, the incentives offered to journalists (come on, Brad, you know about incentives) do not reward wisdom, good sense or well-founded analysis. The incentives held up before journalists are those of profit-making businesses - back to the profit-driven popularity contest.