B.A.D. is good

04/02/2013 § 1 Comment

Blogroll Amnesty Day extends over several days and doesn’t offer amnesty for anything (unless blogging is a crime, in which case only criminals will carry blogs). The backstory is over at skippy the bush kangaroo:

readers of this space know that b.a.d. is the holiday wherein we ask everyone in blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase) to link to 5 smaller blogs w/less traffic than theirs (no bad jokes about no blogs having less traffic than yours, please).

this way we all can introduce our readers to new voices in blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase)’ as well as giving greater exposure to blogs which may otherwise go unnoticed.

I’ll throw in a few links to other blogs, because it’s the connectedness that makes the Web work. It starts to make you think that Deleuze and Guattari were right, that we can all extend our bodies-without-organs into a developing, branching rhizome of liberating individualities. Until, of course, you remember that there is an architecture, an infrastructure, an — may I? — oberbau that makes it all possible but is not an emergent property of the blogosphere.

But an apology first. In general, I don’t know what other sites’ stats are, so I risk offending sites that are bigger than mine. So, I’m going for newer rather than smaller.

Other side of weight loss — a critical look at weight-loss, size-ism, and the weight-anxiety industry. I love that Andrew is using Lacanian theory to understand social, economic and cultural phenomena. The latest post on the demise of the fat capitalist (and the rise of stories like Paul Ryan’s PX90) has stuck with me.

Fair play and forward passes — a site about economics and sports. Absolutely brilliant if that’s your sort of thing, and Sam’s a nice guy, too.

The other side of business — sticking with the Massey University theme, here is a new-ish blog from the School of Management, which is working on new ways of communicating ideas with staff, students and the public.

Brennanmcdonald.com — Brennan used to blog on wellygnome, but has nabbed his own domain. He is blogging from a Gen-Y, trying-to-get-started-in-life perspective. It is a reminder to us comfortable, middle-aged types not to get too wrapped up in our own perspectives.

The off-work economist — James has been blogging longer than I have, and I have no idea what his traffic is like, but he gave us ‘Quantum theory and train passengers’. He also writes good R code, and for that alone should be shown some blog-love.

Happy linking!

Some new connections

02/07/2012 § Leave a comment

The blogging panel at the NZAE conference was great. I got to meet some bloggers IRL, and Berk Ozler of Development Impact had some interesting things to tell us about the impacts that economics blogs are having on thinking and practices. He also wrote a post about one of the discussions the panel had, about self-expression, self-censorship, and cultural differences:

The general sentiment was the need to find the balance between providing some critical thinking about a policy proposal, a working paper, or another blog post without being rude, disingenuous, or otherwise objectionable. This led to an interesting discussion about the role of culture in determining both the identity of bloggers and the tone of blogging. For those of you not familiar, the discussion at a typical seminar or conference presentation here goes quite differently than it would in an academic setting in the U.S.: the audience generally avoids interrupting the speaker and the questions and the discussion are very polite.

When I got back from the conference, there was an email from EconAcademics.org, a blog aggregator run by the Fed Reserve Bank of St Louis. It has apparently noticed this little corner of the interwebs and added it to the feed. It may be a post hoc ergo propter hoc mistake, but I figure the conference and the DI links are related to the new link love. Nevertheless, nice to see, and thanks very much.

The blog aggregator reinforces a point I was making at the panel, and one that motivates this blog. EconAcademics.org is somehow tied in with Research Papers in Economics (RePEc), a very handy service that collects up the economic grey literature into one place. These are examples of how ‘publishing’ is changing.

Publishing is a concept — it signals making my information public. There is also bound up in it some notion of quality assurance, although that tends to vary by outlet. How we make information public changes with technology. Oral traditions existed in part because preserving writing was costly. Books became very cheap in the 20th century, journals, too, and so they were the media of importance.

Electronic technology is making printed material relatively expensive, and so new formats are replacing the old. But electronic communication is also different — ‘The medium is the message’ — so our notions of what is ‘published’ are also changing. The thing that intrigues me most about electronic communication is its fluidity. It is dynamic — I can change this post later today or later this year. It is also interactive — your comment on this post can become part of the publication.

Where is publishing headed? I don’t know — but it’s fun to be part of the changes.

Bloggers all the way down

27/06/2012 § 1 Comment

Posting will be light this week. We shifted house yesterday, and the NZAE conference is Wednesday through Friday. Ironically, I won’t be blogging so I can be on a blogger panel. Also appearing: Eric Crampton, Sam Richardson, Seamus Hogan, Matt Nolan, and James Zuccollo.

We were also originally going to use the work on the impacts of economics blogging by Berk Ozler as a bit of a touchstone — not sure where that idea has gone.

Anyway, we should all end up blogging about blogging about….

Blogs in spaaaaace

28/03/2012 § 2 Comments

Offsetting Behaviour sends us to an article in The Economist that makes the distinction between having a bunch of blogs and having a blogosphere. The US is more successful with the economics bloggy thing because they all link up to each other — they have a network.

And so, first, a thank you and acknowledgement to the local econobloggers for their on-line and off-line support. Thanks for the links and comments, thanks for the encouragement. Who knows? Maybe one day the discount rate/youth unemployment/interpretation of quarterly statistics/stadium financing problem will be sorted out, and we will smile quietly to ourselves. Or write a post about it.

Secondly, this is a network theory issue. It’s the classic contention that the value of a network is based on the number of connections, as opposed to the number of nodes. There’s a reasonably good lay treatment of this in Beinhocker’s The origin of wealth. The impact of connections was also part of Potts’s The new evolutionary microeconomics. It is interesting seeing the theory working out in practice on the Web. Just to be cantankerous — the theory isn’t totally worked out, yet. It’s the problem of Deleuzian philosophy I discussed earlier.

Finally, it’s helpful to think of it in Lacanian terms of individuals looking to be recognised (in both senses of the word) by other individuals. This is along the lines of Schroeder’s discussion of law and economics. My blog becomes a blog when other blogs link to/recognise it.

As if to prove the blogosphere point, Antidismal offers his take on Eric Crampton’s post. And that’s how you build a network.

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