Idealogues and the Issue of Open versus Closed Blogs

Thursday, September 15, 2005 | 07:15 AM

A observation rant:  Why are certain blogs closed, i.e., no comments allowed?   

These blogs are often riddled with simple mistakes, logical errors, and outright misinformation.

I cannot begin to count how many times the commenters on this site have picked up an error of mine, corrected a misunderstanding I had, or identified an excellent resource or link I overlooked. You have my gratitude for the feedback you provide; your input is often excellent and make this a better site.

Quite bluntly, its the closed sites' loss not allowing comments.

That's before we get to the disconcerting tendency of the closed sites towards spouting ideological theories -- reality be damned. Sure, plenty of open sites have become ideological stomping grounds -- but obvious errors can at least get corrected. 

I am (as are most open sites) much more interested in dialogue, a process by which different ideas lead to a better understanding of reality. Sure, there may be a point of view present, but its based upon observations -- not theory, or someone else's talking points.

That's the result of dealing in the reality-based  world -- marked-to-market every day, week, month and quarter.

When I write about whether consumer spending is slowing down, my concern is how it will impact various Equity Sectors, Bonds, Fed rates, Inflation -- and increasingly, Gold; I do not care how it impacts Presidential polls, or whether it changes the short list of who the next Treasury Secretary will be, or if it 'dings' Greenspan's legacy. I can't simply make up stuff (like some do) or be wrong about facts -- at least not for too long -- and hope my theories paper it over. 

Some sites clearly misunderstood reality, and therefore are all but worthless to me; their only value is to help me form my variant perceptions. Some are worse than wrong, they actively push misinformation as part of their agendas (nefarious or otherwise).

My response has been to lose the bookmark (buh-bye) and be done with any clown who spouts misinformation. My head trader is far less subtle than I -- "F$%# 'em, we got too much skin in the game" -- he snarls.

Perhaps that's the nature of theoreticians and idealogues -- they can push academic ideas, but they get measured by how many articles (relevant or not) they publish. It doesn't matter which school of thought is getting pushed -- Hayek, Moneterism (Milton Friedman), Supply-side, Scientology, etc.

We manage money for a living -- so there's little use for gibberish that doesn't help -- and in some cases, actively hurts -- returns.

Again, I return to my gruff but lovable head trader "Put 'em on a trading desk, and let them theorize themselves into the poor house."

Rant over.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 | 07:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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I'll take your observation one step further, and say that the comments are invaluable for your readers, too.

My favorite Economics blogs - we can't all be traders! - are the ones with the most active participation from informed commenters. That's where half the value of a good weblog is found. Every Torah needs a Talmud...

Posted by: Dave L | Sep 15, 2005 8:50:55 AM

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