Pharyngula

He’s baaaack

People keep telling me I ought to read Freakonomics, but something about it keeps tripping my bogosity detector, and I’ve never gotten around to it. Now I’ve got another reason to avoid it: the Freakonomics blog is hosting a particular silly Q&A with someone who has absolutely no credibility on anything: Scott Adams. It reinforces my bias that the authors don’t exercise much judgment.

Scott Adams is about the last person of whom I’d be interested in asking any questions: he wouldn’t answer anything except to say how much smarter he is than any so-called expert, and any hint of actual content in a reply would be quickly denied as nothing but a joke.

Comments

  1. #1 Jolly Bloger
    October 28, 2007

    Freakonomics is usually great. They did a Q&A with the Mythbusters recently, and have said that Penn and Teller will do one as well, so atheists are represented. But they do seem to have a soft spot for faith, and have on a couple of occasions openly mocked Dawkins. You’d think economists would tend to be among the more logical and critical members of academia, but oh well.

  2. #2 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 28, 2007

    You’d think economists would tend to be among the more logical and critical members of academia, but oh well.

    At the risk of pulling a Caledonian: No, why? “The closer you get to humans, the worse the science gets.”

  3. #3 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 28, 2007

    You’d think economists would tend to be among the more logical and critical members of academia, but oh well.

    At the risk of pulling a Caledonian: No, why? “The closer you get to humans, the worse the science gets.”

  4. #4 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    You’d think economists would tend to be among the more logical and critical members of academia, but oh well.

    I’m curious as to why you think this, considering that certain economists gave us the supply side model, which is really based on little more that rationalizations?

    I personally haven’t discovered any data to support isolating economists as being uniquely subscriptive to logic and reason.

    maybe I’m missing something?

  5. #5 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    (I’m also sick of the “atheists are just angry at God” crap.)

    you just explained why they say that.

    they project god from themselves, so when you get angry at them for being demented fuckwits, they automatically project that you must really be angry at god.

    they simply cannot fathom that your anger is really directed at them, and for good reason.

  6. #6 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    You should also consider that actual economists aren’t pushing supply-side models, that it’s considered at about the same level of Intelligent Design is in biology.

    really?

    I think you might be overstating that case a bit, but I’m anxious to be proven wrong.

    could you point out something online that supports the division as you have stated it?

    I’d like to store that away for future reference.

  7. #7 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    @pareto.

    meh, that’s a pretty soft overview of the situation, and doesn’t really shed much light on the relevance of supply side thinking in current schools of economics, which is more what i was looking for.

    thanks for trying, though.

    the earlier poster suggested supply side theory had all but been run out of serious schools of economics (comparison to ID), so I specifically was looking to see if this is indeed the case.

    frankly, it would make me happier if it were so, but with so many Reagan fans still heavily entrenched in business and politics, I have my doubts.

  8. #8 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    …btw, AFAICT, Greg is a big supply-side fan himself, having written several recent papers on the subject.

    *shrug*

    not exactly where I would look for a good overview on the subject, frankly.

  9. #9 Pareto
    October 29, 2007

    Ichthyic,
    It is soft, sure, but I figured it was enough to demonstrate that supply-side is not at all viewed analogously to intelligent design in the profession. There are definitely real supply-side economists who are not…crackpots :) (using “supply-side” here in a completely non-strawman sense. Actually, that’s probably part of the problem; see below: just what is the “supply-side view”?)

    As far as Mankiw goes, he’s intellectually honest (or at least, intellectually honest enough). If you’re looking for one who is ‘untainted by ideology’, whatever it may be, you’ll be looking for a long, long time.

    Ultimately, if you want to find out how supply-side really “fits in” to economics, you’ll have to look around and critically parse through all of the material, precisely because of a lot of people who are not so honest or thoughtful and misunderstand and/or purposely misrepresent the ideas. Because of this distortion, you have to ask the question, “what is supply-side economics?”

    Perhaps you would like something more like this:
    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2007/04/supplyside_econ.html

  10. #10 Ichthyic
    October 29, 2007

    It is soft, sure, but I figured it was enough to demonstrate that supply-side is not at all viewed analogously to intelligent design in the profession.

    ah, i see, i thought you were trying to support the previous poster’s point.

    If you’re looking for one who is ‘untainted by ideology’, whatever it may be, you’ll be looking for a long, long time.

    sorry to hear it, but not surprising. Happens in most fields of endeavor.

    from the link provided:

    AS one who was present at the creation of “supply-side economics” back in the 1970s, I think it is long past time that the phrase be put to rest. It did its job, creating a new consensus among economists on how to look at the national economy. But today it has become a frequently misleading and meaningless buzzword that gets in the way of good economic policy…

    agreed, let’s substitute “voodoo economics” for it. Trickle down, maybe?

    :p

    however, yes, I can see I am susceptible in this case to perhaps projecting too much of the political usage of economic ideologies onto actual economic theory, such as it is.

    I do still maintain that the results of the “Laffer curve” were far too widely extrapolated within the political realm, if not within various economic depts. themselves. Moreover, it’s still not quite clear to me what remains after the years have whittled away the fluff.

    It’s obviously not the case that the ideas behind it have been entirely rejected (there is some logical basis for part of it – always was), and the links given do provide a bit more clarity, so thanks.

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