Saturday, November 08, 2008

Cafe Hayek Blog Closes Comments for Two Weeks

Cafe Hayek, one of my favorite blogs, has imposed a two-week moratorium on comments, read about it here and here. I can't say that the thought has never crossed my mind......

Blog comments and criticism can frequently be swift, severe, ruthless and brutal, but I often learn something important.

Greg Mankiw closed comments permanently on his blog about a year ago.

7 Comments:

At 11/08/2008 11:09 AM, Blogger the buggy professor said...

Mark:

1) You not only run one of the best economic blogs on the Web --- and, to boot, without rival, when it comes to data-driven posts --- you are very kind to let someone like me post lengthy comments.

For all this, I'm grateful. And hope that my own blog --- which deals more with political science matters --- has encouraged lots of my visitors to visit this site regularly.

......

2) I myself, as you might recall, had to close down my comments section in my own buggy posts --- much to my regret. If you let me, I would simply suggest that at the top of your threads --- in italics --- you post a little reminder . . . something to the effect that the posters should be courteous, show respect for your considerable work in digging up all the data and publishing it here in very readable form, and show respect for one another.

Otherwise, you could go on, you will warn the bad-mouthed poster that he or she would be on probation.


......

3) I add, as an end-point, that though I am not a libertarian, I agree with most of your posts . . . especially when they deal with how decentralized decision-making by millions of people, including large numbers of innovators (especially in the USA), are indispensable to bettering the well-being of human-kind and developing major solutions to our existing problems ---- such as in the forthcoming shift to new, more environmentally benign energy systems and health-care innovations.

.....

4) Where we differ mainly is on financial matters. Hard-driving, hard-working, money-hungry financial specialists are only a problem when there aren't clear rules --- set up as regulations and monitored by regulators --- that ensure transparency and accountability up and down the line . . . if need be, on a global level (which requires cooperation among governments).

You see, if someone is unhappy with Dish TV's service, it's easy to spot why, compare the services offered by Direct TV or local cable-companies, and easily switch without much cost . . . including what we economists call "transactions costs": the time, effort, and money spent in acquiring information about a market-opportunity, arranging contracts, signing them, and monitoring the outcome.

When it comes to putting monthly payments into financial instruments --- other than a savings account at a bank --- the transactions costs and the intelligence, time, effort, and money needed to monitor your investment are far, far more demanding. So much so that so-called financial geniuses, with Ph.D.s and allegedly fool-proof computer programs, can't and didn't track what was going on with complex derivatives, credit-swaps, and a global line of creditors stretching in all directions around the world.

....

5) Small wonder that the three most influential regulators in the US in this decade --- the former head of the Federal Reserve (Greenspan), the former Bush-W Secretary of Treasury (Snow), and the current and self-confessed failure at the SEC (Cox) --- all said that they had been wrong about the ability or willingness of financial enterprises to self-regulate and look after the interests of their own creditors.

.....

6) Thanks again for all your effort, intelligence, and hard work in running this site. Unless some of your other posters --- for instance, Spencer from Angry Bear now and then --- run a blog of high quality like yours, the majority of posters, friendly or unfriendly, probably have only an inkling of just how much how mental-sweat and determination go into preparing your data-filled posts.

.....

Michael (Gordon), AKA, the buggy professor

 
At 11/08/2008 12:27 PM, Blogger VH said...

That's sad. I love Cafe Hayek and some of the comments are very good while I will admit that there are trolls at the site. At least the blog is not closing down--that would be infinitely worse!

 
At 11/08/2008 4:36 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Professor Perry: Isn’t your use of the words “severe,” “ruthless,” and “brutal,” a bit superfluous? Just kidding :-)

Your regular readers appreciate the amount of time you spend providing them with current information and a useful forum to debate important issues. A blog without comments would only be half a blog; don’t turn Carpe Diem into an “og.”

 
At 11/08/2008 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I criticize you all the time, but I have a lot of respect for you because you're not a censor. I think Mankiw is a joke. I stopped reading his blog after stopped allowing comments.

Unintended consequences Mr Mankiw

 
At 11/09/2008 1:04 AM, Blogger Bret said...

Your posts are much more fact and data driven than Cafe Hayek, where opinion rules the roost. I easily understand why their posts attract massive amounts of heated and often nasty debate. Your posts are much less debatable (in my opinion :-).

I love your blog, please keep doing it. If you need to shut down comments for a while, I won't mind hardly at all - a small price to pay to have you keep blogging.

 
At 11/09/2008 4:13 AM, Blogger 1 said...

Ditto bret's comment...

 
At 11/09/2008 9:49 AM, Blogger Jeff Lehner said...

Mankiw? A joke? Because he won't allow people to take anonymous potshots at himself and others?

A little harsh there, anonymous...

 

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