Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Blog shrill

Mark Thoma here commented on how shrill some have found Paul Krugman to be. This was an interesting post although I passed on the comments because I was afraid the comments were going to be shriller than the post which I found to be very even in tone. I had stopped reading Krugman's NYT columns for many years now because I did find him a little shrill and a lot of the language was provocative. I wondered why he did what he did and after reading some of his posts it sounded like he was angry and and felt like he needed to get people's attention so that he could present some facts.

Is shrillness the only way to get attention now? Unfortunately, I think so and it may have its roots in talk radio and the rounds of Sunday talk shows which I've also given up on. Unfortunately I also find economists in general to be more provocative in their language perhaps because of their natural tendency to be skeptical. I read Arnold Kling and Brian Caplan's blog for a while and found that they too tended to attract what used to be called "flames". This observation that economists tend to use argumentative and provocative language is obviously a very biased observation on my part since for the most part the blogs I tend to read are by economists. Thank goodness I haven't strayed into political blogs although I found Andrew Sullivan to be a pretty good writer. Note that Mark Thoma does not appreciate Andrew Sullivan's comments on Paul Krugman.

This is the nature of discourse the present day - we blog and link to each other instead of communicating and debating directly. Come to think of it, perhaps it's not all bad.

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