Grant McDermott bio photo

Grant McDermott

Assistant Professor
Dept. of Economics
University of Oregon

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Steven Landsburg writes:
When something is wrong on the Internet, bloggers love to pounce. But since no blogger is infallible, most of us can find ample fodder in our own past writing, if we go back and reread it with a sufficiently critical eye. Over the next few weeks, I plan to revisit some things I got wrong the first time around. [...]I hope others will be inspired to do the same.
Hear, hear. I've not been blogging long enough (or even regularly enough) for my most egregious mistakes to become self-apparent... yet. I really like where Landsburg is going with this, though. I'm dismayed at times by the tendency towards completely irrelevant ad hominens in the economic blogosphere. Instead of debating person A on matter X, simply dismiss what they have to say on the basis of them being wrong on matter Y several years ago. The Internet may not forget, but it will create a poor environment for intellectual development if we keep getting hung up on hundred percent track records. In a very related note, I wrote this a little while back on blogging under a pseudonym:
I'm also put off by the idea of people being able to trace almost all my thoughts on past matters back to my future self. [...]On the academic and professional front, while I'm reasonably confident of the views that I hold on \(-\) what I perceive to be \(-\) important topics, I like the idea of being able to sound out ideas without being beholden to them.