Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Not (Quite) The Problem With the Becker-Posner Blog

by Tom Bozzo

Discussing the vulgarity of political blog discourse at Crooked Timber, Henry Farrell notes the failure of the Becker-Posner Blog, which regular readers will recall is one of my "favorites."
I suspect that this is why some blogs that one might have expected to have a substantial impact in the blogosphere, such as the Becker-Posner blog, have been relative failures... The Becker-Posner blog has interesting arguments, but it’s rather reminiscent of those German academic seminars where the senior professors talk exclusively to each other, and the junior people are supposed to be edified by the conversation. There’s not much of a sense of open dialogue to it – and open, democratic, sometimes demagogic dialogue is what the blogosphere is about (and, for all its faults, should be about).
That last part is true enough, though I somewhat prefer Ken Houghton's pithier characterization of the Becker-Posner conversational mode, "'We rule by fiat.'"

I'm a little more amazed that none of the couple dozen CT commenters as of this morning has taken issue with the obvious howler in there: "The Becker-Posner blog has interesting arguments..." Farrell may need to be reminded of CT co-blogger Kieran Healy's classic post on the Becker-Posner opening exchange, else he thinks the quality of their arguments has improved — the latter, I've suggested, doesn't hold much water (here, here, and here).

Some of you may be saying, "Tell me something new about why Becker-Posner Blog sucks." (Sorry for the vulgarity.) Well, readers, I've been saving one for just this sort of occasion! Link via Marginal Revolution, here's a prescription from Dr. Becker in his comments on Medicare reform:
Another way to cut excessive use of medical care is to end the free riding by the approximately 40 million uninsured individuals who receive cheap care at emergency rooms of all hospitals, and as in-patients in public hospitals. To prevent that, everyone should be required to buy at young ages private catastrophic medical insurance that can be automatically extended.
This passage is all but self-mocking, but it's my blog.
That's enough for now.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?