Sunday, August 18, 2013

I think there's a pretty big club consisting of people like me who weren't big Clinton fans in the 90s,…
repeats"Big Dog"

John Quiggin
Paul Krugman’s recent columns, responding in various ways to JM Keynes, Michal Kalecki and Mike Konczal have made interesting reading, signalling a marked shift to the left both on economic theory and on issues of political economy. ...

[T]his marks a striking shift in macroeconomics, where only five years ago, the leading figures were congratulating themselves on the convergence between saltwater and freshwater schools, under the banner of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium. As I argued in Zombie Economics, it’s precisely the centre ground of convergence that has been rendered most thoroughly untenable by the crisis. Yet that is still where the majority of academic work being published in journals is grounded.
A commenter on the post responds with a reference to "Cultural Cognition"
What Krugman is uncovering is NOT related to specific intellectual arguments or points. The reactions and recommendations within the economics profession over the economic crisis has revealed a profound split in “cultural cognition” among the economists themselves. It is the same type of split in cultural cognition that is to be found in the public acceptance/denial of climate change, as is being revealed in current studies by social psychologists of climate science communication.
"Cultural Cognition"

My (sloppy) comment on a recent post by Dan Kahan [my mistake. It's from last year and was linked in a recent post, where I found it]
This post mixes common sense with absurdity. You want to develop a science of communication when over and over again you demonstrate a need for an art. You argue for the fact/value distinction except when you deny it. You struggle to defend a notion of exceptionalism, but applied to whom? You're stuck making an anti-humanist argument for humanism (humanism in the older common meaning, through the Renaissance, not that of the Enlightenment, which has the relation to the original of contemporary Federalism to the Federalism of 18th century Virginia.

Your mistake begins in modeling of experts as engineers and not architects, in their relation to the public. Mathematicians are formalists. When the rubber meets the road, when physicists argue amongst themselves not about numbers but about the world, communication becomes storytelling. Arguments among experts are political, always. Architects like lawyers are orators first. We're all storytellers. You want a science of storytelling.

I'm not arguing against technical expertise, but all the same I'm not going to ask a designer of expressways his opinion of interstate railroads, any more than I'm going to ask Nobel winning Physicist Steven Weinberg about Palestine, about which he also claims expertise, while in that case knowing next to nothing.

Power corrupts. Experts talking only amongst themselves reduce their social world to a ghetto culture, where forms used to represent the world are no more than self-supporting formal systems. Mathematics is formalism; language is not. Language is intersubjective, mathematics is not. Language is politics, and is in flux because culture is in flux, and laws follow both. Formalism in language is scholasticism, whether in the 13th Century Catholic Church or contemporary Anglo-American philosophy, economics, et al. and Modernism itself, which has devolved into kitsch. Your arguments, again: for a science of storytelling, are modernist.

If you want to learn about law see Joe Jamail. 

That's legal realism, as legal theater. Its important to remember he's a lawyer not a judge. Google him.

Lawyers are the center of our legal system. Philosophers and scientists see themselves as judges because they imagine themselves at the top of an intellectual and moral pyramid. They're not.

The vast majority of climate scientists, experts in the specific and limited field of climate science, see anthropogenic climate change as real and a danger. The opinions of experts in other technical fields are secondary. If you want to understand why a large portion of the US population are skeptical of climate scientists look to the fixation on expertise in all things among the elite. Powerful conservatives show contempt for the majority, while elitist liberals manifest pity and earnest condescension, magnified by their own self-love. Social democrats in every other country on earth are left to cringe.
repeats: "Jamail"

I did no more than skim Kahan's post before I wrote my comment. His arguments are even weirder than I thought. He makes parallels between communication of legal decisions and of science, but according to his references, law is a form of culture and science itself is not. His paper on the "legal neutrality problem" is just odd.

repeats: "Jay Rosen"

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