Saturday, December 27, 2008

Become a cool economist!

1. The current economic environment is a particularly hard time to learn economics. There are a lot of topics about which economists agree, but the diagnosis and best remedy for the current economic downturn are not among them. It is therefore no surprise that your econ profs express disparate views about the appropriate policy in the current environment. Don't read too much into this fact. I bet there are many other topics about which these economists would come to similar conclusions. Ask them about rent control, or international trade, or Pigovian taxes, for instance, if you want to find broad areas of agreement.

2. You are lucky that you have professors with different viewpoints. Your job, as a budding economist, is to learn from all of them. Ideally, at the end of the day, you should be able to understand and appreciate (although not necessarily agree with) each point of view. You should try to construct in your mind a debate between your Friedmanite professor and your Keynesian professor. What points would each raise, and how would the other respond?

3. As you come to grips with these various points of view, you will be in a better position to judge which you find most cogent. But don't expect to reach unequivocal positions easily. In my view, it is best to consider all knowledge as tentative. The best scholars maintain an open-mindedness and humility about even their own core beliefs. Excessive conviction is often a sign of insufficient thought, which in turn may be derived from a certain pig-headedness. Intellectual maturity comes when you can maintain the right balance between informed belief and honest skepticism. You sound like you are on the right path.
Become a cool economist! Option always opens, sucks everyone brains in every opportunity, surly that is best way to go! I am a pig-headed, result of “know it all” kind of thing. Well how could I know since I don’t know what I don’t know! Yeah I have excessive conviction fair enough… do you think this is sign of my insufficient pig-headed thought? ---Hooray! Tao text says, foolish ones are trying to justified everything in their situations, then perhaps we all “crazy” they may lock us up a just house for justification treatments. Wealth of digging many waterholes then digs one waterhole so one dries up goes to next to fill up so always you appears to be a full empty headed well equipped and ready to fill up. How can you fill a full tank! The old saying goes “healthy crops are bowing their heads empty crops are standing their heads high!” gosh endless wonder confederation. From now on I bow my head half way make sure not take another extreme! Then people might say I am a spineless! Do you think my shadow still follows? Shadow-less death ohm… how enchanting nice little emails… first time e-mailer but a long time blog reader, what a silly questions for asking about learning economics, I didn’t have to ask anyone how to learn economics or anything else, attention seekers, love your blogs bula bula… answers are lovely doublyyy… I am bit scare of people who never make mistakes – I put my pair rollerblades running away 1000kph…