The Science of Journalism

If I Had My Way
One Man's Opinion -- for what it's worth.


To: Paul Krugman - pkrugman@nytimes.com

Cc: Mark Thoma - mthoma@uoregon.edu

From: Doug Skoglund - skoglund@pdmsb.com

Date: 23 Jan 2015 12:00 pm CST

Subject: 2015004 - FAIRY TALES...

(To Mark: I am requesting your assistance in getting through to Paul. You seem to have his attention and you are the only one willing to publish an e-mail address. I fabricated the address I am using for Paul and because he has never responded, I have no way of knowing if it is a legitimate address -- Thanx)

To Paul and the rest of the world:

In your 22 January post entitled, "Insiders, Outsiders, and the U.S. Monetary Policy," you were discussing your commonalities with Larry Summers and a breakdown in those commonalities. You wrote:

So why this divide? We don't have access to different facts; we don't, in any fundamental sense, have different economic models. It's an uncertain world, but why do those in office come down on one side of that uncertainty, while those outside come down on the other?

Well, even smart, flexible people can fall prey to incestuous amplification. And I worry that this is what is happening to the insiders. On the whole, it seems less likely for the outsiders, although it's true that the Keynesian econoblogs form what amounts to a tight ongoing discussion group that could be doing some amplification of its own:

But if you ask me, there's a worrying complacency among the insiders right now, and I would urge them to consider the potential consequences if they're wrong.

You have asked this question so many times, so many ways, as to become rather boring -- the answer is really very simple -- and it has absolutely nothing to do with facts. There is no such thing -- all we have and all we have ever had is opinions. We used to see the world as flat and we now recognize that it is also not quite round -- opinions change as we learn; however, they are still opinions.

Now, you obviously understand that when it comes to the Science of Economics. The term Science does NOT mean what many people may claim -- it should be defined as the search for the better opinion, the more accurate opinion -- which is exactly the path you are following when you discuss Economics.

The thing that you are missing is the (fact??) that we human beings are taught from birth to believe in FAIRY TALES. We learn what we learn from a wide variety of sources -- a complicated array of opinions and experiences. We build a personality, a motivational structure, that works, generally. We humans are pretty good at that; however, what works for one may not work for someone else -- or may not stand up to critical examination.

Larry Summers may have agreed with you when he was an outsider; however, he had to adopt some changes to his personal FAIRY TALE to get to be an insider -- that's what life is all about!!!!!

Now, Paul, you know that -- I know that you know that -- which means that you have to stop being such a hypocrite and get on with the job of saving the world.

THE INSIDERS WITH THE FAULTY FAIRY TALE NEED TO BE REPLACED WITH PEOPLE THAT SUBSCRIBE TO A MORE ACCURATE FAIRY TALE.

You, Paul, and your associates like Mark Thoma and Brad DeLong and others are never going to teach Economics to people like me. I have no need for that knowledge. What I need to know is the accuracy of your knowledge, first -- and secondarily, who to vote for in coming elections.

You can demonstrate accuracy by attempting to start a movement and you do that by getting people to talk to each other. I assume that you have considerable interplay with your associates to develop your own opinion. That interplay should be made public so that we all can benefit by the process. Linking, the way you do presently, doesn't cut it. I don't need to understand Economics to understand the process of building a movement.

I am sorry, but I acknowledge the problem I drop in your lap -- you can't do what I suggest and write for NYT. Your FAIRY TALE needs changing to eliminate that hypocritical activity. But, look at it this way -- If you modify your website with some different software, you could sell subscriptions that could easily exceed any NYT earnings.

And you could be part of the 2016 solution to our governmental problem.

How about it Paul, can we have some communication that would allow me to explain more completely. The solution to our problems is very simple -- get the people talking to each other, That was MLK's process with his large open meetings -- people could talk to each other.

An open web site (different software) is the digital equivalent of MLK's large open meetings -- and NOT as dangerous. The present web software is designed to limit people to people interplay -- (AKA: 140 character limit plus Comments). That upper 0.01% (and Journalism) don't want people talking to each other -- that is their FAIRY TALE!!!

To be continued (I really hope) 

Doug Skoglund skoglund@pdmsb.com

I don't provide for comments since that is a system designed to control the communication process -- I do provide an e-mail address!! (Please put a [MYWAY] in your title to get my attention).

BTW, I am working on a replacement system -- and I sure could use some help.

This page posted at http://ifihadmyway.com/2015004.htm

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