Monday, October 14, 2013

Krugman Making Sense

Paul Krugman writes:

What a lot of people — academics, I’m sorry to say, in particular — don’t seem to understand are the limits to what credentials get you, in principle and in practice.

Basically, having a fancy named chair and maybe some prizes entitles you to a hearing — no more. It’s a great buzzing hive of commentary out there, so nobody can read everything that someone says; but if a famous intellectual makes a pronouncement, he both should and does get a listen much more easily than someone without the preexisting reputation.

But academic credentials are neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for having your ideas taken seriously. If a famous professor repeatedly says stupid things, then tries to claim he never said them, there’s no rule against calling him a mendacious idiot — and no special qualifications required to make that pronouncement other than doing your own homework.

Conversely, if someone without formal credentials consistently makes trenchant, insightful observations, he or she has earned the right to be taken seriously, regardless of background.

One of the great things about the blogosphere is that it has made it possible for a number of people meeting that second condition to gain an audience. I don’t care whether they’re PhDs, professors, or just some guy with a blog — it’s the work that matters.

Meanwhile, we didn’t need blogs to know that many great and famous intellectuals are, in fact, fools


  1. I'd say that his column has been hacked.

  2. I thought Krugtron The Invincible said he was never going to reply to critics. Here he defends his flying monkey bloggers against that yapping famously-credentialled Toto, Niall Ferguson. On second thought, I guess he was defending himself only indirectly, so he would not count it as a reply. He is expert with these fine points and hair splitting.

  3. So says the famous "NOBEL LAUREATE!!" TADA!!

  4. Krugman praising the free market? A shame he's not known for consistency.

  5. Krugman Making Sense

    Ooooops! Typo. Should read:

    Krugman Faking Sense

  6. Did someone give him a Krugman column, and Krugman forgot it was his own?