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Idealogues and the Issue of Open versus Closed Blogs

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On September 15, 2005 @ 7:15 am In Economy,Politics,Weblogs | Comments Disabled

A observation rant:  Why are certain blogs closed, i.e., no comments allowed?   

These blogs are often riddled with simple mistakes, logical errors, and outright misinformation.

I cannot begin to count how many times the commenters on this site have picked up an error of mine, corrected a misunderstanding I had, or identified an excellent resource or link I overlooked. You have my gratitude for the feedback you provide; your input is often excellent and make this a better site.

Quite bluntly, its the closed sites’ loss not allowing comments.

That’s before we get to the disconcerting tendency of the closed sites towards spouting ideological theories — reality be damned. Sure, plenty of open sites have become ideological stomping grounds — but obvious errors can at least get corrected. 

I am (as are most open sites) much more interested in dialogue, a process by which different ideas lead to a better understanding of reality. Sure, there may be a point of view present, but its based upon observations — not theory, or someone else’s talking points.

That’s the result of dealing in the reality-based  world — marked-to-market every day, week, month and quarter.

When I write about whether consumer spending is slowing down, my concern is how it will impact various Equity Sectors, Bonds, Fed rates, Inflation — and increasingly, Gold; I do not care how it impacts Presidential polls, or whether it changes the short list of who the next Treasury Secretary will be, or if it ‘dings’ Greenspan’s legacy. I can’t simply make up stuff (like some do) or be wrong about facts — at least not for too long — and hope my theories paper it over. 

Some sites clearly misunderstood reality, and therefore are all but worthless to me; their only value is to help me form my variant perceptions [1]. Some are worse than wrong, they actively push misinformation as part of their agendas (nefarious or otherwise).

My response has been to lose the bookmark (buh-bye) and be done with any clown who spouts misinformation. My head trader is far less subtle than I — "F$%# ‘em, we got too much skin in the game" — he snarls.

Perhaps that’s the nature of theoreticians and idealogues — they can push academic ideas, but they get measured by how many articles (relevant or not) they publish. It doesn’t matter which school of thought is getting pushed — Hayek, Moneterism (Milton Friedman), Supply-side, Scientology, etc.

We manage money for a living — so there’s little use for gibberish that doesn’t help — and in some cases, actively hurts — returns.

Again, I return to my gruff but lovable head trader "Put ‘em on a trading desk, and let them theorize themselves into the poor house."

Rant over.


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URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2005/09/idealogues-and-the-issue-of-open-versus-closed-blogs/

URLs in this post:

[1] variant perceptions: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&q=site%3Abigpicture.typepad.com+variant+perception&btnG=Search

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