Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Worst Blog Posts

A few days ago, Marginal Revolution's Alex Tabarrok was deemed by EconLog's Bryan Caplan to have written the "perfect" blog post on Senate cafeteria privatization. I agree, it is excellent, but what are the worst blog posts you have read? What sticks out in your mind as being so bad, that they stay with you for years.

I have four that come to mind, which are all from Steven Dubner at the Freakonomics blog, and demonstrates why it went from my "always read" blog 2 years ago to my "almost never read" list:
  1. This embarrassing rant on behalf of the New York Times, in which he claims the NYT's new policy of allowing college students to have free net access to be "a huge move, and one that will reverberate throughout every discussion of the new business model/s for journalism." Giving free stuff to college students was not even a new idea for newspapers at the time, or anywhere else.
  2. Dubner asks why Thomas the Train Toys were so expensive ($10-$20) if they were made in China. Their being made in China instead of Wisconsin (his previous thought), of course, explains why they were not $25-$40.
  3. Dubner complains about econospeak (fair enough, plenty to agree on there), but he cites the title of an econometrics working paper as an example. There is no simpler way to describe treating heteroskedasticity in a title than using the word "heteroskedasticity." Especially when the target audience or any undergraduate econ major will know what it means.
  4. Dubner points to media bias in the Wall Street Journal when comparing headlines for the same story to the NYT, comically without realizing his own subjective bias in deciding which one is biased.
FWIW: Cafe Hayek is my favorite blog these days, particularly the posts of Don Boudreaux. While I have had a great deal of volatility in which blogs I read, the only one that I have read consistently almost every day over the last 3 years is the always excellent Division of Labour.

No comments: