Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!


Friday, February 12, 2010

 
Political parables

Brad and Matthew Yglesias and many others have spent many words on a simple point which can be illustrated by narrative.

Once upon a time there was a great pianist, who played the piano in a whorehouse. Never once did anyone tell him what tunes to play, or give him a single bit of instruction about how to play them. However, he was never selected to appear as designated soloist at Carnegie Hall, because he wasn't a concert pianist, he was a guy who played piano in a whorehouse.

Two points:

1. Because I have given up on anyone understanding these things for themselves, the point is that when an otherwise honest person goes to work for an utterly dishonest news organisation, it is not a defence on their part to say that their own work is not interfered with. For the first reason, which is that they are providing window-dressing for the other stuff; a news organisation which is utterly dishonest is one that will be ignored by everyone, while a dishonest news source that occasionally prints an honest article will get an audience for its dishonest stuff. And for the second reason, that they cannot give this guarantee for all time; one day, as sure as turkeys get throttled in December, they will find that their stuff is interfered with, on a very important issue, and the people who get fooled by their altered article will not necessarily notice the journalist's attempt to resign with his reputation intact.

2. The guy in the anecdote of course said "please don't tell my mom I play piano in a whorehouse; she thinks I'm an investment banker".
4 comments this item posted by the management 2/12/2010 01:17:00 PM


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