I made this piece a standalone contribution instead of a comment to Tiago’s post on Blogs, mainly for its length and for increased visibility (see why below). As Tiago points out, “most of the action in blogs happens tucked away in the comments sections” and their “social/collaborative dimension is the one with the greatest potential to change, to improve and to make a profound intellectual impact.” I agree, but let me stress that their social/antagonistic dimension must not be underplayed. After all, who doesn’t love a heated economic squabble? The progress of economics has been marked by debates about mercantilism, socialist calculation, marginalism, monetarism, rationality assumptions…
Blogs empower (almost) real-time debates. (For the sake of comparison: though Mises’ 1920 seminal article surely received early responses, Lange’s challenge came in 16 years later, and Hayek’s contributions to the socialist calculation debate went on well into the 60′s.) Of course, debates can linger on for years even in the digital arena, too. And, at any rate, debates do not simply pop up because there is a convenient way to debate (though that helps).
All this lengthy introduction to make just two points:
i) Indeed, blogs should be better (understood and then) valued for their contribution to the advancement of the discipline. Yet, I agree with Tim Kane that “it’s still probably not advisable for graduate students or junior faculty to blog instead of focus on tenurable research … for now”.
ii) There should exist some way to transfer the livelihood of blogs and real-time debates into academic journals. In fact, there exists one I know of. So, the increased visibility of a standalone post is to promote a brand new graduate journal: the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics.
The only thing graduate about the journal is that the three editors (Tyler DesRoches, Luis Mirels-Flores, and Tom Wells) are graduate students at EIPE. Other than that, it is an extraordinary product of the highest academic standards… with several extras:
* Aris Spanos’ ten pages worth of fierce reviewing/bashing of McCloskey and Ziliak’s latest book on statistical significance. And, of course, the even fiercer fighting back of the authors.
* Maurice Lagueux’s provocative dissecting of Don Ross’ new book on microexplanation, with Don Ross’ own reply.
* Cristina Marcuzzo’s inaugural address as this year’s President of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought.
* An underrated means for conveying histories, stories, and ideas: an interview with Uskali Mäki.
* Summaries of recent PhD dissertations in the history and philosophy of economics.
… and much more.
I followed closely the early developments of the journal, but I admit to not having seen coming anything this good, really. If you think this is petty marketing, be informed that the entire EJPE project is open access. So, stop reading this already, and go take a look at the first issue.