Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More about me

Clearly we need a rethink of how we run the economy and live our daily lives.  Financial catastrophe, lingering unemployment, fiscal breakdown and insecurity are signs not just of mistakes or malevolence,  but exhaustion of worn-out ideas about the economy and politics.

The fundamental nature of the economy is changing, and we have to work out ways to take advantage of it, rather than give up in confusion. Here's  the current running version of my arguments. I call them "Coffee Shop Questions", after where they are mostly written.

I live in New York City. I know economics and markets but am not an academic economist. I cheerfully detest all tribal instincts and groupthink. I am a registered independent.

You'll notice, of course, that I don't have my actual name up on this blog, Why not? Well, I may change that eventually. But for now I feel a lot freer to write what I like, without my name on it.

One reason is I work for a company that advises high-powered investors. I'm paid to know a lot about what is going on in the world in a practical , concrete way. Nothing that I know about or write for the company shows up here, but I think it is better that there is no way to confuse the two activities. No one will find any hints or information which could relate to my day job here. This blog is purely for my own interest and pleasure in trying to understand the deeper trends at work in the world.

The other reason is internet privacy. Many of the people who blog whom I admire more or less do it for a living, or as a major part of their day job. In fact, they use the blog as a primary way to enhance their day job, to bring more attention and build networks and strengthen their reputation.

There isn't much upside in enhancing my career or reputation in my own daily activities, as I want to keep them separate. But there could be some downside to being searchable.

Those other bloggers are also more established, while this is very much a baby blog as I work out my ideas and the readership is very low for now.

Much of what I write is also about drawing connections between different areas of thinking, rather than sheltering within one orthodox tradition. I am very much a "fox" rather than a "hedgehog", as Isaiah Berlin famously distinguished two broad casts of mind. That means the orthodox will find what I say somewhat lacking in rigor, which is fine by me . But I'd rather not have to defend against hedgehogs during the business day as well.

If someday the blog gets more of a following, the pleasure of connection and meeting people would likely outweigh some of the potential downside of being identifiable. But for the time being I plan on being just "Mapper".

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