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Archive for the ‘Metablogging’ Category

10000

August 17th, 2014 9 comments

Over at Crooked Timber, Chris Bertram has just put up the 10000th post. Checking my own stats, I’ve put up over 5000 posts, and the site has had more than 150 000 comments (not counting spam). Go over to CT and say Hi!

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Travel

June 6th, 2014 58 comments

I’m travelling, which explains the total absence of recent activity. I hope to resume posting soon, but probably on a limited basis for some time. In the meantime, please keep it civil and constructive.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Bahnisch is back!

May 14th, 2014 24 comments

I missed the memo, but Mark Bahnisch, formerly of Larvatus Prodeo is back, at the (much more sensibly named) New Social Democrat. Not posting often, but I still have a lot of reading to catch up on. This, on the Budget and the crisis of Australia’s political class, is superb.

Categories: Metablogging, Oz Politics Tags:

Farewell, again to Larvatus Prodeo

January 1st, 2014 83 comments

After returning for the election year, LP is closing once again. I’ll miss it. Blogs have transformed the media but, in the end, seemed to have been absorbed by more traditional forms. Feel free to contribute your thoughts on LP and the future, if any, of long-form blogs like this.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Back on air

December 29th, 2013 1 comment

I’ve had a great break. I plan to resume regular posting now, though I still have some work-related travel to come.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Back on air

September 12th, 2013 Comments off

My technical problems have vanished as mysteriously as they arrived. Thanks again to Jacques Chester who stands between me and the mixture of frustration and wonder that is WordPress. Jacques supports quite a few of the political blogs in Oz, with an admirable willingness to assist bloggers of all viewpoints.

Normal posting to resume soon. But, if you use Facebook, be sure to check out my Facebook Public Page, and share posts there if you do that kind of thing. I’m also on Twitter, with the highly creative handle @JohnQuiggin

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Notice

September 9th, 2013 25 comments

Due to technical difficulties, there will be no more new posts until further notice. Please visit my Facebook public page for links to discussions of policy issues.

Categories: Metablogging, Site News Tags:

What I did on my holiday …

June 15th, 2013 8 comments

… from blogging.

I’ve been off-air for quite a while. First, I was travelling in Europe, mainly based in Paris, doing some joint work with colleagues there and attending conferences on decision theory. I made some good progress on my main project, on the role of unforeseen contingencies in financial crises, which hope will lead to some interesting posts in the future.

I got back a couple of weeks ago, with a week to spare before I went to the Cairns Adventure Festival, where I entered in the 70.3 (Half Ironman) event. I was the last person to finish within the stated cutoff time of 8 hours, though a few crossed the line after that. Still, I finished, which pleased me a lot given that two weeks in Paris would be suboptimal for training even if it hadn’t been wet and cold enough that I caught a nasty cold there.

That was a week ago, and I’ve been catching up on unfinished business, and planning a return to regular blogging. The state of Australian politics is so depressing that I plan to avoid the topic altogether[1], which will give me a chance to talk about some of the broader issues we face.

fn1. Let’s see if I can hold myself to this, or whether I get so annoyed I need to vent

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Off air

April 2nd, 2013 90 comments

I’ve been on holidays over Easter, and am now going completely offgrid for the rest of the week. So, no posting. Commenters, please observe extra courtesy while I’m away.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Learning from my mistakes

March 23rd, 2013 92 comments

If you engage in commentary for an extended time on any issue, but particularly on politics, you’re bound to get things wrong. In such cases, there are a few options. The most common is to double down, grasping at any straw that will justify your original claim. Another is to wait; the world is so changeable that a prediction that seemed laughably wrong at one time may turn out correct after all. But, mostly the best thing is to learn from your mistakes.

I’ve made a few mistakes, but the one that I’ve been picked up on most is my prediction, in 2007, that

The Liberal Party will never again win a federal election.”

Of course, this wasn’t meant to be taken at face value. I went on immediately to say that

This isn’t a prediction of unending Labor rule, rather an observation that the Liberal and National parties are in such dire straits that they can’t continue as they are. They haven’t got enough support, parliamentary representation or ideas for one party, let alone two.

I thought the obvious solution was a merger, as in fact happened in Queensland not long afterwards. But my many friends in the Murdoch Press and the rightwing blogosphere have taken great delight in quoting the first sentence out of context. Given that the Liberals have yet to win their election, I followed the waiting strategy, waiting to see whether the turn of events (and the fact that my characterization of the Libs and Nats remains entirely accurate) might validate the prediction after all. But, after the events of the last week, I think it’s time to admit error.

What lessons should I learn from this?

First, never try to be cute on the Internetz, unless you’re a cat. I could have written a straight post suggesting a merger and it would long since have been forgotten. I knew perfectly well that Newscorp and its allies are shameless liars, and that their readers are utterly gullible (provided that what they are reading confirms their prejudices) and I handed them a stick to beat me with. I’ll avoid paradox in future.

Second, never underestimate the capacity of the Labor Party for suicidal stupidity. At the time I wrote the post, Labor seemed safe for two or more terms everywhere but NSW. Instead we saw
* WA Premier Carpenter revoke the ban on dealings with Brian Burke, leading to immediate disaster
* Privatisation campaigns in both NSW and Queensland
* The dumping of Nathan Rees (NSW Labor’s last hope) in favor of Tripodi-Obeid puppet Kristina Keneally
and, most disastrously of all,
* The coup against Kevin Rudd. The march of folly has continued to the very end, with a majority of the Parliamentary Party confirming, for the second time, that they would rather give Tony Abbott control of both houses of Parliament, and, in many cases, lose their own seats, than break with the failed leadership of Julia Gillard. The many (now former) Labor MPs in Queensland who marched straight over the electoral cliff with Anna Bligh and Andrew Fraser seem to have set the pattern here

Categories: Metablogging, Oz Politics Tags:

Peace breaks out in Ozblogistan

March 17th, 2013 13 comments

Following our recent blowup, I’ve had a discussion with Sinclair Davidson at Catallaxy and we’ve agreed not to engage in personal attacks on each other[1]. I’m going to apply this to Catallaxy in general and the agreement includes comments as well as posts. I’ll leave Sinclair to implement this policy at Catallaxy, and I’m doing so here

The rules are
(1) No personal references to Catallaxy bloggers, except identifying them as the author of some piece I (or commenters) might want to respond to
(2) No general statements about Catallaxy as a blog.

I’d be willing to extend a similar non-aggression pact to Andrew Bolt and the anonymous producer of Cut-and-Paste, but without personal attacks, these blogs would have very little to publish.

I’m leaving comments open, but please remember that the policy applies as of now, so I’ll delete any discussion of Catallaxy.

fn1. I’d be willing to extend a similar agreement to Andrew Bolt but, without personal attacks, he would pretty much have to close his blog, so I can’t see that happening.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

LP is back

March 12th, 2013 7 comments

Ozblogistan has been up and down lately[1], which has distracted me from mentioning the return, for this election only, of the deservedly popular Larvatus Prodeo group blog.

fn1. Blogs are doing the same things now they did ten years ago, and have lost a fair bit of their traffic to FB and Twitter but despite spectacular reductions in storage and communications costs they seem less reliable now than then. How can this be?

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

GBS pwns IPA

March 11th, 2013 35 comments

Anyone who has been around the left of Australian (or UK) politics long enough will be aware of the Fabian Society. It’s a group that’s earnest in the way only an organization founded in the late 19th century can be. It produces carefully researched papers on topics like education funding and housing policy, invariably worthwhile, but rarely fiery.

The Society takes its name from a Roman general who achieved victory over the seemingly invincible Hannibal, by avoiding pitched battle and wearing his opponent down: the idea was that socialism should be achieved by gradual reform through democratic processes, rather than through the revolutionary approach advocated by Marxism. This gradual approach was symbolised by the adoption, as a logo, of a tortoise (or maybe turtle), drawn by Walter Crane, the leading illustrator of children’s books in the late 19th century, and a society member. And, after 100+ years, even the most optimistic Fabians would concede that, if anything, the tortoise exaggerates the pace of movement towards socialism.

In spite of, or perhaps because of, this resolutely gradualist approach, the Fabian Society has always loomed large in the demonology of the nuttier sections of the political right, appearing as some sort of cross between the Illuminati and the United Nations. Here for example is Rose Martin of the Mises Society, warning that the tortoise is now going at the pace of a freeway.

The Institute of Public Affairs is the leading Australian representative of this kind of wingnuttery[1] (although it manages to get taken seriously by surprisingly many) so it’s unsurprising to see the IPA’s Julie Novak muttering darkly at Catallaxy[2] about this “shadowy group” (she’s a bit puzzled that Julia Gillard openly declares her membership). What’s interesting is her claim, with illustration that “The logo of the Society, of a wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing, is all you need to know about how these people seek to achieve their objectives”

Huh? What happened to the tortoise? The answer it turns out, goes back to a joke played by George Bernard Shaw early in the 20th century

Read more…

One in a million, or ten

February 13th, 2013 16 comments

In a slightly unfortunate juxtaposition, LinkedIn sent me a breathless message “John congratulations! You have one of the top 5% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012!”

immediately followed by the news that “linkedIn now has more than 200 million members”. Do the math

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Crossposts from CT

September 26th, 2012 Comments off

I’ll be putting up a bunch of posts (largely US-related) that went up on Crooked Timber while this blog was down. I won’t make explicit announcement of this unless people really want it.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Ten years after

June 7th, 2012 16 comments

Ten years ago, plus or minus a few days[1], I wrote my first ever blog post. There weren’t many blogs around then, and very few of those that were around have lasted long enough to celebrate a tenth birthday. In fact, I’m not sure if anyone on my original blogroll is still around (feel free to write and tell me that you’ve been blogging since 1992, and I’ve overlooked you).

Here’s my early reaction:

My blog is just about a week old, and I haven’t found the Internet this exciting since I discovered Usenet in the early 90s. Even setting up my website five years ago was not as good. Despite wildly varying ideological views, I’ve had a friendly welcome from bloggers across the board, and I’m already getting links and referrals (My return links will be up soon, I promise). It really seems as if blogs might deliver on the original promise of the Web – certainly the technology seems ideally suited for individuals and small groups, with no obvious way of scaling it up to corporate level. No doubt I’ll get jaded and disillusioned one day, but I hope it will be a long way in the future.

Camaraderie across ideological boundaries didn’t survive long. It was killed off mainly by the debate over the Iraq war. And, eventually, the corporates found a way to get in on the act, through Facebook, Twitter and media websites. although the content is still overwhelmingly supplied by individual users, rather than paid professionals. I’ve adapted to the new reality by putting posts on high-traffic media sites, but crossposting here.

Inevitably, I’m not as excited as I was in the bright dawn of blogging, and the most optimistic hopes for the medium have not been fulfilled but after ten years I’m still not jaded or badly disillusioned. For that, I have to thank my readers, especially my commenters, as well as the many fellow bloggers who’ve given me help and encouragement along the way.

Update Another ten-year veteran, Ken Parish, who dates his startup to April or May of 2002. Ken’s post reminds me that I forgot to thank various people who have helped me with hosting the site, including our current host, Jacques Chester and, way back when, Rob Corr. Thanks so much to Jacques, Rob and the various commercial and open source services I’ve sued at different times.

fn1. A series of blog moves and crash recoveries have scrambled the archives, so that I can no longer determin an exact starting date.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Guest tweeting at #Lateline

April 23rd, 2012 23 comments

Showing my dedication to moving with the times, I’ll be staying up late to guest-tweet on #lateline tonight. Covering French elections, tobacco packaging and, inevitably, Peter Slipper.

Update Turned out to be a complete bust from my POV. The whole show (except for an out-of-place Foreign Correspondent style piece on asbestos in Swaziland) was spent on gotcha questions about Slipper, with Roxon playing a straight bat. Nothing on any of the topics where I could have made a useful comment. Apparently, this was unusually bad – #lateline is a trending topic on Twitter tonight, and not in a good way.

Categories: Media, Metablogging Tags:

The new era

April 17th, 2012 82 comments

With a lot of changes going on lately, I’ve taken a bit of time to think about the future of this blog. It will be ten years old in June, which makes it one of the longest running Australian blogs (a few, like Catallaxy, are a little older, IIRC, but their archives seem to have been lost). Those ten years have seen the rise and decline of blogging, particularly individual, independent blogs like this one. The XKCD cartoon linked in this Crooked Timber post tells the story.

The writing was on the wall as early as 2004, when I saw lots of my favorite blogs being assimilated by the Borg that became Crooked Timber. Seeing that resistance was futile, I joined the rush, but have kept this blog going with lots of crossposting, but more specifically Australian content here. Still, group blogs were clearly the wave of (what was then) the future. The most successful in Ozplogistan (the briefly popular name for Australian political blogs) have been Catallaxy, Club Troppo and Larvatus Prodeo. But there haven’t been any new entrants successful enough to attract sustained attention, and now LP is gone.

There are two obvious reasons for the decline of blogging. First, after disdaining everything to do with blogging for years, the mainstream media embraced the idea with enthusiasm five years ago or so, putting much of their content in blog form. The big media blogs now attract much larger audience than independent efforts like this one. Second, there has been the rise of Facebook and Twitter, both of which supply a lot of what attracted people to blogging in the first place. Twitter, in particular, can be quite close to the original form of blogging, based on short (very short in the case of Twitter) links to interesting material found on the web.

So, with the closure of LP and getting booted from the Fin, it seemed like a good time to reassess what I’m doing here. I’ve decided to put most of my effort into work that I can post in larger sites (I’ve had invitations from several, and at this stage I think I will try to play the field, rather than picking just one), but I will make it a condition that I can crosspost here. That will enable the discussion that goes on here to continue, and also make this blog a convenient point to collect all my material.

I’ll close by reproducing this post from 10 years ago

My blog is just about a week old, and I haven’t found the Internet this exciting since I discovered Usenet in the early 90s. Even setting up my website five years ago was not as good. Despite wildly varying ideological views, I’ve had a friendly welcome from bloggers across the board, and I’m already getting links and referrals (My return links will be up soon, I promise). It really seems as if blogs might deliver on the original promise of the Web – certainly the technology seems ideally suited for individuals and small groups, with no obvious way of scaling it up to corporate level. No doubt I’ll get jaded and disillusioned one day, but I hope it will be a long way in the future.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Another era ends

April 10th, 2012 21 comments

I’m in transit, so can’t respond at length, but I just found out Larvatus Prodeo is closing down. LP made a great contribution, and will be missed.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Behind the Seams Fundraiser

March 20th, 2012 Comments off

Behind the Seams has been an innovative project blogging the issues around Coal Seam Gas and the Queensland election. I’ve contributed some text, but the real work has been done by Mark Bahnisch, Pandora Karavan and a few others. They’ve incurred some pretty substantial expenses travelling to areas where farmers are dealing with CSG and spending unpaid time. There’s a final chance to contribute to the costs of the project here.

Categories: Environment, Metablogging Tags:

CSG: Behind the seams project

February 17th, 2012 Comments off

Blogs have played a significant role in expanding access to public debate on all sorts of issues. But, by the nature of blogging, the contributions have tended to be spasmodic, depending on the time, interest and access to relevant information of individual bloggers. A group of us, kicked off by Mark Bahnisch and others at Larvatus Prodeo, and with hosting from Crikey, have started a project to provide information and a forum for discussion about Coal Seam Gas in the context of the Queensland election, where it’s likely to be a hot issue.

You can get more info, and donate to support the project, here

To try and avoid scatter, I’m not allowing comments on this post. Ideally, wait for the site to go up at Crikey. I’ll foreshadow, though, that I don’t support a position of blanket opposition to CSG, which is likely to be something of a minority view in this context.

Categories: Environment, Metablogging Tags:

Crikey Group Subscription

February 3rd, 2012 Comments off

Every year, Club Troppo econoblogger Nicholas Gruen organizes a group subscription to Crikey. If you’re interested, check it out here

http://clubtroppo.com.au/2012/02/02/crikey-group-subscription-2/

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Light blogging ahead

August 26th, 2011 11 comments

Because of writing and travel commitments, I’ll be blogging less frequently for the next few months. I’ll try to put up some open threads – please keep discussion on these threads civil and friendly, so that I don’t have to intervene in their management.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Does digital data disappear?

August 8th, 2011 11 comments

I’ve seen this kind of article many times but is it correct? I’d say that I’ve generated several million words in papers, newspaper articles, blog posts and so on since I got my first Mac in 1984 (a bit over 100kw/yr for 25+ years, for something like 3 million), and also attracted maybe 10 million more in blog comments (over 100k of non-spam comments. Of that, I’ve lost
* a fair bit of material I produced before 1990, when hard disk space was v expensive, and stuff had to be stored in various external disk formats. Sadly that includes my first econ theory book and a book of satirical songs I turned out in the 198s0
* The first year or so of comments on my blog in the now-obsolete Haloscan system.
* The blog has also suffered a lot of linkrot, including internal links to its older incarnations
* A lot of my older text is in formats that can now only be read by extracting a text-only format, and some old stuff (eg pre .qif financial records) is in formats that are no longer readable in any way. But again, that’s mostly a problem with pre-1990 stuff.

Compared to my slightly obsessive desire to preserve every revision of every piece I’ve ever written, those are substantial losses. But compared to my paper records, my digital stuff is almost perfectly complete, not to mention instantly accessible and searchable.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Core Economics plug

August 5th, 2011 6 comments

I’ve been very gratified by the number of my fellow economists who’ve come to my defence[1] following the attack on me in the Oz. Among the first was Joshua Gans at Core Economics. I wrote to thank him, but haven’t got around to a public mention. Now that I am around to it, it’s a good opportunity to mention that Core Economics is a great blog, where quite a few of Australia’s leading economists (aka my mates) hang out. Go and read some of the posts.

fn1.* With notably rare exceptions * (I’m (ab)using this blogmeme ironically), any members of the profession who agreed with the hit have kept pretty quiet about it

Categories: Economics - General, Metablogging Tags:

Quiggingate: NYT vs the Oz

August 4th, 2011 18 comments

Not exactly, but Paul Krugman, writing in his NY Times blog, has backed me up in my latest stoush with the Murdoch Press, as has Brad DeLong. As Paul says, this kind of attack is a badge of honour.

Taking a break

April 21st, 2011 18 comments

I’m taking a break until after Easter. I hope that, by the time of my return, the performance problems that have been affecting the blog will have been resolved. In the meantime, best wishes to everyone for a happy and safe holiday.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Outage

April 18th, 2011 5 comments

I’ve finally decided to move this blog from its current hosting service (who inherited me from a smaller service they took over) to Jacques Chester’s Ozblogistan which is home to many of the leading Oz political-economic blogs these days. The first attempt at the weekend didn’t go so well, taking the blog offline for a while. But I’m hopeful we’ll manage the transition and that service will be greatly improved in the long run.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Sock puppet alert

March 6th, 2011 72 comments

I recently banned commenter “Charlie” for the suggestion that Queenslanders deserved to suffer from the floods because we didn’t build enough dams. Immediately, a new commenter “Henry Maltby” sprang to Charlie’s defence claiming, among other things to be a recent arrival in Queensland, considering study at UQ. The behavior patterns were suspicious enough for me to do an IP check that revealed, unsurprisingly, that Charlie and Maltby were the same person, with an address in Adelaide (I have my suspicions, as to who it is, but nothing definite). For any site-owners who don’t like abusive sockpuppeteers, the IP address to look for is 124.171.111.189.

Any sockpuppeteer is, by definition, a liar and fraud. But Charlie/Maltby also told numerous specific lies, and explicitly pretended to be two different people (rather than merely reappearing under a new name). And, as well as being a liar and fraud, s/he/it’s obviously a fool – too dumb even to spoof a fake IP address.

Update While Charlie/Maltby has been trolling here, Tim Curtin has been emailing me in an apparently civil fashion, and he sent me another email shortly after this was posted, admitting to it. It was, in any case, a very simple matter to check that he is using the same IP address as the sock puppets.

Read more…

Categories: Metablogging Tags:

Blog, interrupted

January 10th, 2011 3 comments

Hi everyone, The blog has been down for a few days due to a server failure, but that’s fixed now. I’m currently on the road, so posting will be light for a while.

Categories: Metablogging Tags: