I’m going to keep this brief, but one thing I’ve noticed lately (and certainly something I’ve been guilty of at times) is the destructive mentality in economic debates that leads to an environment that is not conducive to learning or better understanding. I mention this only because I see it so consistently in economics debates that I’ve noticed how counterproductive it can be. This is one of the dangers of the internet. The lack of face to face confrontation leads the writer and reader to be more dismissive and at times emotional. This distracts from the debate and the learning process that is so crucial to what’s actually being discussed. The result is often a devolving conversation resulting in no progress. The two parties sling mud, shake hands and then walk away having achieved nothing….What is the point?
Anyhow, I don’t want to go off on some rant, but I like to think that one thing that sets Pragcap apart from many other sites is the fact that the debates and conversations are generally on point and rarely devolve into petty name calling and other forms of argumentative discussion that detract from the conversation. The economy is a complex dynamic system. No one has all the answers. Not me, not you, not anyone. We’re all trying to engage one another in order to further this understanding. But when egos and politics get in the way the conversation goes nowhere. We should embrace being wrong at times. I am wrong all the time. It’s often the best way to learn.
What’s more important is that when you’re wrong you not only embrace that you’re wrong, but you embrace what’s right. Perhaps even more important is that in order to help someone else understand you have to be able to do so without turning them off to your argument with petty comments and politicization. Most of us agree on a lot more than we disagree about, but for some reason we let the minor disagreements create enormous divides that result in it being impossible to find any common ground….That’s unfortunate as it directly impedes our progress as a society….