A Persian Cafe, Edward Lord Weeks

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

On Controversial Premises

I very rarely find Chris Dillow worth reading. It's not that he doesn't have anything of interesting to say: it's that so much of what he says is predicated upon the assumption that his controversial economic beliefs are right. Today's post is as good an example as any, the first two-thirds of which says nothing more than "the far left is correct about the economy, George Osborne is wrong, but mainstream Labourites can't bring themselves to admit this." If you don't accept that, then there's really nothing you gain from reading him - which is a disappointment, since I like to learn stuff, and especially to learn from people with whom I tend to disagree.

But then again, it would be stupid to require people to stick only to saying what is uncontroversial. Partly because the meaning of "controversial" would become heavily contested, and partly because the way progress happens is that people build upon past work and newcomers to the field, excited by all the new work happen, adopt the most productive theories. The point of science is not to convince everyone of what is true, but to use our knowledge to do cool stuff.

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