Thursday, May 1, 2008

Welcome to my blog

As this is the first post, I'd like to tell you a little bit about what the blog will be like. My catch phrase above really gets to the heart of it. I believe I have accumulated a great deal of intuition and knowledge regarding economics, finance, and other subjects (please see the "About Me" blurb to the left), and that I am good at teaching what I know in a way that's clear and easy to understand, but also accurate.

I am far less willing than average to say something that is simple but substantially false and misleading in order to make it easier to understand. What you end up easily understanding is something that's substantially false, and often in important ways. I believe I am good at teaching difficult things clearly and in an easy to understand way without saying things about it that are simple, but very untrue. What makes me think this? As you can see from the "About Me" blurb, I have a lot of experience teaching and have gotten some great feedback.

This leads me to the next point. First, I really want to be truthful and accurate, and part of that is not lying about myself, so I don't want to say I don't think I'm an excellent teacher because that would be untrue. Furthermore, I don't want to just say nothing about it, because I think it's valuable for you to know this, and that I do get outstanding teaching reviews. It is an important benefit of reading my blog. In any case, though, if I sound egotistical, I apologize.

You may have also noticed that my writing often deviates from what is considered today to be "good style". For example, it's not "tight enough", "concise enough"; it has grammar errors, non-misleadingness is not a word, etc., etc. I am far less willing than average to sacrifice clarity, accuracy, ease of understanding, and important nuance, details, caveats, etc., to get what is considered "good writing style".

For important material, it's usually much better that it be less "tight" so that people really understand it. You do no one a favor if you make it have 50% less words, but they end up having to slowly read it twice, actually spending more time, and they still don't understand many important things. You do them no favor if you leave out a lot of important nuance, detail, and caveats, so it's smooth flowing and concise, saving them maybe 10 minutes, but costing them far more from mistakes they make from not knowing this important nuance, detail, etc.

So you will see that my writing often deviates substantially from what's considered today to be "good style", but I hope you will also find that it's very clear, fast and easy to understand, and that you gain a great deal of valuable understanding, that in many cases you weren't finding elsewhere.

Sometimes you may think I could have explained something just as well with "good writing style", and you may be right, but if I don't have time to think of a way to explain it well that's smooth, I may just choose to just state it clearly and accurately, even if it's clunky, rather than not stating it at all. As you can see from my "About Me", like most people, I have a lot going on in my life and limited time, and I believe in having a personal life and plenty of sleep for good health. So often I won't have much time for the blog. But I think one of the great things about blogs is they're a way to get writing out quickly; they're a forum where you don't have to spend a lot of time to get it really polished, and this is very valuable, because without such forums a lot of great information and ideas would really never get out, or would get out much later. It would just keep getting put off until the person had time to polish it and get it into a finished state. That might be years later (if ever), and the ideas and information might have done a lot of good if they were released earlier, especially if they were very topical. So blogs serve an important function in that regard, and I'm quite sure I'll be posting a lot of very unpolished writing.

Thank you for reading, and without further ado, let's get started...