Better Explanations Are A Waste Of Time

NZIER economist Shamubeel Eaqub interacts with the public at large over at Interest.co.nz, discussing house prices in Auckland amongst other things.

The comments devolve into anti-economist derp, without any discussion of the actual topic at hand. The benefits of interaction with the general voting public are significantly over-estimated.

Comment sections on almost every website are terrifying. It’s amazing how illogical most participants are, and of course you have to be on the look out for someone invoking Godwin’s Law.

Social media and commenting on blogs has set back the progress of thought a generation. Too many stupid people are sharing their opinions and influencing others who won’t spend the time reviewing the literature, reading long books on the issue written by experts or even acknowledging that maybe, just maybe, someone has a more informed opinion than they do and should be at least considered before they explode in an outburst of derp.

This isn’t an endorsement of technology driven wonk-led policy formation. It’s more of a call to take a minute to think before participating in a discussion. Most issues are way more complex than they seem – and the intuitive, easy answers run the risk of being completely opposed to reality and how the world actually works.