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jerryking : editors   6

The Wordsmith Shares His Craft - WSJ
By Edward Kosner
May 17, 2017

DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?

By Harold Evans
Little, Brown, 408 pages, $27

Mr. Evans introduces a crisp curriculum of do’s and don’ts for the aspiring clear writer. He counsels the active voice over the passive, the parsimonious use of adjectives and the near banishment of adverbs. (Not as easily practiced as preached.) He also urges writers to cut fat, check their math, be specific, organize their material for clarity, accentuate the positive and never be boring.
active_voice  books  book_reviews  clarity  editors  parsimony  self-organization  words  wordsmiths  writing 
may 2017 by jerryking
How I learnt to love the economic blogosphere
July 27, 2016 | FT.com | Giles Wilkes.

Marginal Revolution
Econlog
Cafe Hayek
Stumbling and Mumbling
Brad Delong
Nick Rowe - Worthwhile Canadian Initiative
Steve Randy Waldman - Interfluidity
Slack Wire - JW Mason

"Sympathetic opinions coalesce in clusters of mutual congratulation (“must read: fellow blogger agreeing with my point of view!”). Dispute is often foully bad-tempered. Opposing positions are usually subject to a three-phased assault of selective quotation, exaggeration and abuse.'..."Lacking an editor to roll their eyes and ask what’s new, many writers soon become stale... Editors exist not only to find interesting pieces to publish but also to hold at bay the unstructured abundance of bilge that we do not need to read."....."...nothing as reliably good as the (eonomics) blogosphere. Some of its advantages are simply practical: free data, synopses of academic papers that the casual dilettante is unlikely to ever come across, a constant sense of what clever people are thinking about. But what is better is how its ungated to-and-fro lets a reader eavesdrop on schools of academic thought in furious argument, rather than just be subject to whatever lecture a professor wishes to deliver. No one learns merely by reading conclusions. It is in the space between rival positions that insight sprouts up, from the synthesis of clashing thoughts. Traditional newspaper columns are delivered as if to an audience of a million, none of whom might reply. The best blogs are the opening salvo in a seminar rather than the last word on the matter. They dumb down less "....."Ancient thinkers such as Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes and Iriving Fisher were deployed not as some sort of academic comfort blanket but because their insights are still fresh, and beautifully written."..."Reading the economic blogosphere in 2008 felt to me like the modern equivalent of watching Friedrich Hayek, Keynes and Friedman quarrelling in front of a graduate class about how FDR should react to the depression. "...."Interfluidity is where to find such brilliancies as “the moral case for NGDP [Nominal Gross Domestic Product] targeting”, a political look at a seemingly technical subject, and “Greece”, a furious examination of how the term “moral hazard” is being traduced in the euro crisis. "..."Waldman’s thoughts go far beyond such a crude duality. After a long discussion of measurement problems, the institutional constraints on innovation and much more, he zeroes in on how governments build institutions to handle the disruption wrought by technological change. In a few hundred words he flips around Cowen’s stance and, instead of looking at the growth of government as the problem, makes a case for its opposite. Technological change creates concentrations of power, which “demands countervailing state action if any semblance of broad-based affluence and democratic government is to be sustained”. We have always needed institutions to divert spending power to those left behind, otherwise social disaster beckons. "....When reading, look for sources with something new to say!
economics  economists  blogosphere  Tyler_Cowen  Paul_Krugman  Adam_Smith  information_overload  social_media  Brad_Delong  blogs  Friedrich_Hayek  Milton_Friedman  political  economy  editors  tough-mindedness  FDR  Great_Depression  insights  John_Maynard_Keynes  sophisticated  disagreements  argumentation  technological_change  innovation_policies  moral_hazards 
july 2016 by jerryking
Journalism’s problem is a failure of originality - The Globe and Mail
KELLY McBRIDE

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Sep. 28 2012

Professional journalism isn’t facing a plagiarism problem. It’s facing an originality failure....We have no way of knowing whether, proportionally, there’s more plagiarism in journalism today than there was 20 years ago. But we do know that commentators now work in very different circumstances. It used to be that local columnists used the phone and their feet. They spent time out of the office, just like their reporter colleagues. They went to the bar, the barbershop, the local college, the courtroom.

Why? Because, that’s where ideas took shape. Talking and thinking, thinking and talking, then trying it out on the keyboard. That’s how writers write. Sometimes, the work was good; more often, it was mediocre. Sometimes, editors sent it back. Whatever the quality, the ideas belonged to the columnist, informed by her reporting and research but grown in the writer’s head....In our panic to keep up with a changing world, we’ve failed to identify new methods for originality. We need to look to the writer-editor relationship, to the community of writers and thinkers and to the very process that writers use to go from nothing to something.

We’re mystified by the prospect of building a culture that breeds original thinking and writing in today’s digital world. Yet, we can look to writers who are successfully hitting the mark of originality and imitate their methods.

Today’s most original successful writers often combine the new and the old to foster their thinking. Writers such as Anne Lamott or columnist Connie Schultz test out their ideas in social media settings such as Twitter or Facebook. And they stay grounded in the real world, allowing for the influence of other people and experiences.
in_the_real_world  journalism  originality  scuttlebutt  thinking  plagiarism  editors  writers  writing  social_media  testing  original_thinking  ideas 
october 2012 by jerryking
The Clintons' last hurrah: watching the skunk in the alley
Thorsell, William. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 16 Feb 2001: .13

The Wall Street Journal is the best-edited newspaper in the world, and its relentless editorial pages are sometimes superlative, too. This week, a Journal editorial disposed of Bill Clinton's shrinking rump of defenders with enviable finality. And last week, the Journal published a potent denunciation of the United States' governing elites -- "the dominant minority" on which the long-term welfare of any great civilization depends. Together, it was like reading a very good second draft of history.

The first of these forays can be explained by partisan predilection, as the Journal's genome contains the protein marker for Republicans in every cell, including the one that defines how you dress. But the editorial page's fervent hostility to Bill and Hillary Clinton goes far beyond the bounds of ideological conviction. It bespeaks moral outrage at the Clintons' damnable ability to act badly and then implicate a majority of Americans in their sins by sustaining public support...The context for all this was forcefully provided one week earlier in a Journal editorial-page essay coldly titled Prole Models. Charles Murray argued that America's governing elites have allowed repugnant lower-class values to become fashionable in society, nay, have adopted them. Citing Arnold Toynbee's cautionary tale in A Study of History,Mr. Murray warned against the rising social status of the Thug Code: "Take what you want, respond violently to anyone who antagonizes you, gloat when you win, despise courtesy as weakness, treat women as receptacles, take pride in cheating, deceiving or exploiting successfully."...The Wall Street Journal is an important instrument of the American establishment, and thus a contradiction to the thesis that U.S. elites have lost their way. Indeed, the political power of the religious right suggests the opposite, to the point that pluralist democracy might become at issue there. But Bill Clinton has ultimately validated the Journal's distinctive moral outrage by his consistently cynical indifference to its strictures.
thug_code  William_Thorsell  Bill_Clinton  Hillary_Clinton  moral_codes  Charles_Murray  underclass  values  social_classes  editors  cultural_values  cautionary_tales 
august 2011 by jerryking
L. Gordon Crovitz: The Search for Serendipity as Web Readers Miss Editors - WSJ.com
APRIL 5, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON CROVITZ.
The Search for Serendipity. Believe it or not, some Web readers are
starting to miss editors. "While digital media have given us access to
endless information from diverse sources, many of us focus our news
habits on narrow topics and familiar points of view. We end up
discovering fewer new ideas or opinions. In short, we have more
information but less understanding.

The challenge for modern information consumers becomes: How do you
discover what you don't know you want to know?

Old-time print journalists bemoan the absence of serendipity—the
accidental discovery of stories that readers didn't know they were
interested in reading."
curation  curiosity  digital_media  editors  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  print_journalism  serendipity  unknowns 
april 2010 by jerryking

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