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Economic News, Data and Analysis

Krugman Does Blog

Paul Krugman surfs the web. I’ve always suspected it, could find hints here and there, see some fingerprints in his articles. His last NYTimes editorial, The Bully’s Pulpit, leaves an unmistakable trail through cyberspace.
I think his latest article is a lesson on how ideas can circulate from mainstream media, through blogs, and back again.
His article begins with recycled idea from ABC’s weblog “The Note”. The idea was called the “chocolate-is-vanilla” claim, and indicated that the press is getting annoyed with Ari Fleischer’s alleged strategy of claiming the opposite of what seems to be an obvious truth.
Does Krugman read “The Note” on a regular basis? Probably not. Most likely he got the citation a few days ago from Brad DeLong’s weblog. DeLong and Krugman (I believe) overlapped at MIT in the late 1980’s, and have likely run into each other at the NBER on various occasions.
Later in the article, Krugman cites Joshua Marshall’s talkingpointsmemo.com.
So, Krugman is making his way around the web. Perhaps even here, since DeLong recently linked to my entry on CBO’s cyclically adjusted deficit estimations.
My guess is that as the Blogging community (aka the “blogosphere”) grows, this kind of circulation of ideas will become more and more important.
I’m starting to think that bloggers are the subconscious of the web. Each blog is like a neuron in the collective brain. This is where ideas are stored, mulled over, transmitted to other nodes, and sometimes bubble up to the top. Blogdex is a good way to tap into the collective subconscious – it lists the most popular links in the weblog community.
I think it will be interesting to see if the full-time media will be sucked into the blogging craze. More and more on-line pubs are starting blogs, including ABC news’ Note, Slate’ kausfiles, MSNBC’s altercation, The American Prospect’s TAP, and others.
If Krugman is reading blogs, you can bet others, including full-time journalists, are reading as well.
So, that’s my contribution to the collective brain for now.

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