Blogospherosity

Myth is starting to become the subject of pretty frequent blogospheric discussion. Some of this is just because I made sure bloggers got copies. That explains this nice post by my former neighbor Phil Coggan, the capital markets editor at the Economist. And this one by Matthew Yglesias. My editor gave a copy to Baseline Scenario's James Kwak, which resulted in this. My PR czarina got a book to The Deal's Robert Teitelman, which led to this.

But a lot of blog mentions now are just coming out of the woodwork. Some are from people who bought the book and have been reading it, others simply seem motivated by the title. I have unwittingly (or half-wittingly) followed the advice of David Brooks, from Bobos in Paradise, on how to make a splash in American intellectual life:

To get the most attention, the essay should be wrong. … Yale professor Paul Kennedy had a distinguished but unglamorous career under his belt when he wrote The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, predicting American decline. He was wrong, and hundreds of other commentators rose to say so, thus making him famous and turning his book into a bestseller. Francis Fukuyuma wrote an essay called "The End of History," which seemed wrong to people who only read the title. Thousands of essayists wrotes pieces pointing out that history had not ended, and Fukuyama became a global sensation.

I like to think my book falls in the Fukuyama category (the title is perhaps exaggerated, but the text holds up pretty well), not the Kennedy one. Although I'm not sure Kennedy was wrong. Early, perhaps. But not necessarily wrong.

Brooks also recommends book titles that begin with The End of, or The Death of. I guess The Myth of is close enough.

2 thoughts on “Blogospherosity

  1. THE FINANCIAL CRISIS?
    As far as I know God has created quite a bit
    A variety of materials on planet earth
    Stone gravel silver iron machinery scissors paper salmon Mercedes windmills water Madeira cake the sky and the sea and a God damn hell of a lot more.
    Let me simplify what I mean:
    Karl owns five cows and he would like to see them out to grass in the green fields
    Johannes who lives a hundred yards down the road has got the grass-green pasture
    Karl phones Johannes in order to rent his field
    but Johannes declines ’cause Karl hasn’t got the cash to pay for it
    and Johannes does not believe in credit
    Johannes wants to buy some milk and meat from Karl
    and phones Karl to ask about the meat and the milk
    Karl in turn says no ’cause Johannes can’t pay in cash either
    Neither Karl nor Johannes believe in credit
    Karl’s cows starve to death and Johannes’ green grass
    rots in the field until it is no longer of any value to anyone, man or beast
    Something in this simple story just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense
    ARE MONEY AND THE SYSTEM OF FINANCES THE CAUSE OF THIS TRAGEDY?
    We cannot eat gold or diamonds or bone dry dollars
    If there are enough hands and crushing of material to work with, why we have a financial crisis then? We could build a new Mercedes for all Chinese people, if we would – patches throughout Africa, with windmills ect.
    They say the culture is rich but it is far from – it is avid – it is just as poor as all the people who do not have part of all the world’s goods.
    Are we talking about a real crisis – it must be here, and only cultures can change this fact if we want.
    Quote pp.

  2. Poul Pava on Climate.
    Why don’t WE spend time and money on putting up
    some Vestas windmills of the coast of Africa ?
    They could easily pump up water to all those people who are drying out as we speak
    The dry African wind can soon blow them all the way to EUROPE being as light as they have become these days.
    You cannot live on sand and gravel alone.
    Technologies capable of turning salt water into fresh water already exist.
    Following this train of thought we’d water all the crappy places simultaneously solving the problem with sea level rise.
    Africa and other countries with similar problems could become fertile and lush areas to the benefit of everyone on the planet.
    Why don’t we just do it!
    Fetching the water on Mars is a bit far fetched!!
    Quote pp.

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