Arnold Kling  

Tyler Cowen and Robin Hanson

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A bloggingheads dialog. I think it really heats up starting about 30 minutes in. If you want to know what it's like to argue with Tyler or Robin, watching this will show you.


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CATEGORIES: Economic Methods



COMMENTS (11 to date)
Fenn writes:

Been looking forward to this for over a year.

Sorry to be trollish (and won't again): but what is Henderson's role on this blog besides making you and Caplan look even better in comparison?

I'm glad he removed his post about Stossel & Hannity from earlier today because it was an embarrassment, but this squad was a lot more respectable before they let the cheerleader start taking snaps.

Unit writes:

Uh? Why was the Stossel/Hannity post removed? Now I feel bad that I didn't think anything bad about it.

Todd writes:

I came away thinking that arguing with either of them would be a lot of fun. Very thought provoking.

I found Robin more convincing overall. At times I found it difficult to follow Tyler, so I apologize if I am misrepresenting his position, but it sounded to me as if he was advancing the position that since intuitive bias was unavoidable on some level, no one could claim to present a more rational point of view because of the specific processes he used to reach his conclusion. That doesn't seem right to me. While I agree that a healthy dose of skepticism is useful even when analyzing the published results of scientific research, I would be surprised if the pronouncements of people speaking from their "gut instinct" were, in aggregate, anywhere near as accurate as the predictions made by experts informed by deliberate, rational analysis of the best data available.

I also think Robin had the right characterization of the difference between intuitive vs. rational conclusions. The degree to which a person can verbalize their thought processes should be a good proxy for that difference.

Blackadder writes:

And to think that it's normally you vs. both of them together.

Kartik writes:

Sorry to be persistent, but this topic is very relevent to Robin Hanson's work on 21st century growth rates.

Arnold,

Do you still believe the 21st century GDP growth projections that you discussed over here :

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2004/01/longterm_growth.html

Are you still expecting that level of growth in the 2020s, 30s, and 40s? If not, do you have new expectations?

Justin Ross writes:

In general, I agreed with Robin more than Tyler.

Arnold Kling writes:

Kartik,
I still think that very high GDP growth later this century is a highly probably scenario. However, it might start to accelerate in 2050 rather than 2020, or it might not start to accelerate at all.

Greg Ransom writes:

Did anyone else think this was one of the worst blogging heads ever?

It made me think of that old ad, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

These guys need a new format -- unfocused rambling doesn't doesn't work for these guys.

Kartik writes:

Arnold,

So you no longer are making specific forecasts on 21st century GDP growth, as you did a few years ago for Mark Bahner?

Arnold Kling writes:

Mark wanted some scenario analysis for the future. I decided that Kurzweil's singularity is a reasonable scenario, and I made a rough guess about that scenario. To call it a specific forecast is a stretch. Mark translated some very loose comments of mine into something resembling a specific forecast.

consider writes:

Before I knew Kling made an estimate, I made my own graph after listening to Kurzweil in 2003. I took the liberty of using estimates for 1600 and 1750 growth which in addition to the last 200 years sure looks like GDP will be *very* high this century. There is a lot of art in this future science, so it isn't clear where it gets to 7% and beyond. I discovered by stopping the cure at 1900 that it should have happened already... stupid models. (I think Kling found something similar)

But if you consider what computing power will look like just 10 years from now, it looks likely that stronger growth will start as early as 2015 (not including rebound) and just keep growing over time.

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