Making them up as I go (2)

1. Tell the truth.
2. Entice, or fail.
3. To emphasize, summarize.
4. If it ain't short, it don't work.
5. Be clear.

And so I don't forget:
Don't explain. Just tell a story.
Don't argue. Just say things that make sense.
Expect people to be bored by the writing, and shorten it.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Easy to fix

Reading How high debt leads to income inequality by Atif Mian and Amir Sufi. I thought I'd be interested in the economics. Instead I focus on this:
Money can’t make up for the loss of one’s home, but it ensures that a family can begin rebuilding their lives during such a desperate time.
"A family" is singular. "Their lives" is plural. How can I assume that Mian and Sufi's economic logic is sound when between the two authors they cannot tell one from more than one?

It's easy to fix. Just change "a family" to "families".

Economics is all about having the best story. Good stories need good sentences. Bad sentences are distracting.

Don't ask me why it's "economics is".

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Heart and Mind

Sentences in development:
I'm something of a monetarist at heart. To my mind, even if monetary balances are not the cause of recessions, they must nonetheless be evidence.
That doesn't work. Maybe this:
I'm something of a monetarist at heart. Even if monetary balances are not the cause of recessions, they must nonetheless be evidence.
Moving on.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Literacy skills

Found this in the new 70-page PDF from the Harvard Business School Survey on U.S. Competitiveness, Problems Unsolved and a Nation Divided:
Younger cohorts of U.S. workers have higher literacy scores than older cohorts in absolute terms, reflecting U.S. skills improvement over time. But workers elsewhere have improved even faster. American workers from earlier generations are more literate than their international peers of the same age, but younger U.S. workers are less literate than their peers.
Younger Americans are more literate than older Americans? That depends on your standard of literacy.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

If you say you "over-exaggerated"...

If you say you "over-exaggerated" it means you still think you should have exaggerated, but not quite so much.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Not for its economics

From The Economist:

David Ricardo showed in 1817 that a country could benefit from trade even if it did everything better than its neighbours. A country that is better at everything will still be “most better”, so to speak, at something. It should concentrate on that, Ricardo showed, importing what its neighbours do “least worse”.

If bad grammar is not enough to make the point, an old analogy might...

I thought that was nicely written -- or at least a nice escape from some fairly crude terminology.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Use over time

Not quite at random, "use over time" graphs from Google:

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Formatting HTML, a detail

On the econ blog I'm complaining about Martin Feldstein. Yeah you should have heard of him // I'm not gonna say who he is // It doesn't matter anyway.

I looked him up on Wikipedia. Copied the first paragraph and pasted into my blog. Pasted it in the "compose" view. That way the links and HTML formatting gets pasted in, along with the text. So I get to see how (in this case) Wikipedia had formatted the text.

The article begins with Feldstein's name. As Wikipedia has it:

Martin Stuart "Marty" Feldstein

If you look at Wikipedia's HTML for Feldstein's name, it turns out that the name is bolded but the quote marks are not.

<b>Martin Stuart</b> "<b>Marty</b>" <b>Feldstein</b>

The text is bolded, but the quote marks are not. I always wondered how to handle situations like that. I think this is a good way to do it.