Thursday , May 28 2020
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Expert Failure in Times of Crisis

Summary:
I have tried to use this time to stay focused on research, writing and teaching.  But, as imagine is common, my attention has been drawn to current affairs and learning how to operate in a virtual classroom while attempting to be an engaging and effective educator.  That doesn't mean my normal interests have taken a backseat, it just means my juggling of my time and attention has required a different focus than was the case prior to March 2020. This juggling, as well as my intellectual interests, have led me to "attend" multiple webinars.  I consistently join the webinar at Princeton on Monday and Fridays on the economic and political economy of COVID-19 -- talks, e.g., by Cowen, Deaton, Kremer, Stiglitz, Acemoglu, Rodrik, Krugman, and this week Cochrane, and upcoming Summers.  I

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I have tried to use this time to stay focused on research, writing and teaching.  But, as imagine is common, my attention has been drawn to current affairs and learning how to operate in a virtual classroom while attempting to be an engaging and effective educator.  That doesn't mean my normal interests have taken a backseat, it just means my juggling of my time and attention has required a different focus than was the case prior to March 2020.

This juggling, as well as my intellectual interests, have led me to "attend" multiple webinars.  I consistently join the webinar at Princeton on Monday and Fridays on the economic and political economy of COVID-19 -- talks, e.g., by Cowen, Deaton, Kremer, Stiglitz, Acemoglu, Rodrik, Krugman, and this week Cochrane, and upcoming Summers.  I also have consistently been walking twice a day and that enables me to catch up on my podcast listening, with probably 80% COVID-19 related.  And, I have tried to articulate aspects of my own perspective on this at this site, and at AIER.  But I am trying to constantly learn the public health issues, the social science of public health, and history of public health efforts.  I wrote a column for AIER on doing science in real time that I think explains the dilemma --- we need epistemic humility, not epistemic arrogance I argued in another column -- and yet we must make progress in science and try to strive for rationality in democratic action.

Roger Koppl's Expert Failure is a great book that was published in the Cambridge University Press series that Timur Kuran and I edit, and it is extremely relevant to our current affairs.  Here is Roger presenting his main thesis of the book, and applying it. Highly recommended listening.

Peter Boettke
Peter Joseph Boettke (January 3, 1960) is an American economist of the Austrian School. He is currently a University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University; the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism, Vice President for Research, and Director of the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at GMU.

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