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  • Blam! Sock! Pow!

    Posted by David Foster on August 1st, 2008 (All posts by )

    In June, a pack of University of Chicago professors sent a letter to the university’s President, objecting to naming a new Institute after the Nobel-prize-winning economist Milton Friedman.

    Comes now John Cochrane, a UC economics professor, with a brutal and effective deconstruction of the bad writing and bad thinking in this letter. (Via Newmark’s Door)


    9 Responses to “Blam! Sock! Pow!”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      Cochrane’s letter is very well done.

    2. Dan from Madison Says:

      That letter is awesome. Thanks for the link.

    3. Shannon Love Says:

      Leftist love passive voice because it lets them disguise exactly who they advocate should do what to whom. Specifically, it lets them disguise their true goal of creating a society in which articulate intellectuals stand above everyone else in power and status.

      I also love the slight of hand in which government action becomes “we act ” and private action “they act” even though ordinary citizens have no more influence of governments than they do the supposed evil corporations.

    4. david foster Says:

      “even though ordinary citizens have no more influence of governments than they do the supposed evil corporations”…considerably less. You can decide, as an individual, to refrain from buying a GM car, but don’t try the same thing with your state DMV.

    5. Sam_S Says:

      Whew: These are profs at UC? Well, you wonder who all the stupid and dangerous “liberal” academics are…..At least they all get together and put their names on some piece of monumental claptrap every now and then!

    6. fred lapides Says:

      First let me say that I don;’t give a hoot what they decide to call the thing. No skin off my back either way.

      That said, the oldest trick in the book: ignoring the arguement and like a freshman English instructor focusing on writing.

      ps: a “pack” of professors? Wow: see Fowler ASAP.

    7. Shannon Love Says:

      Fred Lapidies,

      John Cochrane did address their arguments at least to the degree to which he could puzzle them out.

      Pointing out these professors’ horrible writing is valid because these professors hold their positions in main part based on their supposed ability to think and communicate effectively. Imagine if you found out that the instructors at a medical school couldn’t take a pulse or tell you what the ulna was? You’d feel justified in questioning their competence.

    8. fred lapides Says:

      I have found that most professors in most fields can not write decent English…those objections were from economists, and I would expect that a medical doctor could take a pulse etc and still not write decent prose,though there is a rather distunguished history of physicians as fiction and non-fiction writing. Here some 150 or so
      wonder if they can take pulses and write up bills for their services.

    9. david foster Says:

      A “pack” of professors…if I were being mean, I could have used another collective noun..maybe “a pomposity of professors.”