Weird Science

Friday, October 03, 2008


For nearly a decade, NPR's David Kestenbaum covered science. Before that, he was a physicist. But just last month, he switched beats to ... the economy. Needless to say, the days of irrefutable facts and axiomatic equations are over. Kestenbaum talks about the challenges of the economics beat.
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Comments [5]


This is the second "Haha, reporters don't understand economics -isn't that funny?" section I've heard; meanwhile, if CNN did a segment on how they really don't understand how voting works (the outcomes are so crazy!), I think they would get some On The Media flack.

How did you take someone from Planet Money -a podcast that is doing a good job engaging with the *uncertainty* in financial markets right now- and make this! Get Felix Salmon, get Brad DeLong, get Dean Baker - comment on the media!

I still like the show


Oct. 07 2008 08:28 AM
Hazel Singer from Seattle

As a physicist, Mr. Kestenbaum may appreciate reading The Entropy Law and the Economic Process by Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen.

Oct. 05 2008 10:42 PM
bozo_de_niro from San Jose

Picky picky picky. I think he did a great job. Now I'm going to listen to it to see if I'm right.


PS: Just kidding. It was a perfectly good report.

PPS: Economics needs a new dedinition, here's mine:

Economics: the science of monetizing civility, confidence and trade.

Oct. 05 2008 08:34 PM
Scott Schaefer

This was quite a bad commentary.

It's a fact that people respond to incentives. It's a fact that it's difficult to provide the exactly right incentives in the banking sector. It's a fact that there are hard tradeoffs between using profit-based incentives to motivate innovation in the banking sector, and limiting moral hazard that may fall on governments.

None of these facts mean that economics isn't a science. This reporter needs to take a year off and go get some education.

Oct. 05 2008 05:56 PM
Michael C. Thorogood

The few podcasts that I have listened to here are generally well done. However this particular one is superfluous and devoid of any factual content.

Oct. 04 2008 10:51 PM

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