one of the root causes of bad academics today

One of the root causes of the problems of academic work today is surely the lack of open, possibly confrontative communication. Instead of sitting alone in the offices, and ‘communicating’ by way of gathering information, we may learn from a kind of small print we find in the preface to Keynes’ General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.

The writer of a book such as this, treading along unfamiliar paths, is extremely dependent on criticism and conversation if he is to avoid an undue proportion of mistakes. It is astonishing what foolish things one can temporarily believe if one thinks too long alone, particularly in economics (along with the other moral sciences), where it is often impossible to bring one’s ideas to a conclusive test either formal or experimental.

Well, there is so much in economics – even in unexpected veins – one could sometimes think economists are just ordinary human beings.

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