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Archive for May 4th, 2011

Tony’s Metapost II

Since midterms, my posts have changed. There were a few things that I promised myself I would do better on, and I have. A few negative things were also dragged along in my posts as I attempted to get better, and learn more about law and economics. I was much more creative and original in my thoughts, arguments, and titles this time around. I also, unfortunately, used a whole lot of bad rhetorical questions, and my creativity sometimes got in the way of being heavily involved with the readings. Last semester I developed the ability to spark my own thoughts from the readings. This semester I learned to develop those sparked thoughts. Another skill I learned this semester that I did not use previously was using material from other relevant classes. There do not seen to be themes that prevailed heavily in my work, although it looks as if I purposely wrote about economic concepts that were not in the subject matter for the week, and ended up writing about them some other time. What I talked about diversified greatly from last semester. I improved, but there’s still room for improvement.

The creativity in my posts was really nice until the last few posts. This may be narcissistic but I love the titles I came up with. They are pretty funny I think. I even forgot why I called “Tasty Decisions” what I called it until I realized that I was talking about preference in the market and not food. Other good titles were “Monoplease…” and, “McDarrrrnlds.” “The Unguided Criminal” may be the most original post I wrote. It is about what our system would be like if we rewarded good behavior as well as punished bad behavior. I was pleased with my writing style and reaching the goals I wanted.

In my posts, materials from classes I’m either taking now, or took a semester ago was popping up. I saw a lot of ideas from Machiavelli this go around, and many other ideas from political theory. I’ve also used contemporary American history information (which is my major) to argue against authors, like in “Monoplease…” This is probably not a good strategy for someone who is an amateur economist, but I did it anyway.

I also encountered a few problems. Because I was trying to amp up my style, I used a lot of rhetorical questions. A lot. I think I have them in most posts, right near the end, without answering them. That is a bad writing strategy because it frustrates the reader, and discredits the writer for not completing thoughts. Along with rhetorical questions, I made some bad arguments. In “Monoplease…” I argued that legislatures are under contract with voters, but I did not consider the trustee model. The argument would have been stronger if I had at least tried to discredit that model. In “Tort(ure) by Liability” I completely set myself up to make a great argument on how taste and culture effects liability rules, but ended up making an argument that was weak about people who automatically assume responsibility no matter what law says.

The subject matter of my posts this half of the semester was broader than the last (which I count to be a good thing). I did tend to talk about incentives for politicians a few times, because I feel that that is important to consider as a participant in society. I also compared the government to a business many times, which reveals my skepticism. Overall, the subject matter was better this semester. I ranted about free market institutions in what seemed like every other post last semester. I didn’t even get bored re-reading my posts this time.

This half of the semester saw blogging progression. I was able to be more creative and original in my posts. I had some trouble with writing lots of rhetorical questions and weak arguments. I diversified my gambit of writing subjects unlike sticking to a single theme by accident like last time. I really enjoy the books we used for class and for the most part, enjoyed writing the blogs.