Economics is both a specialized science, and one that citizens should learn to be informed participants
Posted by Peter Boettke on April 08, 2009
Hayek said that the economist is called upon to offer his advice on matters of public policy more than any other discipline only to have that advice dismissed almost as soon as it is uttered. As he later said "The curious task of economics to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design." Economics is counter-intuitive and most individuals are not equipped to follow its logic.You can replace "Austrian economics" with any subject. This article just found its way into my RSS reader bin serendipitously. But it is a great case in point. The academic intellectual "in crowd" always makes this argument. But is that really true? How do we know?
... Austrian economics cannot be simultaneously a discipline requiring rigorous training and a subject that one can pick up in their spare time by reading blogs and resources available on the web.
Perhaps it would be more productive and effective to assume that it is possible to learn by reading blogs and resources available on the web. Especially if all the technology and flexible learning developments - lectures, simulations, collaboration, communities, social networks... are taken into consideration.
As we move forward, putting the emphasis on assessing "what is known" will be more important than how it got to be known.
Now about that do-it-yourself brain surgery kit...