bad_history   26

Bernard Sergent, review essay - Penser: Et mal penser: Les Indo-Européens on JSTOR
Reviewed Work: Les Indo-Européens by Jean Haudry -- Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 37e Année, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 1982), pp. 669-681 -- review is under the Polémiques category! - downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  historiography  bad_history  Indo-European  cultural_history  racialism  archaeology  anthropology  epistemology-history  downloaded 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
'Mark Thoma - The Triumph of Backward-Looking Economi - cs'
In response to Paul Krugman’s recent post, “The Triumph of Backward-Looking Economics” — no surprise here — there is disagreement from Steve Williamson. So let… Thoma replays what the history shows - and as Krugman notes, it's insane that at the very time Volker was demonstrating Tobin's Keynesianism was right and the freshwater guys were all wet, the academic macroeconomists were letting the Chicago folks declare victory over the hated Keynes and his fellow travelers. We should add Friedman to the list of those whom Volker proved wrong. And yet Friedman and the freshwater folks are considered giants by all bien pensants. There's something uncanny about how successful the Right is in rewriting history and have their phony claims become generally accepted "knowledge" (e.g. Reconstruction or Reagan win the Cold War) Most astonishing are the generations of academic economists who came up post1980 and have bought the death-of-failed-Keynes story. When with a moment's reflection the most unsophisticated would note the prima facia disconnect between freshwater and monetarist claims to have defeated Keynes at precisely the moment, when, between Volker and Reagan, Friedman's monetary policy was proven worse than useless in practice, supply side was indeed voodoo, and the major macro variables tracked the Keynesian framework. The history that economists tell each other is mostly right-wing propaganda.
social_sciences-post-WWII  Tobin  Romer  Volker  RBC  macroeconomic_policy  Keynesian  New_Keynesian  monetary_policy  macroeconomics  Instapaper  bad_history  Krugman  bad_economics  neoclassical_economics  monetary_theory  Lucas 
september 2015 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - The last crusade - Eurozine - Nov 2011
Original in The New Humanist June 2011 -- The claim that Christianity provides the bedrock of Western culture might serve the interests of extremists, but it is a betrayal of a far more complex history. In the warped mind of Anders Breivik, his murderous rampages in Oslo and Utoya earlier this year were the first shots in a war in defence of Christian Europe. Not a religious war but a cultural one, to defend what Breivik called Europe's "cultural, social, identity and moral platform". Few but the most psychopathic can have any sympathy for Breivik's homicidal frenzy. Yet the idea that Christianity provides the foundations of Western civilisation, and of its political ideals and ethical values, and that Christian Europe is under threat, from Islam on the one side and "cultural Marxists" on the other, finds a widespread hearing. The erosion of Christianity, in this narrative, will lead inevitably to the erosion of Western civilisation and to the end of modern, liberal democracy. -- useful roundup of the pundits and publishers churning out these claims -- downloaded pdf to Note
Europe  cultural_history  identity_politics  collective_memory  cultural_authority  grand_narrative  culture_wars  Christianity  Christianity-Islam_conflict  Christendom  bad_history  narrative-contested  morality-Christian  morality-divine_command  relativism  modernity  anti-secularization  post-secular  rights-legal  rights-political  human_rights  Enlightenment  Counter-Enlightenment  Enlightenment_Project  right-wing  Judeo-Christian  secular_humanism  anti-humanism  religious_history  religious_culture  Islamic_civilization  Islam-Greek_philosophy  Stoicism  New_Testament  Augustine  original_sin  memory-cultural  memory-group  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Emile Chabal & Stephan Malinowski - Can Britain be European? Beyond the "Historians for Britain" Manifesto - Books & ideas - 22 June 2015 (French June 19)
an article by (..) David Abulafia, boldly entitled ‘Britain: apart from or a part of Europe?’, published online in early May 2015 in the popular history journal History Today. (..) plainly restated the Eurosceptic ideology that lies at the heart of the Historians for Britain campaign, (..) If the piece had been limited to this rather unremarkable argument, it would probably have sunk without trace. But...it was intended as a historical narrative of British exceptionalism. (..) Unlike in 2013, the reaction this time was instantaneous. An open letter to History Today – signed by over 250 historians – denounced the historical inaccuracies and elisions in Abulafia’s piece. Another group of historians announced the creation of an online counter-group called Historians for History. Even the national press picked up on the controversy in a series of articles and editorials. But, while many of these attacks on the Historians for Britain manifesto have (rightly) focused their attention on correcting the numerous errors and simplifications in the text, there is a strong case to be made for unpacking, not simply the details of the manifesto, but also its underlying assumptions – none of which can be understood in isolation from the British experience of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In particular, we would like to draw attention to two assumptions that reveal a good deal about the way British history is taught and disseminated: first, a myth of continuity and stability; and, second, the celebration of British exceptionality. -- downloaded English version pdf to Note (both at U of Edinburgh)
British_history  UK_politics  EU  EU_governance  Europe-19thC  19thC  20thC  British_Empire  Eurosceptic  Tories  historians-and-politics  bad_history  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Matt Taibbi - Forget What We Know Now: We Knew Then the Iraq War Was a Joke | Rolling Stone
So presidential hopeful Jeb Bush is taking a pounding for face-planting a question about his brother’s invasion of Iraq. Apparently, our national media priests…
US_politics  US_foreign_policy  US_government  Bush_administration  Iraq  bad_history  bad_journalism  public_opinion  intelligence_agencies  GWOT  Pentagon  Instapaper  from instapaper
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Book Review: ‘To Explain the World’ by Steven Weinberg - WSJ
The theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg joins a list of distinguished scientists who have turned their hands to historical or philosophical reflections on science. Mr. Weinberg won his Nobel Prize in physics in 1979 for theoretical work on the unification of forces operating between subatomic particles. As his active involvement in research declined, he has become a prolific contributor to what’s called the “public understanding of science”—writing a popular tract on the search for a “Final Theory” in physics, decrying the corrosive effects of religion on knowledge and morality, trying to protect spending on particle accelerators from small-minded politicians, defending science against supposed armies of “social constructivists” and “relativists.” ...

There are eight chapters on ancient physics and astronomy (when the Greeks almost got it right); two on the Middle Ages (when “not much [was] accomplished” but when “the ground was prepared” for later developments); and five on the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries (when, for all practical purposes, the crucial bits of modern science were discovered)...

The announced purpose of this book isn’t understanding the past in its own terms, but “judging the past by the standards of the present,” awarding, as historian Charles Homer Haskins once put it, “medals for modernity.” ...

There’s a story told about a distinguished cardiac surgeon who, about to retire, decided he’d like to take up the history of medicine. He sought out a historian friend and asked her if she had any tips for him. The historian said she’d be happy to help but first asked the surgeon a reciprocal favor: “As it happens, I’m about to retire too, and I’m thinking of taking up heart surgery. Do you have any tips for me?”

The story is probably apocryphal, but it displays a real asymmetry between two expert practices. The surgeon knows that his skills are specialized and that they’re difficult to acquire, but he doesn’t think that the historian’s skills are anything like that. He assumes that writing history is pretty straightforward and that being a 21st-century surgeon gives you a leg up in documenting and interpreting, for example, theories of fever in the 17th century. Yet not every kind of technical expertise stands in this relation with the telling of its history. Modern installation artists don’t think they can produce adequate scholarly studies of Dutch Golden Age paintings, and it’s hard to find offensive linemen parading their competence in the writing the history of rugby.

Mr. Weinberg reckons that the history of science is far too important to be left to the historians, and “To Explain the World” is the kind of thing that might tempt academic historians to lose their cool. They’d remind him that the great thinkers of 17th-century science commonly considered themselves to be reforming natural knowledge to be Christianity’s handmaid. Figures like Newton and Boyle discerned divine purpose throughout nature, and not, as Mr. Weinberg implies, just because they were taking an unfortunate detour from properly scientific behavior...

Mr. Weinberg identifies his account as a personal view, and there’s no reason why people shouldn’t want to know how an eminent modern scientist (and public intellectual) thinks about all sorts of things. What is interesting is that these different stories about the historical development of science persist, with no prospect that professional historians of science will ever own their subject as, say, art historians own the history of art. Science remains almost unique in that respect. It’s modernity’s reality-defining enterprise, a pattern of proper knowledge and of right thinking, in the same way that—though Mr. Weinberg will hate the allusion—Christian religion once defined what the world was like and what proper knowledge should be. The same circumstance that gives science its immense modern cultural prestige also ensures that there will be an audience for its idealization and celebration. “To Explain the World” is for that audience.
bad_history 
february 2015 by sharon_howard
Adelino, Schoar, and Severino - Changes in Buyer Composition and the Expansion of Credit During the Boom :: SSRN - Jan 2015
Manuel Adelino, Duke University, Fuqua School of Business -- Antoinette Schoar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) -- Felipe Severino, Dartmouth College,Tuck School of Business -- Earlier research has suggested that distortions in the supply of mortgage credit during the run up to the 2008 financial crisis, in particular a decoupling of credit flow from income growth, may have been responsible for the rise in house prices and the subsequent collapse of the housing market. Focusing on individual mortgage transactions rather than whole zip codes, we show that the apparent decoupling of credit from income shown in previous research was driven by changes in buyer composition. In fact, the relationship between individual mortgage size and income growth during the housing boom was very similar to previous periods (..). Zip codes that had large house price increases experienced significant changes in the composition of buyers, i.e. home buyers (mortgage applicants) had increasingly higher income than the average residents in an area. Poorer areas saw an expansion of credit mostly through the extensive margin, i.e. a larger numbers of mortgages originated, but at DTI levels in line with borrower income. When we break out the volume of mortgage origination from 2002 to 2006 by income deciles across the US population, we see that the distribution of mortgage debt is concentrated in middle and high income borrowers, not the poor. Middle and high income borrowers also contributed most significantly to the increase in defaults after 2007. These results are consistent with an interpretation where house price expectations led lenders and buyers to buy into an unfolding bubble based on inflated asset values, rather than a change in the lending technology. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  Great_Recession  financial_crisis  housing  securitization  capital_markets  mortgages  distribution-income  distribution-wealth  asset_prices  bubbles  bad_economics  bad_history  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Eric Rauchway, review - Martin Wolf, The Shifts and the Shocks (2014) | TLS Jan 2015
... his analysis, which holds that we knew how to avoid, counter and cure these troubles; we have simply – largely out of wilful ignorance and lack of courage – failed to do more than the barest minimum of what was necessary. Governments, banks and international institutions did “just enough, almost too late” to prevent the worst possible result, which would have been a note-for-note replay of the 1930s including a slide into fascism and world war. But having done no more than avoid world-historic catastrophe, we find ourselves mired in a dim morass of our own making, with no sunlit uplands in sight. Wolf offers a persuasive account that is also clear, though he relies on no single factor but several: hence the title of the book. It took both long-term shifts and a series of shocks to cause a crisis of such magnitude. Our world was born in the end of the Cold War. With capitalism triumphant, the victors liberalized their economies and so did the Communist nations, particularly China. Yet all was not well in this brave new world; international finance and trade threatened the stability of smaller, emerging economies, as the crises of the 1990s demonstrated.
financialization  bad_history  shadow  banking  Pocket  risk  global  economy  money  markets  global_imbalance  keynesian  business_influence  bad_economics  books  financial_regulation  liquidity  deregulation  minsky  investment  economic_growth  reviews  fed  Bank_of_England  great_recession  us_politics  leverage  capital_flows  race-to-the-bottom  business  ethics  political_economy  ecb  rents  uk  central_banks  investors  financial  crisis  financial_system  austerity  capital  economic_theory  us_economy  eurozone 
january 2015 by dunnettreader

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