What Is This Place?

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What is this place for? Why does it exist?

-- Brad DeLong (delong@econ.berkeley.edu), July 23, 1999


Response to What is this place?

For two important reasons:

The big one: to learn things and have interesting discussions about economic history.

The secondary one: to figure out whether all this modern computer-and-communications technologies are good for anything.

As I wrote to the guru who pays for and programs this space, my interest in it has been triggered by three things:

Frustration--at the state of my static website, begun back in 1995. I can no longer find things on it without dipping down into the full-text search. And only the fact that I wrote the underlying stuff allows me to interpret the full-text search results. (I've watched other people try to interpret them: it isn't pretty.)

Rage--at the lousy job we here at U.C. Berkeley Economics are doing with our undergraduates. We are currently serving only about 2/3 of the demand for our courses (and using limitations on majors, complicated prerequisites that prohibit certain feasible paths through the program, and flat-out excluding *non* *senior* *majors* from courses to make the system function). Expanding the number of people on the teaching line in the Economics Department is not on the High Administrators list of most pressing problems (even though doing so would, I think, increase the quality of Berkeley undergraduate education enormously).

There has to be a way to use all this nice technology to do a less lousy job at educating our undergraduates.

Opportunity--a friend of mine (Frank Ruggierello, now heading up "Economics, Finance, and Computer Science" for Addison-Wesley-Longmans-Pearson) convinced McGraw-Hill that I was the person to write a Macroeconomics textbook. When the textbook emerges from the printers next summer, I am going to need a really, really good course textbook website to try to leverage its

-- Brad DeLong (delong@econ.berkeley.edu), July 23, 1999.

Response to What is this place?

And, of course, the textbook is taking longer than expected...

Brad DeLong

-- Brad DeLong (delong@econ.berkeley.edu), April 08, 2000.

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