Comments: /Index.html : LUSENET : Economic History (and Related Observations) : One Thread

Brad DeLong's Home Page

-- Bradford DeLong (, May 04, 2000


I suspect the disputes [over how to achieve usability] are endless because different people think in different ways. For me, the layout on your homepage (what I write, what I teach, what I read etc.) is extremely straightforward and commonsensical (if that word exists). The subheadings under each category mean that it is relatively clear where I should go to find a particular kind of subject and the section at the bottom with additional links to other parts of your site is easy to follow. What else could a link called "politics" be but a link to either your political interests or political activity (plenty of thing I know, but if it were my site those would be the only two things it could potentially lead to)?

I doubt it's very helpful, but it's easy because you lay things out in much the same way as I would if I had my own site.

One point though, is that your site lacks flashy graphics and unusual font/colour schemes. I used to get the magazine Wired UK so as to keep up with online/techy developments. However, I found that it continually printed articles on bizarre colour formats which made them unnecessarily difficult to read. They would also put " hypertext" into the articles, leading to short comments in the side margins. This broke up my flow of concentration, and to this day I find it hard to see what "hypertext" in a hardcopy print medium achieves which footnotes did not already achieve.

Many websites make a similiar mistake. In order to appear cutting edge and suitably wired they use graphic styles which are not very easy on the eye, or which continually break the narrative flow.

Your site is relatively simple in layout and hypertext is only used where it would usefully lead off into another matter which could not easily have been incorporated into the article containing the link.

Simplicity, for me at least, is a big bonus.

That's all for now, hope all is well with Contributed by Max Cairnduff ( on July 2, 1999.

-- Max Cairnduff (, May 04, 2000.

Just a quick note on your website. I like it. You selection of book reviews is interesting, and helpful. Thanks.

I continue to be amazed at how much information is now in our hands via the internet. I am the owner of a small business in Jakarta, Indonesia, T-Bird graduate, and lived here for 14 years.

If you ever want some street level insight into running a business during hyperinflation, radical devaluation, declining oil prices, social and political unrest, etc. well...

Thats all Contributed by Scott Booth ( on July 2, 1999.

-- Scott Booth (, May 04, 2000.

Nota lot of feedback as yet but it appears we have some similar background reading, e.g. Landes, Krugman, et. al.

Therefore if you're interested in Diamond's book I'd suggest tracking down a copy of C.D. Darlington's 'The Evolution of Man and Society'. Somewhat dated and the language will raise hackles form non-PC. However a brilliant synthesis of the growth of society when viewed from the perspective of the evolutionary biologist. Complementary books would be E.O. Wilson's 'On Human Nature' and 'Consiliance'

For history I've recently dug up Teddy White's autobiography 'In Search of History' going thru his experiences in China before and durring WW2, post WW2 Euope and modern American polictics. His side insights on the role of gov't, economics, how Europe would have collapsed, etc. would be very complementary to some of your other interests. . . . . . . . . . Contributed by David B. (Dave) Livingston ( on July 26, 1999.

-- David Livingston (, May 04, 2000.

Your web site is fantastic! I spent hours reading articles, papers, quotes, etc. I laughed when reading your comments about Slate versus Salon, as I am a very committed Slate reader. I am a high school politics teacher and am looking for information to give to a senior class that presents a balanced view of the WTO controversy. It has been easy to find great papers written in its support (Krugman), but not so easy to find good research for the other side. I am putting together a packet of readings so my students can prepare for a debate. Any suggestions?

. . . . . . . . . . anonymously contributed on November 30, 1999.

-- anonymous (, May 04, 2000.

If Brad Delong did not exist, someone would have to invent him as a matter of international urgency.

Contributed by Alan Williams ( on January 5, 2000.

-- Alan Williams (, May 04, 2000.

First of all: Great site!!

My suggestion is: add a button for

Printer friendly output (see for instance CNN FN)

Would save some trees.

Kind regards . . . . . . . . . . Contributed by Iman van Lelyveld ( on March 13, 2000.

-- Iman van Lelyveld (, May 04, 2000.

Mr. DeLong: I just stumbled on to your terrific site - a great help to all of us amateur economists struggling to understand the drift of a global economy that at times these past five or six years has seemed on the verge of collapse. A few comments, if I may. 1. Would you not say that your statement: 'One international financial disaster every 2 years is a lot' is something of an understatement? I would have said it was disaster - it's certainly a disaster for those millions of people living through them. 2. I'd apreciate your comments on my reading of things to date. I'm an anti-globalist: I see it as a variation on 18th cent. imperialism - then it was Britain (my native land) now it's America, only this time I think there's a good chance it will bring about complete economic collapse. I do not see any extensive period of global economic equilibrium being achievable without massive and intrusive management by external agencies such as the WTO, IMF, World Bank, etc. on things such as trade and capital flows, global interest and exchange rates, etc. Since it's impossible to achieve any effective level of precision in these areas without intruding on the economic sovereignty of many countries, and since you couldn't get everyone to obey them anyway, I think we will stagger from crisis to crisis, or worse, because policymakers seem bent on crafting some sort of ersatz system on what is at bottom little more than the international commercial business strategies of a few hundred transnational corporations. Further cause for worry is the notion that Western policymakers are attempting to 'design' the economic structures of other countries is an act of intellectual hubris that one fears will end badly. No one can 'see' enough of the variables, let alone manage them. While we're looking at Mexico, or Russia or wherever, there's another Longterm Capital Mgmt. waiting in the shadows right on our own doorstep, with the right combination of avarice and recklessness to bring the whole thing clattering down. Large statements, I agree, but I'd be interested in your comments. Geoff McCaffrey Aurora, Ontario, Canada Contributed by Geoff McCaffrey ( on March 30, 2000.

-- Geoff McCaffrey (, May 04, 2000.

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