Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Paging John Searle, John Searle Please Come to the White Courtesy Phone

Mark Thoma of http://economistsview.typepad.com and the University of Oregon wrote to thank me for writing:

Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal: July 2006: My current top 20 weblogs by attention, according to NetNewsWire:

  1. Political Animal: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/
  2. Talking Points Memo: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/
  3. Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal: http://delong.typepad.com/
  4. Economist's View: http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/
  5. Crooked Timber: http://crookedtimber.org

My first reaction was one of embarrassment. I had not willed that I do something nice for him--certainly nothing that deserved thanks, or gratitude. All I had willed was that I sort the items in my NetNewsWire RSS lead by attention, and then pluck off the first few items that rated highest by attention.

I, Brad DeLong, had done nothing to deserve thanks, or gratitude.

But then I thought: There is an entity--call it the Upstairs Study Room. It consists of Brad DeLong, a mouse, a keyboard, a screen, a box that holds the computer, a computer running Safari and NetNewsWire, a wire, a cable modem, and a cable leading out of the house. That anthology entity certainly "knew" that http://economistsview.typepad.com was #4 RSS feed by attention, and that anthology entity "wanted" to communicate that to the world, and did so.

So if that anthology entity is a separate moral agent of which I am just one component, it gladly accepts Mark Thoma's thanks and gratitude.

Me... I'm not sure that I can :-). But then who am I?

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