Sunday, December 22, 2013

Speaking of attribution


"Experts consider health insurance unaffordable once it exceeds 10 percent of annual income."

Fair enough. Sounds plausible, reasonable, and it's the right kind of thing for a benchmark to be. I buy it absolutely--as a benchmark.

But that's it? "Experts consider"? Really?

Of course this is exactly what you expect from second tier, second rate newspapers. At least they had three reporters working on it, which gives it all the gravitas it needs. And certainly you can't expect them, under such limited resource constraints, to have the time to put any meat on them bones.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't we being a little picky? If anything, the Times is infamous for oversourcing, explaining everything you already know. Why would I doubt this is correct, especially when I can even compare it with my own experience.

7:36 PM, December 22, 2013  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Well, possibly. But I do consider "experts consider" to be one of the basics. Way too susceptible to abuse.

Personally I prefer Posner's insight, that experts are great for telling you what you already know, but other things, not so much. Of course that problem isn't solved by the attribution, but at least attribution makes it pretty to think so.

4:24 AM, December 23, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An expert considers that: We need to know who they consider to be the experts. "Certain people consider" would be both more accurate and less useful. If the statement not a debatable proposition, the paper should have the balls to so state their assumption or as a fact.

9:43 AM, December 23, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giving the sense of what leading thinkers feel in a particular community is okay, I'd think. You can disagree with them, but at least you get an understanding of the basic standard.

11:02 AM, December 23, 2013  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

But that's exactly the question. We don't get a sense of what the experts think. We get a sense of what the reporters think. If you know that experts think it, you can identify them.

2:21 PM, December 23, 2013  

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