A Guided Tour through Meta-posts at the End of the Second Cycle

Let me explain my title. A “meta-post” is a post about what I am trying to do and how I am approaching writing this blog, what I have actually done, and what I expect to do in the future. The end of the first cycle was heralded by my post Thoughts on Monetary and Fiscal Policy in the Wake of the Great Recession: supplysideliberal.com’s First Month. So the first cycle was one month, from May 28, 2012 to June 28, 2012, while the second cycle extended a little over two months, from June 28, 2012 to now, September 1, 2012.

In Thoughts on Monetary and Fiscal Policy in the Wake of the Great Recession: supplysideliberal.com’s First Month I explained that I think of the blog as an organic whole–comparing its structure to my favorite science fiction TV series, Babylon 5. The idea of a “cycle” is from one of my favorite print science fiction series–the Dray Prescot series. The Dray Prescot series–45 books in all–is organized into “cycles” of books, such as the “Delian cycle” and the “Havilfar cycle.”

I had intended to lay out what I did substantively in the second cycle of supplysideliberal.com in a post called “The Supply-Side Liberal Vision.” But after hearing Mitt Romney’s speech accepting the Republican nomination for president, it struck me that I could structure an account of what I did substantively in my second cycle by playing off of Mitt’s acceptance speech. Thus, for substance, my post The Magic of Etch-a-Sketch: A Supply-Side Liberal Fantasy is to the second cycle as Thoughts on Monetary and Fiscal Policy in the Wake of the Great Recession: supplysideliberal.com’s First Month is to the first cycle. I expect to use the title “The Supply-Side Liberal Vision” to wrap up some future cycle.   

The timing of the end of my second cycle is governed by two considerations. First, I knew I had to write No Tax Increase Without Recompense to fill out the essentials of “The Supply-Side Liberal Vision.” And in the event, I needed No Tax Increase Without Recompense in The Magic of Etch-a-Sketch: A Supply-Side Liberal Fantasy. Second, this is a time of transition for my blog as the school year begins. 

In my first cycle, relatively autonomous posts on economic policy dominated. (My persistent advocacy of Federal Lines of Credit to stimulate the economy during the first cycle has continued in the second cycle, as can be seen in Short-Run Fiscal Policy Posts through August 23, 2012.) During my second cycle, Twitter interactions with other economists and non-economists took off and generated many posts. For example, Twitter conversations led me to think more about Health Economics, as can be seen in these posts: Health Economics Posts through August 26, 2012. You can see my Twitter thread here. The other new dimension of my second cycle was the broadening to include posts on politics (see Posts on Politics and Political Economy through September 1, 2012) and religion (see Posts on Religion, Philosophy, Science, Literature and Culture through August 27, 2012)–and on the overlap between these two areas occasioned by the Mormon background I share with Mitt Romney (posts included on both lists). Tyler Cowen reviewed this area of overlap (including tweets) as a whole: Tyler Cowen’s Review of My Posts and Tweets about Mitt Romney.

In my third cycle, I expect a large share of posts to be driven by what will help me teach my “Principles of Macroeconomics” class in the next four months. (I am confident that the posts I write to help my students will be valuable to others as well.) I am sure that the news will also drive many posts. In particular, I foresee posts occasioned by the U.S. presidential election and by monetary policy events. But much of where my blog will go is impossible to foresee. I expect to declare the end of the third cycle around the end of the calendar year, when my “Principles of Macroeconomics” class is over.  

My other meta-posts so far explain what I am trying to do and how I am approaching writing my blog:

  1. The agenda I laid out in my first post What is a Supply-Side Liberal? still drives much of what I am doing here, including many things that also result from interaction with other economists online. 
  2. What is a Partisan Nonpartisan Blog? explains my view that–in order for human beings to be able to trust one another–our obligation to truth at the micro level has to trump our obligation to what we believe to be “Truth” at the macro level, whenever the two conflict. 
  3. “It Isn’t Easy to Figure Out How the World Works” (Larry Summers, 1984) explains my policy on revisions of posts. 
  4. Persuasion explains how I approach argument.
  5. Copyright hints at some of my personal motivation for writing this blog.

Let me end with a few blog statistics as of this moment. I will do another “My Corner of the Blogosphere” post (an update to My Corner of the Blogosphere: As of July 1, 2012) soon. Since June 3, Google Analytics reports 89,780 total pageviews, 60,731 visits, and 29,460 unique visitors. These numbers do not include the delivery of the posts to the now 867 subscribers on Google Reader. Together with 103 Tumblr subscribers, that adds up to 970 subscribers on those two platforms. Some of my Facebook friends use my Facebook wall as a way to subscribe, and there must be some subscribers on other platforms. At this moment I have 970 Twitter followers. It is only a coincidence that this exactly matches the number of Google Reader plus Tumblr subscribers, but I think I now have roughly the same number of people who follow me on Twitter but do not subscribe on Tumblr and Google Reader as vice versa.