Frequently Asked Questions

1) Why the name “Conversable Economist?”

The word “conversable” was suggested to me by the Scottish philosopher/economist David Hume, in his 1742 piece “Of Essay Writing.” In that essay, Hume laments the separation of the “learned” and the “conversable” world.

Hume wrote: “The separation of the learned from the conversable world seems to have been the great defect of the last age, and must have had a very bad influence both on books and company: for what possibility is there of finding topics of conversation fit for the entertainment of rational creatures, without having recourse sometimes to history, poetry, politics, and the more obvious principles, at least, of philosophy? Must our whole discourse be a continued series of gossiping stories and idle remarks?” Hume concludes: “I cannot but consider myself as a kind of resident or ambassador from the dominions of learning to those of conversation, and shall think it my constant duty to promote a good correspondence betwixt these two states, which have so great a dependence on each other.”

In Hume’s spirit, I will attempt to serve as an ambassador from my world of economics, and help in "finding topics of conversation fit for the entertainment of rational creatures."

2) Can I send suggestions, comments, and questions to the Conversable Economist?

Certainly. The e-mail address is <conversableeconomist@gmail.com>. I’m always on the lookout for readable articles about economic subjects and economists that could be mentioned on this blog. I’m also on the lookout for eye-opening quotations about the economy, economics, or economists.

I’m also glad to receive comments or questions at the same e-mail address. I will assume that all comments or questions can be quoted on the blog, unless you tell me otherwise. I will try to give at least a quick acknowledgement of e-mails I receive, but I am sometimes overwhelmed by e-mail...

3) Why doesn’t this website allow readers to post comments directly?

There are two choices with enabling readers to post comments: either you monitor them for offensiveness, spam, and the like, or you don’t. I lack the time and energy to monitor comments, and I lack the will-power not to spend time and energy monitoring them. As noted above, readers can e-mail comments and questions to me directly at <conversableeconomist@gmail.com>.