Steven Landsburg has an older post that I agree with 90%

What I like about people in academics is that when we disagree, we actually care about figuring out who’s right — and therefore we have a tendency to reach consensus, though it can take a while.

Anybody who blogs often enough (very much not excluding yours truly) is occasionally going to post something that, at least as written if not as intended, is objectively plain flat out wrong. Paul Krugman did that a couple of days ago, Iresponded, he’s responded to my response, and at least 4/5 of our disagreement is now resolved. That’s exactly as it should be.

There is actually less of this in the Academy than I would wish. Partially, because of the incentive structure I think. If the Academy were more like a giant blogosphere then I think the incentives would be more aligned towards agreement.

There would be less invested in each piece of writing and careers would depend more on how you responded to others rather than a few seminal works. This means that having a reputation for coming quickly to the right answer is almost as important as writing a sweeping treatise that moves the ball forward in one swoop.

In my experience for example, people come to agreement with much less resentment in a workshop than in writing and having a good conference reputation depends in large part on not being an intransigent ass.

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