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Slate Star Codex is more valuable than the New York Times

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Update: If this tweet is accurate, the NYT thought it was more important to out Scott Alexander than to get an interview with him—which would have made the story ten times more interesting. As you may know, Slate Star Codex was recently deleted because the NYT has threatened to print a story with the real name of Scott Alexander.When I suggest that Slate Star Codex is more valuable than the NYT, I mean in an intellectual sense. Obviously the NYT has a greater market value.If the NYT disappeared tomorrow, we could still learn about the world by reading the WaPo, the WSJ, the FT, etc. That mix of news outlets would not be a perfect substitute, but it would be a close substitute. There is no close substitute for SSC, and its loss will further degrade an internet that was

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Update: If this tweet is accurate, the NYT thought it was more important to out Scott Alexander than to get an interview with him—which would have made the story ten times more interesting.

As you may know, Slate Star Codex was recently deleted because the NYT has threatened to print a story with the real name of Scott Alexander.

When I suggest that Slate Star Codex is more valuable than the NYT, I mean in an intellectual sense. Obviously the NYT has a greater market value.

If the NYT disappeared tomorrow, we could still learn about the world by reading the WaPo, the WSJ, the FT, etc. That mix of news outlets would not be a perfect substitute, but it would be a close substitute.

There is no close substitute for SSC, and its loss will further degrade an internet that was already hurt by the movement of people from blogging to twitter.

Even if you reject my utilitarian view that welfare maximization is the only valid moral principle, there is no “right to know” principle at stake here as the NYT often withholds names for many different reasons.


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Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment".

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