V krizi smisla tiči misel






         

27.04.2015

“The sample size is usually one” – mala, letališčna refleksija o stanju slovenske ekonomske stroke in družboslovja nasploh

Tole sem spisal včeraj, vračajoč se s tele konference. Po “ohlajeni glavi” sem se odločil, da vseeno objavim – v originalu, ker se mi preprosto ne ljubi prevajati, verjamem, da vsaj toliko angleščine premore vsakdo, nekoliko pa je to tudi v duhu zapisa.

“Sitting and waiting for the plane back from Dublin to Ljubljana. The presentation went relatively well – corrected it several times »on-site« and still it was only average or even a little below, there isn’t much space for bluffing, particularly dealing with international circles, overwhelmed these days by methodological studies.

Found out about some ever more popular methods, possible to use, like Optimal Matching Analysis, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimal_matching. To my impression, there is an ever wider disparity between theoretically and methodologically oriented studies – the »theoretical guys« appear to fight heavily to stand the pace of methodological innovations and to present something meaningful, nevertheless most of the times they are left stranded.

If you ask me, I will be quite clear: a really good article needs to have strong theory, strong formal and mathematical model (at least for the papers in economics), strong empirical model (related and derived from the theory and mathematics, you can find a nice econometric post on this here: http://davegiles.blogspot.ie/2013/07/lets-put-econ-back-into.html) and most of all strong results. I admit at least most of my work hardly stands any of those points (hopefully yet…), not to think about the totality.

For Slovenia, the situation is, sincerely said, poor, very poor. With words of a colleague I met here in Dublin, the sample size is usually 1… We should be reflecting this, but we don’t, and then are left wondering why hardly anyone publishes in top world scientific journals. But we have an own, Slovenian solution to this: politics. »Everything is politics«, so no worries for your work, much more important is in which commission you sit in, with whom you drink coffee and beer, and in which newspaper you manage to force your opinion on everything. And then everybody thinks you’re a »tough guy«, all is well, foreign conferences and journals are »neoliberal« and »neoimperialistic« and our little world goes on and on.

Perhaps I’m still not the person to be talking about this as, most of the times, I don’t know if my work is even a start of something of a quality and importance (perhaps my work in cultural economics would just about pass this test). But we should be thinking about this. And we should open up to the foreign knowledge, foreign conferences, our motivation should be to write an article in Econometrica or QJE and not in Delo or Mladina (or Reporter if you like). Once Slavoj Žižek said to one question following his speech something like this: »Slovenians don’t have good writers. Our visual artists are a catastrophe. In general, all our artists, scientists, entrepreneurs are pure rubbish. But the most important thing is to realise this, realise where is our true current position, with no artifical »personality bubbles«, and only then we can go to the stars and really become top.« I realise many of you will disagree with this, well, this is merely how I view things and this will hopefully also be my path and the reality will show if it was/is correct.

No offence to any of this. Don’t know why, but somehow had to clear my thoughts and seeing most of you in Ljubljana.”

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