The Man vs. The Economist

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One drawback to the anonymity of The Economist's authors: You don't know who to blame when someone gets something really, really wrong. Timothy Virkkala points to one recent example—a discussion of Herbert Spencer written by someone who doesn't seem to have read any Spencer.

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2 responses to “The Man vs. The Economist

  1. Virkkala overstates his case. He complains that the Economist writer implied that Darwin came before Spencer because he the article says that Spencer was a “disciple” of Darwin, but the article explicitly says that some of Spencer’s work was released before Origin of Species. Virkkala might argue that the article uses the word disciple improperly, but the author of the article clearly has essentially the same opinion of the relationship between Spencer and Darwin as Virkkala.

  2. This is truly embarassing for The Economist. One of Spencer’s few intellectual influences (he really was incredibly original) was Economist editor Thomas Hodgskin. Hodgskin gave Spencer his first break into the writing game.

    The Economist has a pretty good record for a mag that churns out so much information on a weekly basis. But sometimes their shit is just sloppy.

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