Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Speaking of What's Left Out...

William Easterly writes on AidWatch about NOT being invited to the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in NYC:
Last week, some people wanted to meet up with me at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting in New York. I was a little embarrassed to tell them I was not invited to CGI, and in fact have never been invited to CGI. Actually, there is a long list of distinguished groups wise enough to have never invited me to anything.

I think each of us who makes some kind of public comment on anything have some places where we are welcome (INs) and others where we are not (OUTs). I thought it might be entertaining if I told you mine.

Coincidentally, I’m also working on a paper with some co-authors about export specializations that occur by destination country market, where there does not seem to be much rhyme or reason to which country markets a given exporter penetrates compared to other similar countries they do not. Maybe the same is true with intellectual markets.

Indeed, with some exceptions, I can’t detect much pattern in my INs and OUTs. It does not break down neatly by ideology or political spectrum, for example. There are many possible explanations: (1) my work is stupid, and some people are clever enough to figure this out, (2) my work is brilliant, and some people are too dumb to figure this out, (3) I’ve offended important people at some places but not others, (4) I have messages that are welcome at some places but not others, (5) some of my OUTs may have stricter standards than my INs (although I would NOT say that about those INs so kind as to invite me).

Some interesting exceptions to my IN and OUT pattern are (1) aid agencies, and (2) universities. Invitations to (1) and (2) include a representative spectrum and I don’t detect any OUTs in either category (although feel free to nominate yourself as an OUT if you have disinvited me without my knowledge).