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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/13231/if-murray-rothbard-blogged/

If Murray Rothbard Blogged

July 11, 2010 by

Walter Block once asked Murray Rothbard how many pages he wrote per day

“His response? ‘M’rech, m’rech. Who keeps count of how much he writes in a day? Only a nut.’

After nagging and pushing (I don’t like to brag, well, too much anyway, but I am nothing if not a world-class nudge) Murray finally answered my query about daily productivity: ‘Eight pages per hour.’

Eight pages per hour? Eight pages per hour? Most reasonably good typists could copy material at only a slightly greater rate of speed. Here he was, creating some of the most stupendous analysis the world has ever known, in practically final draft format (he rarely revised anything) at such an astonishing rate. Probably, the government should have instituted a speed limit for writing that would have applied only to Murray. My most productive day, toiling for about 18 hours, was equal (in quantity only) to slightly less than three of his average hours.”

As marvelous and motivating, if not intimidating, as Murray’s answer is, I can’t help but wonder how such productivity would translate into today’s 24-hour information speedway of blogs and websites?

Granting that the 8 pages per hour were double spaced, will translate the roughly 300 words per page to 2,400 words per hour. According to marketing research, the average blog is less than 249 words (see below)

Therefore, at 249 words per blog and 2400 words per hour, Murray Rothbard would post about 10 blog entries for every hour he wrote

That is, if we could only get him away from his typewriter :)


Steven Handel July 11, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Wow, this makes me feel really slow. I usually take 3-4 hours for a ~1,000 word (3+ page) blog post. That is about 1 page an hour, or a mere 1/8th of Rothbard’s speed. Interesting stuff Jeremiah.

Eric M. Staib July 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm

He did in an hour what I struggle to do in a night…

Baxter July 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm


["... wonder how such productivity would translate..."]

Written output quantity doesn’t directly translate to productivity, since quality is not directly related to quantity.


“Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few.” ( — Pythagoras)

Curt Howland July 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Considering the near 100% publishable quality of Rothbard’s “rough drafts”, I’d say he had the entire internet beat.

Bruce Koerber July 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm

The Genius And Wisdom Of Murray Rothbard.

There is no doubt that Murray Rothbard was a genius. Thank God he found Austrian economics so all of the potency of his genius could be directed towards laying the foundation for a classical liberalism civilzation.

Russ July 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Why do you give every one of your posts, no matter how inconsequential, a title, Bruce? It seems to me that it is ego-driven.

Bruce Koerber July 11, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Dear Russ,
These are also blog entries from my own blog sites and so that is simply their format. I hope that clears up your puzzlement.

Matthew Swaringen July 11, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Bruce is having fun conflating all who use a priori logic with religious zealots. He’s exaggerating the way he sees all the Austrians. I think it’s slightly funny, and if he has fun doing that it’s fine with me.

I’d say that at least as long as he’s here where people can see how he compares with actual Austrians. Elsewhere it’d be annoying, since no one would see the other side and would be discouraged from doing so.

Bruce Koerber July 11, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Dear Matthew,

I am not sure what you are referring to regarding religious zealots. Could you explain what you are referring to?

“Actual Austrians” implies that I am not an Austrian economist. If so , you are poorly informed.

Granted, my perspective is different than what you are accustomed to but often those things that are unknown cause the sensation of annoyance.

J Cortez July 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm

I think Rothbard would be on the attack no matter what era of history he was born in. But the speed of the internet would have made him into some kind of rapid fire, full auto, political assailant. He’d be doing massive drive-bys on everything and anybody that dared tread on liberty.

Can you imagine what he’d say about the neo-cons of Bush II’s regime? The Iraq war justifications, the John Yoo torture memos, the criminal and insane Hurricane Katrina debacle, the wiretapping Patriot Act insanity. Or about Obama, Greenspan, Bernanke, the health care program that people have just been afflicted with, the expansion of war into Pakistan, imbecilic Fed policy for the past decade, or the criminal multiple bailouts of Wall Street?

It’d be epic. Even in truncated blog format internet form, all of this would be a multiple part, book(s) long mauling.

Ralph Fucetola JD July 11, 2010 at 10:02 pm

No question… Murray’s analysis on, say, Huffington Post would have confounded the imbeciles! And he’d have an immediate world-wide audience; much fun, with a twinkle…

But what would his blog have been titled? Maybe “The Bruised Thumb…” — from Murray’s comment that if there were a button that would turn-off the state, he’d bruise his thumb pushing it.

What do you think?

Tristan Band July 11, 2010 at 10:53 pm

When not talking about historical revision; politics; or economics, what would he write about? You know, blog entries for fun?

Seattle July 11, 2010 at 11:24 pm

He was also an art critic and loved sports. I assume if he never got into politics he’d write about those.

J. Murray July 12, 2010 at 6:13 am

I think it’s a good thing that Murray didn’t blog, to tell the truth. No one would read it, it would take all day to read what he wrote that day. Reading a Murray Rothbard blog could be a full time job in and of itself.

Curt Howland July 12, 2010 at 8:08 am

Couldn’t his letters to the Volker Fund be considered a kind of “blog”? A running commentary on various subjects as they occur?

Ben Ranson July 13, 2010 at 10:27 am

Rothbard’s high productivity is unusual, but not unknown, among writers. The most productive writer that I am aware of was Isaac Asimov, who published several hundred books, including a great deal of non-fiction.

If letters are to be counted, H. P. Lovecraft (who died at age 46) is believed to have written approximately one hundred thousand, of which twenty thousand survive.

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