On Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 8:08:11 PM UTC+1, Tom Kunich wrote:
On Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 9:45:45 AM UTC-7, jbeattie wrote:
On Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 9:01:33 AM UTC-7, Andre Jute wrote:
On Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 4:16:53 PM UTC+1, jbeattie wrote:
On Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 7:21:12 AM UTC-7, Andre Jute wrote:
On Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 3:41:31 AM UTC+1, AMuzi wrote:
On 8/9/2019 9:21 PM, Andre Jute wrote:
On Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 1:23:24 AM UTC+1, AMuzi wrote:
On 8/9/2019 6:10 PM, Andre Jute wrote:
Economics isn't difficult: it is the commonsense activities of individuals considered in aggregate.
If the query is about the tagline to my sig, many economists with real life experience in business are moving away from the first two great commandments of classical economics, viz that all individuals in every market are fully informed and fully rational in every decision. That is clearly not so. We don't need to go further afield than RBT for an example.
Of course we don't go as far as Krugman, who is so Post-Modern, he's totally unmoored from reality, indeed he's unattached to anything he said yesterday or the day before, though in a few days he'll probably spout the same weirdness as he did a couple of weeks ago. In fact, he's so cyclically insane, we should make him an honorary member of RBT.
Sane since I was 13. I wonder how I managed that.
Krugman is indeed unhinged and he was even before Trump
I must quibble that although many individual investors are
frequently wrong, and provably so, the wisdom of crowds is a
real thing and an amazingly reliable economic indicator. Nor
infallible, but amazingly prescient usually.
I agree. However, the mob is never right. The trick is to distinguish the mob from the crowd.
I can't believe the foolishness of historians who equate the French and American Revolutions. The French wanted to raise a ravening mob of murderers, the American Founding Fathers created the Electoral College and other enduring institutions specifically to defend minorities against the mob.
No one understood it better than Burke:
An excellent short read and starting at just 99 cents.
Open every day since 1 April, 1971
Thanks, Andrew. I know it, and in fact have it (free from Project Gutenberg) on iBooks to read on my treadmill, but first I want to read Thomas Carlyle History of the French Revolution again, to which Burke makes a suitable coda. At the moment I'm working my way through Stephen Meyers Darwin's Doubt, which may be the most important book of the century so far, and Carlyle is next. He's an agreeable stylist and a meticulous historian, so I won't be rushing the pleasure.
Pffff (blowing out coffee). Darwin's Doubt the most important book of the century so far?
The only thing more important than where we came from is where we're going. Any ideas?
Yikes, an ID book?
Have you actually read it? I haven't finished it but I'm far enough to know that his dissection of all the other theories is fair-minded and persausive.
No, I've only read the reviews -- and I will admit my prejudices, which a (1) whenever I finish a book that involves religion or philosophy chasing science, or vice versa, I feel like I've wasted my time. The book may illuminate some current controversy, but that controversy is usually gone in ten years or has mutated like a virus into a different controversy. It started out as creationism, mutated into intelligent design and will be something different in five years -- maybe go back to ancient astronauts or the Illuminati. Meanwhile, the actual scientific community plods along with evolution. One hopes for primary work that really proves something rather than a curated, retrospective review of prior research with a new gloss. (2) I'm not against God or intelligent design, but really, if you were an all-powerful God, would you create a Trilobite? Why not a dog or a Swedish bikini model. The God envisioned by these people is so lame.
-- Jay Beattie.
Jay, I don't think that you realize the problems with Darwin. While improvement of the species certainly is possible in the time since Darwin we have never witnessed speciation due to evolution.
Just the human genome itself would require about several thousand mutations per second since life first appeared on Earth to have reached the present point of development. The numbers are simply far too large for Darwin's theories to ever work on the large scale necessary.
The probabilistic difficulty is worse even than that, Tom. Forget humans, which are a large, complex afterthought to upright apes which are already impossible to explain, and let's just stick to the large animals in the Cambrian Era. It turns out, if you work the numbers, that protein A seeking protein B will have to do it blindfold in a genetic space larger than all the atoms in the cosmos, littered with ineffectual rubbish proteins, and that's just to make one cell. It will take more than all the time since the Earth was created (about 3.8bn years).
So you can either believe that the impossible happened or that there was intelligent design behind it.
There's also the ever-fainter possibility, which this whole scientific field, starting with Darwin, have been hoping will come true, that somewhere, someone will still find a layer of Pre-Cambrian fossils related to the de novo animals of the Cambrian, but most have given up hope of it, and many think the soft-shelled animals perfectly preserved in Pre-Cambrian layers in China is the straw that broke the camel's back.
I feel sorry for those guys. They've known for a century and a half that their central premise is shaky, and for three quarters of a century since Watson & Crick that that their theory is increasingly unlikely, and for over thirty years that it is untrue, and yet new theories must use the premises of the old, discredited science because they have nothing else. It's a similar problem to the one in another branch of paleo studies, dendrochronology (where all the crookedness, dishonesty, greedy stupidity, and pure malice of the global warming hoax were committed), except that the Neo-Darwinians aren't crooks or malicious.
There's an excellent short introduction to Stephen Meyer's book about what is wrong with Neo-Darwinism by David Gelernter of Yale in the Claremont Review at
The cutting edge