> > You'll get all sorts of definitions, depending upon whom you're talking
> > to. It can be beneficial to get someone's definition first before
> > talking about it.
> > http://SportToday.org/
> Bait and switch. You implicitly promise a definition of
> capitalism and many paragraphs in he is still ranting
> about "wordsmith intellectuals" biting the hand that feeds
The first link gave a lot of descriptive/definitional elements and
should have kept you busy by itself. The remaining was google filler
("as one wishes"), although there was more on the definitional matter.
I didn't read them entirely myself.
The last was known to be tangential, and was *after* my basic comment
that "it seems to mean different things to different people." I wasn't
implying a definition existed in the last -- I was hoping the average
dumbass would have a definitional clue by that many links down,
especially with the caveat that directly preceded it. It was only there
"if you're interested in that sort of thing." In any case, the content
of the link was a freebe. Hayek and Popper demolished the
pseudo-intellectuals better and earlier.
> Eventually I began to doubt the author's probity and
> stopped reading.
The author's probity isn't what requires doubt.
> He also gave short shrift to hard science
Not surprising since they aren't the "wordsmiths" that are the topic of
> Probably has no clue what it takes to bust
> your ass in mathematics; it's a humbling experience.
You're assuming the study of economics requires the heavy use of
mathematics. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't. In any case it doesn't
matter. Math is simply a tool that may come in handy, and if so, it is
good to be greased in it. Applied mathematics can make no claim to
being harder than anything else. Any topic is as hard as you want to
make it -- sort of like a bike race. In my engineering studies, I did
not find the mathematics to be uniquely difficult, although I wouldn't
call it easy. While quite rusty, I do not have a "math phobia."
Assertion that Nozick doesn't appreciate "mathematical economics" is
Mathematics enjoyed in the post-war period a virtual monopoly as the
privileged method of economic enquiry. Such a position generates
negative consequences, like monopoly rents and abuse of ***
positions. Ths is basically the analysis of Joaquim Ramos Silva in his
paper 'Mathematics in Economics: the Competition Point of View'...
2. Mathematics is not a unifying force
Let us know [sic] turn to Neo-Austrians and Post-Keynesians. Both
traditions are nonmathematical. Why? In the Neo-Austrian analysis the
creative entrepreneur plays the central role, see Kirzner (1973,1990).
He discovers profitable opportunities from utter ignorance. The
entrepreneur may be wrong but is able to learn from experiences in the
market. Interactions of these creative agents leads to a groping of the
market process towards better co-ordination. But equilibrium will never
be reached because preferences and technical opportunities may change.
Most government policies would hinder this market process. Antitrust
policy would diminish the entrepreneurial incentives and hence weakens
the co-ordinating power of the market process. Macro-stabilisation
policies would generate wrong signals to the entrepreneur in his
learning from market transactions.
The emphasis on creative entrepreneurial action starting from utter
ignorance is a concept that is very difficult if not impossible to
translate in mathematical language. Moreover, the interaction of agents
in a system with false trading converging towards equilibrium is still a
bridge too far for mathematical modelling in whatever tradition. The
groping problem towards equilibrium, seminally formulated by Walras
(1926), is still not adequately mathematically described and solvable...
So, the market shares of the various schools determine the use and role
of mathematics. What can we expect of the distribution of these shares
in the coming decades? ...
In Neo-classical industrial economics, Chicago will also lose its
influence at the expense of more evolutionary (Schumpeterian or Nelson
and Winter like) economic tendencies based on subjective, bounded
rationality, asymmetric information or routine rules of thumb...
The role of the fringe schools may increase in significance. The fringe
schools have the rejection of perfect rationality or rational
expectations in common with the *** developments sketched above and
they pose the right questions. Only as far as answers are concerned they
remain too ambiguous to the taste of those who don't share the
preference for the more literary traditions...
The conclusion of our analysis is that the influence of Chicago will
diminish and the impact of the fringe schools will increase. The Chicago
tradition has produced its major insights and will not bear substantial
new insights. However, this does not mean that the role of mathematics
will decrease. We see two tendencies: the development of a lot of
advanced but specific models based upon subjective rationality or more
simple simulation models if necessary. Moreover, the impact of the
fringe schools will increase because they have the rejection of perfect
rationality in common with Neo-classical mainstream schools."
I am not an economist, so therefore I don't (and maybe cannot) "belong
to a school of economic thought." However, as a layperson I do find
portions of "Austrian economics" appealing. As you should have noted
from Hans Maks' paper, it is a rather non-mathematical school. Since I
don't have a math phobia, nor an over-appreciation, the appeal of a
school of thought (for me) has nothing to do with its mathematical
content. Nor should that necessarily be true for Nozick's position.
Social scientists are famous for producing "funny numbers." Question
the numbers and the crank will typically pull rank. It happens all the
Some "statistical numbers" and mathematical models may be substantially
correct for what they are intended to handle. However, I would caution
against faux-credibility, simply on the basis of fancy looking
mathematics. Math is like TNT, it can be used to open up and
illuminate, or destroy and obfuscate. Sometimes it is just the wrong
tool. There is never a pass on critical evaluation.
"Nobody can be a great economist who is only an economist." -- F. Hayek,
who also had degrees in Law and Political Science. He wasn't talking