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Messages - LMNO, PhD (life continues)

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Sounds like my neighborhood, 15 years ago.  Two rival gangs in one housing project.

I still live in the area.  It got better.

Someone on my FB just made an argument that can be summed up as, "it's ok to fly the confederate battle flag, because Lincoln was a white supremicist."


If an "economist" starts with an ideological conclusion, they're not being economists, they're being pundits.

It's simply not science if you begin with a conclusion and backfill from there.  You know this.

I think you're mixing up economics with people who call themselves economists.

The connection is that politicians and pundits use poor economic models to justifiy their economic programs.

Again, the analogy is that of Dr Oz using bad science to justify his latest scheme fad diet.

Many econonmists who have problems updating their priors also have significant financial interests in not doing so, including but not limited to easy access to publication in a conservative press sympathetic to their rubbish, book deals with associated publishing houses and jobs with think tanks or on academic chairs funded by the same people who back their prominence in the press.

Most scientists by contrast are not quite so richly rewarded for getting things wrong.

Yes.  Absolutely agree.  See also: Scientists who write anti-global warming studies, or the studies that show smoking does not cause cancer.

Techmology and Scientism / Re: Regret's Economics thread
« on: June 22, 2015, 08:51:40 pm »
You know who else had an economic theory?

Hitler, that's who.

Well, until people start making specific references, it's just another "All X are Y" argument.

I've already given one person who calls themselves an economist who updates their models based upon reality.

I can also name several who don't, and yes, they tend to get the most amount of press, but that doesn't make it the fault of economics.

It's discrediting physics because of the people who go around saying "the observer creates the universe".

The amount of variable is enormous, you're right, so specific predictions ("The market will go up 357 points at 10:07 AM") are impossible.

But so long as you have enough information (which itself is a problem: economists correctly predicted the housing bubble, but the shadow markets built around subprime mortgages weren't revealed until everything began falling apart, meaning no one was able to predict how bad it was going to get), you can make reasonable predictions about how the market will behave, so long as you continue to update your priors.

Techmology and Scientism / Re: Regret's Economics thread
« on: June 22, 2015, 07:05:53 pm »
Read.  Paul. Krugman's.  Blog.

He takes on pundits disguised as economists like, every week.  He has also correctly predicted, in advance, much of what has happened up to and during the Great Recession.  With about an 83%-87% success rate.  And he adjusts his models when they don't work.  And he explains his math and models.

All I know is that a few people calling themselves Economists made some models and predicted in advance how the economy would behave under certain scenarios, like austerity measures in a liquidity trap. 

The economy behaved as was predicted.  That, for the most part, leads me to think someone knows what they're doing sometimes.

Now, there are other people calling themselves Economists who made theories, and then backed it up with some models, and made predictions, and were wrong.  However, they did not go back and adjust their models to make sense of what happened, but instead doubled down on their theories. 

That, for the most part, leads me to think someone has no idea what they're doing most of the time.

This may seem shallow, but you should read Krugman's blog. He creates models and makes predictions based on those models, and then revises those models based upon how accurate those predictions are.

He also talks a lot about economists who elevate politics over theory.

Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« on: June 21, 2015, 11:37:02 am »
Just wanted to say your screen name is awesome.

Seconded. That's great.

Let me tell you a quick story. A man got got drunk one day and made an account on an internet forum. Made a couple posts and forgot about it. Ages and eons later he had a rough work week, got drunk again and through some fluke of drunk mind-happenings remembered this site he'd went to once or twice. Pulled it up and saw people were kind enough to compliment the screen name he'd made. He then vowed to remember his password somehow and thank them for it. After 15 minutes of frustration he reset the password and started typing this post, got distracted then came back to his computer and started typing again.

Thanks. It was a Steam user name once-upon-a-time.

And to stay on the topic of this thread, I recently started reading "The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford". I don't know why, somebody mentioned it once and I figured I'd give it a read.

That's a very good nuts-and-bolts introduction to the basics of Qabalah.  it almost makes the whole thing coherent, in it's own special way. As in, it has a stable internal logic, whether or not it connects to reality.

Principia Discussion / Re: 7-ish years of non-anonymity
« on: June 19, 2015, 05:38:04 pm »
Hey, man!  Welcome back!

Literate Chaotic / Re: Five word horror
« on: June 19, 2015, 04:38:49 pm »
We could try poking it.

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