Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

1.5 hours on the Insularity of Economics

Eric Weinstein talks on "Systems Architecture, Kabuki Capitalism, and the Economic Manhattan Project". (If the link doesn't work you can get there from

Weinstein, a math PhD (not the guy behind Mathematica), argues that outsiders can and should contribute to the science of economics, which seems strangely closed to outsiders and reliant on failed assumptions. He tries to answer Paul Romer's challenge whether "there is any evidence to support the basic claim here--- that more theory, developed by people who don't have domain experience, is the key to scientific progress in macroeconomics and finance?"

To read: CAN SCIENCE HELP SOLVE THE ECONOMIC CRISIS? By Mike Brown, Stuart Kauffman, Zoe-Vonna Palmrose and Lee Smolin.

Now, I am as skeptical of the next guy of physicists charging in and assuming their skills and experience is useful. Anybody who's looked at software written by a physicist will probably share my skepticism. ;) But, I think there is a case here that economics needs, if not a shakeup, then a more pragmatic approach to the limitations of their models and thus application to real-world problems.

Later: The things that bothered me most about his position were: (1) conflating economics and finance. The people who got us into this mess are not, by and large, academic economists. (2) Ignoring the impact physicists have had on finance; there have been plenty who jumped into the practical world--- just not the academic world of economics.
Tags: economics, mathematics, talk
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