Harry R. Schwartz

Code writer, sometime Internet enthusiast, attractive nuisance.

The author at the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris, November 2022. hacker news gitlab sourcehut pinboard librarything 1B41 8F2C 23DE DD9C 807E A74F 841B 3DAE 25AE 721B


British Columbia



Math Ruins Everything


Published .
Tags: economics, math.

Julia just sent me one of Paul Krugman’s analyses of the causes of the financial meltdown: How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?

The whole article’s good, but I especially love this point:

… economists, as a group, mistook beauty, clad in impressive-looking mathematics, for truth… the central cause of the profession’s failure was the desire for an all-encompassing, intellectually elegant approach that also gave economists a chance to show off their mathematical prowess.

Pointedly ignoring the differences between a beautifully abstract model and the messy underlying reality that it (supposedly) represents? I’m sure glad that I’ve never been guilty of that intellectual sin.

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