Saturday, November 24, 2012

Steve Roth — The Miasma School of Economics


In deciding to post this, I had to make a judgment call: Was Steve Roth jumping the shark here. Many agree for good reason that mainstream economics is deficient, but this metaphor takes it to another level altogether.

But after only a moment's thought I decided not only to post it but also to endorse it. (Posting at MNE doesn't imply endorsement.) Because mainstream economists are not only at least partially responsible for the sorry state of the world but also unwilling to take any responsibility for it. That's really jumping the shark.

Asymptosis
The Miasma School of Economics
Steve Roth

5 comments:

andy blatchford said...

Moment..as long as that Tom?

Tom Hickey said...

Nanosecond.

Mike Norman said...

Tom, great post. And I wholeheartedly agree with your endorsement. Elucidating and frightening at the same time.

Matt Franko said...

Link to the wiki on Cholera:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera

"Microbiologists have studied the genetic mechanisms by which the V. cholerae bacteria turn off the production of some proteins and turn on the production of other proteins as they respond to the series of chemical environments they encounter, passing through the stomach, through the mucous layer of the small intestine, and on to the intestinal wall.[14] Of particular interest have been the genetic mechanisms by which cholera bacteria turn on the protein production of the toxins that interact with host cell mechanisms to pump chloride ions into the small intestine, creating an ionic pressure which prevents sodium ions from entering the cell. The chloride and sodium ions create a salt-water environment in the small intestines, which through osmosis can pull up to six litres of water per day through the intestinal cells, creating the massive amounts of diarrhea. The host can become rapidly dehydrated if an appropriate mixture of dilute salt water and sugar is not taken to replace the blood's water and salts lost in the diarrhea."

So these bacteria dont look like flesh eaters...it invades and literally sets up an osmosis/ionic pressure condition that sucks all the water out of our bodies into our digestive tracts and then out...

Here's osmosis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmosis

"Osmosis is the net movement of solvent molecules through a partially permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, in order to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides. It may also be used to describe a physical process in which any solvent moves, without input of energy, across a semipermeable membrane (permeable to the solvent, but not the solute) separating two solutions of different concentrations. Although osmosis does not require input of energy, it does use kinetic energy [6] and can be made to do work.[7]"

Interesting:

"Jean-Antoine Nollet first documented observation of osmosis in 1748.[9] The word "osmosis" descends from the words "endosmose" and "exosmose", which were coined by French physician René Joachim Henri Dutrochet (1776–1847) from the Greek words ένδον (endon : within), έξο (exo : outside), and ωσμος (osmos : push, impulsion)."

So here we have endogenous and exogenous factors at work also... the boundary here is our body cell walls in the small intestines....

With economic systems the boundary seems to be the point of transfer between inside/outside of human authority thru human law...

Seems like what Roth posts here in biology is also related on a certain level to Keen's latest presentation wrt analogy to certain physical laws...

rsp,

Matt Franko said...

follow up:

The bacterium establishes a damaging "leakage" from the closed system which is the human body.

The bacterium sets up an environment where osmosis starts to drain the water from the human body (leakage).

The physician I would think would want to establish a new flow to the patient via an IV inserted to just drip water and electrolytes back in to the blood stream. Then stop re-introducing new bacteria via making sure the patient did not drink any more of the tainted water. Let the immune system do its thing...

Meanwhile public health officials would identify the tainted water source and shut it down until it could be cleaned up...

rsp,