Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Dilution" and Osmosis

Roger's posts coming from his background as a biologist have me thinking about biology/chemistry analogies and metaphors in economic discourse often.

We often hear the morons use the term "dilution" in regards to the so-called "money supply" as leading to some sort of "inflation" somehow via a process that they can never explain without resorting to teleological statements and use of false metaphors.

In biological systems, dilution is related to osmosis in the proper functioning of these systems.
In a classic example of osmosis, plants use osmosis to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. The solution in the roots of the plants is hypertonic, drawing in water from the surrounding hypotonic soil. Roots are designed as selectively permeable membranes, admitting not only water, but some useful solutes, such as minerals the plant needs for survival. Osmosis also plays a critical role in plant and animal cells, with fluids flowing in and out of the cell wall to bring in nutrients and carry out waste.
In analysis of a  complex system like a biological system, no true scientist would ever speak solely about  the concept of "dilution" as being operative by itself without knowing the context and also the specific environment of the cell structures (think economic "sectors") and membrane interfaces that the solution being diluted is in contact with.

So when you hear the morons simply talk about "dilution" as somehow always being "bad" somehow, ask them to explain how magically the "diluted solution" then interacts with adjacent environment to lead to some sort of negative development while refraining from use of teleological statements and metaphor.

They will not be able to do it.

No comments: