Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Diversity Minus Selection Is Meaningless - Just Stockpiling Static Assets

   (Commentary posted by Roger Erickson)

In 1929 [Leslie] White ... realized that socialism was the alternative to capitalism, which was in serious trouble through the 1930s.

A critical attack from Maxim Gorky, claiming that White was not a Marxist and not a Communist but a bourgeois evolutionary scientist who dealt with human problems only through science"
Now THAT is academic infighting! :) Wow! Would that still be classified as criticism today? Sadly, yes, in many circles, for diverse reasons.

How do you get people to explore their options?

Well, first you have to circumvent their life-threatening taboos.

I'm liking this Leslie White. Sounds like he recognized how deeply our processes were flawed, but never quite figured out how to do anything objective about it. 

What tipped him off? One hundred thousand years of exquisitely adaptive & evolving tribalism?

What do you do when you subconscious tells you that NOTHING we are doing currently is accelerating selection, and instead is only building up surplus diversity .... which we may, might, SOMEDAY, maybe actually select from?

What'd Walter Shewhart say? That data minus context is meaningless?

Then simple algebraic substitution leaves us with the following:

"Diversity minus selection is meaningless."

You want a case in point?

Let's start with the axiom that adaptive rate is always the rate-limiting issue, in every profession, within every culture.

So, in all seriousness, what avenues and methods would have triggered a far faster change in economic textbooks, teaching and policy advice?

Note that the recent Bank of England summary of operational reality came 81 years after Marriner Eccles finally took the USA off the gold-std and completely reinvented the FED.

81 years? Seriously?

We'd still be working on the Atomic bomb if physicists worked that slowly!

Some university physics departments probably wouldn't even be teaching relativity or quantum mechanics yet!

If other disciplines shared information that slowly, half of practitioners in relevant fields wouldn't know about DNA, or turbo-charged engines, or autism ... or most other operational advances.

Didn't the UK go off the gold-std a few years before the USA did? I have no idea how much the BoE changed, relative to FED adaptations. Given that the UK also went to a fiat currency, the main adaptations were presumably similar, from the get-go?

Personally, I think that that the topic of Adaptive Rate in Academic Economics is deserving of one helluva serious review paper, targeting the state of economics education. Objectively measured, it's adaptive rate might be honestly estimated at near zero.

Plus, trying to standardize academic economics research & teaching across national policy regimes is mal-adaptive, by definition.


Unknown said...

Well said.

Unknown said...

In the opinion of this reader,

To be able to explore our options as a culture, we have to at least be able to understand the process as an individual.

To do that, we need to change how economics is being taught in college and high school.

Unfortunately, changing the curriculum, professors, or medium won't truly get to the crux of the issue.

That issue being, that by the time we are old enough to start tackling more complex concepts that require multi disciplinary understanding, our students are already brainwashed and conformed to the learning STYLE that has been wholly accepted as the most effective way to educate.

Un learning takes far more energy, so those with the desire and will spend a long time re teaching themselves, while most just choose to blindly accept what they were taught regardless of context and how long it has been since they were originally misinformed.

Roger Erickson said...

Good points, Clay.

That's why many think we'll never succeed if we don't go back and rethink Kindergarten, and every level afterwards.

this is simple application of the DoD's "3i's" concept:

Impact (counter existing myths)

Intercept (counter late-stage training that is wrong)

Instigation (go back and alter whatever is causing the harmful myths, methods and habits)

The DoD's mantra about contingency management is that "If you don't counter all 3i's simultaneously .... you can't win."

In this case, we can't succeed without at least 3 stages of cultural tuning.