Tiger’s divorce

June 30, 2010

By what reasonable standard is a former nanny entitled to $750 million dollars(!!) for marrying Tiger for a few years?

There is no possible answer to this question.

The world is truly insane.

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GBFM

June 30, 2010

Ulysses points out that GBFM has been active in Roissy’s comment section. He certainly hashere are yesterday’s comments alone (I need more words)!


GBFM

June 30, 2010

What happened to Great Books For Men?


Science and HBD

June 30, 2010

Modern society only respects science as an inexhaustible provider of what it covets.

Don Calacho

It doesn’t covet the truth about HBD.


The Fed and science

June 30, 2010

From Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:

Like a mad aunt, the Fed is slowly losing its marbles.

Kartik Athreya, senior economist for the Richmond Fed, has written a paper condemning economic bloggers as chronically stupid and a threat to public order.

Matters of economic policy should be reserved to a priesthood with the correct post-doctoral credentials, which would of course have excluded David Hume, Adam Smith, and arguably John Maynard Keynes (a mathematics graduate, with a tripos foray in moral sciences).

“Writers who have not taken a year of PhD coursework in a decent economics department (and passed their PhD qualifying exams), cannot meaningfully advance the discussion on economic policy.” . . .

The root error of the modern academy is to pretend (and perhaps believe, which is even less forgiveable), that economics is a science and answers to Newtonian laws. [emphasis mine]. . .

Economics should never be treated as a science. Its claims are not falsifiable, which is why economists can disagree so violently among themselves: a rarer spectacle in science, where disputes are usually resolved one way or another by hard data.

It is a branch of anthropology and psychology, a moral discipline if you like. Anybody who loses sight of this is a public nuisance, starting with Dr Athreya.

As for the Fed, I venture to say that a common jury of 12 American men and women placed on the Federal Open Market Committee would have done a better job of setting monetary policy over the last 20 years than Doctors Bernanke and Greenspan.


Libertarian society and discrimination

June 30, 2010

From Byran Caplan, who seems to agree with me:

The more general lesson is that using libertarian legal theory to undermine unsavory private agreements doesn’t really work.


More on “science”

June 29, 2010

Aretae has a very nice rebuttal to my post.

Our differences come down entirely to how one defines "science." Basically, he thinks my definition of science is too narrow and he prefers a (very) broad one.

I think more is lost by adopting a broad definition than is gained, but even if one takes his definition of science, one still needs to differentiate between the resultant types of science.

An example may help. There is a difference between the following two problems: 1) determine the position of Jupiter at a particular time in the future; 2) determine the temperature at a particular place on the earth and time in the future.

The first problem can be solved repeatedly and exactly.

The second problem is not ever going to be solved exactly (except perhaps by luck). The best method for solving this problem may, in fact, never be absolutely correct (just consistently least incorrect).

Thus, the type of knowledge necessary to solve the first problem is fundamentally different than the type of knowledge necessary to "solve" the second. I choose to call the first science. Whatever they are called, the difference remains.

I’m not saying that unscientific methods (by my definition) are not valid. Bayesian reasoning has it’s place and it’s underrated by some. Just as importantly, however, its overrated by those who mistake its conclusions for the complete equal of the conclusions of hard science.

The problem is that the post-1960s mind is incapable of accepting the existence of a problem that cannot be solved by science.