July 17, 2018

There is no soft science only soft brains

Comment on Lars Syll on ‘Hard and soft science — a flawed dichotomy’

Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference

When economists are ridiculed for not having achieved anything of scientific value since Adam Smith they retort with the Cobden-Con: “Years ago I heard Mr. Cobden say at a League Meeting that ‘Political Economy was the highest study of the human mind, for that the physical sciences required by no means so hard an effort.’” (Bagehot, 1885)

Nothing has changed since 1885, economics is still a failed science and the excuses are still the same: “The distinctions between hard and soft sciences are part of our culture … But the important distinction is really not between the hard and the soft sciences. Rather, it is between the hard and the easy sciences. Easy-to-do science is what those in physics, chemistry, geology, and some other fields do. Hard-to-do science is what the social scientists do and, in particular, it is what we educational researchers do. In my estimation, we have the hardest-to-do science of them all! We do our science under conditions that physical scientists find intolerable. We face particular problems and must deal with local conditions that limit generalizations and theory building-problems that are different from those faced by the easier-to-do sciences …” (Berliner)#1

The simple fact of the matter is that economists ― orthodox or heterodox do not matter ― are either stupid or corrupt or both. Take note:

(i) Economics is not a science but what Feynman called a cargo cult science.#2
(ii) To maintain that economics is a social science is the foundational blunder. Economics is a systems science.#3
(iii) Economists have not figured out to this day how the price- and profit mechanism works.#4
(iv) Economists have not figured out what profit is.#5
(v) Economists are too stupid for the elementary mathematics of macroeconomic accounting.#6
(vi) Walrasian Micro and Keynesian Macro are both built upon false premises/axioms. Because of this, the whole analytical superstructures are scientifically worthless. The same holds for Marxianism and Austrianism.
(vii) Economic policy guidance has no sound scientific foundations since Adam Smith/Karl Marx.
(viii) Economists have been political agenda pushers/useful political idiots from day one and nothing has changed since.

Soapbox economics is easy but science is hard. So, why should a utility-maximizing economist do science: “If the real world is fuzzy, vague and indeterminate, then why should our models build upon a desire to describe it as precise and predictable?” (Syll)

The first rule for soapbox economists is to never leave the swamp where “nothing is clear and everything is possible” (Keynes). Every half-witted agenda pusher knows that “With enough fog emitted, almost anything becomes possible.” (Mirowski) The foggy swamp of political economics is the natural habitat of confused confusers. And Lars Syll is obviously one of them.#7

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke


#1 Failed economics: The losers’ long list of lame excuses
#2 What is so great about cargo cult science? or, How economists learned to stop worrying about failure
#3 For details of the big picture see cross-references Not a Science of Behavior
#4 For details of the big picture see cross-references Failed/Fake Scientists
#5 Profit: after 200+ years, economists are still in the woods
#6 Wikipedia and the promotion of economists’ idiotism (II)
#7 Cryptoeconomics ― the best of Lars Syll’s spam folder

Related 'And the answer is NCND ― economics after 200+ years of Glomarization' and 'Econ 101: Economists flunk the intelligence test at the first hurdle' and 'Economics: The greatest scientific fraud in modern times' and 'The dirty secret of Capitalism: Economists have NO idea how the Capitalism works'.

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