July 4, 2020

Economists: at the end of the wrong track

Comment on Barkley Rosser on ‘July 24 Society For Chaos Theory In Psychology And Life Sciences Conference’


As usual, Barkley Rosser promotes cargo cult stuff. Cargo cult was the name that Feynman gave the ‘social sciences’, in order to clearly distinguish them from genuine science. Here are some programmatic highlights from the ongoing aberration:

• "Applications of prisoner's dilemma modeling in search of a more socially just dominant strategy: Overcoming anxiety associated with group oppression: Lessons from a single case study"
• "Stability swtiching in Cournot duopoly games with three delays"
• "Covid-19 and the nonlinear dynamics of everyday life"

All this fits perfectly Feynman's definition: “They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. ... But it doesn’t work. ... So I call these things cargo cult science because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential.”

The essential insight that economists are missing is that they are for 200+ years now on the wrong track, i.e. in the wrong Paradigm. Economics is not a 'social science' but a systems science.#1, #2

For Barkley Rosser, it is too late but for those who are fed up with 200+ years of proto-scientific garbage and want to know what the Paradigm Shift looks like there is now the first scientifically valid economics textbook available.#3

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 Wikipedia, economics, scientific knowledge, or political agenda pushing?
#2 Your economics is refuted on all counts: here is the real thing
#3 Sovereign Economics

Related 'Dilettantes at the end of the coal-pit' and 'Modern macro moronism' and 'Economics: 200+ years of scientific incompetence and fraud'.

REPLY to Fred C. Dobbs on Jul 5

You say “Kanye West tweets he’s running for president this year.”

That’s a nice try to distract from the fact that Barkley Rosser is promoting the agenda of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology And Life Sciences. The title reminds one immediately of a $30 bill.

Note that economists do not know to this very day what profit is. They are simply too stupid for the elementary algebra that underlies macroeconomics. Just check the proof.#1 What do you think one can learn from failed economists about psychology or any other topic?

Nothing. Right.

By the way, if Caligula made his horse a Roman consul, Kanye West can be made president. What goes in contemporary politics is an old hat in academia. After all, Barkley Rosser has been made an economics professor. And he is not as smart as a horse.

#1 Wikipedia, economics, scientific knowledge, or political agenda pushing?
Section Provably false

REPLY to Barkley Rosser on Jul 6

Name-dropping again ... the world's leading blablahblah ... cited many tens of thousands of times ... Princeton ... RAND ... John von Neumann ... And almost all are best buddies of the academic busybody Barkley Rosser.

Yes, Barkley Rosser, you know a lot of people from the academic entertainment industry, too bad that you have no idea how the economy works.

You say “It is true that economists have used game theory a lot, but they did not invent it, and people from many other disciplines have used it.” Did it ever occur to you that game theory is zero-sum and that the market economy is not zero-sum. For 200+ years now macroeconomic profit is obviously greater than zero. So, to begin with, game theory is NOT applicable to economics. Von Neumann’s Theory of Games and Economic Behavior is plain methodological BS because it gets the pivotal economic concept of profit wrong.

And you hang around in academia and all these pointless conferences and have not realized that something is deeply wrong with economics. Guess what, it has nothing to do with animal behavior or the nonlinear dynamics of armed groups in Yemen and Pakistan.

Learn economics, Barkley Rosser. The canonical textbook Sovereign Economics#1 is your last chance.

#1 Amazon or BoD

REPLY to Barkley Rosser on Jul 7

You say “Wow, I have not seen you fall so spectacularly on your face practically ever. I do not know where you went to econ grad school, but apparently they did not teach you even the most elementary game theory.” and “Sorry, Egmont, but no, it is not in general zero sum. Indeed, the classic example of it not being zero sum is that most famous of cases you poked at: the prisoner's dilemma.”

Take notice first, Barkley Rosser, that the term game theory covers TWO different approaches, that of von Neumann and that of Nash. The prisoner's dilemma belongs to Nash. Von Neumann had only utter contempt for the Nash approach (see Mirowski who has extensively dealt with the issue).

Here is the summary “Finally, algorithmic rationality infected game theory itself, changing von Neumann’s original project considerably. The Nash Equilibrium, for Mirowski the paradigm case of the ‘rationality of the paranoid’ (p. 343), stands for him in marked contrast to von Neumann and Morgenstern’s earlier work. Mirowski points to various sources that report von Neumann’s rejection of the equilibrium concept; further, he finds in Nash’s work all of the ingredients that had beset the Cowles Commission: ‘hyper-individualism, non-accessible utility functions, constrained maximization, and cognition as a species of statistical inference’ (p. 348). The Nash equilibrium, Mirowski concludes, is to be seen as a ‘logical extension of the Walrasian general equilibrium tradition into the Cold War context’ (p. 339), but not as a continuation of von Neumann’s project.”#1

Obviously, it is you who is not familiar with the most elementary facts about game theory. No surprises here.

The term zero-sum game relates to the von Neumann approach and has nothing to do with the prisoner's dilemma.

Von Neumann was well aware that there are non-zero-sum n-person games but he transformed them into zero-sum games with the introduction of the n+1 th player.

Take notice, second, that von Neumann had no idea of what macroeconomic profit is. There are three references to profit in the index and they tell you that von Neumann did not understand the essence of economics. He simply redefined utility as profit for the entrepreneur, see footnote 2 on p. 33 ToG.

No way leads from game theory in any version to macroeconomic profit.#2 Game theory is essentially a new version of the old angels-on-a-pinpoint blather that is so beloved in scientifically incompetent academic circles of which you are a card-carrying member.

Economics is fake science and you are the living proof.

#1 Economica Till Gruene
#2 Wikipedia, economics, scientific knowledge, or political agenda pushing?

REPLY to Barkley Rosser on Jul 8

The lethal defect of game theory is that neither von Neumann nor Nash got the foundational economic concept of profit right. This defect they share with the representative economist to this very day.

So, this whole set-theoretical fireworks with Brower's and Kakutani's fixpoint theorems is scientifically beside the point and serves only to train mentally retarded economists to dance around false-hero-memorials.

Von Neumann got his math from Hilbert in Göttingen. There, he was one of many talented mathematicians. He learned soon that he could sell his talent at a premium in the United States. In an environment that runs on the principles of show business, he hyped himself or was hyped to the status of mathematical demi-good (Mirowski, Machine Dreams).

Von Neumann was on the payroll of the military and he died as an alcoholic in the Institute for Advanced Salaries as he himself called it. In sum, von Neumann was instrumental in weaponizing mathematics and swapping the principles of science for the dictates of show business. In the history of science, von Neumann will feature as one of the corruptors of mathematics.

The sickest joke in the sick story of game theory is that the foundational blunder of economics lies on the level of elementary algebra.#1 So much for the achievements of mathematical economics. It is proto-scientific garbage, just like the rest of economics.

Here is the three-step program for the New Paradigm
1. Defund economics.
2. Fire economists.
3. Scrap the lot and start again. (J. Robinson)

#1 Your economics is refuted on all counts: here is the real thing

REPLY to Barkley Rosser on Jul 8

You say: “What? Joan Robinson accepted your wacko profit theory, Egmont? I never knew.”

Of course, you know nothing because you are not only stupid but also lazy. Go to the library and get Robinson, J. (1956). The Accumulation of Capital. London: Macmillan. See pp. 400-402.

“… an excess of investment over saving is an undistributed profit to the firm, …” (p. 402) and this corresponds formally to equation (32) in my 2011 working paper Keynes’s Missing Axioms.

Do you need more proof of your utter scientific incompetence, wacko Barkley?

REPLY to Barkley Rosser on Jul 9

You say “I have never said that your theory is wrong, but rather that it is a vcuous tautology. Everybody knows about retained earnings, and it is a matter of no importance except slightly in determining investment.”

No, you did not say that my profit theory is wrong, you said that it is wacko.

You try to suggest that for me “… thinking about retained earnings is the most important thing in economics, …”.

No, the most important thing in economics is to get the foundational concept of profit right. And the fact of the matter is that economics is provably false on this all-decisive score for 200+ years.#1

Economics is NOT a science, economists are NOT scientists but clowns and useful idiots in the political Circus Maximus. The representative economist is stupid or corrupt or both. The economics Nobel is a fraud.

#1 Your economics is refuted on all counts: here is the real thing

REPLY to Barkley Rosser on Jul 10

You say “The wacko part is that you think it is important. It is utterly trivial. It is rather like somebody deciding that the fundamental key to understanding all of mathematics is to realize that 7 + 2 = 9. This is certainly true, and it is also something that anybody who knows even basic arithmetic knows.”

By trying to trivialize the absolutely devastating proof that economists got profit wrong for 200+ years you shoot yourself in the head.

Ultimately, the Profit Law for the investment economy, i.e. Qm≡I−Sm, is indeed trivial. It is elementary algebra. The point is that economists are too stupid for elementary algebra.#1 And because of this, they get profit for the elementary production-consumption economy, i.e. Qm≡−Sm, wrong, and then the more complex investment economy with profit distribution, i.e. Qm≡Yd+I−Sm, and so on. By consequence: because economists are too stupid for the elementary algebra of macroeconomic profit determination, the whole analytical superstructure of economics is provably false. By consequence, economic policy guidance NEVER had sound scientific foundations.

This proven scientific incompetence does not only apply to Barkley Rosser, it applies also to his faculty. More, it applies to ALL economics faculties in the United States, and it applies to the American Economic Association and the peer-reviewers of its journals. ALL these folks get the trivial algebra of profit wrong.

#1 See section ‘Provably false’ in Wikipedia, economics, scientific knowledge, or political agenda pushing?

REPLY to Barkley Rosser on Jul 11

You say “Weil, Egmont, my evolutionary game theorist friend, Bill Sandhlm may have just blown his brains out, at least he did himself in somehow or other. Perhaps he read your recent writings and took them too cloaely to heart. Heck, he might even have come to believe that 2=7=10. ”

The University of Wisconsin–Madison says “Colleagues knew Bill as “a genuine scientist; detail-oriented, open-minded, and uncompromising in the pursuit of truth,” “a humble scholar with an enormous love for research,” “an exceptional human being, generous with his time,” “kind and supportive to all, and a cherished mentor.” and “After years of struggling with depression, Bill ended his life earlier this week.”