Friday, May 22, 2015

Beware of Slogans

...the characteristics of the special case assumed by the classical theory happen not to be those of the economic society which we actually live, with the result that its teaching is misleading and disastrous if we attempt to apply it to the facts of experience. -- JMK, GT 
The human perception system sees a checkerboard with a cylinder, while a basic SSR measurement [surface spectral reflectance] shows squares A and B read the same. “Illusion” implies that our system is fooled, but as far as useful information goes, the checkerboard interpretation is probably better. Try as they might, mathematicians can’t make the computers see the checkerboard. Rather than a demonstration of how easily fooled we are, optical illusions like this one are examples of the brain’s mysterious and irreplicable abilities. It interprets its environment with a sophistication that exceeds our ability to measure and reconstruct physical phenomena. The usual framing has it wrong: Despite A and B having the same SSR, humans are still able to see the checkerboard. -- Malcolm Harris, "Does color even exist?"
How you mix up the three ingredients of a cure is a matter of taste and experience, i.e. of morals and knowledge. -- JMK, Letter to T.S. Eliot

1 comment:

Magpie said...

As a former Catholic schoolboy, let me put it this way.

A reading from the Book of Maynard.

"Our criticism of the accepted classical theory of economics has consisted not so much in finding logical flaws in its analysis as in pointing out that its tacit assumptions are seldom or never satisfied, with the result that it cannot solve the economic problems of the actual [Great Depression] world. ..." -- JMK, GT, chapter 24.

["For if orthodox economics is at fault, the error is to be found not in the superstructure, which has been erected with great care for logical consistency, but in a lack of clearness and of generality in the premisses." -- JMK, GT, Preface]

"... But if our central controls succeed in establishing an aggregate volume of output corresponding to full employment as nearly as is practicable, the classical theory comes into its own again from this point onwards." -- JMK, GT, chapter 24.

["We are thus led to a more general theory, which includes the classical theory with which we are familiar, as a special case." -- JMK, GT, Preface]

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!


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