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Can Science Help Solve The Economic Crisis? I’m Not So Sure!

This is a noble proposal, but I remain a bit of a skeptic with respect to the ability of a cohort of scientists and economists to find a scientific solution to the problems of our economy. Economies are living organisms, about as old as the oldest profession, and rebuilding the economic system from scratch is a problem in engineering and social engineering, not in science. Human’s and scientists don’t have a good history as regards social engineering.

Science is reductive, and seeks to establish the laws which govern physical systems. To do so, scientists carry out repeatable experiments. For an experiment to be approximately repeatable, history has to be unimportant, and so the system has to couple very weakly to the rest of the universe. You can figure out the statistics of a coin flip because initial conditions of the coin are more or less irrelevant. The hand of the coin flipper, the temperature of the room, the location on earth, don’t matter too much because the coin is coupled weakly to the rest of the world, and hence to history.…

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