from Jesse’s Café Américain:
Some of Johnson’s remarks are extraordinarily insightful.
I enjoyed his comments on the modern preoccupation with modeling. But I do think his looking back to the Thirty Years War for the trend towards abstract theory over the empirical method in general is a bit of a stretch. But it was kind of cool to think about it.
Quite the opposite, much of the rest of science is very much more empirically oriented, and based on experimentation, replication, and testing. Perhaps he intended that economics be considered more as a social philosophy, and that this trend is particular to that area of knowledge, and I did not understand this.
I think that economics had draped itself with the math and rigor of science, but bent over backwards to say those things that were politically expedient, depending on one’s particular biases and opinions. The intricacy and jargon were there to provide the accoutrements, the flames and smoke and loud pronouncements, that make ordinarily people tremble before those modern Wizards of Oz.
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