This is George Machen's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following George Machen's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
George Machen
Recent Activity
But we just got Miramax, so one step backward, two steps forward! Take the Starz money and get more old & recent TV series ("Route 66," "Then Came Bronson," "Push, Nevada," etc.). "There's always something good on Netflix."
Re, following Jonathan, "Countries quickest to leave the gold standard suffered less lengthy depressed activity. Ben Bernanke summarizes the research...": The actual facts show differently and contrarily, as can be seen historically from the Gold Block countries relatively breezing through their downturns during the 1930s.* And furthermore, it was the U.S. that went *off* the Gold Standard in 1933, only to face a worsening depression! (The Gold Block countries held-on to gold until 1936, when they finally were forced off by the rest of the world.) During the Great Depression, the Gold Block countries (Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, France) experienced the worldwide-linked downturns all right, but theirs were mild and relatively innocuous. Why? Because during the 1920s, they didn't engage in the profligate monetary inflating as that of the rest of the world, who suffered subsequent massive & protracted contractions. -- * Observed in passing and data for which presented in the monograph, "Monetary Policy Under the International Gold Standard: 1880-1914," Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 1959, Arthur I. Bloomfield, Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Pennsylvania cf. Bloomfield, A. I. (1959), Monetary Policy Under the International Gold Standard, Reprinted Arno Press, NY, 1978
You know, after all is said & done, this streaming-only customer finds that, notwithstanding the limited streaming catalog, "There's Always Something On, On Netflix!" (I *do* wish they'd put the money they're investing into producing future exclusive content into getting more old great TV shows, such as Route 66, 77 Sunset Strip, Hennessy, Then Came Bronson - instead!)
I'll tell you what happened, even without a smidgen of first-hand knowledge: Netflix violated the first rule of systems — they went out of their way to find something that wasn't broke, and promptly proceeded to fix it.
This thing downloads & installs PlayOn Digital Media Server 3.4.4.
The private express statutes should be abolished. There's no excuse for the government to be involved in First Class Mail delivery. ("Don't blame me, I vote Libertarian!")
Steven R. Postrel (husband of former Reason magazine editor Virginia Postrel) chimed-in on these matters economics vs. mathematics back in 2007 over on the Organizations and Markets blog with "Physics Envy and All That": He's clearly no Austrian, and I think he ultimately misses the point (viz., a time-equation for the ordering of human preferences cannot be derived), but as for myself, when I was a physics major forty years ago, my professors struck me as actually downplaying the importance of mathematics: One had to know it - but merely as a matter of course - and if one made a math error on a test, only a point or two was taken-off one's grade; rather, what repeatedly was stressed in classes and massively was reflected on test grades was whether one demonstrated a grasp of the ~physical significance~ behind the equations, which had to be expressed verbally/in writing. (Well, except for quantum mechanics, where the math ~was~ the physical significance - aaarrgghh! - but never mind that exception for now.) The point is, whether mathematics is used or not, I would think that if one doesn't get the economic significance of an economic theory, then one is tilting at windmills. Moreover, I also remember that, on the other hand, in the mathematics department, if a textbook was found to contain even an iota of practical application, then the text was summarily dismissed as "it stinks!" Sometimes econometricians' attitudes seem more like those of mathematicians than even of the physicists to which they seem to aspire!
I know everyone here has heard the story, but I nevertheless can't resist invoking it in the context of this thread vis-a-vis mathematics: In _The Worldly Philosophers_, Robert Heilbroner tells a story of a dinner John Maynard Keynes had with Max Planck, the physicist who was responsible for the development of quantum mechanics. Planck turned to Keynes and told him that he had once considered going into economics himself, but he decided against it - it was too hard. Keynes repeated this story with relish to a friend back at Cambridge. "Why, that's odd," said the friend. "Bertrand Russell was telling me just the other day that he'd also thought about going into economics. But he decided it was too easy."
Greg Ransom, it behooves someone of your caliber & scope in the field of philosophy of science to have F. S. C. Northrop among your repertoire. Would you please put on your reading list at least his _The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities_ and _The Meeting of East and West_, and get back to us at some point your opinions of how Northrop fits into your scheme of things vis-a-vis, e.g., your two posts above (September 16, 2010 at 03:48 PM & 03:57 PM) - Darwin, induction/deduction, etc.? I trust that after getting Northrop under your belt, you would put him right alongside "Thomas Kuhn or Norwood Hanson or Karl Popper or F. A. Hayek." By the way, I noticed that the Google page rank of the JSTOR feed to the Austrian economics-related Northrop article I cited elsewhere here (in the Comments to "Some Clarifications," September 01, 2010 at 03:40 PM) went to the very top a week after my citation, and remains there to this day - instead of references to it by other articles previously. I wonder if that Google page rank jump is attributable solely to activity from Coordination Problem readers. Apologies in advance, Greg, if you're already quite aware of Northrop, but from your reply (September 01, 2010 at 05:15 PM) to my aforementioned Comment, it sounded like you weren't, and indeed by proxy from my characterizations were placing Northrop among the scientistic figures you so rightly criticize. At least try-on for size that one Israel M. Kirzner-footnoted Northrop article, and see if you don't find yourself nodding your head, "Yes!": "The Impossibility of a Theoretical Science of Economic Dynamics," Quarterly Journal of Economics, November, 1941, reprinted as ch. XIII in his _The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities_
The methodological/epistemological considerations raised earlier in this thread prompt me to pose this: From the point of view alluded to below,... - It's not that economics cannot be an empirical science. - And Austrian "a priorism" & subjectivism, properly construed, do not mean non-empirical, ratiocination, untested speculation, etc. - It's just that Austrian economics empirically tests its postulates, not its theorems (implications of its hypotheses), the reverse procedure of that practiced by the physical & biological sciences. - It's not, as Rothbard characterized, that economics has no constants; rather, it's that economic theory possesses no conservation laws (as in physics), which is saying something somewhat different. (I think that Rothbard might have been the first to agree with this refinement of his misleading terminology.) - Austrian methodology thus involves a "Copernican Revolution" with respect to the physical & biological sciences, and better understanding & promulgation of this difference (by Austrian economists themselves, frankly, as well as by other schools of economics) would foster great reduction of confusion & misunderstanding, and consequently possibly would foster greater openness to and acceptance of the Austrian school. This point of view in scientific methodology is that of F. S. C. Northrop, whom I've never seen acknowledged by Austrian economists, except the following. I would be interested in comments on Northrop by others here, especially by Richard Ebeling. I also more generally would like to take this opportunity to strongly recommend Northrop's _The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities_, which has been the single most useful aid to me of better placing the procedures of inquiry by Austrian economics within the context of philosophy of science. -- footnote 30 7: Economics as a Science of Human Action - Israel M. Kirzner, The Economic Point of View [1960]: " is of interest to notice that the position of economic science in the face of changing hierarchies of chosen programs has been set forth with exceptional clarity by F. S. C. Northrop in his article “The Impossibility of a Theoretical Science of Economic Dynamics,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, November, 1941, reprinted as ch. XIII in his The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities (New York: Macmillan & Co., 1947). Northrop demonstrates the impossibility of theoretical economic dynamics (on the assumptions and with the method of contemporary economic theory) by pointing out the lack, in economic affairs, of the conditions for such a theory. The data of economics (human wants) are, for its theorems, purely formal entities, whose specific properties are necessarily not to be considered. Moreover, there is no way of deducing the structure of future wants from present wants because wants obey no “conservation law.” Nor, Northrop adds, is there any a priori reason why the subject matter of economics should be conceived in terms of concepts obeying such a law. The quest for an economic dynamics may well “have its basis in a dogmatic assumption, with respect to which our empirical knowledge already gives the lie.” Northrop takes two groups of critics to task: those who mistakenly demand of economics that it take account of changes in the basic data—the relevant chosen ends; and those who, despairing of such an achievement, conclude that economics is of no use whatsoever. Both extremes err in their assessment of the nature of the scientific contribution that it is in the power of economic theory to make."
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2010 on Some Clarifications at Coordination Problem
George Machen is now following The Typepad Team
Sep 1, 2010