Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Blackford on Friedman

Blackford on Friedman and the need to strenuously denounce pseudo-science,

"This may seem to make sense to an engineer who wishes to learn the current state of the art of bridge building, or to an ideologue who wishes to provide a logical foundation for his or her most cherished delusions irrespective of the circular reasoning and false assumptions upon which that logic is based, but this is not science!  If physical scientists had taken this approach to science throughout the course of history—relying on “folklore” and “the tenacity with which hypotheses are held” and on those who have been exposed to “the ‘right’ scientific atmosphere” as they ignored the realism of assumptions—we would still be living in a Ptolemaic universe cataloging the situations in which Aristotle’s assumptions do and do not work.

"Friedman is quite wrong in his assertion that there is a “thin line . . . which distinguishes the ‘crackpot’ from the scientist.”  That line is not thin.  It is the clear, bright line that exists between those who accept arguments based on circular reasoning and false assumptions as meaningful and those who do not. This should be obvious, yet there are economists who hold tenured positions at prestigious universities and responsible positions in government agencies and international institutions who accept Friedman’s nonsense as gospel. ..."

To wit, economics needs more effort invested in housecleaning, in pointing out those like Friedman's followers who like the emperor believe themselves attired in finery yet in reality wear no clothes.