The number illusion is a logical fallacy of sorts, an appeal to the authority of what looks like objectivity. You can’t argue with math. While that’s true, in social sciences there is the continued absence of real proofs which dominate the hard sciences. Newtonian physics works as a worldview because the numbers throughout history have always checked out.
When an Economist uses numbers, you have to check out all the assumptions behind them – because there are so many. It is a form of scientism whose real purpose is meant to discourage such questions and questioning.
And Economics is hardly alone with this preoccupation. Long before Positive Economics came on the scene in the middle of the last century the Communists were running around extolling the virtues of their political “science” which calculated what they claimed would be the optimal way to govern (by death and punishment, if needed; all the numbers said so). Read more…..
Chart of the Day
CNBC’s Becky Quick sits down with legendary Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger for a one-on-one conversation after the Daily Journal Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. In a wide-ranging conversation and his usual no-holds-barred manner, the 95-year-old chairman of the Daily Journal gave his thoughts on whether he thinks the golden era of investing is over, the current state of party politics, his take on the buyback debate, trade tensions with China, and the life advice he abides by.