Feb 20, 2014

The greatest scientists are the best losers.

The chief difference betwen science and other human enterprises such as warfare and politics is that brilliant blunders in science are less costly. Hannibal’s brilliant crossing of the Alps to invade Italy from the north resulted in the ruin and total destruction of his homeland. Two thousand years later, the brilliant attack on Pearl Harbor cost the Japanese emperor his empire. Even the worst scientific blunders do not do so much damage.
From a very interesting article on wrong theories. It is mainly focused on physics and evolution, with some discussion on other "human enterprises," and no mention of social sciences. But it is a very good read about a very interesting book. To be sure wrong economic theories can have huge costs. And one useful principle when creating economic theories is "first, do no harm."

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