The ideal in socialism is that everyone gets enough to eat.

The ideal in capitalism is that everyone gets what they want to eat.

Suggested by: Where You Cannot Generalize from Knowledge of Parts.

An excerpt:

Much of the local research in experimental biology, in spite of its seemingly “scientific” and evidentiary attributes fail a simple test of mathematical rigor.

This means we need to be careful of what conclusions we can and cannot make about what we see, no matter how locally robust it seems. It is impossible, because of the curse of dimensionality, to produce information about a complex system from the reduction of conventional experimental methods in science. Impossible.

My colleague Bar Yam has applied the failure of mean-field to evolutionary theory of the selfish-gene narrative trumpeted by such aggressive journalists as Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker and other naive celebrities with more mastery of English than probability theory. He shows that local properties fail, for simple geographical reasons, hence if there is such a thing as a selfish gene, it may not be the one they are talking about. We have addressed the flaws of “selfishness” of a gene as shown mathematically by Nowak and his colleagues.

Hayek, who had a deep understanding of the properties of complex systems, promoted the idea of “scientism” to debunk statements that are nonsense dressed up as science, used by its practitioners to get power, money, friends, decorations, invitations to dinner with the Norwegian minister of culture, use of the VIP transit lounge at Kazan Airport, and similar perks.

In other words the whole is not the sum of its parts or an average of the sum of its parts.

If a person is allergic to peanuts he will not be happy to get an average amount of peanuts. Likewise, most of us will not be happy with the peanut ration an allergic person can tolerate.

And that is exactly where quite a lot of economics breaks down. Aggregates are only of marginal value. What we want to know are distributions. And that is harder to think about and may still not convey enough information. Why? Because distributions are always changing. Buggy whip demand in 1870 gives us near zero information about buggy whip demand in 1970.

Update: 23 December 2016 1945z

Added the last three sentences.