Quote of the Day 2

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Facebook:

What we are seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.
With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30y of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, microeconomic papers wrong 40% of the time, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating only 1/5th of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers with a better track record than these policymaking goons.
Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats wanting to run our lives aren’t even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. I have shown that most of what Cass-Sunstein-Richard Thaler types call “rational” or “irrational” comes from misunderstanding of probability theory.

(Via Richard Fernandez.)

5 thoughts on “Quote of the Day 2”

  1. Exactly.

    He is the right guy to describe what is happening.

    Decision theory was my favorite topic when I went back for a masters in health policy.

    One good example is the fact that about 50% of patients actually fill prescriptions and take the medicine as prescribed. Few physicians are aware of this.

    Another example, which was proven accurate by a clinical study of arthritis, is that the more choices a person is offered, the less likely they are to choose any of them. There is all sorts of research in decision theory on this and the clinical study was in New England Journal. It studied people with osteoarthritis who were offered a choice of medicines for the arthritis. The more selections they had, the less likely they were to choose any of them.

    Any car salesman could tell you that without a study but the GOP went with 12 candidates and wonders why the voters chose that guy that nobody thought had a chance,

  2. Each great In itself – nice juxtaposition. I’ve been reading about the home economists and food – it is a long history of trials and mistakes. We know so much more than a century before – but so much of what we were taught was wrong over that century.

  3. Present day sociology while it may be more scientific than astrology ever was is way inferior as a science to alchemy as practised in the 17Th century and earlier. Alchemists made many important chemical discoveries which contributed substantially to the development of
    modern chemistry. Sociology has produced almost nothing of any scientific value.

    In psychology Freud was a kind of anti-Newton. Whereas Newton enormously advanced physics, Freud set back a scientific understanding of human behavior for almost a century.

    Economists disagree about almost everything and resemble pre-Socratric philosophers much more than scientists. I think they’re sincere but that is not enough to make a science.

    Unlike economists who I think are generally sincere if not very successful many “social scientists” are charlatans pure and simple. Like Freud.

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