Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Math and theories

At the Woodstock for Capitalist (WSJ 5/4/09) last weekend, Buffett and Munger waxed forth, with musings, about things related to business and finance (with its silliness). Topics included Insurance, Housing, Moody's, the Future, and that subject named in the title.

Disdain is the term used for the opinion of these two guys for those modern contrivances that have been brought on by advancing computational prowess (which will necessitate truth engineering among other things).

Well, anyone reading this blog will see that its view agrees, in part, with these two gentlemen, as addressed in these posts are topics related to the modern conundrum (quasi empiricism, economics/engineering, etc.), and more.

Buffett seems to suggest that an application of understanding (is that a diminishing factor?) is needed. Ah, we have John von Neumann to thank for this quote in regard to mathematics: you don't understand it, you just get used to it.

Perhaps that is true in mathematics, yet engineering practices, and success in the 'real' world (especially people interactions), stress understanding.

So, we can say that we have let the computer take over too much which is problematic from several views. For one, those talents we honed (as a species and as individuals) have not adjusted themselves yet to the new paradigm.

Too, there are modelers who dare (or without sufficient thought) to take output from a program as being equivalent to a naturally based measurement, even in an engineering framework where physicality is paramount. We'll be watching for this as data is collected from the 787 flight testing (two-year wait for this validation attempt).

That the "false and nutty" (Buffett's words) in the realm of finance takes this big step is serious foolishness indeed. Especially, as the actions of the few impact all of us.


11/02/2010 -- Over a year later, the message is the same, except some changes have occurred. But Big Ben continues in his ways. Of real note is that the jobless rate is high; out-housing really set up for that. Also, we need to re-look at that learned from the 'vons' guys, Ludwig and Friedrich. See Near Zero.

05/06/2009 -- Spooky science (in conjunction with truth engineering) may have an application in keeping the silliness contained.

Modified: 11/02/2010

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