[From Bill Willliams 14 January 2003 3:00 AM CST]
[From Bill Powers (2004.01.13.1130 MST)]
Putting two and two together, I get two [and therefore] -- the
space program won't cost the economy as a whole a darned thing.
Tony Lawson 2OO3 _Reorienting Economics_ warns about the dangers
of the use of mathematics in economics in chapter 10 p. 247-82.
The use of math in economics Lawson argues has been pernicious.
But, I am not sure how to apply Lawson's warning. Is Bill's
putting two and two and getting two, math and therefore subject
to Lawson's condemnation. Or, is it a case of "not math," and
therefore escapes Lawson's condemnation. I'm not sure. Lawson,
who is on the faculty at Cambridge University UK, is going to
be here this spring, so I'll have a chance to ask him.
While I am a bit puzzled by Bill's whatever it is, I am
overjoyed to learn that going to Mars isn't going to cost
us, or closer to home me, anything.
But, then I note that, while it isn't supposed to cost anything,
the government is going to get the money for the project, which
if there isn't going to be any cost wouldn't seem to be completely
neccesary, through taxes.
Darn! And, seven letter oaths and all that other stuff.
Then Powers says,
you get the idea.
I'm afraid really I do. Does anyone else hear this enourmous sucking
But, Bill isn't done not yet, and neither am I. He goes on to say,
It's not easy to show how the Big Picture would be affected by a multi-trillion-dollar national project,
Bill's obviously got a firm grip on the "Big Picture." And, He's
no slouch in regard to the "vision thing" either. But, precisely
where does Bill stands in regard to Voodo ecnomics? This needless
perhaps to say is a momentous issue. But, it is an issue that
remains in some doubt.
And, I think Bill may be mistaken in this respect-- the "it's not
easy" bit. Rick Marken's in a recent post offered the considered
assessment that in facxt, "...it owuld be easy...." Easy that is
to construct the Test Bed. Rick said he has some spare time and
volunteered. This may be good because I don't look for NSF, or
DARPA to support this project.
On second thought, Rick also told us some time ago, that he isn't
"particularly good at economic modeling"-- so perhaps a bit of
caution regarding the "Big Picture" might still be in order.
However, what is RAND for? If a "senior scientist" isn't prepared to
explain to us why we should be happy to pay for a "multi-trillion
dollar project" that doesn't cost anything, who is? This is a case
in which his ph.D in psychology might be of some use. And, three
shells and a pea might be also be of even more use.
Still I think Daddy, that's daddy Bush, ought to have warned
sonny boy about Voodo economics. But, then daddy wasn't much good
at "the vision thing." That's why as daddy said, Bill Clinton
ended up on the inside looking out, and daddy ended up on the
outside looking in. Daddy never should have left Greenspan with
his hands on the levers. There is a question here about whether
you ought to trust your fate to a professed advocate of
self-fishness and greed.
If there are Any worries that might somehow arise regarding going
to Mars, they should be soothed by Bill's explaination that,
the Test Bed can keep track of details that are too numerous
and loopy for the human mind to comprehend.
This is good to know. I'm a bit worried about my comprehsion.
And, I'm having real trouble concentrating, I surely couldn't
be trusted with "multi-trillion" dollars deals. Good thing we
have Mr. President George Jr. in charge and keeping track of
the details. The sucking sound is getting louder.
As Evert Dirkson once said in what now seems like an age of
charming naivety that is sadly long gone and far away, that "A
billion here and a billion there and the first thing you know it
you are talking real money." Ev might be proud of how far we've
come. And, apparently how far we are going to go.
But, despite having being set at ease about "the details having
been taken care off,"-- surely we aren't going to, mustn't under any circumstance, forget about the details. Not when somewhere scattered
among the details are trillions and trillions of dollars, dollars
to pay for non-existent costs. I'm still puzzled by all this. I
used to teach the money and banking course. But, I have to confess
I seem to be out of my element here. And, For some reason I still
hear this enourmous sucking sound.
I seem to remember Bill Powers saying he wasn't in the habit of
writing blank checks. Seems like a good idea to me. But, since
we know, or at least we've been told, that it isn't going to cost
anything, why should we worry? I say "Trust in Shrub!" With
Shrub handling the details, and the Big Picture as well, we can
all relax. Or, can we?
I am more or less an inquiring sort. So I ask you, why are
we going to Mars?