[From Bill Powers (2004.01.28.1837 MST)]
Bill Williams 28 January 2004 7:00 PM CST--
I was talking the Sturgeon today about dealing with cranks. He found the
black hole in the middle of the data set to say the least surprizing. And,
he asked how Powers explained the hole. When I say Powers speculated that
maybe the records weren't kept from 1926 to 1946 he was flabergasted.
I said that those years were not shown in the records that TCP examined and
cited, which he said were the Statistical Abstracts for 1984 and the
Historical Statistics of the United States for 1975, as you would know if
you had read this book (or looked at the scanned pages I sent a few days
#It is unclear to me how I was supposed to do this given the incomplete
#references provided. Or, why I should do so. Simply because you send
#stuff around, doesn't create any obligation on my part to involved myself
#in your program to any extent what-so-ever.
Your report to Sturgeon about my speculation was your invention, and
I expect you to tell Sturgeon that you misrepresented what I said, and to
apologize to me.
# You do? Well fuck-off. For whatever reason, there is a massive hole in
# the middle of your dad's tables. As you have by now noticed, economic
# data isn't the easiest stuff to work with. If you leave the great depresion
# and world War II out of an argument then there is an obvious problem.
# When you first presented you dad's marveous insight, I expressed skepticism.
# You weren't inclined to listen then when I did so politely, and that was
# that. Now you and Rick seem to be getting down to doing the work that I
# politely suggested ought to be done a year ago-- check the CSGnet archives.
# If you were a student, there might be some question about the paper being
This is going beyond cheap shots to something much
# Yes it surely is. I'm getting in practice, and now we are communicating # almost like we were family. Your family that is. Mine were really mild
# manner and prudish folk. Yours were as they say born in a barn.
You are not acting like an educated person,
# Actually I am acting like an "educated" but pragmatic person. A pragmatic
# person is capable of adapting to the situation, and I have.
but like something much more unsavory.
# But, it is effective, isn't it. I can be sweet and mild, or crudely
# obnoxious. Just tell me which way you really prefer it to be.
I have found both of those sources at Fort Lewis's Reed Library, and the
years are indeed limited for which both private and government expenditures
on capital goods are available.
# So we have your dad's argument, but his argument can not be tested for the
# two biggest, in proportional terms, events in the 20th century the great
# depression and world war two. This is important. The purpose of having a
# an income theory is to generate policy measures that will prevent things
# like the great depression and disruptive inflation. So, what ever the
# correlations involved, if the theory hasn't been tested by the two big
# income events in the 20th century, what is the point? This is why anyone
# with some modest understanding of what ecnomic theory is about is going to
# be likely to smile when they see your dad's economics.
It is very hard to find the data in question and I think there is an error in the reference given in TCP's book; the year is probably wrong.
# Welcome to the joys of economic research.
The materials from the Historical Statistics are in
that volume, but the Statistical Abstracts tables listed do not correspond
to the correct tables in the volume I got from the library.
# Clever bastards, when they want to withhold information, it isn't going to be found.
And indeed, not all the data are there.
# Maybe the data went where ever it is the leakages go.
I can see that in my copy of the Abstracts for 1984, in the table called
"Business expenditures for new plant and equipment, 1965 to 1983", the
total expenditures are listed for 1965, 1970, then each year from 1975
to 1983. The data for the years 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973,
and 1974 are missing.
# I don't know what to say, except that the "credentialed experts didn't
# get to be spring loaded in the pissed off position for just no reason
So with this reference source, it would not be
possible to compute the value of (Ip + Ig)/GNP for the eight missing years.
# ANd, So it goes.
I see that in TCP's table, the consecutive years run from 1974 to 1985,
implying that the Abstracts he used were for 1986, not 1984 as shown in his
citation. It does not look as though he deliberately omitted any data in
that table; his reference simply did not contain data for those years. But
I will obtain the volume for 1986 and see whether this is indeed the case.
By the way, in the book TCP notes that he does not expect this relationship
to hold for WWII.
# I can believe that it could. So, what does this imply for you discussion
# with Kenny about general theory and the place of exceptions?
From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet) on behalf of Bill Powers
Sent: Wed 1/28/2004 8:49 PM
Subject: Re: PCT vs Economics?
# ANd, in addion what about the Great Depression?
I don't know if it does or not, but I will try to find out.
It looks as if it may be possible to get all the data by acquiring the
statistical abstracts for about every 8th year into the past. Since you
prefer to use your imagination in drawing your conclusions,
# Thank you very much for one more gratuitous inslut.
I will undertake that task.
# While back at the pig farm, we are training up even more "credential
# economists" who can maintain the reputation of being difficult to deal
# with. By-the-way have you read Professor Druun's (did I spell it right
# this time?) section in her dissertation where she derives the Keynesian income analysis? I really liked the way she did it. I'll be interested to see what you make of it? Maybe we could get up a fund and send Rick to
# Denmark so he could straighen her out. From what I get out of the Keynesian
# section in the dissertation-- actually the whole damn thing is a Keynesian
# section she has some real problems. I can't wait to see what her reaction is
# to being told that instead of Y = C + I, any ignorant crank can see that
# that Keynes made a blunder. Rather as Rick S(shit for brains) Marken saw
# immeadiately the income/expenditure identity is nonsense and the income
# relation should be written Y = C + S + I . So, Druun's dissertation really
# needs a lot of work. Maybe she should consider withdrawing it, and returning
# her doctorate. If you are too busy trying to find out where the imps have
# hidden the secrets, do you want me to bring her up-to-date with your
# insights into what the head devil John Maynard Keynes has done to maim our
# foolish minds?
It may take some time.
# Well since your dad is, I'm sure, paying the bill-- consider leaning on
# the shovel from time to time.
I hope that in the meantime you will be able to refrain from making any more incorrect reports about what I have said, or what TCP did.
# This is one more example of the "he only fucked one pig arugments."
# Even the junior imps are too well trained to fall for this one.
# So, I won't promise not to fuck any more pigs. However, if it will
# set your mind at ease, I will promise not to fuck any pigs.
# What, about donkey's?
Sturgeon, like I am, is of the opinion that control theory offers the
best, or only, conception of behavior capable of replacing the
neo-classical economic concept of maximization. Of course, it doesn't
neccesarily say anything about the merits of control theory that it is
connected with obivous cranks. But, the association is perplexing. I hope
the association won't last for long.
Do you know what you sound like, Bill? You sound like a member of the Old
Guard, desperately trying to find something wrong with a idea that
threatens what he believes in, using any trick he can think of from
misrepresentation to innuendo to outright lies to character assasination to
keep from having to give in.
You are more than a little confused. We are doing the best we can to generate a situation in which control theory will replace maximization as the foundational principle of economic analysis. I think your control theory stuff is first rate. I was genuinely sorry you weren't able to get the modern control theory stuff you were working to go. If that project had succeeded we wouldn't be engaged in this "much easier" exercise that is "so easy."
For someone associated with "heterodox" economics, this is a very odd > position for you to be in.
More of the his only having fucked on pig type argument. However, for your information Marxists are on the heterodox side of the split in economics. No one asked me when this got decided. Do you suppose that from time to time Marxists have told some fibs? So, it isn't in my view at all "odd" let alone "very odd" that a heterodox economists would tell what may people might think was a lie. Or at least be, from what can actually be obvserved, saying things that don't appear to be true.
Or perhaps what you sound like is a scared kid worried about what is
lurking underneath his bed.
Personally I liked it better when you were describing me as Joseph McCarthy "huffing" and "puffing." But, I have to admitt it, your threatening to bite me has caused some real concern. As a precautionary measure I've inquired about the possiblity of borrowing a pair of shin protectors from the girls field hockey team for use when I am away from home. But, as far as worrying about who might be lurking underneath the bed, my Belgian Turveerian Shepard 'Snips' who sleeps there would welcome company-- for dinner.
Snips is a really neat dog. One of the Encyclopedias of Dog Breeds I was reading recently described the breed as "scary smart." And, if you think "credentialed economists" can be difficult, It's obvious that you haven't tried to train a Belgian Shepard. Snips and I have been having this ongoing dominance contest ever since Snips was a puppy. Its not that Snips and I aren't good friends, but there is this area of disagreement about who is going to eat Kibbles and who is going to eat beef stroganoff. Snips has draw blood a couple of times. And then there was the night that Snips ate the beef stroganoff and I ended up going to McDonalds. Even if I am hungry I'm not going to eat kibbles. Aside from that one time, I'm still winning the dominance contests with Snips. After all, while Snips may be "scary smart" they were comparing Belgains to other dogs. A german shepard doesn't have a chance against Snips. But, Snips isn't nearly as sneaky as I am, not at least when I am paying attention. And, Snips hasn't yet figured out what to do about Kevlar rope. The night I ate at McDonalds was the night Snips chewed through the nylon cord and then started chewing on me. That is when I switched to the
Kevlar rope. I didn't want to use metal chain-- Snips would have tried to chew through the chain. Chewing on Kevlar doesn't appear to harm Snip's teeth. But, sometimes Snips acts really frustrated.
Don't let those nasty cranks get you, Billy.
Did daddy call you "Billy" Actually mom and dad, called me "Billy Dean" and I hated it.
If you want to jerk my chain you are going to have to be sneaky. Take for example my contriving to mis-spell Professor Druin's name. Now there was a
clasic "gottcha." So far I think I'm ahead on points. At least that is my impression. And, alfter all that's really what count's. Should we make-up a set of rules for a league devoted to competitive condecension?
Are you having as much fun doing this as I am?
Now, try and get the return over the net.
Best wishes and all