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Complex Adaptive Systems

The Big Idea for Saturday, January 04, 2014

Why is it, as Tom Stoppard once lamented, that "we’re better at predicting what happens at the edge of the galaxy than...whether it’ll rain on auntie’s garden party three Sunday’s from now."

The problem, as we explore in today's lesson, is there is no rigorous way to model even obvious empirical facts that can’t be put in equations. If this doesn't work for weather forecasts, why would we expect it to work for economics? Our over-reliance on mathematical modeling leads to many errors. We must realize, however, that systems like economics are complex adaptive systems - with changing parts and behaviors fitting the Darwin pattern. 

That is why to understand the "softer tissues" that are found throughout the complexities of an economy, Jag Bhalla argues in today's lesson that we need to look past tightly causal equations. 



  1. 1 Modeling The Muddling Masses: The Newton vs Darwin Pattern
    Jag Bhalla Errors We Live By
  2. 2 Paul Krugman: What Economics Can Explain, and What It Can't
    Paul Krugman
  3. 3 What is Emergent Thinking?
    David Brooks
  4. 4 Why is Economics Relevant?
    Daniel Honan Floating University

Complex Adaptive Systems

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