Cause and Effect
22 Apr 2009
Iterative feedback in Aristotelian systems .
Humans using Aristotelian logic have major problems with cause and effect .
Humans see event chains :
CauseA(1) -> EffectB(1) = CauseA(2) -> EffectB(2) = CauseA(3) -> EffectB(3) = CauseA(4) -> EffectB(4) …
Note CauseA(2) = EffectB(1) . The effect is the cause in the next step of the chain .
The Aristotelian question is whether A causes B . This can barely be answered in those terms if there is no feedback .
But if there is feedback (ie CauseA(n) = EffectB(n+x) ) , then the whole question becomes a meaningless noise .
It is impossible to logically disentangle causes and effects .
But humans persist (especially their command-and-control systems (ie politicians and scientists) )
A question such as " Will raising the interest rates lower the inflation rate ? " is a meaningless noise . The historical success rate of this policy has been far less than 50% .
A factory owner using this approach will go bankrupt (and many have : see Goldratt and the demise of the conglomerates)
The problem can and has been solved . By the military.
Or use http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "New Tools"
These problems have been seen and resolved , albeit on a piecewise basis .
The failure lies in the academic establishment . Sloppy thought and self-interest .
They have frozen out all new thought . Most good scientists do not even bother to publish in peer-reviewed journals any more (see www.arxiv.org )
I can predict that economic policy in future will be more and more influenced by the military-industrial complex . This last economic crash can be directly traced to incorrect theories by academics , who never ran a business in their life . And when they did , they nearly collapsed the whole system . Not once or twice , but a whopping three times (LTCM , dotcom , credit)
Or to put it in military terms , the military is inside the academic control loop .
So , are we in for a rerun of the later-Roman Empire ?
Actually , not so bad . The US Army is about the last really democratic institution left in the country .
They accept nearly anyone (ie the barbarians in their cities) and immigrants and turn them into disciplined citizens .
They may bear arms .
The Army controls a large part of the GDP .
This last idiocy means they will be influencing not only R&D , but also economic policy .
A silent coup .
The politicians cannot understand cause and effect any more .
In a nuclear armed country with overkill capability , this is extremely dangerous .
So , young man , forget Yale and Harvard . Go west . Go to West Point .