Saturday, 7 January 2017

Garbage in, garbage out

"It is official. Figures for the past six months show that the forecasts of instant Brexit catastrophe from the Treasury and the Bank of England were garbage. The Bank’s economist, Andrew Haldane,  admitted yesterday that it was a repeat of the failure to predict the 2008 crash. It was another `Michael Fish moment`, when meteorologists failed to forecast the 1987 hurricane..."
"The Brexit forecast was in a different category. It was like the `dodgy dossier` of the intelligence community on Saddam’s weapons arsenal. It was experts distorted by politics, consciously or unconsciously saying what they or their paymasters wanted to hear. It was `sexed-up` science."

"Perhaps there is this feeling of helplessness because we don`t understand what the real problem actually is...The cognitive map put in place by our schools, universities and our media does not encourage us to question accepted norms. Instead there is apathy..."

Professor Richard Wilkinson: "In a sense I think we`re rather repressed societies. We`ve got used to the idea that there`s nothing that can be done. There is no alternative, that you know that we`re never going to deal with these environmental problems and we live in a dog eat dog society and that`s it. I think what we have to take away from this is the recognition that most of these problems can be very substantially improved by making our societies more equal, reducing the income differences and that also helps us to solve the environmental problems. We can reach a society that is qualitatively better for all of us."

Prof Michael Hudson. "Well the apathy is sort of engineered because you don`t have any discussion of this in the public media... Surprise, surprise, the public media are owned by the real estate and financial interests... and they`re not going to explain to people the integration between the financial, real estate and insurance sector - the FIRE sector."

Tarek El Diwany: "There`s this disinformation going on, passing the buck, denying what the real driving factors are. All of these are common strategies. In fact, even in education you can see that banks have helped to set up universities and they have funded them. They fund think tanks. They have educational foundations; they own newspapers. All of this stuff is going on as a kind of propaganda exercise, so that the people don`t actually work out what the problem is."

Prof. Simon Johnson: "You should not assume because, you know, you don`t have a background in economics or law that these issues are somehow too complex for you. They`re not complex at all. It`s very simple. It`s about power and it`s about democracy and you understand that just as well as I do."

"One source of this disinformation is the neoclassical school of economics. These economists and academics have been successful in convincing the world that their models are gospel... Education can be a form of mass mind control and it`s astonishing that today neoclassical economics continues to be taught in all ivy league universities."

Professor Herman Daly: "I do get letters from students in economic departments in other universities. They`re into some graduate programme or something. They say, I just read, such and such that you wrote and this is the kind of thing that interests me. I`m stuck in this programme here in which I can`t even talk about any of that... What`s your advice?  What should I do? ... "

He tells them: "Some of it`s useful, so go ahead and learn it. And the rest of it is know your enemy."


`I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.` (Mark Twain)

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