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Subject: US game theorists awarded 2012 Nobel prize for economics rss

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Ivan Pawle
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Nobel prize for economics won by Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley for work which has had spin-off benefits in healthcare and education

Article here
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David Janik-Jones
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Except there really is no official Nobel Prize for Economics, since it isn't a science, really. It's not even called that. It's actual name is "Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel."

It's really a scam and PR trick to give validity to the field of economics.

The Swedish Central Bank created it in 1969 and awards it without consent from the Nobel committee, and both Nobel and his family were, and still are, against this prize since the "science" of economics ignores the idea of falsification of theory if a hypothesis fails. Nobel himself thought theories of economics akin to pseudo-science at best. Oddly enough, at the time in Sweden (the 1960s), Sweden’s banking and business interests were busy trying to ram through various so-called "free-market" economic reforms. Their big objective at the time was to loosen political oversight and control over the country’s central bank.

Promoters of central bank independence couched their arguments in the obscure language of neoclassical economic theory of so-called "market efficiency". The problem was that few people in Sweden took their neoclassical babble very seriously, and saw their plan for central bank independence for what it was: an attempt to transfer control over economic matters from democratically elected government and place into the hands of big business interests, giving them a free hand in running Sweden’s economy without pesky interference from labor unions, voters and elected officials.

While the first few went to economists who won for work in very basic theories, by the mid-70s the prize had taken a very hard turn right, awarding prizes to laissez-faire economists (and dreamers who apparently have no understanding of real-life human behaviour, much like Rand and Marx) Hayek and Freidman.

Members of the Nobel family are among the harshest, most persistent critics of the economics prize, and members of the family have repeatedly called for the prize to be abolished or renamed. In 2001, on the 100th anniversery of the Nobel Prizes, four family members published a letter in the Swedish paper Svenska Dagbladet, arguing that the economics prize degrades and cheapens the real Nobel Prizes.

"The economics prize diminishes the value of the other Nobel prizes. If the prize is to be kept, it must be broadened in scope and be disassociated with Nobel." Achievements of most of the economists who win the prize are so abstract and disconnected from the real world (and the scientific method) as to be utterly meaningless.

Economists always claim that if falsifying data is found for one of their pet theories that, in any other true field of science, would mean scrapping your idea and trying again to explain something, that the conditions weren't perfect (as if there's such a thing when humans and their emotions are involved) yet fail to recognize that falsification is the fundamental principal of the scientific method.

The medals don't even look like Nobel medals and the money doesn't come from the dynamite legacy of Nobel.
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Ivan Pawle
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Indeed!
In hindsight, I probably should've posted this in RSP...
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David Janik-Jones
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insearchofspace wrote:
Indeed!
In hindsight, I probably should've posted this in RSP...

Pet peeve of mine, shouldn't have ranted so much.
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Johan Haglert
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Meanwhile the peace prize is a Nobel prize but given out by Norway because by then they was seen as more neutral / less likely to give it out subjectively or whatever (I kinda know I will be wrong on a detail scale and I do understand some people will know more about it and that a simple glance at Wikipedia would give better information) but nowadays they are the Nato country and it seem like people often isn't all that happy about their choices =P

Even Swedish Text-TV had the headline of "Nobelpriset i ekonomi" or something such so ..

Sometimes I also feel like the money they have should be boosted but then again if they did that the Nobel part of the prize would be diluted so I guess that's not going to happen.
 
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Steve Duff
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DaveyJJ wrote:
Pet peeve of mine, shouldn't have ranted so much.


Au contraire, it was an excellent post, and very informative. I've always disliked economic theory, and this is explaining why it bothers me.
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Nate Straight

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There are branches of economics that deal in falsifiability. In particular, just about anyone doing econometrics.
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Michael Hyland

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Interesting stuff.
 
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DaveyJJ wrote:
insearchofspace wrote:
Indeed!
In hindsight, I probably should've posted this in RSP...

Pet peeve of mine, shouldn't have ranted so much.

No no, it was a very informative rant. Would you mind re-posting it in RSP for further discussion? If you don't care to...I may just copy/paste...
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DaveyJJ wrote:
Pet peeve of mine, shouldn't have ranted so much.


No, Thank You. It is one of the most informative comments I have ever read on BGG.
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DaveyJJ wrote:
insearchofspace wrote:
Indeed!
In hindsight, I probably should've posted this in RSP...

Pet peeve of mine, shouldn't have ranted so much.


No, as the others have said above, type away man!

Or, as I prefer to put it, hell yes! Stick it to the cult of funny-money.
 
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DaveyJJ wrote:
While the first few went to economists who won for work in very basic theories, by the mid-70s the prize had taken a very hard turn right, awarding prizes to laissez-faire economists (and dreamers who apparently have no understanding of real-life human behaviour, much like Rand and Marx) Hayek and Freidman.


Fascinating. Tell me more about which famous thinkers didn't know what they were talking about.
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It seems to me these guys essentially won for solving the Math-Trade problem, so in reality it should be shared with folks here on BGG who solved it independently of those two other folks:

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Travis P
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David, the inferred suggestion that the real Nobel Prizes are credible is laughable.

Secondly, any person or organisation that exposes the nonsense of Keynesian economic theory is a breath of fresh air. Keynesian theory is a theory for the criminally insane, a theory that transfers wealth from the productive in society to the banks and governments, a theory that opposes the free market, a theory that wants to keep prices high and perpetually rising rather than allowing the free market to discover a fair price people can afford, a theory that wants the populous to be debt slaves to the banking system.

There are some that like Keynesian theory but oddly enough they are generally the ones that profit out of it.
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If that doesn't get this thread shuttled over to RSP, I'm going to start making fantastic claims about the secret and twisted sex life of Alfred Nobel.
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Travis P
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I agree, RSP is the best place for this thread.

Don't pollute the General Gaming forum with Keynes. The majority of the people of this planet are the victims of this insane economic theory. We have endless lines of politicians and economists intellectualising this garbage. Let's not have it here in this sanctuary of BGG.

I don't read RSP for a reason.
 
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Euroncrowseye wrote:

It's a science because we apply the scientific method to developing theories which seek to explain extraordinarily complex phenomena and because we do a frankly ridiculous amount of mathematics and statistical analysis. Also, proving what 'everyone knows' is seldom as simple as that.


What makes "science science" has nothing to do with volume of mathematics or statistical analysis.

Quote:

Actually, because our field of study chooses to argue back (apart from us, only quantum physicists have to deal with this highly irritating observer/observed rubbish) and it's impossible to test in a lab, we deserve MORE money and prizes. MORE! NOW!


Disagree, also misunderstanding of quantum physics.

Quote:
Also, if psychologists get to call themselves scientists there is no way on earth we're not getting in on that, especially as their field of study is advanced checklist usage #DSM-IV: making that field of study redundant.


No one said they get to be scientists either!

That said, I think the label of 'science' isn't really anything special like it "used to be" (nor do I think it should have ever been made special in the first place). At the ground level, the real heart of the movement to distinguish science from "psychology, physiology etc" was an effort to identify what it is that makes science rigorous. Those investigations were originally carried out with the assumption that science (read: physics) deployed a superior method. Whether or not that is true - I don't know - what matters is that the heart of the debate, there was (and is) an ongoing discourse about what constitutes good investigative methods and what constitutes a good theory (physical or otherwise).

Science or not, as long as your field aims at explanation in a proper sense it's doing good, useful work. Furthermore, "science" isn't perfect either, and so people should stop raising it up onto a palanquin of perfection.

EDIT: Also, this is totally RSP!
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Candi wrote:
Furthermore, "science" isn't perfect either...


Except for Mathematics
 
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Moved to RSP.
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AnyMouse wrote:
Candi wrote:
Furthermore, "science" isn't perfect either...


Except for Mathematics


Odds are that if a mathematician gets a Nobel prize now-a-days, it's for economics. Other than that, it's probably a theoretical physicist on the maths end of the spectrum.

Not that maths is a science anyway, nor perfect, depending on what you might mean by that.





Some people here seem to be dealing with a rarefied notion of science. Relegating the word purely to physics seems a bit silly to me.

Economics has it's crank side. But if nothing else, people trained in economics do very well on the job market. One could argue that this is empirical evidence that economics isn't just all bunk.
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
Economics has it's crank side. But if nothing else, people trained in economics do very well on the job market. One could argue that this is empirical evidence that economics isn't just all bunk.
Exactly! Especially economists could argue that.
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Mondainai wrote:
Dolphinandrew wrote:
Economics has it's crank side. But if nothing else, people trained in economics do very well on the job market. One could argue that this is empirical evidence that economics isn't just all bunk.
Exactly! Especially economists could argue that.


Free market at work!
 
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Euroncrowseye wrote:
Also, if psychologists get to call themselves scientists there is no way on earth we're not getting in on that, especially as their field of study is advanced checklist usage #DSM-IV: making that field of study redundant.
All psychological theories are falsifiable, and are verified for statistical significance. Not quite sure what you mean by "advanced checklist usage". Psychology is squarely a scientific (albeit relatively young) discipline.

Are you sure you're not getting mixed up with Psychoanalysis?
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Dolphinandrew wrote:

Not that maths is a science anyway, nor perfect, depending on what you might mean by that.




Mathematics is "perfect" in the sense that our results are not subject to the same physical limitations that exist in the other sciences. Theorems are not accepted just because there is evidence to support it. It must be rigorously proven to be absolute truth, without room for ambiguity.

You are claiming that math isn't a science? Please define "science" for me, so I can understand your (passive-aggressive sounding) claim.
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AnyMouse wrote:
Mathematics is "perfect" in the sense that our results are not subject to the same physical limitations that exist in the other sciences. Theorems are not accepted just because there is evidence to support it. It must be rigorously proven to be absolute truth, without room for ambiguity.


Maths is proven from a series of axioms which we generally accept to be true. However, I think you would be on thin ice if you claimed these axioms are absolute truth. Indeed, there are many alternative choices one might make.

Is, for example, the axiom of choice an "absolute truth"? If not, then any mathematics derived using the axiom of choice, is not absolute truth.

Even this is somewhat of an oversimplification. The great plan of people like Russell and the like to set maths on a foundation of consistent axioms that produce, among other things, the natural numbers, is still probably a long way from finished, and perhaps might never be finished.

While all that kind of stuff is interesting, it's also a long way from everyday working mathematics.

AnyMouse wrote:
You are claiming that math isn't a science? Please define "science" for me, so I can understand your (passive-aggressive sounding) claim.


Maths isn't a science because it in no way relies on empirical evidence to reach it's conclusions. We could hash out a precise definition of science if you like, but I'd at least take a reliance on empiricism as a necessary, if not sufficient, condition for something to be science.
 
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