Comments on economics, mystery fiction, drama, and art.

Friday, April 25, 2014

What it means to have a scientific attitude toward the world

"The lead-crime story fits all my political prejudices, as well as my taste for simple and surprising explanations with clear policy implications. And I’ve been a loud advocate for it. But I don’t want to believe it if it isn’t true."

This is  from a blog I read (daily), and it expresses as clearly as anything I have ever read how we must approach our search for truth.  Too much of what I read in economics essentially starts from the writer having found a simple, eloquent, compelling story, and then believing it, regardless of the evidence.  (And it's a serious temptation, one you have to work to avoid.  I find myself always thinking about it, and reminding myself that falling into that trap has caused me to make some of my own mistakes.)


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