Prediction is Impossible in the General Case; Diverging Series of Conditions

Humans have a need to predict and plan.

Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future, (T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton)

In his book, FREEFALL (2009, Penguin Books), Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University and a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), states that economics is a predictive science. Now, one must distinguish between predicting a) planetary motion in its scheme of recurrence, and b) this afternoon’s weather vs. next month’s weather, or this afternoon’s prices and quantities vs. next year’s prices and quantities, all subject to to conditions diverging in space and time.   (Continue reading)



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