Re: poly: Modeling Economic Singularities

From: Perry E. Metzger <>
Date: Thu Mar 26 1998 - 15:44:26 PST

Carl Feynman writes:
> At 01:05 PM 3/26/98 -0800, you wrote:
> >a = typical risk-aversion, ~1 (a = -c*u''/u' for utility u(c)).
> Eh? I don't understand this equation even when I blow it up to a 40-point
> font.

I also found the fact that the model had no place to plug in changes
in productivity interesting. If productivity rises only steadily, the
economy would only steadily expand. If, however, increased
productivity increases growth, high gains in productivity produced by
rapid technological change would alter the entire picture.

Overall, I found the "model" in question very arbitrary. Why these
numbers and not others? Why these relationships? I am not
extraordinarily impressed.

Once, a long time ago, I was silly and thought a few equations could
model the world. The Club of Rome's "Limits to Growth" computer model
seemed like a death sentence for the world. Then I grew up and learned
that garbage in leads to garbage out in any model. Sure, the Club of
Rome equations *seemed* reasonable, but they weren't.

Received on Thu Mar 26 23:48:38 1998

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