Money, Blood and Revolution: How Darwin and the doctor of King Charles I could turn economics into a science by George Cooper explains how the ideas of Darwin and Harvey could revolutionize economics, making it more scientific and understandable, which capitalideasonline posted . First an Capital Ideas Online excerpt followed by a little on the book.
Here are some parts that I have marked in my copy of the book:
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1. ‘What Copernicus thought about the universe was important – it turned astrology into the science of astronomy – but how Copernicus thought about the universe was immeasurably more important. Copernicus taught us how to do science. He taught us to look for simple answers to complex problems and he showed us the importance of using our imagination.’
2. ‘William Harvey, the doctor of King Charles 1, reimagined the flow of blood around the body. He made the human machine easier to understand, and in doing so turned medicine away from superstition and towards science.’
3. ‘Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace imagined the evolution of species and modern scientific biology was born.’
4. ‘Alfred Wegener reimagined the workings of the earth. He imagined entire floating continents drifting around the world. In doing so, he fixed the confusion in geology – allowing the field also to graduate to the science faculty.’
5. ‘The second section of the book is about economics. First, about drawing parallels between the confused state of economics today and the state of astronomy, medicine, biology and geology prior to their revolutions. It is then about trying to fix the confusion in economics with the tricks of the great scientific revolutionaries.’
6. ‘The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.’ – Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
7. ‘It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.’ – Richard Feynman (1918-1988)
8. ‘Thomas Kuhn is a difficult man to pigeonhole. He started out as a physicist, became a student of the history of science and then arguably morphed into a philosopher.’
9. ‘Kuhn identified a key problem in the way science works and promptly gave it the horrible name of incommensurability. The problem he found was that the way we analyse and interpret the world and look at experimental data is intimately entwined with our existing, pre-conceived understanding of how the world works.’
See full article by capitalideasonline.com
Money, Blood and Revolution – Description
Economics is a broken science, living in a kind of Alice in Wonderland state believing in multiple, inconsistent, things at the same time. Prior to the financial crisis, mainstream economics argued simultaneously for small government on taxation, regulation and spending, but big government on monetary policy. After the financial crisis, economics is now arguing for more government spending and for less government spending. The premise of Money, Blood and Revolution is that the internal inconsistencies between economic theories – the apparently unresolvable debates between leading economists and the incoherent policies of our governments – are symptomatic of economics being in a crisis. Specifically, in a scientific crisis. The good news is that, thanks to the work of scientist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn, we know what needs to be done to fix a scientific crisis.
Moreover, there are two scientists in particular whose ideas could show how to do this for economics: Charles Darwin, the man who discovered evolution, and William Harvey, doctor to King Charles I and the first man to understand blood flow and the workings of the human heart. In Money, Blood and Revolution, bestselling financial writer George Cooper explains how the ideas of Darwin and Harvey could revolutionise economics, making it more scientific and understandable, and might even reveal the true origin of economic growth and inequality. Taking readers on a gripping tour of scientific revolution, social upheaval and the secrets of money and debt, this is an unmissable read for anyone curious to understand how the world really works – and the amazing future of economics. #autoshambles
Money, Blood and Revolution – Reviews
Money, Blood and Revolution – George Cooper presents the best inclusive yet parsimonious theory on modern economics that I’ve ever read. I studied economics in undergrad and graduate school. The contradictory explanations of the competing schools of economics seem to describe the economy under different drivers while ignoring others. Cooper’s theory brilliantly borrows from several schools with a bit of darwinian biology in order to create a simple yet robust theory. He then uses past scientific breakthroughs that happened after various schools of thought could no longer be reconciled, to bolster his thesis. — Steven Clarke – Best inclusive theory on economics
Money, Blood and Revolution – Well and amusingly written. A wonderful diagnosis of the current state of economic thinking – competing and ineffective schools. The author argues for a paradigm shift in economic thinking – competition rather than optimization. His main thesis is that in the private sector wealth flows toward the wealthy and in the public sector wealth flows downward, and that both are needed for a properly functioning economy. — Dean S. Maclaughlin – Probably a bit of a polemic, but right on target
Money, Blood and Revolution – The world definitely need to rethink how the economic system works. At the same time to come up with a universal theory to explain all the nuances is futile. The author has succeeded in providing a clear view on how various schools of thought have positioned themselves and how they all have taken a beating against the backdrop of global financial crisis. Modeling different actors, their preferences and correlation among their respective actions will expose any model to large model error. So how do policy makers and other stake holders are supposed to navigate the bizarre economic world post Lehman? The author rightly points to the need of fresh thinking, shedding the legacy burden and re-balancing the economic circulatory engine – instead of trying to prime the broken pump. — Rohit Singh – Is economics a true science – it still needs to evolve a lot.