We live in an age of statistics. They are everywhere, including a whole lot of junk numbers (endless studies) that don’t pass minimum scrutiny. Somehow, statistics have become the gold standard for at least the mainstream media in framing our view of everything from new discoveries to further exploration into how things work.
That’s fine for a discipline like quantum physics where the utterly complex probability models have been repeatedly tested and validated. It’s a far different proposition in the softer sciences where the rules of science aren’t as easily determined.
In 1972, Karl Popper in further defining the scientific process in this modernizing age said that,
Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.
It’s a warning that I try to take to heart, seeing as I do eurodollars lurking ominously behind every global problem. But Popper also said at the same time, ‘no rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude.’ In other words, as long as I stick to a broad enough survey of evidence then proceeding as I do on the monetary explanation for at least economic deficiencies is a legitimate, rational inquiry.
This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on November 7, 2017.