I see the God complex around me all the time in my fellow economists. I see it in our business leaders. I see it in the politicians we vote for - people who, in the face of an incredibly complicated world, are nevertheless absolutely convinced that they understand the way that the world works.— Tim Harford
The most staggering Tim Harford quotes to get the best of your day
There's nothing wrong with a plan, but remember Von Moltke's famous dictum that no plan survives first contact with the enemy. The danger is a plan that seduces us into thinking failure is impossible and adaptation is unnecessary - a kind of ‘Titanic' plan, unsinkable (until it hits the iceberg).
You show me a successful complex system, and I will show you a system that has evolved through trial and error.
How did the economy produce all these amazing things that we have around us - computers and cell phones and so on? There were a bunch of ideas, and the good ones grew and prospered. And the bad ones were pretty ruthlessly weeded out.
Economists have allowed themselves to walk into a trap where we say we can forecast, but no serious economist thinks we can. You don't expect dentists to be able to forecast how many teeth you'll have when you're 80. You expect them to give good advice and fix problems.
British politicians used to be good at misleading people without actually lying.
We now have political chaos. We've got parties in Ireland saying they want to merge with Northern Ireland. You've got parties in Scotland saying you want to leave the U.K. You've got the Spanish government saying it would like to take ownership of Gibraltar, which is a British overseas territory... So just the politics of this is a mess.
Pluralism matters because life is not worth living without new experiences - new people, new places, new challenges. But discipline matters too; we cannot simply treat life as a psychedelic trip through a series of novel sensations.
We should not try to design a better world. We should make better feedback loops.
Economics spreads happiness.
The more grotesque your boss's pay and the less he has do to earn it, the bigger the motivation for you to work with the aim of being promoted to what he has.
I am aiming my books at anybody with no economics background.
There's lots and lots of guys out there. The question is trying to find the right one.
Synthetic Worlds is a surprisingly profound book about the social, political, and economic issues arising from the emergence of vast multiplayer games on the Internet. What Castronova has realized is that these games, where players contribute considerable labor in exchange for things they value, are not merely like real economies, they are real economies, displaying inflation, fraud, Chinese sweatshops, and some surprising in-game innovations.
Accepting trial and error means accepting error.
It means taking problems in our stride when a decision doesn't work out, whether through luck or misjudgment. And that is not something human brains seem to be able to do without a struggle.
Norway has a relationship with the EU which is very close.
It has to accept most EU rules. It has to pay EU membership fees. It has free movement of people just like other EU countries, but it's not actually in the EU.
Success Comes Through Rapidly Fixing our Mistakes Rather than Getting Things Right the First Time.
Loss aversion is a really disproportionate anxiety about stuff that doesn't matter very much. So for instance, if you lose $5, you feel really bad about the $5 you've lost. You're cursing yourself. You're going through it again and again. If, on the other hand, you find $5, you go - hey, great, five bucks. And you've forgotten about it really quickly.
Love may be boundless and abundant, but time isn't. Time is finite.
Trying to be able to have, let's say, more than three partners was absolutely impossible, at least for my own relationships.
Failure is inevitable; it happens all the time in a complex economy.
Failure in Innovation - it's a price worth paying.
People today dont become economists to make the world a better place.
If the whole process of learning from failure means discarding stuff that's not working, but in fact, our natural reaction is to keep going, to throw more money behind it, to throw more emotional energy behind it... that's a real problem.
In many ways, love seems to be totally divorced from economics.
But then you realize - well, the stakes are high. This is something that matters to us. We're dealing with scarcity. I mean, if you're dating one person, at the very least, you don't have as much time to date another person. And you may well find that you can only date one person at a time.
A lot of international companies invest in the U.
K. as a base for doing business with the rest of the European Union.
Each additional child that you have is going to divide your time and your attention. You're going to have to cram them into a smaller house. They're going to have to share rooms, or you might have to move into the suburbs, somewhere cheaper, further away from where the job is.
Ten percent of American businesses disappear every year.
... It's far higher than the failure rate of, say, Americans. Ten percent of Americans don't disappear every year. Which leads us to conclude American businesses fail faster than Americans, and therefore American businesses are evolving faster than Americans.
There is much more to life than what gets measured in accounts. Even economists know that.