I have been having been thinking a great deal about economics. The market crash of 2008 was my inspiration to understand more, that along with a series of discussion with my son, Asher, who is the Executive Director of the Post Carbon Institute. It was Asher who introduced me to the work of Chris Martenson and in particular his Crash Course on Economics which I highly recommend. The more I learn about economics the less I understand. I have also begone to question the ability of economist to predicate the future (of course some will get things right sometimes but that may be the result of the lows of probabilities). I have more faith in the long term weather reports.
At the same time, I have been giving a lot of thought to the difference between intuition and analysis. Those of you that know me, know that I am governed more by my intuition than my ability to analyze things. I think analysis is great for understanding the past but not the future. You can read about how I used intuition in my business life here. For me intuition really has to do with trusting that part of our mind that is not conscious. It is trusting our ability to see patterns and to solve puzzles. I good example is how one might try to do an actual puzzle. You could try to use analysis to figure out what the puzzle represented or you could try to put the pieces together. And in doing that you would find pieces that fit together starting with the pieces that might be candidates for the corners. As you got clumps together you would try to arrange them. At some point you might think, wisely, that you should just stare at the board and hope that some imagine would appear. Once you saw the imagine, putting together the pieces would happen rapidly.
So here is the problem with economics. The people that practices are trying to be rational. They are using analysis to build models. But the best people at predicting might not even know why they believe that certain things will happen. I know many people that manage money that just go with their “guts” . But they could never really tell someone that. They would have to put together a story the supported their feelings.
It is a shame that we do not trust our own intuition. Maybe we could actually solve some problems if we did.