Ikea chairs

In a review article about agent-based models Dietrich Stauffer once wrote

"Physicists not only know everything, they also know everything better."

In the spirit of "this indisputable dogma" Lee Smolin recently published his thoughts
about "time and symmetry in models of economic markets", advocating to formulate "economics in the language of a gauge theory".

If I would be in a generous mood, I would perhaps only point out that worse stuff has been published on the arxiv and in particular its econophysics section. But I am not and thus I will actually quote some of the deep insights of the author:

"..publishers have a simple motivation to cut costs by only printing the books that will sell,
but it seems very difficult to predict accurately which books will sell and which won’t.
One rule of thumb-to which there are exceptions-is that books that are not in book stores don’t

" Combining space, time and uncertainty, there is then a vast explosion in the number
of goods. Rather than having a particular model of Ikea made chair, we have a vast set of

"Consider the adage, well known to sailors, ”The two happiest days in
the life of a boat owner are the day they buy their boat and the day they sell it.”
Imagine coding this in a utility function." (*)

If one is interested in similar deep insight then this paper offers plenty of it.

If one is actually interested in the application of gauge theory in finance I would recommend
the book of Ilinski and this review.

But if one wants to read a well written critique of econophysics, I would recommend this essay instead.

(*) Actually, I can confirm the adage from personal experience as an obvious truth.


Ponder Stibbons said...

Oh dear. This is simultaneously hilarious and sad.

wolfgang said...

A really bad paper, several pages filled with trivialities and actually not one new result as far as I can see.

Still, I was not sure if it is appropriate for me to mock somebody elses work, but the quotes were just too hilarious (and there is more in the paper).
Also, it finally gave me an opportunity to use Dietrich Stauffer's "indisputable dogma" ...