the map is not the territory

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pages: 147 words: 39,910

The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bitcoin, Black Swan, colonial rule, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, delayed gratification, feminist movement, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, mandelbrot fractal, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, statistical model, stem cell, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Torches of Freedom

While every effort has been made to contact copyright holders, if we have overlooked anything please let us know. This book wouldn’t be possible without the insights of others. The goal of FS is to master the best of what other people have figured out. True to this mission, everything in here began with someone else. Any reproduction of this book requires written permission. www.fs.blog ISBN: 978-1-9994490-0-1 Contents Preface Acquiring Wisdom General Thinking Concepts: The Map is not the Territory Circle of Competence First Principles Thinking Thought Experiment Second-Order Thinking Probabilistic Thinking Inversion Occam’s Razor Hanlon’s Razor Supporting Ideas: Falsifiability Necessity and Sufficiency Causation vs. Correlation Acknowledgements Landmarks Title Page Table of Contents Preface Introduction Body Matter Acknowledgments Cover _ The key to better understanding the world is to build a latticework of mental models.

In 2009 she shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for her analysis of economic governance; in particular, questions related to “the commons”. Abbud, Karimeh. 1893-1955 - Palestinian professional photographer. Also known as the “Lady Photographer”, she was an artist who lived and worked in Lebanon and Palestine. Jacobs, Jane. 1916-2006 - American-Canadian journalist, author, and activist who influenced urban studies, sociology, and economics. Her work has greatly impacted the development of North American cities. The Map is not the Territory The map of reality is not reality. Even the best maps are imperfect. That’s because they are reductions of what they represent. If a map were to represent the territory with perfect fidelity, it would no longer be a reduction and thus would no longer be useful to us. A map can also be a snapshot of a point in time, representing something that no longer exists. This is important to keep in mind as we think through problems and make better decisions.

Maps are useful to the extent they are explanatory and predictive. Key elements of a map In 1931, the mathematician Alfred Korzybski presented a paper on mathematical semantics in New Orleans, Louisiana. Looking at it today, most of the paper reads like a complex, technical argument on the relationship of mathematics to human language, and of both to physical reality. However, with this paper Korzybski introduced and popularized the concept that the map is not the territory. In other words, the description of the thing is not the thing itself. The model is not reality. The abstraction is not the abstracted. Specifically, in his own words:2 1. A map may have a structure similar or dissimilar to the structure of the territory. The London underground map is super useful to travelers. The train drivers don’t use it at all! Maps describe a territory in a useful way, but with a specific purpose.


pages: 401 words: 93,256

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life by Rory Sutherland

3D printing, Alfred Russel Wallace, barriers to entry, basic income, Black Swan, butterfly effect, California gold rush, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, double helix, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Firefox, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Chrome, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Hyperloop, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, IKEA effect, information asymmetry, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, loss aversion, low cost airline, Mason jar, Murray Gell-Mann, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the map is not the territory, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Veblen good

‘It doesn’t matter what something tastes like in blind tastings, if you put “low in fat” or any other health indicators on the packaging, you’ll make the contents taste worse.’ In the testing that they had conducted the biscuits had been unpackaged, and they had forgetten that packaging will also affect the taste. 6.8: The Map Is Not the Territory, but the Packaging Is the Product The Polish-American academic Alfred Korzybski (1879–1950) is perhaps most famous for his dictum that ‘The map is not the territory.’ He created a field called general semantics, and argued that because human knowledge of the world is limited by human biology, the nervous system and the languages humans have developed, no one can perceive reality, given that everything we know arrived filtered by the brain’s own interpretation of it.

4.9: The Red Bull Placebo 4.10: Why Hacking Often Involves Things That Don’t Quite Make Sense 5: Satisficing 5.1: Why It’s Better to Be Vaguely Right than Precisely Wrong 5.2: (I Can’t Get No) Satisficing 5.3: We Buy Brands to Satisfice 5.4: He’s Not Stupid, He’s Satisficing 5.5: Satisficing: Lessons from Sport 5.6: JFK vs EWR: Why the Best Is Not Always the Least Worst 6: Psychophysics 6.1: Is Objectivity Overrated? 6.2: How to Buy a Television for Your Pet Monkey 6.3: Lost and Gained in Translation: Reality and Perception as Two Different Languages 6.4: Mokusatsu: The A-Bomb, the H-Bomb and the C-Bomb 6.5: Nothing New under the Sun 6.6: When It Pays to Be Objective – and When It Doesn’t 6.7: How Words Change the Taste of Biscuits 6.8: The Map Is Not the Territory, but the Packaging Is the Product 6.9: The Focusing Illusion 6.10: Bias, Illusion and Survival 6.11: How to Get a New Car for £50 6.12: Psychophysics to Save the World 6.13: The Ikea Effect: Why It Doesn’t Pay to Make Things Too Easy 6.14: Getting People to Do the Right Thing Sometimes Means Giving Them the Wrong Reason 7: How to Be an Alchemist 7.1: The Bad News and the Good News 7.2: Alchemy Lesson One: Given Enough Material to Work On, People Often Try to Be Optimistic 7.3: Sour Grapes, Sweet Lemons and Minimising Regret 7.4: Alchemy Lesson Two: What Works at a Small Scale Works at a Large Scale 7.5: Alchemy Lesson Three: Find Different Expressions for the Same Thing 7.6: Alchemy Lesson Four: Create Gratuitous Choices 7.7: Alchemy Lesson Five: Be Unpredictable 7.8: Alchemy Lesson Six: Dare to Be Trivial 7.9: Alchemy Lesson Seven: In Defence of Trivia Conclusion: On Being a Little Less Logical Solving Problems Using Rationality Is Like Playing Golf With Only One Club Finding the Real Why: We Need to Talk about Unconscious Motivations Rebel against the Arithmocracy Always Remember to Scent the Soap Back to the Galapagos Endnotes About the Author Copyright About the Publisher Rory’s Rules of Alchemy The opposite of a good idea can also be a good idea.


pages: 662 words: 180,546

Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown by Philip Mirowski

"Robert Solow", Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, constrained optimization, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deindustrialization, do-ocracy, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, full employment, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, incomplete markets, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, loose coupling, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, random walk, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, school choice, sealed-bid auction, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Myth of the Rational Market, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, working poor

Kaletsky, Anatole. Capitalism 4.0 (New York: Public Affairs Press, 2010). Kaptur, Devesh. “Academics Have More to Declare than Their Genius,” Financial Times, June 24, 2009. Kates, Steven. The Global Financial Crisis: What Have We Learnt? (Cheltenham, U.K.: Elgar, 2011). Kay, John. “Economics: Rituals of Rigor,” Financial Times, August 25, 2011. Kay, John. “The Map Is Not the Territory,” October 4, 2011, at www.johnkay.com/2011/10/04/the-map-is-not-the-territory-an-essay-on-the-state-of-economics. Kay, John. “Why Economists Stubbornly Stick to their Guns,” Financial Times, April 15, 2011. Keen, Steve. “Like a Dog Walking on Its Hind Legs: Krugman’s Minsky Model,” March 4, 2011, at www.debunkingeconomics.com. Keynes, John Maynard. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1964 [1936]).

One More Red Nightmare 1 For those with access to a film library, I would suggest The Descent (2006); or for something closer to the current topic, Adam Curtis’s The Trap (2007). Just when I had begun feeling proud of my little trope, a friend pointed me to Wendy Brown’s “American Nightmare: Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism, and De-democratization.” Originality is an overrated virtue. 2 Video recordings of much of the proceedings are available on the Web at www.ineteconomics.org. 3 Kay, “The Map Is Not the Territory.” 4 Tankersley and Hirsh, “Neo–Voodoo Economics.” 5 Tiago Mata, at History of Economics Playground, at http://historyofeconomics.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/inet-bw-of-history-repeating/#more-2002. 6 Stephan Richter, www.theglobalist.com/storyid.aspx?StoryId=9096. See also the account by Yves Smith at www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/04/page/3, which suggests that the video available at the INET website may have been redacted.

Theories of imperfect and asymmetric information in markets had undermined every one of the efficient market doctrines, even before they became fashionable” (Stiglitz, “The Non-existent Hand”). For a number of examples on the right, see the Chicago interviews of John Cassidy (“Rational Irrationality”) or Taylor, “How Government Created the Financial Crisis.” History is always the first casualty in any economics dispute. 6 See www.britac.ac.uk/events/archive/forum-economy.cfm. The Queen’s question is also discussed in Kay, “The Map Is Not the Territory.” 7 See, for instance, Jane Smiley’s novel Moo, or Olivier Assayas’s film Summer Hours. 8 Sorman, “The Free Marketers Strike Back.” 9 Thoma, “What Caused the Financial Crisis?” 10 Here is the economist David Levine: “I was reading your article ‘How Did Economists Get It So Wrong.’ Who are these economists who got it so wrong? Speak for yourself kemo sabe. And since you got it wrong—why should we believe your discredited theories?”


pages: 1,737 words: 491,616

Rationality: From AI to Zombies by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, anti-pattern, anti-work, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, cellular automata, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, different worldview, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, effective altruism, experimental subject, Extropian, friendly AI, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, Nash equilibrium, Necker cube, NP-complete, P = NP, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, planetary scale, prediction markets, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific mainstream, scientific worldview, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Solar eclipse in 1919, speech recognition, statistical model, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, Turing complete, Turing machine, ultimatum game, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

But your true understanding is measured by your ability to describe what you’re doing and why, without using that word or any of its synonyms. * 169 Fallacies of Compression “The map is not the territory,” as the saying goes. The only life-size, atomically detailed, 100% accurate map of California is California. But California has important regularities, such as the shape of its highways, that can be described using vastly less information—not to mention vastly less physical material—than it would take to describe every atom within the state borders. Hence the other saying: “The map is not the territory, but you can’t fold up the territory and put it in your glove compartment.” A paper map of California, at a scale of 10 kilometers to 1 centimeter (a million to one), doesn’t have room to show the distinct position of two fallen leaves lying a centimeter apart on the sidewalk.

A computer modeling the aerodynamics of a 747 may not contain a single token, a single bit of RAM, that represents a quark. So is the 747 made of something other than quarks? No, you’re just modeling it with representational elements that do not have a one-to-one correspondence with the quarks of the 747. The map is not the territory. Why not model the 747 with a chromodynamic representation? Because then it would take a gazillion years to get any answers out of the model. Also we could not store the model on all the memory on all the computers in the world, as of 2008. As the saying goes, “The map is not the territory, but you can’t fold up the territory and put it in your glove compartment.” Sometimes you need a smaller map to fit in a more cramped glove compartment—but this does not change the territory. The scale of a map is not a fact about the territory, it’s a fact about the map.

Given the seeming absolute stability and universality of physical laws, it’s possible that never, in the whole history of the universe, has any particle exceeded the local lightspeed limit. That is, the lightspeed limit may be, not just true 99% of the time, or 99.9999% of the time, or (1 - 1/googolplex) of the time, but simply always and absolutely true. But whether we can ever have absolute confidence in the lightspeed limit is a whole ’nother question. The map is not the territory. It may be entirely and wholly true that a student plagiarized their assignment, but whether you have any knowledge of this fact at all—let alone absolute confidence in the belief—is a separate issue. If you flip a coin and then don’t look at it, it may be completely true that the coin is showing heads, and you may be completely unsure of whether the coin is showing heads or tails. A degree of uncertainty is not the same as a degree of truth or a frequency of occurrence.


pages: 151 words: 38,153

With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don't Pay Enough by Peter Barnes

Alfred Russel Wallace, banks create money, basic income, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, computerized trading, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the map is not the territory, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy

Perhaps one day I’ll finish the game, or perhaps someone else will. (I invite game developers to contact me.) But the book I started is finished and in your hands. IT’S IMPORTANT TO DISTINGUISH between economics and our economy. The terms are often conflated but refer to different things. Economics is a body of thought; our economy is a system that functions in the real world. As has been said in other contexts, the map is not the territory. Our economic system is real terrain, and economics is a picture of it, necessarily inaccurate and incomplete. Much has been written about the deficiencies of contemporary economics. I’m more concerned about the defects of our actual economy. But to understand those defects—and to fix them—we must start with a sufficiently wide lens, which is why conventional economics is a problem.


pages: 168 words: 47,972

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

dematerialisation, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, follow your passion, George Santayana, Lao Tzu, large denomination, personalized medicine, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the map is not the territory

Sure, expat cafés and card games have their place, but there’s more to it than just that, and a lot of the other stuff involves just diving into the unknown — accepting an invitation to a wedding in some small town where you don’t speak the language, or just wandering around the streets and alleys and talking to whomever strikes up a conversation with you, and so on. I kind of like spending a lot of time on my own, so it has been a challenge going out and doing stuff with local people. — TOM BOURGUIGON, 25, GRAPHIC DESIGNER, OHIO ———— The aphorism “The map is not the territory” looms ever larger as I get lost in the intricacies of a culture, giving up any hope of understanding, while love and appreciation between us grows. — ELDON HAINES, 70, NASA PLANETARY SCIENTIST, OREGON VAGABONDING PROFILE John Ledyard He saw that if anyone appeared insane it was not the island cannibals or the grease-encrusted Aleuts or the stony-hearted Tartars, but the one who visited them.


pages: 807 words: 154,435

Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making for an Unknowable Future by Mervyn King, John Kay

"Robert Solow", Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, algorithmic trading, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, battle of ideas, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, capital asset pricing model, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, popular electronics, price mechanism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, sealed-bid auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Chicago School, the map is not the territory, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, value at risk, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Here, as elsewhere, useful measurement generally requires some underlying theory or model – in an advanced country, poverty is measured in a very different way. And having asked where data come from, it is also important to ask what model is being used to interpret it. Remember the fate of the Literary Digest which predicted a landslide victory for Landon, not Roosevelt. Even now pollsters disagree about how to translate the raw data they collect into predictions of results. The map is not the territory Models can also be used to reproduce large – real – worlds. Engineers must have comprehensive and quantitative understanding of how aircraft and bridges will respond to changes in wind speed and shear. Bridges can literally be modelled by the construction of small-scale replicas, although the degree to which the properties of the model carry over to the bridge itself requires experience and judgement.

The paradox is demonstrated in the oft-told story, perhaps most eloquently described by the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, of the quest to create a perfect map of the world. 15 The search ends with a map which itself completely reproduces the world, and is therefore useless. A map, or a model, is necessarily a simplification, and the appropriate simplification is matched to a purpose – a walking map differs from a subway map or road atlas, even of the same area. ‘The map is not the territory’, in the famous words of the Polish philosopher Alfred Korzybski, and the same is true of models. 16 Nevertheless, some models successfully represent the essential features of the system which are needed for accurate prediction. And these representations are the basis of the scientific advance which followed the formulation of Newtonian mechanics. The models that NASA has developed – based on the long-established and empirically verified equations of planetary motion, and the agency’s knowledge of the capabilities of its own rockets – represent the limits of human achievement in model building.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

technologies of the twenty-first century have the potential to turbocharge the productivity of all our industries. But making what we do now more productive is just the beginning. We must share the fruits of that productivity, and use them wisely. If we let machines put us out of work, it will be because of a failure of imagination and a lack of will to make a better future. PART I USING THE RIGHT MAPS The map is not the territory. —Alfred Korzybski 1 SEEING THE FUTURE IN THE PRESENT IN THE MEDIA, I’M OFTEN PEGGED AS A FUTURIST. I DON’T think of myself that way. I think of myself as a mapmaker. I draw a map of the present that makes it easier to see the possibilities of the future. Maps aren’t just representations of physical locations and routes. They are any system that helps us see where we are and where we are trying to go.

Many report that the flexibility to take time off to deal with childcare, health issues, or legal issues is the most important part of what they like about the job. It is essential to look through the labels—employee and independent contractor—and examine the underlying reality that they point to. So often, we live in the world of labels and associated value judgments and assumptions, and forget to reduce our intellectual equation to the common denominators. As Alfred Korzybski so memorably wrote, we must remember that “the map is not the territory.” When you put yourself into the mapmaker’s seat, rather than simply taking the existing map as an accurate reflection of an unchanging reality, you begin to see new possibilities. The rules that we follow as a society must be updated when the underlying conditions change. The distinction between employees and subcontractors doesn’t really make sense in the on-demand model, which requires subcontractor-like freedoms to workers who come and go at their own option, and where employee-based overtime rules would prohibit workers from maximizing their income.


They Have a Word for It A Lighthearted Lexicon of Untranslatable Words & Phrases-Sarabande Books (2000) by Howard Rheingold

Ayatollah Khomeini, clockwork universe, fudge factor, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, Kula ring, Lao Tzu, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, the map is not the territory, the scientific method

Alexandra David-Neel, The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects Fishing baskets are employed to catch fish; but when the fish are got, the men forget the baskets; snares are employed to catch hares; but when the hares are got, men forget the snares. Words are employed to convey ideas; but when the ideas are grasped, men forget the words. ChuangTzu ~anguage is the road to God, but words are the tools of the Devil. The map is not the territory. Terms may be used, but none of them are absolute. Don't bite my finger, look at where I'm pointing! Language collides painfully with paradox when words are used to direct people to the realm of spiritual matters. Possibly more blood has been shed throughout the centuries over differing interpretations of holy scriptures than over all the mercantile or territorial dis- Spiritual Pathwords putes combined.


Designing Search: UX Strategies for Ecommerce Success by Greg Nudelman, Pabini Gabriel-Petit

access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, augmented reality, barriers to entry, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, information retrieval, Internet of things, performance metric, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, search engine result page, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social graph, social web, speech recognition, text mining, the map is not the territory, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Finally, it is important to note that, although this framework can be helpful and these five ecommerce search roles apply to most ecommerce projects, this generalized framework is not precise. For any framework to be maximally useful for a specific project, you should refine it through direct observation of customers and careful study of key performance metrics. As the prominent philosopher and the father of General Semantics Alfred Korzybski so eloquently stated, “The map is not the territory.” You can neither camp on the little triangles that represent mountains on a map nor go swimming in those blue patches of ink that represent lakes. Rather than viewing this role framework as “reality,” use it as you would a map—to help you navigate your ecommerce search design projects, and as the foundation for developing your own approach—subject to change as you get more data and gain a better understanding of the needs and behaviors of your customers.


pages: 361 words: 76,849

The Year Without Pants: Wordpress.com and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun

barriers to entry, blue-collar work, Broken windows theory, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Hangouts, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, post-work, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Stallman, Seaside, Florida, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, Tony Hsieh, trade route, zero-sum game

I was comfortable flipping the switch on a possible runaway train if I knew I had another switch a mile up the track to shut things down. The prevailing attitude at Automattic was that any big project is simply a series of smaller ones, and I liked this. It avoids the stupid things that happen on projects by never allowing you to fall in love with your grand plans. As the joke goes, if you don't have a plan, then you never worry if your plan is wrong. And as the pithy saying goes, the map is not the territory. If you make an elaborate map, you forget the world may change for the worse while you're staring at your beautiful little map. People drive off cliffs and into lakes because their GPS device told them there was a road, but there wasn't. Without the GPS, that can't happen. In project terms, if you make only small maps, of, say, the next two weeks, you never run the risk of your map being very wrong, and you learn more from the present since it has your full attention.


pages: 290 words: 82,871

The Hidden Half: How the World Conceals Its Secrets by Michael Blastland

air freight, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, central bank independence, cognitive bias, complexity theory, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, epigenetics, experimental subject, full employment, George Santayana, hindsight bias, income inequality, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum wage unemployment, nudge unit, oil shock, p-value, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, selection bias, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, twin studies

I do not think all models useless by any means, as I say. This book refers favourably to some. I simply suspect over confidence, especially in the form that modelled outputs reach the public, where they tend to lack recognition of the uncertainties. Those interested in a critical approach to these questions could do a lot worse than begin with John Kay’s essay on modelling in economics: ‘The Map is Not the Territory’, available on his website: johnkay.com. 4 Tom Gash, Criminal: The Truth About Why People Do Bad Things, London, Allen Lane, 2016: an excellent book; clear, thoughtful and readable. 5 See also Pat Mayhew, Ronald V. Clarke and David Elliott, ‘Motorcycle Theft, Helmet Legislation and Displacement’, Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, vol. 28, no. 1, 1989. 6 These criticisms are marshalled (and referenced) in an impressive book against current research methods: Raymond Hubbard, Corrupt Research – The Case for Reconceptualizing Empirical Management and Social Science, London, Sage, 2015. 7 Duncan J.


pages: 340 words: 92,904

Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, longitudinal study, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

All those successful test drives have been performed using a dedicated vehicle that preceded the autonomous car on the route in question, uploading every physical object on that route into the car’s memory immediately before the journey. This isn’t quite as big a con job as a mentalist who has confederates checking out marks before a performance, but neither is it a system that can be scaled up for real-world use. Remember: we’re talking not just roads, but driveways, parking lots, ferry terminals, and basically anywhere a car can already travel. Then there’s the uncomfortable reality that the map is not the territory. No matter how frequently it is updated, no mapping software can keep up with every new lane marking, or pothole, or construction site, or utility truck blocking a road. As I write this, most street markings in the Northeast are covered by snow and ice, and snow banks often require driving illegally into lanes reserved for oncoming traffic. (By the way, who gets the ticket if a driverless car breaks a rule and how does it know to pull over for a cop?)


pages: 355 words: 92,571

Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets by John Plender

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, diversification, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, money market fund, moral hazard, moveable type in China, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

In my columns at the FT before the credit crunch of 2007, I elaborated these arguments while highlighting excessive leverage in the system, the decline in bank lending standards and the risks inherent in the fast-growing shadow banking system. I did not, of course, accurately predict the timing of the bursting of the bubble. 88 ‘Expectations of Returns and Expected Returns’, 2012, http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/ Publication%20Files/expectedreturns20121020_00760bc1-693c-4b4f-b635-ded0e540e78c.pdf 89 Ibid. 90 http://www.economist.com/node/14165405 91 http://www.johnkay.com/2011/10/04/the-map-is-not-the-territory-an-essay-on-thestate-of-economics 92 Speech to the annual conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, quoted by Anatole Kaletsky in the International New York Times, April 2014. 93 Stabilizing an Unstable Economy, Yale University Press, 1986. 94 The Time of My Life, Penguin Books, 1990. 95 The trade-to-GDP ratio is the economy’s total trade of goods and services (exports plus imports) divided by GDP. 96 Politics, Book 7, Part 9, http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics.7.seven.html 97 http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/laws.html 98 Quote from Jerry Z.


Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen Laberge PHD

active measures, Albert Einstein, Howard Rheingold, Menlo Park, the map is not the territory

Waking-State Perception is as Unreal as Unreal Dreams ““A further step leads him to the knowledge that the essential nature of form and of all things perceived by the senses in the waking-state are as equally unreal as their reflexes in the dream state, both states alike being sangsaric,” that is to say, illusory.14 At this stage, the yogi’s knowledge is a matter of theory, rather than experience. From Chapter 5, you should remember that the dream state and waking state both use the same perceptual process to arrive at mental representations or models of the world. These models, whether of the dream or physical world, are only models. As such they are illusions, not the things they are representing, just as the map is not the territory, and the menu is not the meal. The Great Realization: It Is All a Dream ““The final step leads to the Great Realization, that nothing within the sangsara [phenomenal world of space and time] is or can be other than unreal like dreams.”15 If we compare the mind to a television set, the Great Realization is understanding that nothing that appears on the screen can be anything other than an image, or an illusion.


pages: 293 words: 88,490

The End of Theory: Financial Crises, the Failure of Economics, and the Sweep of Human Interaction by Richard Bookstaber

"Robert Solow", asset allocation, bank run, bitcoin, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, cellular automata, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, dark matter, disintermediation, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, epigenetics, feminist movement, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Henri Poincaré, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, market microstructure, money market fund, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Piper Alpha, Ponzi scheme, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sovereign wealth fund, the map is not the territory, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing machine, Turing test, yield curve

London: Macmillan. ———. 1918. Elementary Lessons in Logic: Deductive and Inductive with Copious Questions and Examples, and a Vocabulary of Logical Terms. New York: Macmillan. Jevons, William Stanley, and H. S. Foxwell. 1884. Investigations in Currency and Finance. London: Macmillan. Kahneman, Daniel. 2011. Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kay, John. 2012. “The Map Is Not the Territory: Models, Scientists, and the State of Macroeconomics.” Critical Review 24, no. 1: 87–99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08913811.2012.684476. Keynes, John Maynard. 1936. The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money. London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ———. 1937. “The General Theory of Employment.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 51, no. 2: 209–23. ———. 1938. Letter to Harrod. 4 July.


Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair (And What We Can Do About It) by William Poundstone

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, business cycle, Debian, desegregation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, global village, guest worker program, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, invisible hand, jimmy wales, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, manufacturing employment, Nash equilibrium, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, slashdot, the map is not the territory, Thomas Bayes, transcontinental railway, Unsafe at Any Speed, Y2K

This belief makes it easy to be optimistic about democracy. Voting is then a way of channeling the public will. The many different ways of designing ballots and tallying votes can be thought of as competing road maps of the same region. Though different in superficial ways, all show the same tenitory. Because of that, it shouldn't matter which map (voting system) we use. All are going to get us where we need to go. We all know that the map is not the territory. What if there were no territory--only maps? Arrow's theorem says that there are situations where the "will of the people" is ill-defined, where rational people are collectively irrational. A decisive voting system will come up with a winner, but that winner may differ from the winner decided under another voting system that also sounds fair and reasonable. There may be no unique democratic outcome. 55 GAMING THE VOTE Is there any way around this?


pages: 398 words: 108,026

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, knowledge worker, the map is not the territory, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, zero-sum game

It was originally a scientific term, and is more commonly used today to mean a model, theory, perception, assumption, or frame of reference. In the more general sense, it's the way we "see" the world - not in terms of our visual sense of sight, but in terms of perceiving, understanding, interpreting. For our purposes, a simple way to understand paradigms is to see them as maps. We all know that "the map is not the territory." A map is simply an explanation of certain aspects of the territory. That's exactly what a paradigm is. It is a theory, an explanation, or model of something else. Suppose you wanted to arrive at a specific location in central Chicago. A street map of the city would be a great help to you in reaching your destination. But suppose you were given the wrong map. Through a printing error, the map labeled "Chicago" was actually a map of Detroit.


pages: 385 words: 103,561

Pinpoint: How GPS Is Changing Our World by Greg Milner

Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, creative destruction, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, different worldview, digital map, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, experimental subject, Flash crash, friendly fire, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, land tenure, lone genius, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, Mercator projection, place-making, polynesian navigation, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, smart grid, the map is not the territory

And what are scientists if not rats in a maze of inquiry, assembling knowledge and testing it against the observable environment? Science produces “a map and a picture of reality,” nothing more or less. “If it were to present reality in its whole concreteness,” Tolman wrote in 1932, “science would not be a map but a complete replica of reality. And then it would lose its usefulness.” Perhaps Tolman was influenced by Alfred Korzybski’s dictum, issued a year earlier: “The map is not the territory.” Even the most comprehensive cognitive map is not the world, which is always mediated by our perceptions of it. There is no escaping the maze. Beginning in the early 1970s, Tolman’s cognitive map concept experienced a renaissance, adopted by experimental and developmental psychologists, geographers, urban planners, architects, and anyone interested in wayfinding. (Thomas Gladwin used it when discussing Carolinian navigators’ etak system.)


pages: 403 words: 111,119

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

Coming up with his groundbreaking theory in the 1930s was, he admitted, ‘a struggle of escape from habitual modes of thought and expression … The difficulty lies not in the new ideas, but in the old ones which ramify, for those of us brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.’38 The possibility of shaking off old mental models is enticing, but the quest for new ones comes with caveats. First, always remember that ‘the map is not the territory’, as the philosopher Alfred Korzybski put it: every model can only ever be a model, a necessary simplification of the world, and one that should never be mistaken for the real thing. Second, there is no correct pre-analytic vision, true paradigm or perfect frame out there to be discovered. In the deft words of the statistician George Box, ‘All models are wrong, but some are useful.’39 Rethinking economics is not about finding the correct one (because it doesn’t exist), it’s about choosing or creating one that best serves our purpose – reflecting the context we face, the values we hold, and the aims we have.


pages: 446 words: 117,660

Arguing With Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future by Paul Krugman

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, different worldview, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, employer provided health coverage, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, frictionless, frictionless market, fudge factor, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, London Whale, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shock, open borders, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population

It’s a deeply reasonable approach—but it’s also intellectually unstable. For it requires some strategic inconsistency in how you think about the economy. When you’re doing micro, you assume rational individuals and rapidly clearing markets; when you’re doing macro, frictions and ad hoc behavioral assumptions are essential. So what? Inconsistency in the pursuit of useful guidance is no vice. The map is not the territory, and it’s O.K. to use different kinds of maps depending on what you’re trying to accomplish: if you’re driving, a road map suffices, if you’re going hiking, you really need a topo. But economists were bound to push at the dividing line between micro and macro—which in practice has meant trying to make macro more like micro, basing more and more of it on optimization and market-clearing.


pages: 505 words: 133,661

Who Owns England?: How We Lost Our Green and Pleasant Land, and How to Take It Back by Guy Shrubsole

back-to-the-land, Beeching cuts, Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, congestion charging, deindustrialization, digital map, do-ocracy, Downton Abbey, financial deregulation, fixed income, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, housing crisis, James Dyson, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, linked data, loadsamoney, mega-rich, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, openstreetmap, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, web of trust, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

It could act as a kind of Hippocratic oath for all property owners, prompting them to live up to the public image of landowners as wise stewards of the earth: whoever owns this land shall leave it in a better state than they found it. 10 AN AGENDA FOR ENGLISH LAND REFORM So, who owns England? And what do we do about it? I started out thinking it might be possible to map England’s landowners as one puts together a jigsaw, one piece at a time. This book has recounted some of that effort: the endless information requests, the geeky analysis of data, the building of maps. But the map is not the territory. I soon realised that a proper understanding of land ownership in this country can only really come by walking through it; seeing the invisible lines of power within the landscape made corporeal through fences and walls and barbed wire. Trespassing across England, I started to appreciate how the control of land affects the psyche: that feeling of hollowness standing outside an empty mansion; the disgust, as I picked my way over the rubbish lining the Thames next to a company’s leaking landfill site; the sense of wonder gazing at butterflies and orchids thriving in a protected nature reserve.


pages: 533 words: 145,887

Schismatrix Plus by Bruce Sterling

back-to-the-land, complexity theory, gravity well, industrial robot, informal economy, life extension, plutocrats, Plutocrats, the map is not the territory, the scientific method

An inch-thick patina of grayish fuzz had devoured his face. 5. NOT MERITORIOUS. Nikolai was on leave in the Ring Council with two men from his unit. They were drinking in a free-fall bar called the ECLECTIC EPILEPTIC. The first man was Simon Afriel, a charming, ambitious young Shaper of the old school. The other man had a Mechanist eye implant. His loyalty was suspect. The three of them were discussing semantics. “The map is not the territory,” Afriel said. Suddenly the second man picked an almost invisible listening device from the edge of the table. “And the tap is not meritorious,” he quipped. They never saw him again. … A Mechanist pirate, malfunctioning, betraying gene-lines. Invisible listening devices buy, grow, and sell you. The abandoned station’s ambitious young Shaper, killed during the attack. Falling psychotechs produced by sexual means the desiccated body of a commercial agent.


pages: 1,266 words: 344,635

Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton

airport security, business process, corporate governance, data acquisition, dematerialisation, family office, illegal immigration, invention of the telescope, inventory management, plutocrats, Plutocrats, stem cell, the map is not the territory, undersea cable

“Don’t I fucking know it. The mayor isn’t even taking calls from me anymore. Scrupsis won’t stop calling me. Those HDA shits still haven’t paid us a single eurofranc. And I’ve got you spending money like a New Monaco parasite.” “Parasites don’t produce anything useful.” “All right, enough with the fucking gloating. What did you find yesterday after you walked out on your team? And it better be good.” “The map is not the territory.” “What?” “They outsmarted me. That’s what happened. They know our procedures, the gangs always have. And they were ready for us. Look, you’ve just murdered a North—a North for fuck’s sake!—and you know that’s going to bring a universe of turds tumbling down on you, since the resources the police are going to devote to the case will be phenomenal. But you fool us into thinking the bodydump was ordinary, that you’re going by the numbers, just like the investigation.

“That was a real phoenix flight you pulled off this morning,” Aldred said in the lift on the way to the sixth floor. Having him along made Sid feel a whole lot safer. “A phoenix?” “Rising out of the ashes.” “I told you he was the man,” O’Rouke said. “Right back at the start. I said our Sid would crack this for you.” “I do remember,” Aldred said. “But nonetheless, that was impressive.” “The map is not the territory,” Sid explained. “That’s what I tell all my detectives on their orientation day,” O’Rouke said. “Set them straight, get their heads screwed on right to begin with.” “We rely too much on data analysis,” Sid said, brave enough to ignore the chief constable. “We don’t get our hands dirty anymore. It allowed the gang to take advantage of us.” Aldred gave him an approving nod. “Well that’s just come to an end.”


pages: 512 words: 162,977

New Market Wizards: Conversations With America's Top Traders by Jack D. Schwager

backtesting, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black-Scholes formula, butterfly effect, buy and hold, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, Edward Thorp, Elliott wave, fixed income, full employment, implied volatility, interest rate swap, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market clearing, market fundamentalism, money market fund, paper trading, pattern recognition, placebo effect, prediction markets, Ralph Nelson Elliott, random walk, risk tolerance, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, Sharpe ratio, the map is not the territory, transaction costs, War on Poverty

Our brain has the ability to see inner pictures. Whether these pictures begin as fuzzy or clear, they can be built up into great motivating visions. Inner voices can criticize us or they can encourage and guide us. Any feeling we’ve had in our lives—confidence, challenge, indomitable will, whatever it is—even if we’ve only had it once, can be transferred to any situation in our lives where we want or need it. When you say, “The map is not the territory,” do you mean that people have distorted views of reality that lead them astray? NLP believes that all maps (mental and physical) are a distorted, or selected, view of reality. A topographical map, a street map, and a weather map all provide different views of the same territory and all are true representations. Usefulness, rather than truthfulness, will guide you 418 / The New Market Wizard to want a different map at different times.