the map is not the territory

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pages: 662 words: 180,546

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


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, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, constrained optimization, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deindustrialization, 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, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loose coupling, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, payday loans, 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, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, working poor

“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 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

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 3 Kay, “The Map Is Not the Territory.” 4 Tankersley and Hirsh, “Neo–Voodoo Economics.” 5 Tiago Mata, at History of Economics Playground, at 6 Stephan Richter, See also the account by Yves Smith at, which suggests that the video available at the INET website may have been redacted.

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 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?


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, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio,, 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, 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, winner-take-all economy

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, 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: 361 words: 76,849

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


barriers to entry, blue-collar work, Broken windows theory,, Firefox, future of work, Google Hangouts, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, 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

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: 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

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.


pages: 355 words: 92,571

Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets by John Plender


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, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, corporate governance, 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, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, moral hazard, moveable type in China, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, 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, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck

I did not, of course, accurately predict the timing of the bursting of the bubble. 88 ‘Expectations of Returns and Expected Returns’, 2012, Publication%20Files/expectedreturns20121020_00760bc1-693c-4b4f-b635-ded0e540e78c.pdf 89 Ibid. 90 91 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, 97 98 Quote from Jerry Z.


pages: 385 words: 103,561

Pinpoint: How GPS Is Changing Our World by Greg Milner


Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, 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, 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

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.


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, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, 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, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

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.


pages: 512 words: 162,977

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


backtesting, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black-Scholes formula, butterfly effect, commodity trading advisor, Elliott wave, fixed income, full employment, implied volatility, interest rate swap, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market clearing, market fundamentalism, 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

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.