1. On Maynard Smith’s (J.M.S.) ESS. It was a core feature of neodarwinism and it’s influence on every scientific field was on a par with Nash’s ideas about equilibrium. But biology moved on and J.M.S.’s work is now viewed upon much more critical. In biology we now speak about attractors, co- evolution (on a massive scale), symbiosis and parasitism (on an even larger scale), non linear ecology population dynamics etc. Even J.M.S. himself at his latter years used ESS and game theory much more carefully. Repetitive games are not that easy to comprehend and when whole ecosystems are involved (with millions of interconnections involved), game theory is not at all helpfull.

2. Homo Economicus, by yannis desctription of what neoclassicists think of him, seems to me no more than an insect, and even less. I do understand Nash’s oversimplification in order to prove his thesis but, at the bottom line, Nash only provided a certain Model and not the universal Holy Grail. Humans and their societies learn and act accordingly, and this produces a kind of repetitive, massive, continous feedback that game theory is incapable of handling efficiently. In the real world even ant or bacteria colonies regulate their behaviour in much more complex ways than (even) tit – for – tat.

So, if mainstream economists believe (or pretend) that the basic economic unit behaves like a form of bacteria and that the behaviour expected from human societies must be similar to the one we see in a Petri disk, then one can’t wonder we are in so deep trouble.

Sorry yanis. This one should obviously go the “Dance of the Meta – Axioms”. I am posting it there as well. Sorry to bother you mate.

Is it possible to get a transcript of this interview? I’m having trouble receiving the audio.

## 7 Comments

Well said, Yanis!

Very interesting topic indeed

Two things

1. On Maynard Smith’s (J.M.S.) ESS. It was a core feature of neodarwinism and it’s influence on every scientific field was on a par with Nash’s ideas about equilibrium. But biology moved on and J.M.S.’s work is now viewed upon much more critical. In biology we now speak about attractors, co- evolution (on a massive scale), symbiosis and parasitism (on an even larger scale), non linear ecology population dynamics etc. Even J.M.S. himself at his latter years used ESS and game theory much more carefully. Repetitive games are not that easy to comprehend and when whole ecosystems are involved (with millions of interconnections involved), game theory is not at all helpfull.

2. Homo Economicus, by yannis desctription of what neoclassicists think of him, seems to me no more than an insect, and even less. I do understand Nash’s oversimplification in order to prove his thesis but, at the bottom line, Nash only provided a certain Model and not the universal Holy Grail. Humans and their societies learn and act accordingly, and this produces a kind of repetitive, massive, continous feedback that game theory is incapable of handling efficiently. In the real world even ant or bacteria colonies regulate their behaviour in much more complex ways than (even) tit – for – tat.

So, if mainstream economists believe (or pretend) that the basic economic unit behaves like a form of bacteria and that the behaviour expected from human societies must be similar to the one we see in a Petri disk, then one can’t wonder we are in so deep trouble.

Sorry yanis. This one should obviously go the “Dance of the Meta – Axioms”. I am posting it there as well. Sorry to bother you mate.

Is it possible to get a transcript of this interview? I’m having trouble receiving the audio.

I am afraid not.

Yes well said,and so sad at the same time.

Here is a bit of balanced opinion.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/videos/2011/11/03/zachary-karabell-don-t-worry-about-greece.html