The Problem With Better Explanations

The problem with “better explanations” is that they’re still tainted by political bias. No matter how hard the author tries, there’ll still be some slant in the line of questioning if it’s an interview or conclusions if it’s a detailed examination of an issue.

The conceit that the world can be made a better place, simply through “better explanations” of complex issues that cause substantial disagreement amongst “experts” who have spent their career on that specialist subject, is obviously stupid.

Reproducing Cliff Notes versions of complex issues for general consumption doesn’t actually increase the number of people who understand an issue or understand the risks of claiming to understand an issue when you actually don’t.

Smart people can be really stupid sometimes. Having a post-graduate education doesn’t always mean having a greater understanding of your subject matter. In fact, in very complex areas, the deification of qualifications over experience when it comes to policymaking in complex systems is extremely risky.

There is an awful lot of pretense at knowledge on the internet. This past fortnight, with the brainfarting I’ve read from all corners of the internet on the issue of high frequency trading, is a prime example.

I’m not sure what the audience for this sort of content is, but there’s something inherently wrong with “better explanations” and “making complex ideas more accessible”.

Occam’s Razor applies, but only up until a point. Many one-liners written by “trained and skilled” journalists miss the wood from the trees.

If there’s one thing that an education in economics has taught me, it’s that the assumptions underlying many models can easily break down if you ask the right questions.

We have to remember that a model of how the world works is still just a model and not a living, breathing, accurate representation of reality.

It can help us understand or explain something, but making the jump to clear policy recommendations or rules to alter market micro structure arrived at organically is dangerous business.