"Progress is cumulative in science and engineering but cyclical in finance"
-James Grant

Which part of this claim is more likely to be untrue?

JAB says it most briefly, "when you progress far enough, you arrive at the beginning". Very long term cycle he has in mind when he says this. Is progress in Science and Engineering really cylical? Does a new discovery or a new principle come by only after leading to unbearable frustrations as in expressed by "necessity is the mother of all invention?"

Perhaps we will all agree the cycles of finance are far shorter in span than those of Science and Engineering. Why?

Steve Ellison writes:

The scientific method leads to cumulative progress. To be tested scientifically, a proposition must be falsifiable. Are the Black Eyed Peas superior to Beethoven? There is no objective way to answer that question.

Much science is governed by unchanging physical properties, unlike finance. Once it is established that one can construct a heavier than air flying machine, later innovators can be confident that will continue to be true and move on to improving designs, for example increasing speed. There are no flexions able to change the characteristics of the atmosphere to prevent planes from flying.





Speak your mind


Resources & Links