Tuesday, July 3, 2012

ants outwit scientists ... economists take note

Logic said it shoulda worked, it coulda worked, it ought to have worked, but in the end, much to the chagrin of a very well-educated scientific community, it didn't work. Ants were given two routes to a source of nourishment. One route was longer, the other shorter. Scientific wisdom posited that given their means of communication that had evolved over thousands of years, the ants would most assuredly learn quickly to take the shorter route and then take it.

But they didn't.

Those interested in economics are now making lemonade out of the lemons provided by the marching ants. Why, in the economic downturn, did what is so obvious in hindsight appear to be invisible? Or, put less politely, how could the banks and governments have been so goddamned dumb in failing to recognize the warning signals of the latest depression? The lemonade in the tart metaphor (as suggested in the Reuters article linked above) is that the ants did, after all their bumbling travels, make it to the food. The economists are now consoling themselves that although their models faltered ... well, that faltering provided a nourishing reality check.

Which ain't much solace to those at the bottom of the hill down which the shit has and continues to flow.

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