I had been considering doing a comic on this, but I wasn’t quite sure how to proceed. Then a Facebook status update from Ben inspired me. The punchline (and thus the idea for Zombie Karl Popper) is taken almost verbatim from him.
In case you don’t have any idea what any of this is about (and wonder I am picking on a random economist named John Cochrane), check out an overview of the recent debate between Cochrane and Paul Krugman here at Leiter Reports. Or you can just go read Krugman’s piece in the New York Times and Cochrane’s reply directly.
And by the way, let me be the first to admit that I know very little about contemporary economic theory. But when someone argues that a theory is scientific and useful because it predicts that it can’t predict anything… well, something has gone awry. Here is a bit straight from Cochrane’s piece:
“It’s fun to say we didn’t see the crisis coming, but the central empirical prediction of the efficient markets hypothesis is precisely that nobody can tell where markets are going – neither benevolent government bureaucrats, nor crafty hedge-fund managers, nor ivory-tower academics. This is probably the best-tested proposition in all the social sciences.”
So yeah, that’s all I have to say about that.
Anyway I hope you enjoyed your Thursday comic, have a good weekend!