How economists rode maths to become our era’s astrologers – Alan Jay Levinovitz | Aeon Essays
The economist Paul Romer at New York University has recently begun calling attention to an issue he dubs ‘mathiness’ – first in the paper ‘Mathiness in the Theory of Economic Growth’ (2015) and then in a series of blog posts. Romer believes that macroeconomics, plagued by mathiness, is failing to progress as a true science should, and compares debates among economists to those between 16th-century advocates of heliocentrism and geocentrism. Mathematics, he acknowledges, can help economists to clarify their thinking and reasoning. But the ubiquity of mathematical theory in economics also has serious downsides: it creates a high barrier to entry for those who want to participate in the professional dialogue, and makes checking someone’s work excessively laborious. Worst of all, it imbues economic theory with unearned empirical authority.
HTBI  from instapaper
21 days ago
Why Amazon is eating the world | TechCrunch
If Amazon Connect is a complete commercial failure, Amazon’s management will have a quantifiable indicator (revenue, or lack thereof) that suggests their internal tools are significantly lagging behind the competition. Amazon has replaced useless, time-intensive bureaucracy like internal surveys and audits with a feedback loop that generates cash when it works — and quickly identifies problems when it doesn’t. They say that money earned is a reasonable approximation of the value you’re creating for the world, and Amazon has figured out a way to measure its own value in dozens of previously invisible areas.
business  amazon  BETC 
may 2017
The Cost of Doing Nothing « LRB blog
This is the problem, we've not made the case that open source / platforms is a rational alternative to this:

In the hospital over the road from where I work, IT staff try to maintain and support something like 350 different computer systems, navigating a variety of different contracts with a diverse range of suppliers. It isn’t sustainable. The rational thing to do would be to procure a single integrated system that supports most of the hospital’s essential functions. Only a handful of US companies can meet the requirements of the tendering process for such a system. It isn’t clear that any can do so on terms that the trust can afford. But look what happens if nothing is done.
may 2017
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