Yeah But…

A businessman links feedback concepts to economics in that way that business guys do. There is much to what he says, but it’s worth noting that these guys think positive feedback is a good thing. They don’t really talk to engineers much, I guess.

There has been some controversy over this video by the way, because TED did not want to feature it on their site, but somehow it is out anyway. (h/t Jonathan A.)


  1. Surely it is not being politically partisan to point out that it is immoral and economically unsound to tax the rich less than the poor. That was what led to the French Revolution.

    But if that idea is regarded in the US as an economic truth then it is not surprising that you are having trouble believing that economics is a science. It has nothing to do with economic theory and it is not true.

    Economics, like Earth Science, is about a dynamic system which contains positive and negative feedbacks. Unlike in engineering or motivation positive feedbacks are neither bad nor good,. They are just a fact of life. For instance if the government spends more money then more jobs are created which means more money is earned and spent which creates more jobs - a positive feedback. If the government stops spending money and sacks government employees less money is spent and more non government employees lose their jobs and that causes a viscous spiral - another positive feedback. (In fact it is the same one.) More government spending causes a positive feedback seen as good by Democrats and bad by Republicans. Less government spending means also causes a positive feedback seen as bad by Democrats and good by Republicans.


    Cheers, Alastair.

  2. A viscous spiral about describes it. Sadly, the argument is right but does not address the central question, which becomes more urgent every day. Thanks for the video - despite climate consequences it pleases to see the argument.

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