The Modelers' Hippocratic Oath
- I will remember that I didn’t make the world, and it doesn’t satisfy my equations.
- Though I will use models boldly to estimate value, I will not be overly impressed by mathematics.
- I will never sacrifice reality for elegance without explaining why I have done so.
- Nor will I give the people who use my model false comfort about its accuracy. Instead, I will make explicit its assumptions and oversights.
- I understand that my work may have enormous effects on society and the economy, many of them beyond my comprehension.
Robert M. Sapolsky
Human behavior explained at all levels: from the working of a single neuron to the intricacies of culture.
Determinism does not mean predictability. Small differences in model parameters produce radically divergent predictions, so any attempt to anticipate complex systems with precision becomes futile.
When predicting the future, the more certain the person, the more likely he or she is to be wrong. A cautionary tale on the over-reliance of business plans and forecasts.
An skeptic’s guide to media coverage of scientific studies. Teaches about the importance of the placebo effect, double-blind studies, and sample sizes, so that bad science is easy to recognize.
A behavioral economics book describing surprising experiments which contradict the layman’s assumptions on the degree of rationality people use when making decisions. The rational expectations theory breaks down, meaning that markets are inefficient and leaving plenty of room for “free lunches”.