Russell Roberts, de EconTalk, entrevista a Cathy O’Neil de Mathbabe.org acerca de la crisis, los modelos financieros y de Occupy Wall Street. El intercambio es sumamente enriquecedor y es curioso ver cómo dos personas con creencias completamente distintas están de acuerdo en casi todo, incluso en lo fundamental.
Algunos pasajes interesantes de la entrevista:
I’m a capitalist; I love profit; and I love loss. And profit without loss is the most destructive thing you can probably imagine. And so a political system that has banks that make money at our expense as taxpayers and don’t bear the losses is pretend- or crony-capitalism, and faux capitalism. And those of us who love capitalism shouldn’t be defending their right to make profit, or defending them by saying, well, they are just playing by the rules. They help write the rules; they help make the rules; they influence the rule-makers as much as they can. And we can debate whether they are immoral or not, or evil, or dark, or unethical. All those things. Or even something minor, like jerks. That’s not the key issue. To me the key issue is: The system itself is not healthy in the way that capitalism should be. And don’t defend it. Those of you out there–they are going to destroy it.
Listen, I’m smart. You know. One of the reasons I disagree is because I’m smart and I don’t know what to do. And I know a lot of awfully smart people who don’t know what to do. And I know a lot of slightly less smart people who claim to know what to do. So really what it comes down to for me is, I want there to be a strong way of asserting: I don’t know.
And if you are saying: I don’t know the answer and we have to think about it, and we have to make sure the incentives are right and we have to make sure that the average person is protected from starvation, and it’s going to be hard, and the people who are in power now are going to have less power and they are going to have less money–that doesn’t sound like a very, you just don’t get play on that. But I do think that the ‘I don’t know’ somehow needs to have more cultural weight. And I think part of that is–starting this, that’s how I’ve chosen to start. I’ve chosen to start by saying: Distrust the expert. To be a skeptic. I want to first promote skepticism. Because once people sort of look under the covers to these mathematical models or whatever other models–political models–they realize that people are inside those. The systems are simply acting in their own best interests, almost all the time. And then people will start saying: Wait a second; that’s not working. What should we do? And that’s when they’ll come to–in an ideal world they’d come to this moment of: I don’t know. And they’d admit that they don’t know. And we’d actually get somewhere with our conversation.
O’Neil acerca de los financieros durante la crisis y su arrogancia en torno a los modelos financieros
Al final, Russ Roberts cita "The Second Coming," de Yeats.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
And that last line of that verse, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity," that to me is a big problem we have with experts.