Dialectics and complexity

P8475423 at vmsuser.acsu.unsw.EDU.AU P8475423 at vmsuser.acsu.unsw.EDU.AU
Sat Aug 26 13:40:38 MDT 1995

Re Paul's comment on Santa Fe that:
The Santa Fe complexity theorists have a fairly explicit
ideological bent towards showing the superiority of
spontaneously evolved complex systems in human affairs,
which are of course identified with the market capitalist
I can personally vouch for that. I applied to attend a workshop
down there, and was one of 60 applicants for 12 places. I was
knocked out in the final round on the grounds that mine was
the only "macro" project (we applied on the basis of the
simulation exercises we intended undertaking) submitted. So
the selection criteria (self-selection as well as Santa Fe, given
that 59 out of 60 apparently submitted single market simulations!)
are clearly slanted.

Note that I don't believe this applies outside its economics
interest, but that for reasons of the history of the foundation
of Santa Fe (path-dependence!), economics dominates its activities,
except for the work on artificial life, which is (from what I
understand) more benignly dominated by Chris Langton.

The economists who push that line, incidentally, seem to be
neoclassicals rather than Austrians-since mainstreamers were
the invitees to Santa Fe's first workshop, and have continued
to exert influence over who goes there. They seem intent on
showing how (the neoclassical vision of) the market as ideal
evolved through natural, spontaneous processes (whereas
Austrians also believe that the market continues to display
evolutionary processes).

Steve Keen

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