Posted by: kenwbudd | July 12, 2009

Schrödinger’s cat and Economic Recovery

Tiger

The White Tiger of Economic Recovery

I am currently re-reading one of my all time favourite books; Schrödinger’s cat trilogy written by Robert Anton Wilson.

Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment, often described as a paradox. It was devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935.

It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects.

The thought experiment presents a cat that is thought to be possibly both alive and not alive, depending on an earlier random event. In the course of developing this experiment, he coined the term Verschränkung—literally, entanglement.

Quantum Economics
Thought experiments are still alive and well, we hope. Unfortunately, this book is now out-of-print. It is in itself both available and not available. I am fortunate enough to have an old copy, originally published in 1979.

Whilst reading the book, I consider myself fortunate to have lived through these years and am continuously reminded of how little has changed since then. To illustrate this, I would like to provide you with a short extract from the book concerning a topical subject; the prospect for economic recovery.

“DR. Rauss Elysium had summed up the entire science of economics in four propositions;

1. Find out who profits from it?

This is merely a re-statement of the old Latin proverb – cui bono?, (a particular favourite of Lenin).

2. Groups never meet together except to conspire against other groups;

This is a generalisation of Adam Smith’s more limited proposition ‘Men of the same profession never meet together except to defraud the general public.’ Dr. Rauss Elysium had realised that it applies not just to merchants, but to groups of all sorts, especially in the government sector.

3. Every system evolves and expands until it encroaches upon other systems;

Ths is just a simplification of most of the discoveries of ecology and General Systems Theory. (Does chaos currently exist in the gaps between systems? Waiting for a systematic order to restore itself or is it in a different systematic order that we do not comprehend and like to categorise, interpret or dismiss as chaos? – KB)

4. It all returns to equilibrium eventually;

This is based on a broad Evolutionary Perspective and was the basic belief structure of the Invisible Hand mystique.

Dr. Rauss Elysium had simply recognised that he Invisible Hand, first noted by Adam Smith, operates everywhere but most vehemently in economics.”

Summary

In his book Robert Anton Wilson describes the Invisible Hand as a secret society of powerful, egotistical and self-promoting individuals. In our life time this has been replaced by the altruistic support of a benevolent, stable and civilising uber-organisation of global proportions, promoting co-operation, synergy and harmony, allegedly. Discuss!

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