Confusing mathematical masturbation with intercourse between research and reality

23 December, 2015 at 10:21 | Posted in Economics | 1 Comment

russell_ackoffNo real problem worth solving can be solved without some basic research. Therefore the engagement of faculty and students on real problems yields basic research problems whose solutions are of practical significance. Furthermore, the validity of these solutions can be tested in the most effective way known: in application. This avoids one’s confusing mathematical masturbation with intercourse between research and reality.

Russell L. Ackoff

 

[h/t Robert Locke]

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  1. A sad irony that seems to have gone a miss among modern economists is that among the biggest sceptics of the use of mathematics in the social sciences are mathematicians themselves.


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