The Penny has to Drop !



Giraffes & long necks ... folk & aspirations ... businesses & profit ... were difficult to grasp examples of Darwin's insight - 

 A pre-existing inherited variant with a survival advantage in the local environment will always increase in population frequency as alternative variants die out, thus changing the environment which then inevitably feeds back and influences the survival chances of any new variant.

but the penny has to drop ...

Consider the baffling question -

The chances are your children will be slightly less intelligent than you and yours but the chances are your grandchildren will be slightly more intelligent than you and yours?

Consider an answer from Paul Seabright, Doctor of Philosophy in Economics, University of Oxford who described a 'sifting' process not a 'design' process -

'The overwhelming majority of genetic mutations will be damaging. But those children who survive to reproduce  will likely be slightly more intelligent than their parents and transmit this slight advantage to their own children'.

In 1976 Richard Dawkins gave us the 'necker cube' insight, and sussed out evolutionary economics.

The Necker CubeThe Necker Cube illustrated conflicting points of view, two ways of looking at familiar things like natural selection. There existed 'a view from above' bias; more people, more often looked at the cube from above and saw point A as nearer than B.

This was a 'design bias' ... after all it was most often imagined that God designed the world from 'above'?

Dawkins suggested a 'bottom up process' focused on genetic statistical populations in the human gene pool -

'A different view provides a deeper understanding of economic strategies for minimising costs and maximising benefits. Genes manipulate the world and shape it to assist their replication'.

It was 'as if' genes with eyes did cost / benefit analysis and constructed niches which changed the environment and fed back and effected the survival chances of the genes, thus reinforcing any predispositions towards survival behaviour.

Social animals discovered synergies of specialisation & scale. Step by step the compound interest of genetic cooperative behaviour evolved and eventually became hard wired in the involuntary chemistry of endorphins, oxytosins and prolactins.

Chemical sanction & reward systems ... ? ... give me a break ... it was all very difficult -

The Boeing 747, just like James Watt's steam engine, evolved through natural selection ... honest?

Evolutionary Economics, Education & Ten Difficult Difficulties -




'natural selection'


'self consciousness'

'cognitive bias'

'opportunity costs'

'comparative advantage' & 'total factor productivity'

'anthropomorphic & anthropic reasoning'

'theory of mind'

See evolutionary economics theory.

Just So StoriesJust So Stories are Fun

 Here are a few stories for you to rewrite in clear concise English ... but tell it as it is ... not as it was ... we have learned since then!

1 - 1776 an' all that - Adam the Smith & Tommy Jeffers

2 - Businessmen & Bishops - synergy & exploitation

3 - Fatty Sweetness - pre-existing genetic propensities

4 - Phlogiston - new paradigms

5 - Inner Lights - worms in the head

6 - Scotland's Sassenachs - trade or raid

7 - Origins of trade - what's your trade?

8 - Money Illusions - the origins of taxes

9 - Ancient 'political cycles' - Bishops, Princes & Generals and Bureaucrats

10 - The Tolpuddle Martyrs

11 - The Peterloo Massacre

12 - The Old Enemy

13 - The Northwich Mill - Bob Owen

14 - Grandiose Bureaucratic Failure - the wit of human kind

15 - Luddite Hatred - John Barton

16 - HSBC - the 'local' bank

17 - Data Dependent Monetary Policy - Mark Carney 

18 - Rainey Day Funds - Profitable Projects, Pension Funds & Insurance

19 - Siren Voices - Taxing Rainy Day Funds & Subsidising Bad Behaviour - Martin Wolf & Joseph Stiglitz 

20 - Paper & Ink Production - GOSPLAN, WTO, NAFTA

21 - The Repeal of Corn Laws - Free Trade

22 - Imbalances & Managed Trade - Dodd/Frank 

23 - Regulation & Managed Trade - Brussels Bureaucracy - Half baked Euros

24 - Emergence - Chris Langton 

25 - Theory of Mind - self consciousness, opportunity costs & difficult sums

26 - Intelligent Design - All Things Bright and Beautiful

27 - Othello - Nowt so queer as folk

28 - Babies & Hunting - Cooperation & Defence

29 - Cooperation & Conflict - Dice are Loaded

30 - The Horse Manure Crisis - Problems of Social Costs

31 - Jimbo Riley's Christening - Doing Verbs not Nouns

32 - Designer & his devious devices - Theory of Mind

See Just So Stories

Some Economists built on Adam the Smith (moral sentiments & invisible hands) and his anticipation of Darwin's ideas -  Joseph Schumpeter (creative destruction), Herbert Simon (satisficing), Donald T Campbell (blind variation & selective retention), Daniel Kahneman (thinking fast & slow), Schiller, Levitt ... many more ... soon to 'include in' all?

Don't forget this material intentionally challenges some orthodox economic theory to provoke thinking about Darwinian choices. I'm happy to see any comments, corrections and critiques ... here