Science, Technology, and Current Futurism
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Stop asking if Piketty was right or wrong; not everyone will ever agree anyway

Stop asking if Piketty was right or wrong; not everyone will ever agree anyway | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

 Computer bugs and Excel mishaps are inevitable because code is written by humans and even brilliant economists aren’t perfect. But careful researchers catch important mistakes; they debug their work until the remaining bugs don’t change the result very much when they are fixed. In both the Piketty and Reinhart and Rogoff cases, it seems the bugs exposed didn’t change their original results. This explains why, while most people assume a bug is a sign of unforgivable sloppiness, economists shrug, point out the results didn’t change much, and think that’s an adequate defense. The economists are right; the existence of a bug isn’t necessarily a big deal.

Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: "At the end one of three things happen: the field comes to a consensus about whether the incumbent is right and the original research was wrong or scholars may decide original research was once right but things have changed. Or the most likely outcome: there’s no agreement and competing schools of thought form around personal judgment on whose assumptions are worse. It’s not pretty; but data is imperfect, subject to interpretation and the economy constantly evolves. That’s the best researchers (in any field) can do. If you look hard enough, at any study, you can always find something you disagree with and assumptions that didn’t prove correct, even in hard sciences. For good or bad, Piketty wrote the right book at the right time, which meant undue praise and unfair criticism."

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Big Data Brain Drain | Science Careers

Big Data Brain Drain | Science Careers | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

excerpt: ""Where scientific research is concerned, this recently accelerated shift to data-centric science has a dark side, which boils down to this: the skills required to be a successful scientific researcher are increasingly indistinguishable from the skills required to be successful in industry," VanderPlas writes. "While academia, with typical inertia, gradually shifts to accommodate this, the rest of the world has already begun to embrace and reward these skills to a much greater degree. The unfortunate result is that some of the most promising upcoming researchers are finding no place for themselves in the academic community, while the for-profit world of industry stands by with deep pockets and open arms." (Note that the emphasis is in the original.)"

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