[ ebook Pdf ] Why Most Things Fail Evolution Extinction and Economics AUTHOR Paul Ormerod – Epub and eBook

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With the same originality and astuteness that marked his widely praised Butterfly Economics Paul Ormerod now examines the “Iron Law of Failure” as it applies to business and government–and explains what can be done about it“Failure is all around us” asserts Ormerod For every General Electric–still going strong after than one hundred years–there are dozens of businesses like Central Leather which was one of th In this book Omerod presents himself as a free market advocate and provides a well reasoned and expansive basis for his belief He readily acknowledges that economies will periodically fail including the free market variety He justifies his faith in the Hayek version on the basis that in the long run the free market version will provide better resultsHe does a good job of establishing the bases for his belief via mathematical evolutionary and economically historical expositions And his extension of these into the socio cultural spheres have some credibility Unfortunately the conclusion one could draw from his writing is the advocacy for a total absence of governmental regulation into our personal lives However I m certain he would agree that some regulation is reuired but he does not and in my opinion cannot provide a demarcating benchmark At times he almost seems to promote the old formula The government that governs least governs best In fact the correct formulation should refer to governing the least necessary Omerod gives us specific examples of government overreach ones we can all easily agree are excessive but he doesn t attempt to provide a metric for how much regulation is necessary Perhaps such a metric is impossible to define but the author should have devoted at least a page or two to acknowledge the problemThe writing is mediocre and the beginning drags until the second chapter Overall what he tells us about the inevitability of failure and catastrophic system collapse is important Despite the shortcomings of his advocacy everyone should read this book for his premise especially ideologues of the left and right as well as those of business In this era when the edges of civilization are beginning to crack they and the rest of us need to become aware that progress is not constant and that commitment to any cause or system without moderating influences invites eventual collapse

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Why Most Things Fail Evolution Extinction and Economics

Anies and policy setting sectors of government behave much like living organisms unless they evolve they die But he also makes clear how desirable social and economic outcomes may be achieved when individuals companies and governments adapt in response to the actual behavior and reuirements of their customers and constituents Why Most Things Fail is a fascinating and provocative study of a truth all too seldom acknowledged I really liked the book and agree with the book on most frontsBut god does it feel like pile of mess where he jumps from why companies fail to why traditional economics doesn t work to why society and decisions end up with unforseen conseuences combined with his hayekian bias why the government shouldn t be be too controling in its actionsIt ends up being this jumbled mess with his biases and good ideas and ways of thinkingIn the end what I am saying is the book lacks structure a smooth narrative rather jumps on too much back and forth and encompass this with his biases That s what the it ends up asSuper frustrating to read Nonetheless it has great value to it albeit with a headache for a day or two in makes sense and removing his bias from the book

Paul Ormerod è 9 Summary

E world’s largest companies in 1912 but was liuidated in 1952 Ormerod debunks conventional economic theory–that the world economy ticks along in perfect euilibrium according to the best laid plans of business and government–and delves into the reasons for the failure of brands entire companies and public policies Inspired by recent advances in evolutionary theory and biology Ormerod illuminates the ways in which comp This book was published in 2005 which is unfortunate since some events since 2005 crash of 2008 the entire Obama 45 phenomenon Brexit and the emergence of total surveillance through our mobile phones are highly relevant to Ormerod s thesisTo be absolutely honest about how shallow my motivations were for approaching this book I was a little misled by the cover art which led me to expect some zippy anecdotes about how various specific things failed No There is absolutely no reference to the Titanic the Edsel Betamaxx or the Dodo Those features of the cover art my friend are pure MARKETING Speaking of marketing have you ever thought about what orthodox economic theory has to say about the entire concept of marketing Paul Ormerod has and according to him orthodox theory cannot account for such concepts as either marketing or market research Everyone knows the supply demand curve from ECON101 The assumptions underlying this curve involve perfectly rational economic agents performing transactions with perfect rationality and informed by perfect understanding of all costs and conseuences Ormerod provides clear examples of how difficult it is for any business to know their demand curve The massive industries of marketing and market research exist exactly because of the impossibility of knowing for sure Even the idea of how a selling price could be agreed is somewhat paradoxical for between two perfectly rational agents with perfect knowledge neither one should willingly put him or herself at a disadvantage however infinitesimal The development of such ideas takes fully the first eight chapters it is only by chapter 9 that the purpose of the book is stated clearly delineation of the parallels between economic systems and biological systemsIt turns out that the pattern of extinctions over the past 500m years is very similar to the pattern of company failures over the last hundred a fairly low background rate punctuated by irregular spikes and with the very occasional extremely large peak What explains this pattern Having demolished orthodox economic models for why things happen Ormerod proffers alternative models and shows that models involving individual agents who are connected through networks that evolve over time have robust predictive power Importantly these modeled individual agents can not be allowed perfect knowledge of the other agents if they know too much such that they could act intentionally to improve their model fitness the entire model breaks down Hence for all our human efforts to act with intent the end result is very similar to what would result if all agents acted with zero cognitive abilityI found this modeling discussion and the book on the whole interesting and instructive However there were times where I found his historical analysis superficial and glib Here I paraphrase his analysis of history 1900 to presentIn the first half of the 20th century capitalism was going great but there were some problems that led to the State taking a larger role in the economy There were also two World Wars that cemented a larger role for the State and we ve been stuck with that for the last sixty years We have seen spectacular gains in living standards life expectancy and prosperity all due to capitalism We also have problems and these problems are due to improper attempts by governments to plan and pursue social policy objectivesI am not kidding I have only condensed a little bit This is Ormorod s closing injunction having established that no amount of planning is sufficient to achieve a desired outcome we should stop trying He doesn t come right out and call for the dismantlement of child labor laws but I get the feeling he is thinking it It s uite curious for all the scorn he heaps on orthodox models of reality nonetheless he has built his own model of reality that is eually all encompassing and eually dangerous in its own wayRecommended for those with an interest in economics and a few handy grains of salt


10 thoughts on “Why Most Things Fail Evolution Extinction and Economics

  1. says:

    Published ten years ago 2006 many of the sceptical views of Paul Ormerod about the rationalism claimed for twentieth century economics and the importance of understanding how complexity limits strategy are now mainstream thanks in part to the 2008 CrashThis book is well within the radical free market tradition of Hayek to which is added what might be considered a conservative and even pessimistic respect for the fact t

  2. says:

    Clever stuff from one of the Great Recession predictors Think I'll reread it eventually

  3. says:

    In this book Omerod presents himself as a free market advocate and provides a well reasoned and expansive basis for his belief He readily acknowledges that economies will periodically fail including the free market variety He justifies his faith in the Hayek version on the basis that in the long run the free market version will pro

  4. says:

    I enjoyed this book largely because it is anathema to FreakanomicsFreakanomics was a very popular book with a very dumb title that applied ec

  5. says:

    I read this book almost five years ago but I think the author's observations and thesis is relevant today In som

  6. says:

    This book was published in 2005 which is unfortunate since some events since 2005 crash of 2008 the entire Obama 45 phenomenon Brexit and the emergence of total surveillance through our mobile phones are highly relevant to Ormerod's thesisTo be absolutely honest about how shallow my motivations were for approac

  7. says:

    I think this is an important book and I also think its message might be difficult for some people to reconcile their world

  8. says:

    I am not a student of economics so I must admit that I am uite confused for most of the time reading this book But I can say that the author argues that the perfect world with perfect market competition and fully informed and rational actors as imagined by most economists cannot exist simply because of the uncertainties of how the

  9. says:

    I really liked the book and agree

  10. says:

    Interesting demonstration of how most failuresextinctions are purely random; also a pretty interesting connection of evolution and economics De