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comment by am_Unition
am_Unition  ·  422 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Arrogant physicists — do they think economics is easy?

    It's not that everyone is stupid - it's that they come to worship the model more than what they're modeling. I would argue that this weakness can also afflict physicists.

Reconciling models with observation is where it's at, yo. Increasingly, the only way to be competitive in physics nowadays is having the ability to do theory/modeling with at least one toe in the realm of experimentalism.

And I definitely used to be somewhat arrogant, but between grad school and wunderkind Devac, here, well, that's over. Besides, many of the most "respected" people in their fields are miserable people. All too often, the arrogance you might perceive is just a disguise for an intense self-loathing. At least I'm upfront about how much I hate myself, which I think can be somewhat healthy.




kleinbl00  ·  421 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Reconciling models with observation is where it's at, yo. Increasingly, the only way to be competitive in physics nowadays is having the ability to do theory/modeling with at least one toe in the realm of experimentalism.

And that... wouldn't drive someone towards economics? Where you can make $250k a year as a "quant" surrounded by people who think compound interest equations are intense?

Again - not going to stereotype, not going to point fingers. However, if someone were, say, not competitive in physics due to their disdain for experimental reconciliation, there are other avenues open to that person in environments where their investigative rigor need not be particularly acute.

Odder  ·  421 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Considering I personally know at least one person who did exactly what you're describing (big salary still pending), I'd say yes, that's very possible. ;) I think am_Unition is defending the people who stay in physics, not the ones who jump ship.

Also there's this thing, which ought to prove that physicists have definitely already left their mark on quantitative finance.

kleinbl00  ·  421 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I grew up at Los Alamos National Labs so I've known plenty an experimental physicist. We're all on the same page about this.

It's hilarious, however, that you point at Black-Scholes, considering where Myron Scholes ended up.

    Some industry officials said that Federal Reserve Bank of New York involvement in the rescue, however benign, would encourage large financial institutions to assume more risk, in the belief that the Federal Reserve would intervene on their behalf in the event of trouble. Federal Reserve Bank of New York actions raised concerns among some market observers that it could create moral hazard since even though the Fed had not directly injected capital, its use of moral suasion to encourage creditor involvement emphasized its interest in supporting the financial system.

Arrogant economists indeed.