Wise words on methodology (Mises, Epistemological Problems of Economics, p. 12) pic.twitter.com/2oXPPHiVcc— Per Bylund (@PerBylund) January 30, 2017
In our conversation, I phrased it differently.
Everyone has multiple and changing goals. Everyone has multiple and changing priorities and trade-offs among those goals. Everyone has multiple and changing means of achieving those goals. Everyone has multiple and changing identities (father, husband, sibling, son, employer, neighbor, volunteer, sports fan, alumni, member of a congregation, etc.) Everyone has multiple and changing communities-of-interest associated with these identities. Everyone has multiple and changing resource constraints (time, money, expertise, etc.)I believe all that to be true and yet we still have ideologies that are insistent on pigeon-holing people as if they are predictable widgets to be better engineered for some end.
Given continuing exogenous changes, the intersectionality between goals, priorities, trade-offs, means, identities, constraints and communities-of-interests and given the complexity of the human system, it is virtually impossible to slot an individual into a single identity silo (with predictive value) or to expect there to be consistency between words and deeds over time. It is impossible, at a moment in time under a snapshot of circumstances and history, to reliably forecast how an individual might process (System 1 and System 2) the balance of anticipated consequences and associated risks among competing goals and stakes among different communities.
Our knowledge of the individual and their interests is so limited and our knowledge of the complexity of the human system is so vestigial that, for all intents and purposes, people function as if they have free will. Ignorance constrains our ability to forecast in the face of complexity.