Talk:1570: Engineer Syllogism

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Note the link with 592. Halfhat (talk) 11:41, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

The link to 592 is tenuous at best, and is certainly no foreshadow of this comic. Please stop making up connections just be cause it makes the xkcd "universe" loop back to itself. This is clearly related to the events of the past week, August 24-28 2015. This should be included as future readers will not realize the publication date and its significance. 14:42, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

You need to go read the title text for 592 again. It is far from a tenuous connection. Randall regularly comes back to themes, and engineers diving into the stock market is literally in the title text of 592. The link is valid. 19:17, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Despite all the numbers around it, stock market is actually made of PEOPLE. -- Hkmaly (talk) 12:18, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

But, but... if the universe is made of math... and people are part of the universe... aren't people made of numbers? 14:02, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
But that just shifts the fallacy: math is (a lot) more than numbers, and Cueball doesn't have access to most of the numbers describing the world's investors anyway. 14:04, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
And even if something is completely described by numbers, it doesn't necessarily have to be predictable. 'Chaos' teaches us this.-- 14:15, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
<pedantry>Well, randomness teaches us this. Chaos just teaches us that you might need near-perfect information to make decent predictions.</pedantry> 02:02, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

The title text appears to be a pun on the financial and programming definitions of 'crash'. In the same way that an overconfident or unconsciously incompetent programmer might make changes to a complex piece of software which cause it to crash, Cueball has invested so poorly that the entire market has crashed. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Now that you mention the chinese stock market crash, have you considered the chinese political class is made most of engineers [1]? This would explain the tooltip text. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It's worth note that this is also true of economists. Unlike mere mathematicians, economists suffer under the delusion that they directly understand how economic activity works and are able to predict its outcomes. But they fail, as Hayek notes in The Counter Revolution of Science, to understand or even take into account the human action and motivation[1] that actually controls economic activity. This weakness, an unscientific pretense of knowledge, is revealed by the fact that they are almost universally abysmal economic investors. The one famous exception to this was Keynes, who made a fortune off of stocks, but who also was machiavellian enough to advocate for economic ideas he did not believe in. According to his friend and fellow Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek, Keynes pushed for stimulus spending for political reasons, and was planning to reverse his position when his untimely death intervened. —Kazvorpal (talk) 18:30, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

There is also an element here of the fact that engineers understand mathematics in a framework of science that others have worked out. Solving a problem in mechanics might feel similar to solving a problem in the stock market, except that Newton/Lagrange already worked out the science, so you just have to do the math. For the stock market the science isn't worked out. Scientists can come a cropper because they lack the engineering sense to be practical in a real world application, while engineers come a cropper because they assume a system rather than discovering it. When scientists and engineers collaborate then the result is sometimes some of the most successful investing firms on the planet.
  1. Fear the Boom and Bust: Keynes vs. Hayek - The Original Economics Rap Battle!
    I'll begin in broad strokes / Just like my friend Keynes / His Theory conceals the Mechanics of Change / That simple equation¹ / Too much aggregation / Ignores human action / and motivation.