Sunday, September 06, 2009

Theory and evidence

Here's a quote (slightly modified) that could be uttered about many fields and even lobbed across partisan lines within some fields:
As I see it, the profession went astray because we, as a group, mistook beauty, clad in impressive-looking mathematics, for truth.
What's the profession? It's economics, and this is from Paul Krugman's NYT Sunday Magazine piece this morning, here, "How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?".

Happily, I don't seem to hear this much in linguistics these days. No doubt a matter of who you hang out with, but it seems like everybody I deal with seriously agrees on the need for working hard with good data.

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