Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Para-Optimal Pareto


Pareto is better than optimal. Such is the judgement of 20% of the people 80% of the time. Is that it? No, probably not but enough if you are an Ancient Mariner and have buttonholed a wedding guest. Once it was said to me to shut me up - ‘you have a theory about everything’. Though knowing its purport I took it as a compliment. Chidden by Pareto I would have bowed my head and confessed the egregious need to offer an explanation for everything as a fool’s improvisation. I ought to have admitted - ‘come back to me in twenty years, I don’t have enough data at present’.

I’m more than half way through Book 1 of The Mind and Society and it’s an excellent read. Real scholarship or the transmutation of vast erudition into a personal comprehension is a rare thing. Footnotes banished to unread (you too?) Endnotes would be a serious loss. He does not stint them. Is he wrong about Natural Law and Right Reason? I struggle to defer judgement and await his explication of those mysterious ‘residues’. How would you find them and having found them build a theory that is not itself a transcendental hypothesis? Reply:

- I have the data.

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