#2, Jan 12: Science — not Mathematics! — is Key to the Economy

SPEAKER: Jason Ross, collaborator with Lyndon LaRouche in his “Basement” project

LaRouche holds that, in order to understand the anti-entropic nature of the human mind, and its ability to develop new concepts granting us increased power to shape and understand nature, we should look to the central role of Johannes Kepler, the first modern scientist. Kepler created science by ending Aristotle's centuries-long suppression of knowledge, and by venturing beyond mathematics into the domain causes.

Similarly, LaRouche maintains, Kepler's discoveries are key to understanding economic cycles as the result of dynamics, the result of physical causes. This is in opposition to the failed and unfortunately widespread approach that looks at financial numbers and tries to build up a model based on them.

Observed trends do not create themselves — their causes do. Join us in our encounter with the creativity of the human mind, and learn how it provides us crucial insights into economics!

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  • Ned Nuerge
    @nednuerge tweeted link to this page. 2019-01-15 19:02:38 -0500
    #2, Jan 12: Science — not Mathematics! — is Key to the Economy https://discover.larouchepac.com/2019_nbw_class_2?recruiter_id=86456
  • Jason Ross
    commented 2019-01-13 20:33:38 -0500
    Hi Richard,

    Absolutely – I think LaRouche’s view that the UK will *not be among the initiators of the New Bretton Woods goes to this point. It also brings up the need to be very clear on INTENT throughout.

    After setting up treaty agreements and financial / monetary arrangements most suited for the goals of world development, the INTENT behind those arrangements must always be kept at the fore. If they are allowed to become mere regulations, it is more possible to attack and subvert them.

    This reminds me of the argument in Plato’s Republic, that even if the ideal republic were set up, it would not remain if future generations didn’t recreate for themselves the discovery of WHY that system would be the best possible. The continued success of a New Bretton Woods will depend on future generations maintaining and developing the intent behind its formation.

  • Thomas Simpson
    commented 2019-01-13 13:19:39 -0500
    A good example of Lyn’s concept of potential relative population density, was realized at the Raccoon Mountain Pumped-Storage Plant by TVA scientist and engineers.

    This storage facility generates 14 times more power than nearby Chickamauga Dam. This was considered a pipe dream at one time, but it is now a major factor in the efficient, reliable operation of the entire TVA power system—a true success story.
    I took the above from a TVA article on it’s website entitled TVA- MOUNTAIN MARVEL. It illustrates how solutions can be found through human discovery and persistence. In this case, the sudden rise in per capita consumption of electricity in the Tennessee Valley, which resulted from per capita increase in energy usage due to purchases of modern appliances, put additional pressure on the grid. Engineers came up with the idea in the 1950’s of pumping water behind the dam and holding the potential energy there until needed. TVA experimented with this concept on a small scale at the Hiwassee Dam in North Carolina. There it employed an energy-generating turbine that was run in reverse during low-demand hours to pump water below the dam into the upper reservoir for release during high-demand hours. And it worked, although on a modest scale compared to the challenge ahead.

    But it wasn’t until the 70’s that the project was given the okay by TVA’s board, to build it a larger scale. More than 1,000 workers excavated 10 million cubic yards of earth to build the lake at the top of the mountain, and built 12,000 feet of subterranean tunnels, carving a space the size of a football field out of solid limestone. The limestone fill was used to build the 8,500-foot-long dam—the largest rock-fill dam ever built by TVA.

    When the space was ready, four giant and powerful Allis-Chalmers pump turbines were installed underground—an engineering marvel that in 1974 won the site a prestigious award for outstanding engineering from the National Society of Professional Engineers. The project was finished in 1979, and its performance not only met but exceeded expectations, allowing TVA tremendous flexibility to balance load on its grid.

    Consequently, because of human ingenuity and dedication by scientists and engineers to improving the lives of millions of people in Tennessee, the State of Tennessee and TVA in particular, has doubled its energy consumption since the 1960’s to 333 million BTUs per capita, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
  • Jason Ross
    commented 2019-01-12 23:57:25 -0500
    The astronomy videos I used in this presentation are all available at https://science.larouchepac.com/kepler/astronomianova/
  • Jason Ross
    commented 2019-01-12 23:56:38 -0500
    Hi Katannya,

    Welcome to the class series, and thank you for writing in, to share your kind words and your reflections.

    It truly is tragic to see potential talents not brought to great achievement. The many years spent on formal education could be SO much more effective if they were intended to be so. Rather than learning formulas that may indeed correspond to discoveries, how much better is it to provoke kids to remake these great discoveries for themselves?

    Great ideas belong to us all. And re-creating them socially in school can be a joyous celebration of what makes us all human, fostering many more geniuses in the future!

    I think it will even be possible to achieve this in the UK itself! ;-) A great many excellent minds have come from the lands today called the UK, and more can do so in the future!

  • Jason Ross
    commented 2019-01-12 23:52:08 -0500
    Hi Thomas,
    I think a great way to make the case for this concept is the existence of human economy itself. The fact that our ideas are able to give us greater power to improve and further understand nature, shows that human ideas must have an effective connection to the universe as a whole. If not, how could thoughts be powerful in this way?
    I think your idea of using the increase in potential relative population density of the human species is a good one. The changes involved in bringing this about (for example, large water projects), show the power of the human mind as a force more powerful than biology itself, no less potent than great geological forces.
    What do you think? Different approaches work for different people. Try out a few on some others and let me know how it goes!
    Thanks for writing in.
    - Jason
  • Jason Ross
    commented 2019-01-12 23:47:39 -0500
    Hi Tony,
    To respond to your comments:
    • Regarding Riemann and geometry, well said! For those not familiar with this topic, Bruce discussed it in class 1 in this series, and I made a short educational video on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uUawrIRLbQ
    • On entropy setting in, when a society does not progress, we took up this question during the live show at 1:29:06 into the show: https://youtu.be/GVe_aVMJFlg?t=5346
      Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts!
  • Katannya Alven
    commented 2019-01-12 17:26:12 -0500
    Hello Jason and Megan,

    Yes, as a Brit living in London I am so well aware of the war mongering criminal thinking of the British Empire – Committee 300 et al …. So many od the British people simply allow their thinking to be contaminated by the British propaganda that is spewed out by if not all the media the major part of it . The Rule Britannia, Royalty adulating, flag waving peoples of the British Isles have been duped and tragically perhaps still a high percentage still have no idea. This attitude is taught in the so called educational system – rather the indoctrination system which breads a dangerous superiority and thus arrogance. The classical arts is being plastered over by guitar strumming youths and doodlers who’s actual potential talent can not develop due to the educational system the arts have been minimized. A tragic loss of enormous creative human potential.

    Thank you once again for an inspiring Class.

    Gratefully .
    Katannya Alven
  • Katannya Alven
    commented 2019-01-12 16:58:48 -0500
    Thank you Megan and Jason a wonderfully thought provoking lecture and Q and A
  • Thomas Simpson
    commented 2019-01-12 16:00:30 -0500
    If that being the case, that human life is coherent with the development of the universe, it makes it obvious that any other belief is false. Is this a self evident truth? And if so, how can it be proven scientifically. Can it be measured by measuring the potential relative population density per sq km in a particular given populated area?
  • Anthony Wicher
    commented 2019-01-12 15:56:48 -0500
    Could we say that it is the destiny of humanity to struggle against a universal entropic tendency? Could we understand cosmology as an endless struggle between two cosmic forces – entropy and intelligence? This sounds like the ancient myth of the struggle between Ormazd the creator and Ahriman the chaos monster.
  • Anthony Wicher
    commented 2019-01-12 15:23:43 -0500
    If human beings do not progressively organize themselves to a higher and higher degree, then entropy sets in and society begins to decay. True?
  • Jason Ross
    commented 2019-01-12 13:16:38 -0500
    Hi Tony, Paul Gallagher wrote back to your initial question here about the end of the Bretton Woods system. I will post the links he refers to after today’s class.

    Dear questioner,
    Avoiding these problems cannot be answered because these were not the problems – unfortunately the information selection you consulted on Investopedia is about as deliberately uninformative as it could be, because it is quite obviously arguing that Franklin Roosevelt’s administration, in advancing Bretton Woods, should have followed the prescriptions of John Maynard Keynes, and then “all would have been well.” In other words, this is the view of Bretton Woods of the City of London financial powers. They, and Keynes, insisted that the British pound sterling area (i.e., their colonies) be a separate currency domain within Bretton Woods system, and ultimately destroyed the Bretton Woods system in the late 1960s and early 1970s after strenuous attempts to force the United States to redeem large volumes of dollars with gold. The pound sterling underwent a collapse in a series of currency crises in the late 1960s, after having been embedded in the Bretton Woods currency system along with the dollar, and those sterling crises led Lyndon LaRouche at that time to forecast that Bretton Woods was going to be broken up. London was creating the “eurodollar/petrodollar” markets specifically to break Bretton Woods’ constraints against purely speculative flows of capital.
    The claim that the Bretton Woods conference was a U.S.-British negotiation is wrong; many other European and, even more, developing countries played significant roles, otherwise there would have been no IBRD-World Bank. The statement that what was needed was
    (Keynes’) proposed world fiat currency, the Bancor, is wrong. The statement in the first paragraph that Bretton Woods should merely be considered as a period of “transition” to the “current system” – not otherwise described! – should tell you that this piece is aiming to put you to sleep with elevator-music nonsense.
    The record of growth and productivity advance of the U.S. and continental European economies during Bretton Woods cannot be questioned, this was and is still called “the golden age of productivity” for those economies and for the United States, continued that golden age which had begun in the 1930s recovery from Depression.
    Roosevelt’s intention that Bretton Woods would channel credit into development projects in underdeveloped countries was sabotaged, that is true. The World Bank was put under John J. McCloy, an extreme Anglophile financier who made sure that it minimized development loans. The Eisenhower Administration and Fed were focused on building domestic consumer booms in the United States and discouraged lending to development projects abroad, winding down the Marshall Plan. (The Sputnik finally woke them up, and JFK’s Administration was completely different.) And worst, the British kept tight control over the currency and monetary systems of their former colonies in the Mideast, Africa, South Asia, effectively keeping them under new versions of the colonial-era deflationary “currency boards.”
    THESE were the real problems of the old Bretton Woods. Lyndon LaRouche has highlighted and addressed them in all his proposals for a new Bretton Woods inaugurated by the “four powers” United States, Russia, China and India, aiming to marginalize and end London’s imperial financial power.
    I made a full presentation on the new Bretton Woods to a meeting in New York last month, and which included two video sections of a webcast by Lyndon LaRouche in 2007 warning of the then-oncoming financial crash and urging formation of a new Bretton Woods. (These links will be posted here soon.)
    Best regards,
    Paul Gallagher, EIR Economics
  • Anthony Wicher
    commented 2019-01-12 13:02:46 -0500
    Science, particularly physics, and mathematics are closely related, because so much of physics involves precise quantitative measurement. Mathematics is part of language. Advances in mathematics, such as calculus, or analytical geometry or matrix theory make possible new ways of describing the physical world. Riemann was a mathematician, not a physicist, but his brilliant habilitation dissertation was able to show that the language of Euclidean geometry does not necessarily describe physical space a priori. I consider this a refutation of Kan’t’s theory of the “synthetic a priori” nature of geometry. The properties of physical space must be a posteriori propositions of physics to be determined by scientific observation and measurement. It was Einstein who showed that over large distances, non-Euclidean geometry is a better model of physical space than the Euclidean. Riemann’s analytical geometry is a language that contains both Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries, but the question of which one better describes physical space is a question to be settled by physicists, not mathematicians. It was Einstein who showed that over large distances, non-Euclidean geometry is a better model of physical space than the Euclidean.
  • Anthony Wicher
    commented 2019-01-12 02:41:02 -0500
    I listened to the Jason Ross video on “why the FDR fixed exchange rate system was taken down” and did not hear the answer I was looking for. The reason traditionally given is that the U.S. could no longer exchange gold for dollars at the fixed rate of $35 an ounce. Supposedly, the dollar had to be “unpegged” from gold, and for some reason, the fixed exchange rates among the currencies were then given up and they were all allowed to float against each other, opening the door for speculation. But I don’t really understand why the fixed exchange rates could not be maintained even if the U.S. said that dollars could not be exchanged for gold. What reasons were given at the time? Why do we need a “gold reserve standard” at all? Why would a new Bretton Woods agreement involve gold at all?
  • Jason Ross
    commented 2019-01-11 18:40:09 -0500
    In last week’s class (https://discover.larouchepac.com/2019_nbw_class_1), Bruce Director showed us that the universe we inhabit is a developing, creative one, and walked us through why LaRouche was fiercely opposed to the idea that the universe is running down or “entropic.”

    In this class, Megan and I will use LaRouche’s treatment of the first modern scientist, Johannes Kepler, to build upon this image of the creative mind as the ultimate economic resource. Truthful change is the fundamental basis of nature, and of healthy human society. So-called “economists” today, who build their analysis from financial figures, could learn a lot from Kepler, who threw out mathematics and statistics as a basis for knowledge, insisting that causes were knowable by the human mind.

    We will be responding to comments and questions here, so share your thoughts!
  • Gerald Pechenuk
    followed this page 2019-01-11 13:53:51 -0500
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  • Richard Burden
    commented 2019-01-11 13:42:48 -0500
    A New Bretton Woods would avoid the problems of the old by excluding from the system any country that attempts to subvert it, as Britain spent every minute doing.
  • Anthony Wicher
    commented 2019-01-06 12:34:27 -0500
    Here is one description of how and why the original Bretton Woods collapsed. How would a new Bretton Woods agreement with fixed exchange rates tied to a gold reserved standard avoid these problems? https://www.investopedia.com/articles/forex/122215/bretton-woods-system-how-it-changed-world.asp
  • Megan Beets
    followed this page 2019-01-03 13:45:13 -0500
  • Jason Ross
    followed this page 2019-01-03 13:45:06 -0500
  • Benjamin Deniston
    published this page in 2019 New Bretton Woods Class Series 2019-01-03 13:30:14 -0500