“…the lessons of history makes me mindful of a lesson I learned as an operations-research student at the Naval Postgraduate School some years ago. While trying to develop a mathematical model to explain the complexities of naval warfare, I realized that it was simply impossible to develop the perfect model. No amount of mathematical artistry would be sufficient to explain the virtually infinite number of variables in human behavior. The great lesson for all those who use mathematical models as tools to understand the real world is that models provide insights, not answers. I hope our economics community has finally learned that lesson — at least until they forget it again during the next boom cycle.”
- Captain Thomas R. Beall, U.S. Navy, retired.