In the popular imagination, scientists do their job by testing theories against the facts and deciding what's right. In reality, what matters most is figuring out what's wrong _ an endeavour in which the economics profession has been failing spectacularly.
As the physicist Richard Feynman put it: "We're trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as we can." Only in this way can scientists replace dominant ideas with better ones.
The best theories take risks by making specific predictions _ they "stick their necks out", to use another Feynman phrase. Unscientific ideas, by contrast, have a bloblike ability to conform to any set of facts. They are difficult to prove wrong, and so don't teach us much.
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