QUESTION: Hi Marty, I hope you’re doing well. Having been a follower of yours for some time now, and been enlightened from that, I am ever in your debt for what you have shared and (hopefully!) will continue to share. I am an economic history student studying at the University of Edinburgh, and I have to say the professors are consistently bamboozled when I bring anything up that I read on your blog! I am going into my second year now and am in particular very much interested in population flows. I am trying to set up my own ‘database’ to store all of this information and subsequently start creating my own analyses in a similar image of our dear friend Mr. Socrates. To get to my point, I am wondering how you went about initially setting up Socrates, what sort of coding or programs you were using and if there were any big potholes to try and avoid when setting up something like this? I am in absolute awe of Socrates and yourself, but I am enticed by the challenge of doing something I can call my own. Any help at all is very much appreciated I hope to hear from you soon!
ANSWER: Yes, you will find traditional economics fall short of reality. They rest upon supply and demand, yet assume they can stimulate demand with Keynesian economics to raise or lower interest rates. They are clueless with regard to international trends because that would mean that they could not manipulate any economy, for there are always external factors they have no control over. Consequently, all theories are based upon what I call the “Fish Bowl Economy” that assumes everything is self contained and nothing external will enter their perfect world.
From a programming standpoint, there are no off-the-shelf programs to do what is necessary. Languages are really much the same. VB and C are the main languages, but then there are specialties like Prologue, etc. I was always into artificial intelligence from the start. The pitfall to avoid is to NEVER presume anything. Just let the data reveal the truth. As soon as you make an assumption, you will fail. Migration has always contributed to dictating the rise and fall of nations. Let the data show you the way. That is the exciting path to discovery.