"...after Citibank made some bets that turned out badly in the Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s, its CEO John Reed helped mid-wife the Economics Program at the Santa Fe Institute. He wanted the new theoretical insights about financial crises that the new complexity scientists promised. Ever since, the complexity scientists have been telling us that markets are self-organizing systems. For the life of me, I can't see how this puts us way ahead. Didn't seem to help Citibank either, which I've noticed is back in the headlines.
I agree with the closing suggestion, that air transport is a good place to look for lessons about avoiding crashes. No matter what we do, we will still have financial crises, just as we still have plane crashes. But judging from our success in making air travel safer, it seems reasonable to bet on an institutionalized commitment to systematic data collection as a way to reduce their frequency and severity. As a traveler and an investor, I feel much safer in the hands of experts with good data than tourists from other scientific disciplines bearing new models.
Talkin' about science, there is a bonus.