I have previously discussed Old Krugman’s argument for the worth of theory, even simplified models. But I wasn’t aware of this example. I don’t even remember how I wound up at that Stephen Gordon post. The short of it is that a meteorologist wanted to know how simple of a model you could use and still get many familiar features of weather on earth. He used “a dish-pan filled with water, placed on a slowly rotating turntable, with an electric heating element bent around the outside of the pan”. And that resulted in “a steady flow near the rim evidently corresponding to the trade winds, constantly shifting eddies reminiscent of temperate-zone storm systems, even a rapidly moving ribbon of water that looked like the recently discovered jet stream”. This despite the reality that weather is a highly complex system, like the economy.
And speaking of economics I like David Glasner’s taking the third option in response to the Keynes vs Hayek debate (I should note I know nothing about Hawtrey and have no opinion on his merits). I expect Hopefully Anonymous would approve as well.