As a professionally trained pilot (helicopter), I can attest that in order to become a qualified pilot, one must first become knowledgeable in several other areas. For instance, aerodynamics, turbine engines, and instrumentation immediately come to mind. In addition to these, you must also learn—more than you ever wanted to know—about the vast, convoluted, exhaustive government regulations that permeate the entire aviation industry (which is one of the primary reasons I am no longer involved in the field of aviation).

But as any pilot will tell you: in order to become a pilot, you must first become…a meteorologist.

Weather. Aircraft fly in it—there’s no way around it—so you gotta learn about weather; what causes it, how it behaves, how it effects the aerodynamic performance of aircraft, etc.

As I learned about, and began to understand, weather—I also began to adopt a different idea about what weather actually is. I soon realized that “the weather” doesn’t actually “exist”—it’s not a thing, or some kind of tangible object; it’s not a system that can be monitored, changed, or controlled in any way; it does not adhere to any mathematical formula than can be tweaked or adjusted to get the desired outcome.

Rather, weather happens.

Weather Happens

Weather is the result of countless air molecules in a given region interacting with one another in infinitely different ways. These interactions are all dependent upon many individual factors within each molecule: air density, moisture content, altitude, temperature, speed of movement, the presence or absence of sunshine (heat), etc. Add to this bubbling brew the rotation of the earth—essentially, a gigantic stir stick—and the result is an endless state of flux, the perpetual attempt of great masses of interacting air molecules to reach equilibrium within the constantly changing conditions of a perpetually moving world.

Or, to put it more simply, weather.

And weather happens naturally; we don’t have to do anything for weather to happen. It’s a natural occurrence that takes place whenever individual air molecules are free to interact with one another in whatever way they naturally would. And if the elemental characteristics of the molecules differ considerably—thus enabling greater interaction, as they exchange their differing elements with one another—then the result is robust weather; but on the other hand, if the molecules possess very little differing elemental characteristics—as in, say, a desert—they thus have little to no interaction, as they have nothing to exchange with one another—and the result is little to no weather.

And all this is why we humans—as technologically advanced as we may be—cannot accurately and dependably even predict the weather, much less control it. Accurately predicting the weather would necessitate somehow measuring each and every variable within each and every individual air molecule, calculating how that molecule could or would interact with other molecules, what the result of that interaction would be, and then attempting to further calculate how all those infinite individual interactions would impact the entire mass of air molecules in any given region—all while being perpetual stirred by the constant rotation of the earth and ever-changing environmental conditions.

Obviously, this is impossible; so the best we can do is utilize what data we have available—measuring local weather conditions, observing radar images, reviewing satellite data—to observe, identify, and record patterns within these masses of interacting molecules. Then, using history as a guide, we can attempt to predict what may or may not develop, and to where and at what speed those patterns may or may not travel as they develop and grow.

And that’s the best we can do; otherwise, however good or bad the weather, we must simply deal with it.

“Everybody talks about the weather,
but nobody does anything about it.”

~ Mark Twain

And obviously, controlling the weather is completely out of the question; and if someone were to come along (say, a shady weatherman) and claim that they could “control” or “fix” the weather, and as a result instill fair weather conditions everywhere for everyone to enjoy—they would be considered either a liar or a lunatic, and laughed right out of town.

The only way we can manage to “control” or “fix” the weather is by attempting to stop it from naturally occurring—by inhibiting, or even prohibiting, individual air molecules from interacting with one another as they naturally would, and instead force them to interact differently—or, more commonly, not at all.

By erecting barriers—thus essentially preventing or prohibiting air molecules from interacting as they naturally would, and thus inhibiting weather from naturally occurring—we greatly diminish, or stop altogether, weather from happening within the controlled area.

We can also subdue the weather within these controlled areas by stripping the air molecules of their elements, thus disabling their interaction. Using heating and cooling systems, we can remove much of the moisture, heat, and other elements from them, ultimately stripping them of their capacity to interaact with one another.

So, to stop weather from happening within a given area, we can erect barriers, thus inhibiting the air molecules from interacting with one another, and further, we can strip the air molecules of their elements, thus disabling them from interacting with one another.

Otherwise, weather happens, naturally.

All we have to do is…allow it.

Economy Happens

I don’t believe there to be a better analogy than weather when discussing economy; for, just like weather, “the economy” doesn’t actually “exist”—it’s not a thing, or some kind of tangible object; it’s not a system that can be monitored, changed, or controlled in any way; it does not adhere to any mathematical formula than can be tweaked or adjusted to get the desired outcome.

Rather, economy happens.

Just as weather is the result of countless air molecules in a given region all interacting with one another in infinitely different ways, economy is the result of countless individuals in a given region interacting with one another in infinitely different ways. And, just as the interactions between air molecules are dependent upon their differing elemental characteristics, the interactions between humans are dependent upon their differing individual characteristics: values, beliefs, principles, desires, needs, goals, habits, interests, passions, property, wealth, etc. Add to this bubbling brew the constant advent of new ideas, new knowledge and information, new technologies (and thus new and exciting opportunities), new and improved modes of communication and transportation—essentially, a gigantic stir stick—and the result is an endless state of flux, the perpetual attempt of great masses of interacting individuals to reach equilibrium within the constantly changing conditions of a perpetually moving world.

Or, to put it more simply, economy.

And economy happens naturally; we don’t have to do anything for economy to happen—it’s a natural occurrence that takes place whenever masses of individuals are free to interact with one another in whatever way they naturally would. And if the needs, desires, production, and wealth of the individuals differ considerably—thus enabling greater interaction, as they trade with one another—then the result is robust economy; but if the individuals possess very little—say, in a poverty-stricken area—they thus have little to no interaction, as they have nothing to trade with one another—and the result is little to no economy.

And all this is why we humans—as technologically advanced as we may be—cannot accurately and dependably even predict the economy, much less control it. Accurately predicting the economy would necessitate somehow measuring each and every variable within each and every individual, calculating how that individual would or could interact with other individuals, what the result of that interaction would be, and then attempting to further calculate how all those infinite individual interactions would impact the entire mass of individuals in any given region—all while being perpetual stirred by the constant advent of new ideas, new knowledge and information, new technologies, new and improved modes of communication and transportation, and ever-changing environmental conditions.

Obviously, this is impossible; so the best we can do is utilize what data we have available—measuring local economic activity, observing economic indicators, reviewing economic data—to observe, identify, and record patterns within these masses of interacting individuals—then, using history as a guide, we can attempt to predict what may or may not develop, and to where and at what speed those patterns may or may not spread as they develop and grow.

And that’s the best we can do; otherwise, however good or bad the economy, we must simply deal with it. 

“It is only because the control of the means of production
is divided among many people acting independently
that nobody has complete power over us, that we as
individuals can decide what to do with ourselves.”

~ Friedrich Hayek

And obviously, controlling the economy is completely out of the question; and if someone were to come along (say, a shady politician) and claim that they could “control” or “fix” the economy, and as a result instill fair economic conditions everywhere for everyone to enjoy—they should be considered either a liar or a lunatic, and laughed right out of town.

The only way we can manage to “control” or “fix” the economy is by attempting to stop it from naturally occurring—by inhibiting, or even prohibiting, individuals from interacting with one another as they naturally would, and instead force them to interact differently—or, more commonly, not at all.

By erecting barriers—thus essentially preventing or prohibiting individuals from interacting as they naturally would, and thus inhibiting economy from naturally occurring—we greatly diminish, or stop altogether, economy from happening within the controlled area.

We can also subdue the economy within these controlled areas by stripping individuals of their production and wealth, thus disabling their interaction. Using taxing and other means of extortion, we can remove much of the wealth and other property from them, ultimately stripping them of their capacity to interact with one another.

So, to stop economy from happening within a given area, we can erect barriers, thus inhibiting individuals from interacting with one another, and further, strip them of their wealth and property, thus disabling them from interacting with one another.

Otherwise, economy happens, naturally.

All we have to do is…allow it.