online book seminar – mackenzie’s an engine, not a camera
We’re going to try something new (for us) at orgtheory.net – an online book seminar. During the week of November 6 we will discuss the new book by Donald MacKenzie, An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets. The book explores the premise that the new finance models of the last century (beginning with CAPM) not only attempted to describe abstract ideas of the financial world but that they also changed the institutions and organization of financial markets. As a study of the sociology of markets, it’s a fascinating read, but the book is also interesting from a pure historical point-of-view. MacKenzie intervied over fifty informants (theoreticians and practicioners) to produce one of the more comprehensive and engaging (and often surprising) histories of modern financial ideas that I’ve read.
The bloggers at orgtheory will offer our own takes on the book, but we also encourage others to read along and join in conversation in the comments (or on your own blogs). This gives you two weeks to get and read the book! I anticipate this will be a rewarding experience.