This phrase was coined by Alfred Korzybski and popularised by Robert Anton Wilson (among others). The menu is not the meal. This is what academics lost in their theories tend to forget. It might be a beautiful theory, but it is just a theory. Reality is always more than any theory. Theories can help understand reality, but only if the limitations of theories are also understood. When people start being dogmatic about theories they've read and learned and start thinking that an absolute answer given by a theory is the same as an absolute truth about reality, they start getting lost. There is always something one hasn't taken into account. Always something outside the box of the theory or a model. Theories aren't meant to be dogmas, they are meant to be guiding lights to help better understand reality, but the real understanding is achieved by actively applying intellect and intuition. Theories are wrongly used by academics all the time in this dogmatic sense to argue against reality.
In the picture narrow-minded specialised academics trying to understand Bitcoin.


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Although theories may not be absolutely true as a whole, many of their arguments certainly can be. Rothbard proved this through his axiomatic-deductive method of argument (granted most arguments are still subject to criticism, as long as these criticisms follow a similar logic).
   2yr ago
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Theories don't make arguments, people do. For example we can use Newton's theory to predict the movement astronomical bodies pretty accurately. In this example the outside the box thing could be a comet hitting a body and changing its course. If the scientist making the prediction doesn't notice this comet coming and is not taking that into account, he is making a wrong prediction. The theory itself is not at fault here, the scientist is. He had this model in his mind which didn't include a possible comet.
Maybe I expressed myself a bit unclearly as it was quickly written. I should have been talking more about models and not just theories.
   2yr ago