In the 1950's, companies started to use data processing computers to record business activity. Initially, bosses wanted records of all computer data, equivalent to manual records. Printers worked throughout the night to produce heaps of such visible documents which were then used to check real stock levels. Eventually, management realised there was no need to check all records on a daily basis as they are only interested in change. For example, they need to know when stock falls below a certain level or sales increase so that new stock can be ordered. If sales stagnate, a sale to clear out such old stock from warehouses and showrooms is necessary.

Over a period of months, many companies whittled down their records by using computer programme selection and focusing on what was relevant. The term for this became known as 'management by exception.' Computers were used only to print out what was extraordinary and different.

In this website, although we name and shame bad-economists, we also name economists who dare to be different. These exceptional economists, working within the system, offer hope that a ship wreck will be avoided and that the boat will make it into clear water instead of going round and round and up and down on the waves.
For example, most journalists and economic commentators at the FT are adrift on the notion of reality. Far from land, they are way up in their mission masts and crows nests, never actually spotting what is really happening. Martin Wolf and Sir Samuel Brittan are therefore the exceptions.