People like funding winners

The more outcome uncertainty a field has, the more funders seem to lean on ambient expectations about that field’s outcomes. This creates a feedforward effect where money pours into hot fields and drains from fields perceived as struggling or slow. This effect is especially strong in research-y areas that have massive Knightian Uncertainty and extremely slow feedback loops on funding effectiveness, but you also see it in startup and philanthropic funding as well. All of these areas have illiquid markets where you can’t short bubbles so there isn’t much advantage in asserting that the majority is wrong. It’s unclear whether this effect is good for society on net: on the one hand, it’s probably a good idea to drive resources into areas that seem to be hitting the steepest part of a Technological S curves and arguably Bubbly behavior is important for progress; on the other hand, hype doesn’t necessarily reflect reality and the reason a field is moving slowly could be because of a funding dearth.

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