I’m doing a little light reading about behavioural economics for my next article. After following what was clearly a broken link, I had to laugh at this irregular 404 page error notification from the Financial Times:
The page you are trying to access does not exist.
Why wasn’t this page found?
We asked some leading economists.
The cost of pages rose drastically, while the page production rate slowed down.
There was no market for it.
We injected some extra money into the technology team but there was little or no interest so they simply kept it, thus failing to stimulate the page economy.
There exists another page that will make everyone better off without making anyone worse off.
Supply and demand
Demand increased and a shortage occurred.
There is no such page. We are not going to interfere.
Aggregate demand for this page did not necessarily equal the productive capacity of the website.
Unchecked, exponential page growth outstripped the pixel supply. There was a catastrophe, and now the population is at a lower, more sustainable level.
To avoid unchecked, exponential page growth outstripping the pixel supply and leading to an inevitable catastrophe, we prevented this page from being conceived.
The failure of this page to load is a consequence of the inherent contradictions in the capitalist mode of production.
Laissez Faire Capitalism
We know this page is needed, but we can’t force anyone to make it.
The government has limited the number of pages in circulation.
Efficient Markets Hypothesis
If you had paid enough for the page, it would have appeared.
Showing you this page would only encourage you to want more pages.
Tragedy of the Commons
Everyone wanted to view this page, but no-one was willing to maintain it.
By not viewing this page you help everyone else get better pages.
The page is hosted by a foreign web server and is therefore banned to ensure the supremacy of our own software.
High taxes on content publishers prevented them hiring the person who would have written this page.
The page never actually existed and was fundamentally impossible, but everyone bought into it in a frenzy and it’s all now ending in tears.
If you were to get the page you wanted you might get a better page than someone else, which would be unfair. This way at least everyone gets the same.
The influence of psychological factors caused you to act in a manner that would not be expected of a purely rational actor.
Theory of the second best
The best outcome was unachievable, so you have arrived here instead.