Unreasonably Effective Things
Something is unreasonably effective if it seems to be useful outside the scope of its assumptions, outside the scope of the context in/ for which it was developed. Mathematics is unreasonably effective because it applies to lots of fields that have nothing to do with mathematics or the context in which that math is developed. Economics is unreasonably effective because it is useful even though the assumptions made are often obviously false: assumptions like rationality, quadratic utility, efficiency, and prices following Brownian motion. Statistics is unreasonably effective because it seems to be useful even when we make obviously false assumptions, like when we assume that things are normally distributed even when they aren’t. But also because it seems it works well even when we blatantly disrespect best practices (like by changing our methods or hypothesis after observing data, then doing hypothesis tests). Using unreasonably effective theories is very defensible (in my opinion) when we don’t have better strategies. There are lots of ways this can happen, including lack of information, lack of computational power, or lack of compatibility with other ideas, or just out of simple convenience or interest. Absurdism is unreasonably effective because it apparently has very little to do with any setting in particular, but still (I claim) ends up useful in practice in lots of settings.