14.4.17

FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.

The administrative state takes as a prior belief that Wise Experts can Manage Human Affairs in such a way as to Achieve Better Outcomes.  Higher education takes as a prior belief that Expertise Can Be Cultivated.  Thus it is no accident, dear reader, that higher education and the administrative state have an affinity for each other. “What this produces is the belief that the state has to direct the people to their highest life—material, character, schooling in the narrow sense, economics.”

In practice, though, that direction doesn't work so well.

Here are some suggestions for recognizing emergence in the urban form.
  1. Given that cities are complex and unpredictable systems, we should resist the urge to heavily centralize their management.
  2. In order to function and evolve, cities need relatively free and open land markets and a functioning ecosystem of small developers and entrepreneurs.
  3. We must recognize that even if we had all the relevant information about how to manage any given city, the remarkable variety of unique preferences among urban residents should make us wary of strictly regulating urban form and design.
The elaborations are at the link.  The generalizations to other manifestations of misguided Expertise are left to the reader as an exercise.  " As with culture, as with economics, as with cities, the age of imposed, top-down control is over. A liberal approach stands to give us something far more valuable than the utopian visions of yesteryear."  So mote it be.

No comments: