WHAT ECONOMISTS DO. Marquette Warrior recommends the latest issue of The American Enterprise, subtitled "The Attack of the Snobs," including analyses of suburbanization and the evolution of the big-box suburban store (two betes noires of aesthetes of a certain stripe, hereinafter "snobs.") An interview with architect Witold Rybczynski includes this insight.
Economists, of course, are very different; they're just trying to understand the city. My economics-oriented friends who are doing research on the city are not trying to reshape it; they're just trying to understand what's going on. That's had an influence on me. It's made me less eager to jump in with solutions, and also more cognizant that in an economic system such as ours, what ordinary people want is very important. It may or may not be good for them; it may or may not be the best thing, or the most efficient thing. But if it's what they want, that counts an awful lot in an entrepreneurial economy such as ours.
Quite so. Repeat with me:
Complex adaptive systems do pretty much as they damn please.

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