Friday, August 19, 2011

Technocratic Utopia

File this as something I wish I thought of and wrote:
Technocratic utopia is of course a mirage, a supreme act of hubris, that any group of people could have the incentives or information required to manage the world top-down for us. If I told an environmentalists that I wanted ten of the smartest biologists in the world to manage the Amazon top-down and start changing the ratios of species and courses of rivers and such in order to better optimize the rain forest, they would say I was mad. Any such attempt would lead to disaster (just see what smart management has done for our US forests). But the same folks will blithely advocate for top-down control of human economic activity. The same folks who reject top-down creationism in favor of the emergent order of evolution reject the emergent order of markets and human uncoerced interaction in favor of top-down command and control.
Of course, emergent order is so Hayekian. It is a shame that domain-specific thinking keeps otherwise intelligent people from recognizing the phenomena.


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