atlanta jazz transit cities design

30 November 2004

Nice distillation of Hayek's ideas of how markets spontaneously form to solve problems from an interview with Bruce Caldwell, author of a 2003 biography of Hayek, in Reason magazine dated Jan 2005.

Paris gets fed
No one intentionally plans on feeding Paris, but millions upon millions of people get up every morning and get what they want for breakfast. How does that happen? Hayek's answer is that a market system ends up coordinating individual activity. Millions of people are out there pursuing their own interest, but the net result is a coordination of economic activities. And prices are the things that contain people's knowledge.

While talking about socialism and fascism's tendency to attempt to conduct things from the top pretending to have "perfect knowledge" (which, of course, can't exist in a single place)
...or paving over Iraq. I think Iraq actually is a perfect example of this. You don't just come in and say, "Here are all the institutions that have worked well in the West," and expect overnight changes. That seems to me to be a contemporary example of the sort of hubris [Hayek] argued against.

Much of this parallel's Jane Jacob's ideas of small incremental changes made by individuals and not plopping down giant chunks of new reality from above.

04 November 2004

The Political Post
Not sure what this thing is but it wasn't really political. After reading Jeff Jarvis's post about the most recent general election I felt I had to add my two cents.

I'm a libertarian. If the year was 1900, my core values would be called "liberal" (and still are in the UK) but in the US the definition has shifted. Those being: rigorous defense of private property; freedom to talk to whomever I choose about whatever we care to; to do anything in the privacy of my home; to protect myself if attacked.

The reasons I could never vote to re-elect Mr. Bush are the limits he and his cohorts are trying to put on civil liberties (in the name of war -- not good enough) and the absolutely appalling amount of money they are spending (this with a supposedly "conservative" Republican House & Senate). Unacceptable.

Working with President Bush and neo-conservatives for four more years

Essentially repeal the dissabilities acts. They're fine for federal property or whatever but they are killing transit. Any city trying to develop a subway in the modern era is f*cked because of elevators and such for this tiny minority of the population. Transit is absolutely mandatory for a funtioning metropolis (and lots of people like to live in cities).

Reform the court system: I'm not talking about a GOP point (activist judges), that point only exists because the congress has been so spineless for the last 50 years in vote-pandering and the courts are trying (as a very last resort) to reign in obviously anti-constitutional measures. I'm talking about trials. First of all, if you lose a criminal prosecution F*CK YOU you don't get to go for civil damages. You lost. Smokers: F*CK YOU, watch movies or listen to radio dramas from the 1930's it's obvious everybody knew smoking would kill you, it's your own damn fault. Fat people: F*CK YOU, eat less. Alcoholics: F*CK YOU, stop drinking. Parents whose children are exposed to "bad things": F*CK YOU, you don't get to strangle our cultural flora because you don't have time to spend with your spoiled brats.

Enforcement: save everybody a bunch of money and forget that marijuana is illegal. If you want to go through the hassle of repealing various sections of federal law, go ahead, but just forget this little war ever happened.

War making: call it the Department of War again (please, no more euphemisms) and do whatever money and manpower allows but for gods sake don't stretch the Good Americans who had only signed on to be your National Guard or Reserve Troops into an army of aggression. That's no fair and you know it. You will push their patriotism to the breaking point. These people have jobs and families and are only signed up for emergencies -- back off!

J.Edgar Hoover techniques: just pretend like you can't surveil network packets, library books, video rentals. Don't mention it, even if you do do it. Give up on tapping cell-phones. Jeez

Enforced technology: give up on pushing HDTV, that's not how technology is adapted. Stop using Microsoft for anything important, it's crappy and will bite you in the ass.

Anyways, good luck to you and GOD BLESS AMERICA