📰 The Case for Muddling Through →April 18, 2023 • #
Read any news that intersects with politics, culture, technology, or economics, and you’d believe we’ve come to the end of the road. You find the occasional optimist pointing out how things aren’t so bad, or that they’ve also been real bad in the past (definitely true!).
Brink Lindsey paints his own bleak picture of our current set of crises — of dynamism, inclusion, and politics – but acknowledges a fear of overblowing the threats presented by these issues. In this piece he offers some hope here with confidence that we can muddle through with solutions as we have to past challenges. I think I’d largely conform to this view. Even though we’re cooking a nasty stew of intertwined problems in all of these areas, our culture has been more resistant to destroying itself than doomsayers have predicted every time in the past so far. I think we’ll muddle through like we always have. Crises precipitate change, and change hurts, but we can come out on the other side at least comfortable with a new status quo.
Relatedly, I recently read Brink Lindsey’s excellent book on cronyism, stasism, and regulatory capture, The Captured Economy, which he wrote in 2017 with co-author Steven Teles.
- The Prophet of the Revolt — An interview with Martin Gurri.
- Weekend Reading: Looking Glass Politics, Enrichment, and OSM Datasets — Gurri on private vs. public emotions, McCloskey on the boom of modern progress, and Facebook's work on OpenStreetMap data.
- Michele Gelfand on Tight and Loose Cultures — The difference between 'tight' and 'loose' cultures — conformists vs. non-conformists.