Saturday, July 16, 2011

Another big nothing

Here is LA's Mayor Villaraigosa assuring us that we have a good chance of surviving Carmaggedon.  In fact, he and his team are on the traffic and transportation case with all sorts of extra rail and bike lanes coming to a neighborhood near you.  And here is Reason's Tim Cavanaugh reporting that the whole thing is a big nothing.  There is no Carmageddon.

Doomsday narratives are attractive to politicians and other statists because it is then a hop-skip-and-jump to their agenda to "help" people -- including their well connected donors and constitutents.  And were they to grasp the simple fact that most people are much smarter than lemmings who march over the cliff, they might have chosen another line of work.

In fact, most people have pretty good sensors and are keen to employ them in continuous trial-and-error learning.  Here is Tim Harford spelling it out beautifully.  In fact, Harford points out that trial-and-error learning is the perfect antidote to the God complex.  God-complex people have no use for a trial-and-error world.  What would they do for a living?