Sunday, December 24, 2017

Every time

Today's NY Times includes "The Megacity, Untethered ... Urban giants are going global, but losing their connections with smaller neighbors."

What do we know?  (1) This is the age of AI, expanding platforms, and disruptions. New applications of blockchain technology will boost all of this. (2) Humans are alpha-everythings because they (we) communicate/cooperate better than any competitor. We easily dominate rivals who are much stronger and much faster. (3) Our wealth comes from our productivity.  Our productivity comes from new ideas. Our new ideas are new combinations of old ideas. The clearer the networks in our brains, the better we are at coming up with new combinations. (4) Being good communicators, we can do even better. Our brains are actually networked networks. What we do in cities is to cultivate and form networks. We network in many ways, in person as well as electronically. We are prompted to seek the best blend of networking options.  The blend is peculiar to each individual's mission and includes choice of location and travel. (5) This is how the physical forms in which we operate (including cities) evolve. But they are also a constraint. They are durable and they adapt slowly. The crony capitalism that gives us the rules and regulations of land use assure that the adaptations will be slow and costly.

But tech will beat regulators every time.  Regulators will slow tech every time.


Evidence that the world is getting better (H/T Cafe Hayek) does not get nearly the attention it deserves. My blog post simply highlights how our cities are part of the story.