24 October 2013

Anything but water

  1. Read this long and fascinating analysis of how the US Government fails. It's always a little joke, how the Dutch constantly reform their laws and ministries, but that's a small price to pay to avoid the US disaster that results from kludges being piled on kludges. If you only read one article on governance this year, then read this

  2. I've said for awhile that citizen ignorance explains why Americans get the bad policies (they deserve). Now I see why: one-third of US adults are innumerate

  3. Canada is opening up wholesale markets for medical marijuana. I think this is because the government is worried about a flood of cheaper weed coming from Washington State, where legalization will allow growers to get way more efficient (no more indoor grow ops)

  4. This is what happens when the government tries to steer markets: EU utilities have lost a half-trillion euros and Arizona utilities battle to end feed-in tariff subsidies to solar. As I replied to Alex @ the Breakthrough Institute:
  5. UBC's Green College is a multi-disciplinary, mixed-sex residential college that really breaks down silos. Want people from different disciplines to talk to each other and collaborate? Have them eat and sleep in the same place (sometimes the same bed!)

  6. First Nations in Alberta are upset that the federal and provincial governments are not listening to them on pollution. I'd say that's because those governments are not serious about clean oil/gas production (=no local pollution). Pathetic
H/T to DD and TS


  1. David,

    The piece on kludgeocracy. From an economic perspective Herbert Simon is ever excellent on the subjects of complexity, organization, and bounded rationality. I wrote a brief bit on his take on complexity and the implications for policy design last week. http://whiskeyatwater.com/2013/10/07/herbert-simon-says-if-for-want-of-a-nail-the-kingdom-was-lost-rational-behavior-would-be-virtually-impossible/

    Chris (Water infrastructure economist in Berlin)

  2. I did not read the innumeracy article, but years ago John Allen Paulos wrote a book by that name. The thrust of it was that we as a society and individually are aghast if someone is illiterate and take major efforts to cure; but if someone announces that they can do math, too often the response is along the lines of "neither can I" and there is no effort to cure the problem.

  3. Sorry about that: the post should read "can't" do math. I'll go work on my literacy skills now.


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