The title of this newsletter is, as are some of its writings, tongue and cheek. In Seeing Like a State, James C. Scott writes of high modernism as an insidious ideology, wherein central authorities believed they had the ability to improve the world and instead wrought disaster. High modernism fails in Scott’s framing because it rejects Hayek: Knowledge is highly localized and a failure to respect local knowledge can result in disasters.
Yet the world is also deeply inadequate. It seems like there are so many ways it could become so much better. So I’m here, in this newsletter and my career, to explore whether there may yet be a few grand schemes that can actually improve the human condition.
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Based in New York, NY.