Vinod Khosla writes at Tech Crunch on one of the themes that readers of this blog will find quite familiar: the future is hard to predict. 

Here is a key paragraph (and, dare I say it, the only paragraph that you need to read if you can ferret out the implications for yourself): 

Over the years, I have developed great skepticism toward so-called experts and pontificators who seem authoritative in forecasting and create an illusion of knowing based on very little actual expertise. For instance, a University of California study conducted over the course of twenty years polled 284 eminent experts – ranging from politicians to professors and correspondents to consultants – all with widely differing opinions from Marxists to free-marketers. The so-called “experts” made 28,000 predictions about the future, but researchers found they were only slightly more accurate than chance and worse than basic computer algorithms. Most planning and reliance on traditional methods and processes lead to similar errors all while giving people false confidence, especially as the rate of change accelerates. Academics, especially in the social sciences, don’t do much better.

Not much more needs to be said, but I’ll go ahead and say something anyway. The empirical and repeated and constant failure of experts, not only to predict the future but also to develop Utopia as a politico-social reality, is the #1 reason why political decentralization is necessary for prosperity. We need less government, not more. Why? Because nobody knows how best to control other men. Never mind that even if somebody did know there would still be political challenges to implementing such a perfect government. The fact is and always will remain that nobody does know what the best mechanism is. As such, in politics, like in technology, agility and speed are the keys to prosperity. In government, this mean smaller is better. 

Senator Ivy knows.

-JD Cross

 

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