Monday, September 26, 2011


Paul Krugman on the problem with proceduralism versus personnel:
The point is that what we need are the right ideas, not the right sort of people. Madmen in authority come in all forms, and the dignified men in suits are often no better than the rabble-rousers.
In my dissertation, I found that August Hermann Francke was consistent in insisting that anything good resulted from selecting the right man, and he meant man, for the job.  The problem was, or became, who selected the right man? Clearly, Krugman is on to the key issue. Unfortunately, there is no standard for right man picking. Francke relied on a combination of evidence of spiritual rebirth and personal knowledge. What standards are we going to come up with today?

I had a conversation the other day with a relative about why the various proponents of not starting WWI were ignored and how we could identify them. Right now, I think, the answer is to never pick someone who has the answer instead of a series of answers to a variety of questions that need immediate solution.

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