[ExI] NYT: The Technocracy Boom

max at maxmore.com max at maxmore.com
Wed Jul 21 23:38:44 UTC 2010

Bill: I agree that regulatory capture is a big problem. Not as big as  
poor motivation for and structuring of regulation in the first place,  
but still a big problem.

We may disagree on exactly how to apportion blame on government vs.  
private institutions (in so far as that distinction is even valid or  
adequate -- which it really isn't so much), but perhaps we can agree  
on this: It may be really difficult, but we should be focusing on how  
to (a) improve the decision making that leads to regulations (both the  
reasons for them and how they are structured), and (b) how to prevent  
or reduce regulatory capture.

(Both need to be tackled at once, since *some* regulatory capture is  
defensive, and may have beneficial effects. As in: Government -- we're  
going to cut off your limbs. Private bodies -- we would like to be  
involved in which limbs you cut off and how many and how painfully.)

These are enormously difficult issues of political, economic, and  
social design. We tend to focus on hard technological problems and  
solutions, but this kind of "soft" technological problem is really  
critical if we're to make it into a desirable future any time in the  
new few decades.

Projects such as the Center for Deliberative Democracy seem to me to  
be along the right lines, but only a small part of the picture.


Quoting BillK <pharos at gmail.com>:

> Well, I think we're all agreed that something went wrong.
> Regulatory capture by big business is the big problem I see.

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