Friday, May 06, 2005

Spontaneous, er, emergent, er...

When we talk about spontaneous order, the
adjective is trying to capture the fact that no
one is in charge, controlling the economic
system—the order we see around us is spontaneous,
organic, emergent, rather than controlled,
directed or managed.

I've never liked the word spontaneous in that
context. It captures the unplanned aspect but
there's an implication of suddenness and out of-
the-blue that is misleading. Emergent order is a
little better. Hayek complains in the Fatal
and elsewhere about our language not
having phrases and words for things that are not
directed or planned.

Is that why we're stuck in this Strange Loop,
because there are no words with which to escape?

Makes sense to me.

It's also hilarious and depressing at the same

The whole thing.