May 27, 2005
Trust the People

In the "so obvious conventional wisdom has it completely wrong" department, we have this summary of a draft report issued in April by the National Institute on Standards and Technology called Occupant Behavior, Egress, and Emergency Communications. Essentially a "who got out, and why" study of the Twin Towers on 9/11, the conclusions are as inescapable as they are horrifying to your typical technocratic lefty:

For more than four years - steadily, seriously, and with the unsentimental rigor for which we love them - civil engineers have been studying the destruction of the World Trade Center towers, sifting the tragedy for its lessons. And it turns out that one of the lessons is: Disobey authority. In a connected world, ordinary people often have access to better information than officials do.

Give the people the information they need to make a decision, and the tools to implement that decision, and then stand back. This is the only real route to lasting success. Some people will think this statement contradicts everything I've ever said about conservatism, government, and the party affiliation to which I attest. I'd remind them about motes, beams, eyes, and which should be removed first, but they already know about that.

Or rather, they should.

Posted by scott at May 27, 2005 11:10 AM

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