Some People Just \"Get It\"

Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink, in a recent dialogue with James Surowiecki, makes the following statement:

We have an awful lot invested, as a culture, in the notion that the best results in complex environments come from centralizing authority in the hands of a single, highly expert, and deliberative individual. But that, you would argue, is wrong. We're actually better off decentralizing decision-making into the hands of the many—even if they are relatively nonexpert and even if their decision-making process is much less deliberate.

Yes, Malcolm, that is the idea. Taken in context, Mr. Gladwell actually seems quite receptive to that idea. I invite him to stop by this site sometime. We're pretty fond of decentralized decision-making.

On an unrelated note, and I know it makes little sense to link to and quote your own blog, but Randall McElroy deserves some props for the first nominee for 2005 quote of the year:

It may seem radical, but you’re not the party of civil liberties if you support the Drug War. Pick one.


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Too bad Gladwell's politics,

Too bad Gladwell's politics, in fact, lean strongly to the left.

FYI, see this sharply critical review of the many flaws with the ideas in "Blink", from Richard Posner: