PAUL EHRLICH VS THE KNOWLEDGE PROBLEM

The self-beclowned Chicken Little of the environmental movement takes a break from soothsaying to wrestle with fact of distributed knowledge — Steven Hayward has the story:

I’ve debated Ehlich twice .. I once had a fairly serious argument with him about how Hayek’s concept of the “knowledge problem” made his schemes of human improvement both impossible and tyrannical, and he grappled with the argument rather than changing the subject. This sets him apart from spokespeople for environmental groups who recite PR talking points that are so superficial that I conclude they either must know what they say is untrue, or that they are genuinely stupid people.

Not coincidentally, Julian Simon — Ehrlich’s great nemesis — was a big fan of Hayek.

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The whole of economic history could be rewritten in terms of the gradual suppression of the primitive instincts by what we very mistakenly call “artificial” rules. — F. A. Hayek

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