Humility and Overconfidence

Its fun to go back and see how really smart people understood things at the time. Maybe it should give us some humility — so much policy debate seems based on the idea that we know everything so well. … If you were transported back to to 1790 and got sick, would you want to be treated by the best doctors of the day?

via The Grumpy Economist: Negative stimulus, 1946.

We should keep this in mind whenever sweeping changes advocated by our “best minds” are proposed. I’m thinking about the “green economy” in particular and a lot of other things in general. The advantage of small incremental change is that you don’t usually look like such an idiot later.


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