The Beauty and Power of Undesigned Order

by Don Boudreaux on December 25, 2005

in Complexity & Emergence

I love this blog-post entitled "Of Social Snowflakes…" by Steve Horwitz.  It’s inspired by this photograph of a real snowflake.  Here’s Steve’s concluding paragraph:

My fervent wish for the 21st century is that more smart and caring
people can begin to see and appreciate "social snowflakes." People who
are so willing to accept the existence and beauty (and benevolence!) of
undesigned order in the natural world should be more willing to open
themselves to the possibility that there are processes of undesigned
order at work in the social world too. These people know that no one
can make a snowflake, but seem blind to the fact that much of the
innocent blood that was spilled in the last century was because too
many people thought they could intelligently design the social world.
Not repeating those mistakes will require a renewed aesthetic
appreciation of, and deep desire to understand, the awesome beauty and
complexity of the undesigned order of "social snowflakes."

Steve’s point goes nicely, by the way, with this post from Tyler Cowen.


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