Half of a chaotic but smart approach involves chaos. If we want better decision making and optimal outcomes, we have to accept a level of failure in our actions. Our systems need to allow those failures to happen early before the cost in dollars and human misery mounts. Let’s not pretend, however, that there won’t be a cost. And let’s not pretend an orderly but dumb approach is without costs either. Building a strong town is messy, but that disorder is a feature, not a flaw.
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In the Curbside Chat presentation, and here on the blog/podcast, I frequently reference Carlson’s law, a Silicon Valley adage first brought to my attention by Tom Friedman of the NY Times. It goes:
In a world where so many people not have access to education and cheap tools of innovation, innovation that happens from the bottom up tends to be chaotic but smart. Innovation that happens from the top down tends to be orderly but dumb.