When the yoghurt hits the fan, in corporations or the public sector, the response is invariably to centralize. Which, of course, makes things worse. I have watched this process proceed mercilessly for 40 years.
An Op-ed in yesterday's New York Times by Ross Douthat captured the phenomenon brilliantly, referencing in particular the financial crisis:
"Once a system grows sufficiently complex, it doesn't matter how badly our best and brightest foul things up. Every crisis increases their authority, because they seem to be the only ones who understand the system well enough to fix it. But their fixes tend to make the system even more complex and centralized, and more vulnerable to the next national-security surprise, the next natural disaster, the next economic crisis."
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
on the front page.