My earlier post drew a number of helpful comments, including one from Karl Smith on his own blog.

it is right that take the knowledge of market failure that we have and do what we can to alleviate what suffering we can.

No we should not pretend that we know best where the economy should end up or that our cognition is any match for evolution. However, we set aside all value if we say that we cannot use what little we do know to ease what pain we can.

I see this as an attempt to seek an intermediate ground between my metaphorical park ranger (who does not intervene–and some commenters point out that actual park rangers in fact do intervene in some ways) and my metaphorical museum curator, who would like to design everything.

The question I have is how we know where to draw the line. In particular, what stops the technocrats with the greatest degree of hubris and overconfidence rising to positions of power?

I’ll say more on this metaphor in subsequent posts.