Always, Always

‘The problem with action, as Daoism teaches and as Ged tries to teach Arren, is that it always, always, has unexpected consequences, often profoundly unwelcome ones.’
   — Alan Jacobs, 7 April 2023

The modern ideology that vests paramount significance in doing something, in making a difference, depends for its persuasiveness on obscuring (if not obliviating, at least for the short term that it takes to get elected or pass a controversial bill) the extent to which even our most careful, nonpartisan estimates of the future go significantly awry. And when was the last time you encountered a reliably careful, nonpartisan engagement with important matters of public concern? (I mean, our forecasting always takes pains to consider all factors, weighted equally, without cutting corners or cooking the books to favour our preferred outcome; but their estimates obviously come from cronies, crooked think tanks, filtered through ideological hacks’ self-serving rhetoric.)

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