Ideas from books, articles & podcasts.
created 11 ideas
by James C. Scott
The premodern state was pretty blind; it knew precious little about its subjects, their wealth, their landholdings and yields, their location, their very identity. All that required was a concentrated population, within easy range, producing a steady supply of easily transportabl...
Tragic episodes of state-initiated social engineering originated from:
Modern people started to see rational order as an ideology. Efficiency became a virtue in itself. They committed to a more egalitarian society, to making the amenities of modern society available to all, through:
The rational authority of experts, who can use the scientific...
A forest, for example, is nothing but a utility for a state: providing timber and tax revenue. Its narrow utilitarian perspective ignores the naturalistic view of the forest as a complex biological system. Or the anthropologic view, looking at all the socially negotiated uses like hunting, fishin...
High modernism's beneficiaries were abstract caricatures, not real people. The advocates of social engineering were planning for generic subjects (who needed so many square feet of housing space, acres of farmland, liters of clean water etc)
Standardized citizens are uniform in the...
Local units of measurement are cultural & practical. In Malaysia, distances are measure in "rice cooks", denoting the time it takes rather than the distance, which could be less useful for varied terrain. In France, a pint meant anything from 0.9l to 3.33l. It depends on the ...
Customs are a living, negociated practices which are constantly being addaped to new circumstances, including power relations. They should not be romanticized being riven with inequality and other biases.
Laws don't have the plasticity and the evolutionary power of customs. Historically spe...
Le Corbusier, an influential architect, believed the city was the rational expression of the modern consciousness & that people would embrace it wholeheartedly. His cities were big, straight, with clearly separated areas. A designed macro-order that led in practice to micro-confusions.
Greeks separated knowledge into:
Complex projects are impossible to successfully plan for. These rules can help:
Take small steps. In an experimental approach to social change, presume that we cannot know the consequences of our interventions in advance.
Favor reversibility. Prefer ...
“To be ruled is to be kept an eye on, inspected, spied on, regulated, indoctrinated, sermonized, listed and checked off, estimated, appraised, censured, ordered about….
To be ruled is at every operation, transaction, movement, to be noted, registered, counted, priced, admonish...
created 6 ideas
❤️ Brainstash Inc.