Category Archives: Quotes

Brunel on Legislation & Technical Progress

I am opposed to the laying down of rules or conditions to be observed in the construction of bridges lest the progress of improvement tomorrow might be embarrassed or shackled by recording or registering as law the prejudices or errors of today.
— Isambard Kingdom Brunel

(Cf. regulations against adaptive headlights and other automotive innovations.)

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Manzi on Policy Expertise

An aeronautical engineer can predict reliably that “If you design a wing like this, then this plane will be airworthy, but if you design it like that, then it will never get in the air.” If you were to build a bunch of airplanes according to each set of specifications, you would discover that he or she is almost always right. This is actual expertise...

Our so-called experts in public policy talk a good game, but in the end are no experts at all. They build castles of words, and call it knowledge.

Jim Manzi

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