I’m never sure if it’s worth blogging about things like this, but sometimes I suddenly see commentators, usually conservative commentators, using a phrase I’ve never heard before and I wonder if it’s going to become part of their standard shtick.
A few weeks I read Jim Manzi argue that we shouldn’t try to do anything about global warming because our economy is a a complex adaptive system (I can’t find the article but he makes similar arguments here without using the phrase). I think the idea was that it was so complex that we can’t understand it and so adaptive that it will just modify its carbon-producing ways no matter what we do.
Today, David Ignatius is touting a Niall Ferguson article about how America is going to collapse because it’s a complex adaptive system. So apparently, it’s an all-purpose phrase, like Burkean gradualism.
Does this have legs? Is Bobo going to start using it to argue in favor of school vouchers?
Update. (I realize that “complex adaptive systems” are something that people actually study and this is not meant as any kind of a slight of the field.)