Spontaneous Order

Delivered on 1/5/18 in Stuart, FL
Delivered on 1/22/18 in Dallas, FL


Spontaneous Order Slideshow

The theme I chose for today is spontaneous order, and I want to share my reflections with you.

We humans like to create order in the universe. We create rules and laws to organize the world around us. This creates a sense of security and stability that makes us comfortable.

When you think of the word chaos, you probably think something negative: a mess, a lack of organization, maybe even danger.

Most times, our instinct is to create rules is justified. But sometimes, there’s a natural order that arises from chaos, with no rules or regulations. And that’s called a spontaneous order.

What would happen if you removed all traffic signs? SLIDE 2

  • You’d think more accidents would happen. Traffic would be a nightmare. You’d have a heart attack driving on the roads.

  • SLIDE 3: Yet, here’s an intersection in Ethiopia with no traffic lights or stop signs.

  • SLIDE 4: Here’s the autobahn, in Germany, the most efficient highway in the world, with no speed limit.

  • SLIDE 5: You’ve probably seen a lot of these (traffic circles) recently because they’re proven to be safer than requiring people to always stop at an intersection.

We already do a lot of amazing things with no leaders and no central planning

  • SLIDE 6: Crowded subway platform -- no crashes here

  • SLIDE 7: Ice skating rink -- no bumping into each other

  • SLIDE 8: A flock of birds -- no leader or organizer

We’d never dream of coordinating these! What happens when we try to plan big endeavors?

  • Plan a perfect language everyone can learn easily SLIDE 9

  • Plan how many bakers need to work to feed a population SLIDE 10

  • Write the most complete and accurate encyclopedia SLIDE 11

I’m not saying all rules are bad. If you tell your kids there are no rules and no central planning, SLIDE 12 no amount of spontaneous order will get them to clean their room. But for big, complex problems, we should resist the urge to regulate and see if things can just fall into place naturally. SLIDE 13