This month’s topic is about technocracy, which economist E. Glen Weyl (in the reading) defines as “the view that most of governance and policy should be left to some type of ‘experts’, distinguished by meritocratically-evaluated training in formal methods used to ‘optimize’ social outcomes.”
I think this is interesting because, in my observation, there’s a common sentiment (in rationalist circles and elsewhere) that our governments should implement evidence-based policies, leave important decisions to quantitatively/scientifically literate experts, etc etc. What if that’s not true and we shouldn’t do that?
Glen Weyl essay: https://blog.radicalxchange.org/blog/posts/2019-08-19-bv61r6/
Scott’s review of Seeing Like A State, for a similar take on the idea of rational social management: https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/03/16/book-review-seeing-like-a-state/
A pro-technocracy essay that tries to grapple with some of these objections: https://sciencefordemocracy.org/evidence-based-policy-2-0-findings-issues-and-prospects/