spontaneous order, kinda

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Written by teppo

March 30, 2011 at 5:28 pm

6 Responses

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  1. 2006 youtube video of same thing in China:

    and an article by an IBM’er on same topic of order without traffic controls:

    “Want To Design Smarter Intersections? Use Less Control, Not More.”


    Milton Recht

    March 30, 2011 at 8:38 pm

  2. Mesmerizing. Can you loop it and make it a screensaver?


    Philip Cohen

    March 31, 2011 at 12:27 am

  3. Milton: Thx for the link.

    Philip – yes, mesmerizing. Our topic in my org theory class was coordination today, we started class by staring at that clip (and watching the near misses, a couple motorcycles almost get taken out).



    March 31, 2011 at 3:43 am

  4. On the main pedestrian street in Dublin I don’t bump into people but the rules are a lot more complicated than other cities. For example, friends of mine visiting from Chicago were horrified and annoyed that pedestrians did not walk in ‘lanes’ (keeping to the right) like they do there:

    ‘We may only learn from it the necessity of rules, wherever men have intercourse with each other. They cannot even pass each other on the road without rules. Wagoners, coachmen and postillons have principles, by which they give the way…. That the lighter machine yield to the heavier, and, in machines of the same kind, that the empty yield to the loaded… That those who are going to the capital take place of those coming who are coming from it… among foot-walkers, the right-hand intitles [sic] a man to the wall, and prevents jostling, which peaceable people find very disagreeable and inconvenient.’ (Hume An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. Edited by JB Schneewind. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1751 (1983) p. 38)

    Anyone thought to ask a local driver what the rules are?


    Aidan Walsh

    March 31, 2011 at 7:40 am

  5. Nice (absolutely not!) contrast with a compilation of traffic accidents on a crossroads in the city of Heze in Shandong province of China.


    Frederik Marain

    March 31, 2011 at 4:16 pm

  6. News about these has been gaining traction and that in turn inspires more of these. Here in Ann Arbor, the city is installing “circuses” or “round of ways” where 4-way Stops were obvious barriers to flow. It can be scary, but so far, so good. When I first found out about them, I brought the story to one of my undergraduate criminology classes. Traffic control is actually one of the first areas of city policing to be automated away. Now it seems it has been moved even farther from direct control. I agree that this is an example of “spontaneous order” as suggested by Hayek. However, oddly enough, many of my libertarian friends disagreed. Apparently, as conservatives, they are still at least mentally with the traffic cops.


    Michael E. Marotta

    April 1, 2011 at 5:17 pm

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