My main response to the post, though, was, “What should innovations in state capacity look like?
”. The UK (coincidentally) received one answer the next day in the shape of this extraordinary blog post
by Dominic Cummings (see previous coverage
), which must be the most unusual job advert ever written for the public sector. It’s a general call for data scientists, experts and “assorted weirdos” to improve government performance. Do read the whole thing.
Can Cummings’ coterie transform the capacity of the British state? General reaction has been skeptical, but largely lacking in rigour. One of the more interesting responses is this post
from a founder of the UK’s Government Digital Service
. It’s worth a read, if for nothing else than this fascinating link to “Project Cybersyn
” - an experiment in state capacity by Chilean socialist president Salvador Allende (a comparison Cummings would presumably not consider favourable…) And to come full circle, here is Tyler Cowen crowdsourcing advice for Cummings
. It’s going to be a fascinating few years.