Unbounded common sense

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Jeff Shaw, a frequent commenter here at BatesLine, has launched a new blog called Bounded Rationality. His inaugural entry explains the reason behind the name:

"The concept is known as bounded rationality. It applies to situations in which all actors have access to the same amount of incomplete information, and it applies to the more general case in which some have more than others." (Emphasis supplied).

In and of itself, the term is not that exciting. But the next page reveals more:

"Much economic theory, however, has barely begun to grapple with the even more interesting and widespread situation in which agents not only lack access to complete information but also lack the cognitive ability to arrive at the "best" decision. In most real-world situations, it is simply not possible to "maximize," to find the optimal choice. Reality is far too complicated."...

This is my blog: Generally, to simplify the world around me based on the limited information I have, and spew it out here, in some sort of "bounded rationality."

I'll do the best I can.

Jeff is off to a great start so far. This post, For New Urbanism, is especially good, a reminiscence about the benefits of growing up in the Crutchfield neighborhood (northeast of downtown, sandwiched between I-244, the Frisco tracks, US 75 and Utica), one of the few walkable mixed-use neighborhoods in Tulsa, in the late '60s and early '70s. He draws this lesson:

We had the things we needed in our neighborhood. There were no parking lots at these stores or schools or other places. After all, these things existed for the neighborhood, not the entire city. You might be thought of as a little "eccentric" if you actually drove to one these places.

What I described above is New Urbanism. It's really not "new", but I really don't care what you call it. It works. In this microcosm of Tulsa, we had pretty much everything we needed within walking distance. We knew the shop owners, and they knew us. When we got into mischief, we were never far from home. Our neighborhood was convenient, and it was also "home" to our home. It was comfortable and accessible.

Come to think of it, I wonder how we ever thought we could improve on this model.

For what it's worth, the City's Urban Development Department worked with homeowners and business owners in Crutchfield to develop a neighborhood plan a few years ago. The plan treats the mixed-use nature of the area as an asset. It's a good plan, but -- like so many other plans -- it needs people willing to invest in the area to make it happen.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Jeff!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 27, 2006 8:51 AM.

Brains. was the previous entry in this blog.

A riverwalk promenade proposal: lower Elm Creek is the next entry in this blog.

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