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June 02, 2006



I found some interesting links by googling

"tacit knowledge" "planned economy"

In particular, a guy called Allin Cottrell seems to have written some good stuff; among other things, he's posted the full text of a 1993 book called Towards a new socialism, which says a fair bit about planning. (He's also hosting a translation of the first ever Moomin story, which is a service to the English-speaking world in itself.)

Will Davies

cheers Phil. But how the hell does 'tacit knowledge' come into it?!


'Tacit knowledge' was Polanyi's term for the distributed corpus of unsystematised knowhow which enables un-planned economies to function. It came to mind because of some work Hilary Wainwright did a few years ago, suggesting that TK was embedded in culture & hence that it was just as thoroughly excluded by market rationality as by centralised planning.


I've just seen the blurb on Amazon and see the true genius of your phone a friend comment. Personally i think describing the 3G auction as "successful" might be a bit of a stretch.


It surely depends on which communist government you're talking about rather more than it would when thinking about free market economies. Lenin's guiding principles were very different to Stalin's were very different to Kruschev's etc etc, and thats just Russia.

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