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Feb 23, 2008

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Stephen Downes

Counterexamples:

- highways
- sewage systems
- armed forces
- flood protection systems
- health care
- police and fire protection
- play
- fine arts
- flying a kite

... and, I would contend, education.

Graham Glass

Hi Stephen,

Good to hear from you, your comments are always welcome!

Perhaps some of these services you list are efficient in Canada, but in the US most are not known for their efficiency. Except perhaps for flying kites ;-)

Fine arts and play are most probably other exceptions to the rule, because artists are driven generally by their passion for creation and operate as individuals.

Katrina is a good example of where flood protection services failed horribly.

The armed force seem to be OK in some areas, but I often hear about incredibly expensive military projects that are driven primarily for political reasons and usually end up getting canned after billions of dollars are wasted.

Highways are probably quite efficient because their creation is fairly systematic and driven primarily by technology these days.

I think that health care and education are horribly distorted by politics/unions and could be far more efficient. The UK system was not too bad, but the last time I used it they lost my blood samples and my X-rays twice in a single evening - not the most impressive experience but I acknowledge this was a single data point.

Best regards,
Graham

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