.. Despite our smarts, we humans can observe only a tiny fraction of the details that enable birds to fly. We can with our naked eyes observe only the most obvious, large, “macro” details .. But the amount of detail that we don’t—that we cannot—observe through simple observation is overwhelming ..
We see only an animal extending itself horizontally, flapping its limbs, and then, voila!, it is safely and gracefully airborne!
And science makes clear just how essential nearly all of these details are. Alter a detail here and the bird’s flight becomes less graceful; alter a detail there and the bird is no more able to fly than is a goat.
Attempts to centrally plan economies, or even to intervene in major ways into market economies, are very much like humans’ attempts to fly by dressing like birds and flapping fake wings: utterly futile, and potentially calamitous ..
.. no observer or planner or regulator can see and catalog all these highly specific facts. The facts—each of which must be dealt with—are far too numerous at any moment for an observing scientist to catalog even if that moment were to be frozen for decades. Greatly intensifying this complexity is the reality that these facts are forever changing ..
Nevertheless, too many people, including politicians, continue to believe that because they can observe a handful of bulky facts about the economy, they can thereby know enough to intervene into that economy in ways that will improve its operation. That belief, though, is hubris. It’s very much like believing that you’ll fly if you simply strap on a pair of wings and commence to flapping madly.