Dilli Chalo

I am off to Delhi for a few days. I hope Jet Airways — the same airline that ferried me back and forth to San Francisco just a few weeks ago — gets me there from Pune uneventfully tomorrow afternoon. I am attending the 19th Skoch Summit in Delhi on 22nd and 23rd. Then I will spend the weekend with friends in Delhi and return on Republic Day, perhaps after attending the republic day parade.

I am excited about this visit to Delhi. As you know, politicians are my favorites and the best of them live in Delhi. Who knows, I may bump into the prime minister. Just kidding. Can’t bump into insubstantial things. But seriously, it’s been a while since I was there. The last time I was with a delegation from Australia. They were an absolutely wonderful group, led by Prof Andrew MacIntyre, Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific, Director of Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University, whom I am privileged to call a friend.

See you in Delhi.

ICT, Choice and Democracy 2.0 — Part 2

Institutions as Ideas

Institutions defined most generally are essentially ideas. They are big ideas, ideas that are persistent and which have a profound effect on the populations that evolve, and adopt, the ideas. Examples of powerful institutions – therefore powerful ideas – are easy to find: markets, state constitutions, legal systems, systems of governance, and so on. The institution called democracy is also an idea. The instantiation of an idea — its embodiment or implementation or incarnation – varies from place to place, and from time to time. How an institution is implemented depends on, among other things, preferences of the population and on the available technology. As tastes and technologies change, institutions can be implemented differently, and generally they are more efficiently implemented as time goes by.
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