Approaching the Singularity Behind the Veil of Incomputability: On Algorithmic Governance, the Economist-as-Expert, and the Piecemeal Circumnavigation of the Administrative State

19 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2019

See all articles by Abigail Devereaux

Abigail Devereaux

George Mason University, Department of Economics

Date Written: February 11, 2019

Abstract

Roger Koppl’s admonishment against design in his book Expert Failure is a product of the richness of the world and the symmetry-breaking properties of time. Koppl grants no special powers of vision to his experts, and thus embeds them in ongoing social process where the consequences of all policies play out in practically computable and fundamentally unknowable ways. So embedded, he demonstrates that expert rule tends to be a public bad rather than a public good. He suggests that a piecemeal deconstruction of the administrative state will grant experts less power, and free rules-making systems from the reign of idealized experts, making them less brittle to bias, ignorance, and small-groups influence. As such, they will better access the political ideal of pluralistic democracy. We call the latter Koppl’s Theorem, and propose a Corollary: rather than the piecemeal deconstruction of the administrative state, the combinatorial explosion of largely intangible computation-based goods heralded by the approach to the technological Singularity shall open ways in which social entrepreneurs can conduct a piecemeal circumnavigation of the administrative state. As both cause and consequence of the latter, untethering expertise from formal state-based institutions shall unlock the value of extra-public social entrepreneurship. We cover computability, complexity, creative processes, and the production of novelty through “togetherness,” a framework for thinking about the value created by knowledge division through time.

Keywords: algorithmic bias, epistemology, computability, economic theory

JEL Classification: B41, C63, B52

Suggested Citation

Devereaux, Abigail, Approaching the Singularity Behind the Veil of Incomputability: On Algorithmic Governance, the Economist-as-Expert, and the Piecemeal Circumnavigation of the Administrative State (February 11, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3332798 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3332798

Abigail Devereaux (Contact Author)

George Mason University, Department of Economics ( email )

Fairfax, VA
United States

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