Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Nonsense like this, or the price system: You Must Choose

Free Press:

The Ontario government yesterday unveiled a new website listing wait times for major medical procedures at the province's hospitals, showing big differences between communities.
The website will be updated every two months, and should therefore be useful to health care consumers still far enough from the Grim Reaper to be able to compulsively refresh the waiting list webpage during those rare few crucial bimonthly seconds between the update and the totally jammed phone lines at the relatively less overburdened health care facilities. Watch for repetitive motion strain specialist waiting times to skyrocket.
We are only beginning to understand on how subtle a communication system the functioning of an advanced industrial society is based - a communications system which we call the market and which turns out to be a more efficient mechanism for digesting dispersed information than any that man has deliberately designed.

F.A. Hayek, 'The Pretence of Knowledge', New Studies, page 34