Letter: Simple fare

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The Independent Online
From Mr Geoffrey Holt

Sir: Your bold menu of "The 10 best ideas of the decade" (Second Section, 29 November) claims to have moved on from the economics-driven nostrums of the Eighties. But the patrons of your more pluralist cafeteria could nevertheless remain dissatisfied.

As one of your cited authors, Alasdair MacIntyre, has pointed out, the managerial conceits built up during a century of mechanistic social science - not just a decade of economic snake-oil - are themselves part of the intellectual problem here. Should you be offering quite so temptingly the prospect of a model switch to Asian values, or a new scientific way of analysing and predicting complex changes?

In dressing up ideas with such apparent simplicity, you may be pandering to the lingering expectations many of us have for instrumental remedies.

Keep the cafeteria open, but make us chew over the implications more thoroughly!

Yours sincerely,

Geoffrey Holt

Hook Norton, Oxfordshire

29 November

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