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The Everyday Miracles on the Web

Summary:
Every once in a while I pinch myself at my good fortune in being alive at this time in history, with the web making things so much easier in so many ways. Two things happened in the last hour that reminded me of how much value people, including me, get from the web. The first was that on Nextdoor in my area, someone reported having found a dog: Found a little pup wandering up xxx Street. Tired and thirsty. We took him to the SPCA on 68. Animal ID xxxxxx. There is a five day stray hold starting 6/15. The same day (today), another neighbor answered: Thanks xxxx. xxxx belongs to our neighbor on xxxxxx St. I’ll pass the info along. And then that neighbor wrote: xxxx’s dad is on his way to retrieve him. This is amazing compared to what we could do just a few years

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The Everyday Miracles on the Web

Every once in a while I pinch myself at my good fortune in being alive at this time in history, with the web making things so much easier in so many ways.

Two things happened in the last hour that reminded me of how much value people, including me, get from the web.

The first was that on Nextdoor in my area, someone reported having found a dog:

Found a little pup wandering up xxx Street. Tired and thirsty. We took him to the SPCA on 68. Animal ID xxxxxx. There is a five day stray hold starting 6/15.

The same day (today), another neighbor answered:

Thanks xxxx. xxxx belongs to our neighbor on xxxxxx St. I’ll pass the info along.

And then that neighbor wrote:

xxxx’s dad is on his way to retrieve him.

This is amazing compared to what we could do just a few years ago. Hayek’s decentralized information in action.

Just a few minutes ago, I wanted to send flowers to a woman in East Germany, er, Canada, to thank her for helping me think through how to get to my cottage in northwestern Ontario this year. She’s a fellow dual citizen whom a mutual friend told me about. Twenty-five years ago, ordering such flowers required a phone call after a laborious search for a florist. And for someone like me who can barely distinguish between flowers and flour, the descriptions of someone at the other end of the line wouldn’t have meant much. But I got on line, found a Canadian florist, looked at the pictures, ordered the flowers, and paid, all in about 3 minutes.

Pinch me. But not hard.

David Henderson
David R. Henderson (born November 21, 1950) is a Canadian-born American economist and author who moved to the United States in 1972 and became a U.S. citizen in 1986, serving on President Ronald Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers from 1982 to 1984.[1] A research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution[2] since 1990, he took a teaching position with the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California in 1984, and is now a full professor of economics.[3]

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