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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12840/the-broken-drinking-glass-fallacy/

The Broken Drinking Glass Fallacy

May 29, 2010 by

Let’s hope the fallacy doesn’t really persist into the far-distant future, as is portrayed in the film The Fifth Element.

And from Wikipedia:

In Le Corbusier’s The Radiant City (1935) this sentiment is shared by those that supported road projects that led to today’s suburban sprawl: “…The cities will be part of the country; I shall live 30 miles from my office in one direction, under a pine tree; my secretary will live 30 miles away from it too, in the other direction, under another pine tree. We shall both have our own car. We shall use up tires, wear out road surfaces and gears, consume oil and gasoline. All of which will necessitate a great deal of work … enough for all.”


newson May 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm

i hate the modernist movement. placed the architectural form before “messy” humans. the only good thing i associate with le corbusier is his chaise longue, a masterpiece of design.

planned cities like brasilia, canberra suck.

Russ May 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Most large cities suck, mainly because roads are handled in such a way that the tragedy of the commons (in this case, leading to traffic congestion) is almost inevitable.

Abhilash Nambiar May 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I think you commented on the wrong blog entry.

J. Grayson Lilburne May 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Actually, Abhi, he’s referring to the Wikipedia quote underneath the video. :)

Jonathan Finegold Catalán May 29, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Awesome find, Lilburne! It’s funny that even he doesn’t realize that all that “new work” came at a cost to him, as he is now one glass poorer (and whatever the maintenance and electrical costs, amongst others, of those robots) with no gain anywhere else.

Gerry Flaychy May 30, 2010 at 3:31 pm

And we could add that if «that “new work” came at a cost to him» that is equivalent to the cost of making a new glass, then he is 2 glasses poorer !

Jack Conway May 30, 2010 at 1:25 am

The good thing about that movey though, was that this was the villain that believed this. And it was seen as intellectual snobbery.

Too bad there wasn’t a real intellectual to actually deflect it. But, Bruce Willis handled it well too.


Jack Conway May 30, 2010 at 1:30 am

Sorry, Not Willis, I just watched the clip, and forgot it was the priest.


Bill Green May 30, 2010 at 9:07 am

Let’s just employ everyone to constantly destroy and rebuild everything that currently exists! How wonderfully busy everyone would be!

Gerry Flaychy May 30, 2010 at 10:42 am

It’s seem to me that the question is not ‘What is it good to do?’
but ‘What is it better to do’?.

Example: With a certain amount of energy and money, is it better to replace useful things after having destroyed them intentionally,
or is it better to keep them and add other useful things to them ?

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