An Aesthetics of Drift
ility and a culture of flourishing, and embr

Mr. Ito, I must say I was a little disappointed that such an insightful, unique, and timely essay ended with a somewhat conventional and unsure call to arms. I wonder if this small tidbit may help to give further direction to the alternative vision taking shape here.

In Jane Jacobs’s 1984 book, Cities and the Wealth of Nations, she praises the idea of anthropologist Tadao Umesao that Japan has flourished historically when it embraced an “aesthetics of drift.” In these periods, they claim, the nation allowed room for the unpredictable and the opportunistic, rather than operating by “resolute purpose.” As a longtime advocate for a complexity-driven approach to understanding cities, economics and ethics, I thought Jacobs’s thoughts here and elsewhere might make an appropriate addition.