This piece, from Muck and Mystery, might have the best top and tail of any blog post I've read:
Drunkard's WalkAnd while it's all worth reading, there's an eerie coincidence. Quite without reference to the newspaper of that name, someone called Jane Jacobs has written about what she calls "the guardian class". Does this ring any bells?
We progress by accident rather than intention. It's not that we don't have intentions, they just turn out to be naive and/or mistaken. However, we tend to airbrush that out of history.
More science, less politics. Politics is the mind killer - it has been said.
... those who seek to direct society rather than produce for society
UPDATE: Capt John Heinrichs mails from Canada with more info about Jane Jacobs. See here:
Tracing a path from architecture critic to urban prophet to all-purpose philosopher, Jacobs began by writing about sidewalks and finished with an account of Western civilization itself.