Some Monday Links

It’s Not in Your Head: The World Really Is Getting Worse (The Walrus)

How China Avoided Soviet-Style Collapse (Noēma)

The Role of “We” Versus the Role of “I” (Econlib)

Party-crashing was a serious business in medieval Arabic tales (Psyche)

5 thoughts on “Some Monday Links

    • Good question. If that were true, though, how would we get “progress”? I think we saw a bunch of rises and fails prior to the industrial revolution (and very little progress), but since then, it’s been all progress.

  1. I would guess that the trend of the rising/falling pattern has generally been upward, with each new low marked higher than the previous ones (if this makes sense, since we are talking about “progress”, a somewhat vague concept).
    I think that Brandon aims true at the pivotal point that was the industrial revolution

    (Brad DeLong guestimates a growth rate of 0.05%/ year, or 5% per 100 years, for the period 8000 B.C.E. – 1500, with “all or nearly all of better technologies” showing up “in Malthusian fashion as increasing population rather than increasing living standards”. He further argues that the “economy” as a central issue emerged only in the 1700s. A worthy longread, btw:

  2. 1. Isn’t expanding population a definition of success for most species? To the point of overpopulation, anyway …
    2. A rising/falling spiral , with rise diverting sharply upward at the Industrial Revolution – and some uncertainty concerning the next slope downward?

    • Fair enough. To measure “success”, I particularly like (though I do not have the expertise to actually delve into) those “quality ” indexes, which follow the pure MOAR approach of population, or maybe GDP, growth (for example, child mortality, life expectancy and so on).

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