Is the Semi-Permanent "Gunpowder Empire" Historical Scenario Plausible? Perhaps Not...

Must-Read: Giles Wilkes: How I learnt to love the economic blogosphere:

Let me introduce you to Interfluidity, the blog of Steve Randy Waldman, a computer programmer now based, I believe, in San Francisco. Waldman epitomises the meritocracy of the medium; without the boost others get from being a professor or an already known personality, his blog has grown from obscurity to significance, purely on its merits. As is often the case, notice by more popular blogs will have helped (notably Cowen and DeLong) but his is a prominence earned entirely on merits. (I also like how he holds back from publishing dozens of posts a day.) Waldman’s posts are long but among the very few I think should be printed out and savoured.