Previous month:
June 2018
Next month:
August 2018

July 2018

The Circa-1870 Disjunction Between Production and Distribution: A Possible Outtake from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long 20th Century"

Il Quarto Stato

Do I have space for this in the ms.? Or do I need to go into kill-my-darlings mode?


3.1: The ca.-1870 Disjunction Between Production and Distribution

In the world as it stood in 1870 there was seen to be a huge disjunction between the growing effective economic power of the human race and the proper distribution of this potential wealth to create a prosperous and happy society. That science, technology, and organization could wreak miracles had become commonplaces. Best friends Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels probably put it best in 1848:

The business class, during… scarce 100 years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to [hu]man[ity], machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground—what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?…

Continue reading "The Circa-1870 Disjunction Between Production and Distribution: A Possible Outtake from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long 20th Century"" »


This is as true now as it was half a century ago when Galbraith first began saying it: John Kenneth Galbraith (1963): Wealth and Poverty: "The modern conservative... not even especially modern... is engaged... in one of man’s oldest, best financed, most applauded, and, on the whole, least successful exercises in moral philosophy. That is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness...

Continue reading "" »


A small partial modification of Galbraith's dictum: Dan Davies: The Tribute that Vice Pays to Virtue: "The single most sensible thing said in political philosophy in the twentieth century was JK Galbraith's aphorism that the quest of conservative thought throughout the ages has been 'the search for a higher moral justification for selfishness'.... Then there are the tricky cases where the rightwingers happen to be on the right side because we haven't yet discovered a better form of social organisation than private property for solving several important classes of optimisation problem..."

Continue reading "" »


The Dire Poverty of the Globe in 1870: An Outtake from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long 20th Century"

I see no way to justify including this in the ms. But should any of it go in? Or does it just belong in some other intellectual project?


The Dire Absolute Poverty of the Globe in 1870

J. Bradford DeLong

U.C. Berkeley, NBER, and WCEG

7,137 words https://www.icloud.com/pages/0-ZwSIf-ES3dfIBtF_dW_DBmQ

 

John Ball (1381):

When Adam delved and Eve span,/
Who was then the gentleman?

From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, he would have appointed who should be bond, and who free.

And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty…

You need to understand three things to grasp the state of the world economy in 1870: that the drive to make love is one of the very strongest of all human drives, that living standards were what we would regard as very low for the bulk of humanity in the long trek between the invention of agriculture and 1870, and that the rate of technological progress back before 1870 was glacial, at best.

Continue reading "The Dire Poverty of the Globe in 1870: An Outtake from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long 20th Century"" »


How Far Will Byron York Go to Defend Donald Trump?

Byron York is useful to Donald Trump for always giving the un- but semi-plausible defense of Trump on which those who want to see or profit from Trump's attempt to remake America into a neo-fascist country succeed around which they can coordinate their day-to-day attempts to strengthen Trump. Byron York will be useful to future historians as a marker of where those who wanted to see Trump succeed in his projects were thinking they could draw the line without losing all credibility. The current line, as of July 17, 2018, is that the investigation is a witch hunt because it has not yet proven that Trump personally colluded with Putin's attempts to disrupt the election: Byron York: Why Trump doesn't admit Russian election interference: "There have always been two parts to the Trump-Russia probe: the what-Russia-did part... and the get-Trump part...

Continue reading "How Far Will Byron York Go to Defend Donald Trump?" »


History and Moral Philosophy: Some Fairly-Recent Should-Reads

  • (i) Free trade, (ii) the industrial research lab, (iii) the gold standard, and (iv) high finance to lobby for peace and channel money to régimes that played by the rules of the game—those were the key stabilizing institutions of Gold Standardism. (i) Labor unions, (ii) Keynesian demand management, (iii) social insurance, and (iv) high-throughput oligopolistic assembly-line manufacturing—those were the key stabilizing institutions of Fordism. So what are the next key stabilizing institutions? There is no guarantee that there will be any. There was, after all, a 33-year gap between the breakdown of Gold Standardism in 1913 and the first clear signs of the successful construction of Fordism in 1946. If we see 2000 as the last gasp of successful Fordism... then we may have a long slog. For who in 1913 would have predicted the future and bet that labor unions, Keynesian demand management, social insurance, and high-throughput oligopolistic assembly-line manufacturing were the key institutions to be building?: Nicolas Colin: Doom, or Europe’s Polanyi Moment?: Polanyi’s... The Great Transformation... is really about the social and economic institutions that are necessary to support the market system and to make economic development more sustainable and inclusive...

Continue reading "History and Moral Philosophy: Some Fairly-Recent Should-Reads" »


The extremely sharp Tim Duy provides us with not a recession signal but rather with a signal that current Fed policy is going to provide us with a recession signal: Tim Duy: Fed Pushing Ahead Toward Inversion: "I fully expect the Fed will continue hiking rates if the yield curve inverts unless there is a clear financial meltdown at that time...

Continue reading "" »


A Britain led by Theresa May or Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbin will not "rediscover its own way... the Britih re most resilient, most inventive, and happiest when they feel in control of their own future". That is simply wrong. And if it were right, May and Johnson and Corbin are not Churchill or Lloyd-George or even Salisbury: Robert Skidelsky: The British History of Brexit: "I am unpersuaded by the Remain argument that leaving the EU would be economically catastrophic for Britain...

Continue reading "" »


The Trump administration and the Republicans that enable it do not understand that disrupting value chains does not get you the benefits in terms of shifting the terms-of-trade in your favor that (with no retaliation) tariffs can in the "optimal tariff" literature when levied on finished goods: Chad P. Bown: "BMW says it will build more of its SUVs overseas and NOT IN SOUTH CAROLINA because of China’s retaliation on US autos in response to Trump’s tariffs..."

Continue reading "" »


How much of the forthcoming announcement of an upward bump in GDP growth in the second quarter is due to people battening down the hatches for Trump's trade war, and will be reversed over the course of the next year? That is what we are all trying to estimate right now: Paul Krugman: Trump, Tariffs, Tofu and Tax Cuts: "More than half of America’s soybean exports typically go to China, but Chinese tariffs will shift much of that demand to Brazil, and countries that normally get their soybeans from Brazil have raced to replace them with U.S. beans. The perverse result is that the prospect of tariffs has temporarily led to a remarkably large surge in U.S. exports...

Continue reading "" »


Monday Smackdown: Epistemic Intellectual Bankruptcy Edition: Paul Krugman/Matt O'Brien/Niall Ferguson

I think Paul Krugman puts his finger on the decline of Niall Ferguson here: Paul Krugman: _"What we have here is an example of a phenomenon I've seen a number of times: the doom loop of hackery...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Epistemic Intellectual Bankruptcy Edition: Paul Krugman/Matt O'Brien/Niall Ferguson" »


Hoisted/Smackdown: Yes, Noam Chomsky Is a Liar. Why Do You Ask?

Hoisted/Smackdown: On the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia...: May 31, 2006: Having made the mistake of having joked about Noam Chomsky and so provoked a Chomskyite troll eruption that was painful to clean out, I believe that I have to make my position clear:

Noam Chomsky is a liar.

For example, Noam Chomsky says:

On the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia, Noam Chomsky interviewed by Danilo Mandic: Director of Communications [for Clinton Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott], John Norris.... [T]ake a look on John Norris's book and what he says is that the real purpose of the war had nothing to do with concern for Kosovar Albanians. It was because Serbia was not carrying out the required social and economic reforms, meaning it was the last corner of Europe which had not subordinated itself to the US-run neoliberal programs, so therefore it had to be eliminated. That's from the highest level...

John Norris simply does not say what Chomsky says Norris says. "Reform[ing] their economies, mitigat[ing] ethnic tensions, and broaden[ing] civil society" is simply not the same thing as "subordinat[ing] itself to the US-run neoliberal programs". NATO moved against Milosevic because he had proceeded "from mass murder to mass murder", not because Serbia was evidence that economic prosperity was attainable by doing the opposite of what the U.S. recommended

Here's the passage from John Norris (2005), Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo (New York: Praeger), that Chomsky is misciting, p. xxii ff.:

Continue reading "Hoisted/Smackdown: Yes, Noam Chomsky Is a Liar. Why Do You Ask?" »


Blaming the Pollyannaish fecklessness of the Bank of England on the feckless indolence of Britain's reporters: Simon Wren-Lewis: How UK deficit hysteria began: "Monetary policy ran out of reliable levers to manage the economy. However, journalists wouldn’t know that from the Bank of England, who tended to talk as if Quantitative Easing was a close substitute to interest rates as a monetary policy instrument...

Continue reading "" »


1870 as the Inflection Point: An In-Take from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long Twentieth Century

Il Quarto Stato

3.0: 1870 as the Inflection Point https://www.icloud.com/pages/0qen52fK3MKE3TlUkF4ViGtFQ: As of 1870 the smart money was still placed on the bet that the British Industrial Revolution would not mark a permanent divergence of human destiny from its agricultural-age pattern. All agreed that the Industrial Revolution had produced marvels of science and technology. All agreed that it allowed the world to support a much greater population than had previously been deemed possible. All agreed that it gave the world’s rich capabilities that, along many dimensions, fell little short of those previously attributed to gods. All agreed that it had greatly multiplied the numbers of the comfortable—that there were now many more people who did not feel the immediate bite of insufficient food, insufficient clothing, and insufficient shelter.

Continue reading "1870 as the Inflection Point: An In-Take from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long Twentieth Century" »


John Maynard Keynes (1926): Trotsky on England: Weekend Reading

Preview of John Maynard Keynes 1926 Trotsky On England Weekend Reading

John Maynard Keynes (1926): Trotsky On England: "A CONTEMPORARY reviewing this book says: 'He stammers out platitudes in the voice of a phonograph with a scratched record'...

Continue reading "John Maynard Keynes (1926): Trotsky on England: Weekend Reading" »


Joseph Goebbels (1932): Those Damned Nazis!: Weekend Reading

Preview of Joseph Goebbels 1932 Those Damned Nazis Weekend Reading

Joseph Goebbels (1932): Those Damned Nazis!: "Why Are We Nationalists? We are nationalists because we see the nation as the only way to bring all the forces of the nation together to preserve and improve our existence and the conditions under which we live...

...The nation is the organic union of a people to protect its life. To be national is to affirm this union in word and deed. To be national has nothing to do with a form of government or a symbol. It is an affirmation of things, not forms. Forms can change, their content remains. If form and content agree, then the nationalist affirms both. If they conflict, the nationalist fights for the content and against the form. One may not put the symbol above the content. If that happens, the battle is on the wrong field and one’s strength is lost in formalism. The real aim of nationalism, the nation, is lost.

Continue reading "Joseph Goebbels (1932): Those Damned Nazis!: Weekend Reading" »


Meredith Haggerty: Review: We Tried Casper’s “The Dreamery” Nap Pods: "Casper opened a pay-per-nap store in New York, where you can use nice skincare products and ponder capitalism until you fall asleep.... Casper’s announcement that the mattress brand had created a space where New York’s tired could take 45 minute naps for $25 was met with a range of reactions.... In my sleepiness I saw an opportunity: to zonk out during work hours and charge it to Vox Media. No one asked, but I volunteered to take an expensive, expensed nap..."

Continue reading "" »


Judea Pearl provides the first good response I have ever heard to Cosma Shalizi's priceless anti-Bayesian rant: Cosma Shalizi (2016): On the Uncertainty of the Bayesian Estimator: "I hardly know where to begin. I will leave aside the color commentary. I will leave aside the internal issues with Dutch book arguments for conditionalization. I will not pursue the fascinating, even revealing idea that something which is supposedly a universal requirement of rationality needs such very historically-specific institutions and ideas as money and making book and betting odds for its expression..."

Continue reading "" »


Cedarbrook Notes

Cedarbrook Notes

American religion, at least white Protestant and Catholic religion, is overwhelmingly a self-righteousness multiplier...

Becky Henderson to me: "You need to read moar Stiglitz on environmental degradation and nature capital...

The principal use of “neoliberalism” as a word is to erase the difference between the Mussolini-love of Ludwig von Mises and center-left technocratic economists who want to get the incidence of policies right. Why? So you can then have more freedom to propose policies that do not make technocratic sense......

We Should Not Call It "Populism": "Now is the time for the second hobbyhorse I promised myself I would ride at this conference...

Is there a good biography of George Stigler? Beatrice Cherrier says that Stigler’s autobiography is still the best......

On My Grand Counterfactuals: The most interesting question is not “do you know?” But “does Dora Costa know?”, which is very close to “is it knowable”?...

The late Rudi Dornbusch liked to say that: "German ordoliberalism was something an economist could recognize if there was a benevolent Kindlebergian hegemon stabilizing the global system.” But if not, not...

Keynes, Polanyi, Foucault, Again: Cedarbrook Notes: "... >...As a product of Harvard’s undergraduate Social Studies program, I realized around 30 that I had been perfectly prepared to understand reality and act in western Europe between, say, 1860 and 1950...

Angus Deaton: "Judea Pearl knows a lot that Jim Heckman does not. And vice versa...”

Needed: A Better Karl Polanyi: I wondered coming up here whether this conference would turn into Karl Polanyi bingo. I am now confident that it will. Indeed, it has. As someone who thinks the master social theorists for the mid-21st century are likely to be Foucault, Keynes, Polanyi, this is not unwelcome...

Convergence Weighting by People Divergence Weighting by Nations: Yes, the world as a whole has become more equal over the past generation. This is overwhelmingly because two very large countries—India and China—have harvested a great deal of the low-hanging fruit of development because of better policies...

Big Questions for Left Opposition Social Scientists: Occupy had zero impact on austerity budgets. Mont Pelerin was not important because they gathered by a lake, sang “kumbaya”, and felt a sense of solidarity. We should not pretend defeats were victories. What can we do? I think there are three levels that we ought to be operating on—all, right now, understanding the world rather than trying to change it: understanding policies, understanding mobilizations, and understanding utopia...

I, on Behalf of the Economists Thinking Correct Economic Thought, Plead Not Guilty: We—at least my fraction of economists—plead “not guilty” to the indictment: The Minsky tradition had the financial sector nailed.... Paul Krugman... spearheading the analysis of how great the risks posed by the zero lower bound were.... Economists had been tracking decreasing competition, increasing financialization, and rising income inequality.... The problem, as Simon Wren-Lewis of Oxford likes to say, is not that the economists did not know what was going on in real time, but rather that they were not listened to...

Don't Like My Neoliberal Party Card? I Have Others!: Don't like the others? I have my neoliberal party card...


Cedarbrook Notes

#cedarbrooknotes
#shouldread
#highlighted
#cedarbrook
#politicaleconomy
#polanyi

https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=OBXCW5H-AZLW_wTXh4fYBg&q=site%3Abradford-delong.com+Cedarbrook+OR+%22Cedar+Brook%22+OR+%23cedarbrook&btnK=Google+Search&oq=site%3Abradford-delong.com+Cedarbrook+OR+%22Cedar+Brook%22+OR+%23cedarbrook&gs_l=psy-ab.3...1247.1247..1674...0.0..0.59.116.2......0....1j2..gws-wiz.....0.sFVHxguNurE


Comment of the Day: Shelly Lundberg: "Re question at the end...:

Shelly Lundberg: Can't disagree with [Matt Notowidigodo's] sentiment but, as others have noted, the first part of that screenshot from @delong deserves comment. Says that tenure committees are making decisions on the basis of whether you spend long hours in the office and have flexible schedules--so bad for moms.

Matt Notowidigdo: Professor @delong says exactly what I've been thinking about recently http://www.bradford-delong.com/2018/07/feminism-in-the-long-20th-century-an-intake-from-slouching-towards-utopia-the-economic-history-of-the-long-20th-century.html. I agree that the "economic rise of women" is one of the most important changes in the last 100 years; it has affected almost every part of modern economic life.

Continue reading "" »


Daniel Davies: Lying for Money: Weekend Reading

Highly, highly recommended: Dan Davies: How to get away with financial fraud: "Perhaps it’s unfair to judge the Libor conspirators on their chat records; few of the journalists who covered the story would like to see their own Twitter direct-message history paraded in front of an angry public...

Continue reading "Daniel Davies: Lying for Money: Weekend Reading" »


I, on Behalf of the Economists Thinking Correct Economic Thought, Plead Not Guilty: Cedarbrook Notes

2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: We—at least my fraction of economists—plead “not guilty” to the indictment:

Continue reading "I, on Behalf of the Economists Thinking Correct Economic Thought, Plead Not Guilty: Cedarbrook Notes" »


We Should Not Call It "Populism": Cedarbrook Notes

2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: Now is the time for the second hobbyhorse I promised myself I would ride at this conference: "populism". I think in his new book, The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era ((New York: Oxford University Press: 9780190866280) https://books.google.com/books?isbn=9780190866280), Barry Eichengreen gives away the arcanum imperii: “I define populism as a political movement with anti-elite, authoritarian, and nativist tendencies...” and “charismatic leaders with anti-establishment, authoritarian, and nationalist tendencies, from Benito Mussolini to Ioannis Metaxas...” The American Populists of the late 19th Century were a political movement that sought egalitarian economic policies: breakup of the trusts, regulation of railroad rates, the free coinage of silver. There is a word for a pro-plutocrat political movement fueled on ethnic and national animosity toward others, especially rootless cosmopolites. That word ain’t “populism”.

We should use “fascism” where it applies. If we do not, we will not have rectified names. If names are not rectified, thought will not be clear. If thought is not clear, governance will not be just. If governance is not just, the people will not prosper.

We should use the word "fascism". It is appropriate.

Continue reading "We Should Not Call It "Populism": Cedarbrook Notes" »


2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: The principal use of “neoliberalism” as a word is to erase the difference between the Mussolini-love of Ludwig von Mises and center-left technocratic economists who want to get the incidence of policies right. Why? So you can then have more freedom to propose policies that do not make technocratic sense...


Needed: A Better Karl Polanyi: Cedarbrook Notes

2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: I have two hobbyhorses I promised I would ride at this conference:

First hobbyhorse: I wondered coming up here whether this conference would turn into Karl Polanyi bingo. I am now confident that it will. Indeed, it has. As someone who thinks the master social theorists for the mid-21st century are likely to be Foucault, Keynes, Polanyi, this is not unwelcome. And this opens an opportunity for us here to actually do something constructive: Polanyi writes horribly. I want to beg for someone here to rewrite Polanyi well—to do for Karl Polanyi what Charlie Kindleberger did for Hyman Minsky, in the sense of explaining what Polanyi meant and applying it to cases. And someone needs to raise the money and run the celebration of the 75 anniversary of The Great Transformation...


Convergence Weighting by People Divergence Weighting by Nations: Cedarbrook Notes

2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: LYes, the world as a whole has become more equal over the past generation. This is overwhelmingly because two very large countries—India and China—have harvested a great deal of the low-hanging fruit of development because of better policies. If you think they will continue to do so, well and good: then you can be optimistic. If you think they will or may well not, then globalization and the rise of a global overclass augur for a future in which the rise of the Second Gilded Age is truly global rather than nationally American.


Keynes, Polanyi, Foucault, Again: Cedarbrook Notes

2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: As a product of Harvard’s undergraduate Social Studies program, I realized around 30 that I had been perfectly prepared to understand reality and act in western Europe between, say, 1860 and 1950. The problem was that I was trying to understand reality and act in America between 1980 and 2030. Question: what should the core theoretical curriculum beat of the social studies like major Aimed at helping people understand reality and act in the world as it will be in 2040? The answer I am currently playing with is: Keynes, Polanyi, Foucault as the core social theory curriculum. But I do not think I have it right.


Gender Issues: Relatively Recent and Worth Reading...

stacks and stacks of books

  • Increasingly it looks to me like a career-interruption and child-raising penalty, as if institutions designed to figure out which men are committed to the job and are thus worth paying to keep are misapplied to women. Alan Greenspan a generation and a half ago saw a market opportunity for his forecasting firm to get more productive workers for the salary dollar. But it looks as though he was and is a substantial exception: Sarah Jane Glynn: Gender wage inequality: What we know and how we can fix it: "Women are still severely limited by gender pay inequality.... Close to half of all currently employed workers (46.7 percent), yet... average earnings of... full time, year round is 80.5 percent of men..."

  • Anecdotes trump data for what I wish were a surprisingly large proportion of male American economists: Economist: Barriers to entry: "In economics, men receive tenure at a rate 12 percentage points higher than women do, after controlling for family circumstances and publication records...

Continue reading "Gender Issues: Relatively Recent and Worth Reading..." »


We Know Little About the Origins of High Patriarchy and the Extinction of Most Y-Chromosome Lineages ca. 5000 Years Ago, But...

Arjuna_and_krishna_in_their_chariot_-_Google_Search

Comment of the Day: Interesting from Graydon. But I do not see textiles as the problem. Yes, in the Odyssey Penelope, Kalypso, the 50 maidservants of Alkinous, Kirke, and the nymphs who are called Naiads are all spoken of as at their looms. Yes, the mother of Nausikaa, the 50 maidservants of Alkinous (again), Penelope (again), and the maidservants of Odysseus are all spoken of as at their spindles. Yes, in the Iliad Khryseis, Helen, Andromakhe, "a woman" are all spoken of as at their looms. yes, Andromakhe (again), "the fair spinster", and Kritheis are all spoken of as at their spindles. Textile work is (or does not have to be) not drudgery—it is (or can be) a very social activity, for to an experienced seamstress or spinner of weaver the cognitive load of the task is not large enough to discourage conversation.

Instead, I blame the Yamnaya: the Aryans, the Indo-Europeans, the Masters of the sword, the wheel, and the bow, who spread fire and sword and the chariot and the steed from Gibraltar and Cape Finisterre to the Deccan and even to the upper reaches of the Yellow River: Graydon: Feminism in the Long 20th Century: An In-Take from "Slouching Towards Utopia: The Economic History of the Long 20th Century": "If you look at the DNA information and compare it to historical timelines, patriarchy comes in after a period of clan-based warfare that wipes out most Y-chromosome lineages and does nothing to the diversity of X-chromosome lineages...

Continue reading "We Know Little About the Origins of High Patriarchy and the Extinction of Most Y-Chromosome Lineages ca. 5000 Years Ago, But..." »


Implications of the Acceleration of the Pace of Growth of the Value of Human Knowledge: An In-Take from "Slouching Towards Utopia: The Economic History of the Long 20th Century"

Nikola_tesla_electricity_high_resolution_-_Google_Search

With November 8, 2016, the Long 20th Century comes to an end. It began in 1870, when the combination of the development of the industrial research lab, the screw-propellered iron-hulled steamship, the submarine telegraph network, and America's openness to (European) immigration brought the world out of the age of gunpowder empires and set it on the escalator to prosperous modernity. It ended in 2016, when the U.S. abandoned its role as Kindlebergian hegemon and as the, at least in its own mind, City Upon a Hill.

So it is time to finish my twentieth century history book, which has been hanging fire for two decades now as the 20th Century seemed to refuse to stop—as things kept happening that seemed to be the continuation of 20th Century processes.

Right now I am working on Chapter 2: Themes. I am making a hash of it. This part of it does not say what I want it to say, and I am not sure that what I want to say is what I should say. Advice, anybody?


2.3: The Advance of Technological and Organizational Knowledge

Continue reading "Implications of the Acceleration of the Pace of Growth of the Value of Human Knowledge: An In-Take from "Slouching Towards Utopia: The Economic History of the Long 20th Century"" »


Feminism in the Long 20th Century: An In-Take from "Slouching Towards Utopia: The Economic History of the Long 20th Century"

Pioneer_Birth_Scene_Pictures___Getty_Images

With November 8, 2016, the Long 20th Century comes to an end. It began in 1870, when the combination of the development of the industrial research lab, the screw-propellered iron-hulled steamship, the submarine telegraph network, and America's openness to (European) immigration brought the world out of the age of gunpowder empires and set it on the escalator to prosperous modernity. It ended in 2016, when the U.S. abandoned its role as Kindlebergian hegemon and as the, at least in its own mind, City Upon a Hill.

So it is time to finish my twentieth century history book, which has been hanging fire for two decades now as the 20th Century seemed to refuse to stop—as things kept happening that seemed to be the continuation of 20th Century processes.

Right now I am working on Chapter 2: Themes. I am making a hash of it. This part of it does not say what I want it to say, and I am not sure that what I want to say is what I should say. Advice, anybody?


2.2: The Arrival of Feminism

Continue reading "Feminism in the Long 20th Century: An In-Take from "Slouching Towards Utopia: The Economic History of the Long 20th Century"" »


Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality: July 11, 2008

stacks and stacks of books

EVERY TIME I TRY TO CRAWL OUT, THEY PULL ME BACK IN!: In short, I trot over to the J-School TV studio as part of the sober, sensible, bipartisan consensus, intending to carry water for Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson. And what do I find also on BBC/Newsnight when I get there? I FIND THAT I AM ON WITH GROVER-FRACKING-NORQUIST!! I FIND THAT I AM ON WITH GROVER-FRACKING-NORQUIST!!! WHO HAS THREE POINTS HE WANTS TO MAKE: (1) Barack Obama wants to take your money by raising your taxes and pay it to the Communist Chinese. (2) Oil prices are high today and the economy is in a near recession because of Nancy Pelosi: before Nancy Pelosi became speaker economic growth was fine--and she is responsible for high oil prices too. (3) Economic growth is stalling because congress has not extended the Bush tax cuts. Congress needs to extend the Bush tax cuts, and if it does then that will fix the economy, and if it doesn't then the economy cannot recover. I am not paid enough to deal with this lying bullshit. I am not paid enough to deal with Grover Norquist and his willful stream of defecation into the global information pool...

Continue reading "Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality: July 11, 2008" »