Mokyr – The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy

Mokyr, Joel, The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy, Princeton University Press, 2002. 359 pp. [cross-posted on Albion’s Seedlings] I first became aware of Professor Mokyr (Northwestern University) when I stumbled across his book The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress (1992) during a period of economic history reading late … Read more

Bourgeois Dignity

I was struck yesterday by a post on Ann Althouse’s blog, and by a Virginia Postrel piece that makes the same point, how wrong Obama was to say “You didn’t build that..” The incident, so characteristic of this leftist ideologue president, is the stimulus for theorizing about how economies work, and perhaps why this one … Read more

Mini-Book Review — Ridley — The Rational Optimist

Ridley, Matt, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, Harper Collins, New York, 2010. 438 pp. Matt Ridley is a well-known British science writer who, in recent years, has specialized in writing books for the general public on new research in biology … evolutionary biology, genomics, plus a biography of Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA. For … Read more

Book Review — Part 2 of 2 — Nisbett, Intelligence and How to Get It

Return to part 1/2 Chapter 8 (Advantage Asia?) is a 180 degree turn from the previous chapters. The author switches from looking at kids facing the toughest of odds in getting effective education and a supportive environment for the enhancement of IQ, to the racial group most identified with brilliance in modern US education. Talking … Read more

Clausewitz, On War, Book 2: The “theory” of war is purely a means of professional formation.

Clausewitz attempted to discern, and show to us, the “nature of war”, in Book I. He discerned that there is a theoretical “ideal case” or “maximum” case, that he calls “absolute war”, a sort of gravitational core toward which war by its nature, will tend. He also showed that this ideal case is unrealizable in … Read more