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Paul Romer: A Theory of History, with an Application

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33noa333 Avatar
Posted: 11.15.10, 01:34 AM
Those who try — improve the human knowledge Like alchemist trying to make gold in medieval times .. They never make gold – but from achemy... chemistry, metallurgy and other sciences were developed. see: mitic climate engineering
nikiwind Avatar
Posted: 08.02.10, 03:05 PM
This is largely a collection of trivialities and just-so stories and some of it is just plain dull. He manages to completely confuse cause and effect of how technology and abundance relate to each other as well as to confuse political and economic surface manifestations with the underlying trends that drive real historical developments. Only an (american) economist could be so naive to come up with a theory of history that is entirely centered on technologies/rules and neglects the much more important factors of resources and ecological circumstances. Usually Long Now picks their talks better.
Andrew Siebert Avatar
Andrew Siebert
Posted: 02.13.10, 04:17 PM
Isn't this basically a "re-branding" of old-school, 19th century colonialism? I shuttered when he displayed the darkened map of Africa, near the end of the talk. This is so very similar to the European justifications for colonizing Africa, in order to "bring light" to the "dark continent." Economists seem to have difficulty with anything other than real human experience. This is a perfect example of the seduction of imperialism. He needs to give this talk in conversation with an opposing point of view, because his juvenile assumptions go unchallenged. Surprised The Long Now Foundation put this on...
Allan Avatar
Posted: 12.11.09, 11:59 AM
Quote: Originally Posted by anava I am registred but each time I watch the video presentation, after about one minute it indicates that I am disconnected from - What is the reason and what is the solution thanks Antoine NAVA If you are having issues with the player, please contact us: What you should do is right click on the player and click "Send troubleshooting information." Then send us the code.
anava Avatar
Posted: 12.11.09, 08:36 AM
I am registred but each time I watch the video presentation, after about one minute it indicates that I am disconnected from - What is the reason and what is the solution thanks Antoine NAVA
Eris Avatar
Posted: 08.06.09, 09:37 AM
I enjoyed this talk, and Mr Romer had some interesting points. However, he is talking about one causal strand, and by no means can this be described as representing the entire fabric of history; however, he did emphasise at the beginning of the talk that this 'theory' could only be applied to specifics, and he did not intend it to be any sort of metatheory. He also admitted that the title of the talk is rather vain, maybe a different choice would have reduced the confusion on this point! I also objected with his use of GDP, as this is not a highly skewed, bad indicator of real financial growth.
ATDavis80 Avatar
Posted: 07.08.09, 10:42 AM
I'm rather surprised to see that this type of thinking is still being promoted by anyone. So much of what was presented is extremely simplistic and selective, crudely liberal, in the classical sense. Most notably the explanation of growth in Hong Kong, free from the particular geo-political and historical circumstances that surrounded the growth of HK and the rest of the E Asian Tigers. Secondly, and more importantly, is the lack of any recognition of bio-physical limits. How long will we delude ourselves that growth is infinite on finite resources? Perhaps in the new 'rules' being proposed here we should establish one that recognizes and attempts to resolve this contradiction.
Vasil Avatar
Posted: 07.07.09, 05:00 PM
I've just watched the whole presentation and have to agree with Alessandra. Speaking of sovereignty, for example. Does Mr.Romer suggest that some developing countries should grant administrative control over some territories to the more technologically advanced countries? This strategy, in my opinion, will backfire as it will contribute to to increased ethnic/nationalist tensions as well as to the great power competition; any of this possible scenarios can turn violent. Although I am not an expert, it is hard to believe that Hong Kong was is a single most important factor facilitating successful transition of Chinese economy. Comparison between countries and companies on the basis of growth as a result of innovation and competition is not appropriate. It's relatively easier for a small company to base their strategies on the ones developed by the leaders, while it is much more difficult for the global South to catch up with the North. This is due to several reasons: lack of resources, incompatibility of values,practices, religions etc It is hard to argue that ultimately combination of people, ideas and technology will drive successful development worldwide. However, new rules and norms need to be recognized internationally. US does a good job in attracting "the brain power" from all over the world, but it will take quite awhile until "new countries" will emerge.
brayfield Avatar
Posted: 07.06.09, 05:23 AM
(Did you watch the whole presentation, Alessandra?) A few ideas I had after watching this: The object of any innovation is "swift perfection". Problems need to be solved quickly, completely. Does the law (written or unwritten) get in the way of that? What is typically called "competition" is essentially the search for efficiency. However, the need for efficiency is readily apparent in daily life. Is the concept redundant? Incomplete? Aside from that, are we really ready to continuously streamline our processes? How do we get ready? _____________________________________________ I think the answer is to unite people - simply - in the effort to research and solve problems. It's what we're here to do. We live together so that we can be safe, but that fact doesn't seem to be readily public. No one has used it, directly, as a means for a unification, or justification, of effort. It seems that we have forgotten why we need to co-operate. Why is that? Economics is more useful as a measurement for gauging an effort's relatively immediate potential for efficacy. "Are there systems in place which are X-ready?" Economics does not account, however, for the fluid potential of a large group - unbound by anything (i.e. copyright, proprietorship, paranoia) other than the most supreme logic - gathering together co-operatively to solve a problem. I'm not sure that has happened yet - or has been allowed to happen, by whatever forces - on an appropriately large scale. Again, I think the best way to address this issue is to tell the truth: "We are weak, and we need your help."
Alessandra Barbadoro Avatar
Alessandra Barbadoro
Posted: 07.01.09, 09:45 AM
This talk is a theory based in economics, but not taking account for other world values, perspectives, and the basic obstacles of humanity. This will go down in the record books with the other utopian visions that were fun to think about but entirely worthless in practice.
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