Sean Carroll recently did a podcast interview of futurist John Danaher on the issue of increasing automation, and what it might mean for future society. Danaher sees automation taking away jobs, jobs that won't come back. In this common view, we're heading for a post work society, where the machines do everything, and we need … Continue reading Our coming automated utopia?
Aeon this weekend highlighted a 2017 article by Joel Mokyr looking at how Europe became the richest part of the world (or at least one of the richest). Historically, there have been many theories, ranging from racist rationals, cultural ones, to it merely being Europe and the overall west's turn to be on top. That … Continue reading The rise of the west and the changing sociopolitical landscape
At least, according to a report by Standard Charter Bank as reported by Big Think: The Standard Chartered Bank, a British multinational banking and financial services company, recently issued a report to clients outlining projections about the world economy up until 2030. The report predicts Asian economies will grow significantly in the next decade, taking … Continue reading China will have the world’s largest economy in 2020
Click through for full sized version. via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. STRICT REDUCTIONIST: Anyway, apologies are an evolutionary survival mechanism and therefore just an illusion.
Worried the world is going to hell in a handbasket? You'll feel better after watching this video, and also get some insight into why you might have thought it was. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm5xF-UYgdg Watching this video also reminded me of something I learned years ago, not to trust numbers given in isolation. Whenever I hear about the … Continue reading Hans Rosling and Ola Rosling: How not to be ignorant about the world
As is quickly becoming usual, Tina at Diotima's Ladder asks excellent questions: Roosevelt and Obama: Did we avoid a Great Depression? | Diotima's Ladder. For the past week I’ve been rushing home every night to catch The Roosevelts: An Intimate History by Ken Burns. I’m not really a big Ken Burns fan. And yes, it’s the fiddle music. … Continue reading The Great Recession was less severe than the Great Depression because we do learn from history.
Click through to see the full sized version, and a popup bubble comment from the author. via Buried Treasure - Existential Comics. If you don't know much about these guys, Marx wants to divide up in the communist manner, Rawls wants you to evaluate societal rules as if you don't know what your role in society … Continue reading How to divide up the wealth
After my post on the Bronze Age collapse and resulting discussion, I looked at other material about the collapse of civilizations, but after doing that, realized that I have some thoughts about what might be necessary for developing a theory about why collapses happen, what areas of expertise you need to have a chance at formulating … Continue reading On theories of why civilizations collapse and our own times
Jerry Coyne blogged yesterday about the trend in articles pointing out the flaws in science, noting that most of the observed problems are in medical studies, most notably in drug studies, and that generalizing these problems to all of science isn't really accurate or fair. I agree, but I have an observation about why some … Continue reading Politics and money equal bad science