[ExI] Impressive book: Farewell to Alms
hkhenson at rogers.com
Sat Feb 2 05:02:47 UTC 2008
A FAREWELL TO ALMS
A Brief Economic History of the World
By Dr. Gregory Clark
University of California, Davis
This is one of those books that changed my world view, in the same
class as Richard Dawkins' Selfish Gene, Eric Drexler's Engines of
Creation, William Calvin's The Cerebral Code, Robert Wright's Moral
Animal, Robert Axelrod's Evolution of Cooperation and a hand full of
other books mostly on evolutionary psychology. It's not that it
replaces any of these, just fills in a big knowledge gap and is
highly complimentary to my work on the origin of war.
Economics, particularly historical economics, never made much sense
to me. Dr. Clark's work does and it might be called "evolutionary economics."
It makes a case for intense genetic selection leading up to the great
leap of the industrial revolution that allowed England and a small
number of other countries to escape the "Malthusian Trap." and it
makes a case for why this didn't come about in other parts of the
world and isn't likely to.
Like nanotechnology, AI and evolutionary psychology, I think the
material in this book is essential to informed discussion on this and
related mailing lists.
At the least list members should read this short version:
It's hard to have any idea of where we are going without an idea of
where we came from.
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