I plan to send out a list of assorted links, which will signpost interesting things that I have come across recently that relate to Progress Studies.
Also, quick update before the links. I’m writing a post on how AI may impact the labour market. This will be out in the next ten days (I’m in the process of moving).
- Tyler Cowen interviews Nicholas Bloom about Management, Productivity, and Scientific Progress (Podcast).
“He joined Tyler for a conversation about which areas of science are making progress, the factors that have made research more expensive, why government should invest more in R&D, how lean management transformed manufacturing, how India’s congested legal system inhibits economic development, the effects of technology on Scottish football hooliganism, why firms thrive in China, how weak legal systems incentivize nepotism, why he’s not worried about the effects of remote work on American productivity (in the short-term), the drawbacks of elite graduate programs, how his first “academic love” shapes his work today, the benefits of working with co-authors, why he prefers periodicals and podcasts to reading books, and more.”
- “Why accelerating economic growth and innovation is not important in the long run” Effective Altruism Forum.
Sam Hughes (Centre for Global Development) and I are working on a few posts together. One of these is a post on taxonomising criticisms of Progress and Progress Studies. This forum post falls under one of the categories we’re writing about, that being critiques of Progress/growth due to existential risk/unintended outcomes.
- “The Silicon and Industrial Revolution” by Dietrich Vollrath.
Vollrath explains “the underlying idea in growth economics that it is innovations and invention that drive growth in the long run. But the similarity of the Silicon Valley experience to how Mokyr describes the Industrial Revolution experience does suggest that this innovation and invention is less a function of economy-wide aggregate features (e.g. demographics, trade) and more on niche groups of innovators embedded in specific places and cultures.”
Then Vollrath suggests, “You could also file this as an example of the idea that it is better to concentrate your investment and R&D (and education?) rather than making it broad-based.” hat tip Matt Clancy
- An interesting (twitter) thread by Dr Anton Howes.
He suggests that Sebastian Cabot (1474-1557), could be a “possible candidate for [the] most influential person in England in mid-16th century”. Cabot could be responsible for introducing patents, using these to bring in investment to form joint stock companies, and also led a number of foreign expeditions. Anton said he would be writing this up and I’m looking forward to reading that.
- We’ve set up a Virtual Progress Studies reading group.
At the moment it’s hard to get a time that suits everyone because people are from different parts of the world. If we fail to converge on a time zone that enables a significant number of people participating, I was thinking of resorting to do it via a Forum.
- The Future of Humanity Institute, based in The University of Oxford, has opened up its two-year Research Scholars Programme. It has a reasonable amount of overlap with Progress Studies, so I thought that this may intrigue some readers.
- The New York Times has put out a job advert: it states, the person they are looking for “will investigate global and national challenges through the lens of progress, or the obstacles to progress.”
- There will be a Progress Studies Study Group (with an amazing line-up!), hosted by Jason Crawford. I should say it’s $2,400, and $1,200 for students (although even with the discount, it’s out of my budget sadly).
- Would Richard Feynman be able to get tenure in 2020? (question on Quora).
I’m on Twitter @krisgulati, where I tweet about the causes and consequences of progress, economic growth, technological change, and innovation. I have made a Progress Studies subreddit to foster discussion. You can follow my work on the Progress Studies LinkedIn page or the Progress Studies Facebook page.
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