by Tyler Cowen
on January 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm
1. On the importance of Arctic Dreams.
2. The decline of science in the Arabic world, and progress in making a cloaking device.
3. Anticipated 2012 books, and visual history of financial crises.
4. A Whig view of recess appointments.
5. The long run is nigh, and Caplan’s review of Gruber.
The Arabic world’s science may be in decline, but Persian Iran is pushing ahead. Do you remember their space programme that sent a mouse, a turtle and a worm into space last year? And the nuclear fusion which they had announced to have mastered? Not to speak of the regular nuclear programme. And then these Islamic bikes: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/islamic-bikes/
@2: You just have to look at some of the Arab anti-Israeli reflexes to get an idea why scientific progress cannot bloom under such regimes: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/it-was-the-mossad-2/
In fact, a new study shows that a dog will go so far as to follow the gaze of the human on screen when he or she looks to one side or the other—something not even chimps can do.
5. Surely tax increases in a few years have no signaling value for today either. Tangentially, if we really “owe it to ourselves” then we are really hosed. Nominal repayment isn’t going to cut it.
#2 great review, it does not defines the precise causes of science rising and science fall in arab world but this line kept me wondering a while: “it is important to keep in mind that the decline of scientific activity is the rule, not the exception, of civilizations.”
Also, Year 1831 english translation of “The algebra of Mohammed Ben Musa” is available in Archive.org I love Internet =)
3. Am I missing 1907 on the chart or is it mostly Euro-centered?
4. Tsk, tsk. Why should the Constitution be an impediment to the power of The Won? When you are at war with the market, the ends justify the means.
You’re right Obama is the first President to EVER use recess appointments
#2 He takes forever to get to the nub of the rise of Arab science – to wit, it wasn’t really Arab: “the distinguishing factor …was the attempt by the Abbasid rulers to legitimize their rule by co-opting Persian culture, which at the time deeply revered Greek thought.” I’ve seen it argued that the Golden Age was characterised by rather slack application of Islam, especially to/by Persians, and that once Islam in an austere authoritarian form was imposed more widely, that was the end for anything scientific. No doubt my sources are proud Iranians – but I dare say they’ve got a big chunk of the truth there, for all that.
#2 – one of the failures of Arabo-Persian society to adopt outside technology that interests me the most is the disconnect between paper and printing. Obama listed “our mastery of pens and printing.” Hmph – Islam didn’t adopt printing until the 18th century, and then they adopted it from Europe (as the article makes clear). However, they adopted papermaking from China after the capture of Chinese papermakers. However, the Chinese were ALREADY using block printing. Why did the Abbasid caliphate not adopt that? Just because the Koran praises the pen? Is that it?
The Herta Mueller´s book like 1Q84 are alreadya available in spanish. the one by Mueller is even available for kindle already
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