Mongol

Matt Yglesias offers a good review of this excellent movie, which chronicles the early life of Genghis Khan, or one vision thereof.  There are at least two increasing returns to scale mechanisms in this movie.  First, leadership is focal, which tends to bind groups together and make concentrated rule possible.  Winning battles makes you focal and winning larger battles makes you focal across larger groups.  Second, if you walk or ride alone in the countryside, you will be snatched or plundered.  That causes people to live in settlements and also larger cities.  Put those mechanisms together, solve for equilibrium, and eventually one guy rules a very large kingdom and you get some semblance of free trade.  Sooner or later, that is.  The movie brings you only part of the way there and I believe a sequel is in the works.

Comments

Tyler Cowen: "this excellent movie"

Entertainment Weekly: "Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov contrasts images of sweeping landscape and propulsive battle with potent scenes of emotional intimacy in Mongol, his quite grand, quite exotic, David Lean-style epic, a foreign-language Oscar nominee."

Or does your lame claim about EW "apply" only to books?!

I hope to see "mongol" tonight, though the NY Times film critic said it was tedious at times

@me again: Seeing as the original quote is: "I find the grades for books are the least reliable section of EW. Which for me means they are the most reliable section. If they like a book, I know to stay away. How could a critic be better or more trustworthy than that? Too many readers are too concerned about affiliating themselves with prestigious magazines, rather than learning something."

I'd say the lame claim about EW applies to books only. Try and play gotcha somewhere else.

The greatest happiness is to crush opponents of free trade, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women?

Try and play gotcha somewhere else.

Translation: ignore the fact that your claim about books is utterly wrong. Many books that you have recommended received positive reviews from EW. Your original statement is provably false.

What surprises me is your steadfast unwillingness to admit you were wrong. Fascinating.

All this from a guy who talks about the importance of data, confronting contrary evidence, blah, blah, blah.

You have earned a major rotten tomato.

You seem to have me confused with Tyler.

"You seem to have me confused with Tyler."

HAHAHA Me_again/I_prefer_anonymity just got PWNED.

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