The podcast is here. And from Wiblin’s email:
…I spoke with Professor Yew-Kwang Ng, a 75 year old Chinese-Australian economist in Singapore who was impressively ahead of his time and I would never have expected to exist. He:
- Was an active columnist in Chinese newspapers in favour of Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms in the 80s.
- Was perhaps the first to write an analytical paper on wild animal welfare/suffering, in 1995!
- Wrote about the great importance of investing to prevent human extinction in 1991, well before this became a mainstream view. He also tried to tackle resulting infinitarian paralysis before this issue was widely appreciated.
- Is an advocate of direct brain stimulation, as a drug-alternative which humans don’t abuse or develop tolerance to.
- Advocated over 50 years for utilitarianism, philosophical hedonism and cardinality in welfare economics and made major theoretical contributions to welfare economics.
- Developed a theoretical basis for interpersonal utility comparisons.
- Since forever has been promoting the correct reading of Harsanyi’s Social Aggregation Theorem rather than Rawls’ bastardisation of it.
- Was a communist revolutionary in colonial Malaysia, but then studied economics and deconverted.
- Figured out about half of what’s distinctive about ‘effective altruist’ thinking, totally independently and on his own well before most people got to the questions.
- Was the first to introduce non-perfect competition in macroeconomics by combining microeconomics, macroeconomics, and general equilibrium analysis into ‘mesoeconomics’, showing that Keynesianism and Monetarism are special cases.”
It made me sad that he isn’t more widely appreciated already, even by people building on his work today, so I made a guide to his most pioneering or influential publications to go along with the episode.
It would be great if you could post on MR and Twitter! :)”