Special Emergent Ventures tranche to study the nature and causes of progress

I am pleased to announce the initiation of a new, special tranche of the Emergent Ventures fund, namely to study the nature and causes of progress, economic and scientific progress yes but more broadly too, including social and cultural factors.  This has been labeled at times “Progress Studies.

Simply apply at the normal Emergent Ventures site and follow the super-simple instructions.  Feel free to mention the concept of progress if appropriate to your idea and proposal.  Here is the underlying philosophy of Emergent Ventures.

And I am pleased to announce that an initial award from this tranche has been made to the excellent Pseudoerasmus, for blog writing on historical economic development and also for high-quality Twitter engagement and for general scholarly virtue and commitment to ideas.

Pseudoerasmus has decided to donate this award to the UK Economic History Society.  Hail Pseudoerasmus!


I sure hope there is sufficient editing/filtering on the results of this research. Certainly some of the discovered causes of progress are going to be very awkward for you? Can we be sure that those results will never, ever see the light of day?

otoh looking at it objectivily
the marginal revolution.com is one of the least filtered revolutions around!
we just got 3 completely different postmodern russian spy narratives
on the newsfeed!
-the cnn.com narrative
-the newyorktimes.com narrative
-the cia/government narrative
hey smith college!
which one do you figure is more factual?

she drives me crazy ...

sounds like you need a free hint!

Hi there to every one, for the reason that I am really eager of reading this weblog's post to be updated daily.
It consists of pleasant material.

All hail Pseudoerasmus indeed!

Yep, he's pretty good.


But he hasn't posted on his main blog, last I checked a few hours ago, since 2017. Where does he post now, Twitter?

This blog being titled Marginal Revolution, I will make the case that progress is at the margin, small advancements that over time add up to progress. That's the problem with so-called tech, whose motto is world changers. No, self-described world changers don't advance progress, they advance charlatans. Let's hope that this special tranche of the Emergent Ventures fund adds some sobriety to the frivolousness that has come to dominate what's considered progress among that certain class.

"they advance charlatans. "

+1,I was just telling my wife the other day how this Ford guy and his so called "automobile" are a complete fraud. What right thinking person would replace a perfectly good and cheap horse who eats grass with an automobile that requires paved roads and expensive gasoline.

Furthermore, if I buy two horses they'll breed and provide an endless supply of new horses. When my horse gets too old, I can start riding one of its children. When my car wears out, I have to buy a new one. It's all a scam I tell you.

The tech guys are all charlatans!

Rayward's world, the rest of us just live here.

This is MY world! Brazil is #1!

I respect Rayward more than you do, I think ...

and while I love the little guy this is not his world this is the


Just saying, out of the goodness of my heart, what is Truth

God loves us all

(in case you are not keeping up with what is going on in the comments that was Homeric level clarificationzzz - trust me)

and, thanks for your efforts, but don't ever tell me again I live in someone else's world



Proverbs 8

The cucks will inherit the earth.

I'm no fan of today's tech titans but rayward's extra saltiness towards this group makes me somewhat sympathetic towards them. Somewhat.

Discovering the electron is 90% of progress.

There was a bunch of moneys somewhere, and one of them flew a kite in a thunderstorm. It was all over after that, nothing but progress and invention.

" An important distinction between our proposed Progress Studies and a lot of existing scholarship is that mere comprehension is not the goal...
The success of Progress Studies will come from its ability to identify effective progress-increasing interventions... "

Ahh, so the ultimate goal of 'Progress Studies' is active "interventions" in society to make a better world.

This is precisely the mindset of the American Progressive Movement/Era (~1890-1920), which indeed massively intervened in U.S. society... based upon supposedly enlighened scientific & social science research.

Progress Studies is thus primarily a "political" program with expansive goals.
Sounds a lot like socialism, with highly educated "experts" guiding the highly rational (?) progress of society.

'Ahh, so the ultimate goal of 'Progress Studies' is active "interventions" in society to make a better world.'

Well, a pithier was to sum up 'Progress Stiudies' is simply providing further justification for the rich get richer. Which never sounds like socialism, by the way.

Was just thinking .. in software engineering they identify "anti-patterns."

An anti-pattern is a common response to a recurring problem that is usually ineffective and risks being highly counterproductive.


What are anti-patterns for progress? Cutting pure science R&D? Outsourcing itself? But also low quality research. Certainly scientific fraud. Any ecosystem of "progress" that really isn't.


...oh boy! more obscure jargon. not helpful.

we already know what promotes/defeats progress in human society.
Consider North versus South Korea, for example.
How 'bout Chicago versus Austin.

That's hilarious. You reject the framework that there might be common and yet counterproductive patterns of human behavior. And then you flatten everything into exactly one counterproductive pattern of human behavior.

True. Communist dictatorship is an anti-pattern, as is fascist authoritarianism.

"Special Emergent Ventures tranche to study the nature and causes of progress"

I guess Douthat and Dreher do not qualify!

The West is an idea that encapsulates a lot of progress. Of Liberty limited only by morality and religion. Capitalism, liberty and rationalism; that is, science and technology. And what has academia done to this liberty?

Ah, but what is West of West?

'and follow the super-simple instructions'

Progress studies in a nut shell, one assumes.

'and also for high-quality Twitter engagement'

Seems as if there has been real progress in oxymorons.

'and for general scholarly virtue'

About time to provide Pseudoerasmus a sinecure in a pseudo academic public policy center.

'Hail Pseudoerasmus!'

Wow - that is satire of the highest order following 'general scholarly virtue.'

Tyler, who is Pseudoerasmus? What's his name? I've wanted to know that for years.

So you can finally hail him properly, and not use a pseudonym?

Pseudoerasmus is secretly the Queen of England. Mum's the word.

Queen Mum - got it.

I don't understand the concept. If it's an award to produce something, why donate the proceeds?

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