Results for “rene girard”
22 found

Assorted links

1. Gelman criticizes Levitt on drunk driving; Jeff Ely chimes in here.

2. A new method for measuring earthquakes, tweets per minute.

3. Political souvenirs, from Italy.

4. Wavvves is my favorite popular music album this year, except it isn't popular.

5. Germans are happier if they earn less than their neighbors.

6. Peter Thiel's favorite thinker is Rene Girard.

7. Yegor Gaidar passes away at 53.

8. Policy communicators essay contest for $15,000.

Assorted links

1. Felix Salmon also recommends the new Bob Pozen book.

2. Are dreams just exercise for the brain?  I enjoyed this line: “I argue that dreaming is not a parallel state but that it is consciousness itself, in the absence of input from the senses…"

3. Rene Girard on war and apocalypse.

4. How much do (non-related) animals cooperate?

5. Via Kat, why we fall for "fast news."

6. How to improve the health care bill, by David Leonhardt.

View quake reading

Ryan Holiday blogs my email to him:

My reading was much different when I was younger. I would more likely
intensively engage with some important book totally full of new ideas.
Hayek. Parfit. Plato. And so on. There just aren’t books like that left
for me anymore. So I read many more, to learn bits, but haven’t in
years experienced a "view quake." That is sad, to me at least, but I
don’t know how to avoid how that has turned out. So enjoy your best
reading years while you can!

Quine should be on that list as well.  Nietzsche was a view quake in high school, though I find him oddly uninteresting upon rereading.  Here is Ryan’s post on Marcus Aurelius.; the Stoics collectively were a view quake for me, in economics there was Anthony Downs and Thomas Schelling and Albert Hirschmann.  David Hume.  Maybe Rene Girard was the last "view quake" author I read.  On the upside, greater context means that many more books are interesting than was the case before.

Many of you are asking me about Amazon Kindle, the new ebook (sort of); Jason Kottke offers a round-up of opinion.
 

The cultural foundations of capitalism

Sahil, a loyal MR reader, asks:

I
read your blog post about Roger Scruton’s new book, which you praised
for giving a "good sense of just how much cultural background is needed
to sustain liberty."  That’s an interesting notion.  Do you have
recommendation for books that examine this very idea in a more
systematic way?  I’m sure they’re out there, and I’d be interested to
read them.

I’ll offer a few suggestions: all of Max Weber, the books by Lawrence Harrison, Alan MacFarlane on English individualism, Jonathan Israel on the Dutch Republic, Joseph Conrad, Levi-Strauss’s Triste Tropiques, Rene Girard on Christianity, anything good on English history, Hoskyns on Russian history, Albion’s Seed, IQ and the Wealth of Nations, Gilbert Freyre on Brazil, de Tocqueville, Sarmiento on Argentina, Louis Hartz, and John Gunther on America.  The book "The Influence of the African-American Tradition on the American Ideal of Liberty" remains to be written.  Nor have I scratched the all-important and largely non-European notions of liberty from the Nordic regions, which fed into the English success.

Pro-commercial norms are not scarce, as is evident here in Zanzibar.  But those norms get you only to a medieval standard of living; as Mancur Olson stressed, they do not on their own support the structures of large-scale capitalism.  It is harder to convince people to place larger abstract ideas above immediate duties to friends, family, and clan, but that is indeed the central feature of the problem.

Comments are open, what do you all recommend?

Wednesday assorted links

1. “The most terrifying words in the English language are Balaji was right.”  Transcript of his now-famed podcast with Tim Ferriss.

2. Physical formidability and acceptance of police violence.

3. The Martians of Budapest.  And Girard, McLuhan, and Robbins on Interintellect.

4. A contrarian view on voting in Georgia.

5. Don Boudreaux upset at me.  I think on some issues he misrepresents my views (e.g., I don’t claim the age of the Covid deaths is irrelevant), and he pins a whole host of interventions on me that I do not favor.  But to respond to the main point on social cohesion, I’ll make a simple prediction: in terms of social cohesion the American southeast will come out of this whole mess looking relatively good, on both a national and global scale.  Countries such as Brazil and Mexico, which have downplayed Covid risks to an extreme degree, and imposed very few regulations on behavior, will come out looking quite bad in terms of both deaths and social cohesion.  I prefer the response of the U.S. southeast to that of Brazil and Mexico, and the response of the U.S. southeast is (broadly) the one I endorse in the podcast with Russ Roberts (assuming you can’t halt the whole thing early, and no we never should have banned any outdoor activities, etc.).  Don is otherwise a big proponent of comparative institutional analysis, but he isn’t doing nearly enough of that in his critique — social cohesion compared to what?  Which is the alternative that was going to give us greater social cohesion than what say Florida will end up with?

6. “Lego enthusiast explains why the black market for the toy bricks is so lucrative.”  Interesting throughout.

7. Marshall Sahlins has passed away.

8. AEI panel on whether the great stagnation is now over.

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