Tag Archives: industrial revolution

States as coordination problems

Economist David Friedman’s theory about the size and shape of nations leads him to postulate that the increased importance of labour income–a result of the Industrial Revolution: one of the ironies of history is that greatly increased propensity to produce capital increases both the scale (through increased demand) and then the average income (through increased relative scarcity) […]

Of copper, tin and iron

The Silk Age of Eurasian trade  may have begun around 220 BC, with the unification of China under imperial rule and the shift to cavalry driving up demand for horses, but trade over long distances began millennia before that. Copper arrives While there is evidence of long-distance trade even among foraging societies–ochre, for example, travelled thousands […]

Can we have an intelligent conversation about Islam?

My recent post about “green on blue” killings in Afghanistan provoked the sort of comments that indicate we have, in the modern West, a real problem having an intelligent conversation about Islam. Not the to-and-fro about the geo-strategic issues regarding Afghanistan, but comments about beliefs within Islam and their possible consequences. The sort of comments […]

The taxman cometh (but only for what he can see)

There have been two great transformations in human affairs. One is the Neolithic Revolution, the transition from foraging to farming. This is a transformation which is still going on, as there are still some foraging groups around the planet (though it is a vanishing way of life). The second is the Industrial Revolution, the shift […]

The divine law disadvantage – Guest Post by Lorenzo

[LE: Something I often wonder about when studying history is: why do certain civilisations develop in certain ways, and others (which are equally technologically advanced, if not more so) do not develop in the same way? I suppose it’s one of the reasons why I enjoy speculative fiction so much: speculative fiction plays a game […]