Sunday Misc and Stuff

  1. “it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the entire region’s population surpassed Europe’s (see below). Now the region is in the middle of a demographic boom that will see its population double over the next 50 years to more than 3 billion. By 2100 half all humans being born will be African… Very broadly, it helps to have competitor states that focus ruling elites’ minds on the intensive margin of good governance — i.e., making the best use of their people. It follows that states and markets need people to get going. Someone has to work the fields and pay taxes or staff armies and bureaucracies. Finally, state-induced economic and political stability can be a catalyst for population growth, thereby reinforcing the dynamics described above.This development will undoubtedly change African countries’ economics and politics. Agricultural land will become scarce. Urbanization will reduce the labor share in agriculture. Higher education attainment will raise citizen expectations while also lowering the costs of mobilization. In the face of macroeconomic and political failures, “exit” (as happened during the 1970s and 1980s) will no longer be a viable option. Increasingly “proletarianized” people who must work to live will demand macroeconomic stability, mass job creation, and social protection from their governments. The rural subsistence safety net for households (and which also doubled up as a political safety valve for ineffective ruling elites) will fade into history…. Given the menu of options available, urbanization and intra-Africa trade present the best possible ingredients for economic takeoff. Ongoing urbanization will create a market for agricultural products. The same urban populations will be a ready market for fast-moving consumer goods.” [An Africanist Perspective substack]
  2. Tanner Greer on the Diminished Democracy, from membership to management argument. “American life did become dominated by centralized and professionally managed bureaucracies. The population, in response, became increasingly conditioned to lobbying for centralized decisions instead of self-organizing. Those who introduced managerial bureaucracy to American life understood the “great strength” bureaucratic tools would grant them. But these tools destroyed the conditions that made them so adept at institution building in the first place. The first instinct of the nineteenth-century American was to ask, “How can we make this happen?” Those raised inside the bureaucratic maze have been trained to ask a different question: “how do I get management to take my side?” The old “school of strength and character” is gone…. The nineteenth-century pattern of life that created it no longer exists. But the features of its social fabric demonstrate what an agentic society with a recognizably modern set of technologies and institutions looks like. This culture was upstream of organizations like the Sanitary Commission, making possible the agentic behaviors of those who founded them. Three features are especially prominent: the aspirational ideal of public brotherhood, a commitment to formality and discipline in self-government, and organizational structures that combined decentralization with hierarchy. These are the same patterns any future culture of high agency self-government will also have to cultivate in themselves and their neighbors. [Palladium]
  3. Argument the the dollar system was never setup to serve just domestic interests and that it has always been built to play a security function [Phenomenal World]
  4. Money and empire or money as empire? [Also Phenomenal World]
  5. Mauboussin is a rationalist? On probability vs confidence and reference classes & bases cases and first order vs second order uncertainties [Michael Mauboussin]

1 thought on “Sunday Misc and Stuff

  1. Pingback: Monday Misc and Stuff | Just Pillows

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