"Talks a good game about freedom when out of power, but once he’s in – bam! Everyone's enslaved in the human-flourishing mines."

Tag Archives: history

Highlights From The Comments On Dark Ages

Thanks to everyone who made interesting comments on yesterday’s post about Dark Ages. Several people challenged the matching of the economic/population decline to the “fall of Rome”. For example, from David Friedman: On the graph you are citing, 36 million … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 164 Comments

Were There Dark Ages?

[Warning: non-historian arguing about history, which is always dangerous and sometimes awful. I will say in my defense that I’m drawing off the work of plenty of good historians like Bryan Ward-Perkins and Angus Maddison whom I interpret as agreeing … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 541 Comments

Djoser Joseph Osiris

My recent move has already paid off in terms of increased access to the Bay Area intellectual milieu, by which I mean wacky outlandish hypotheses about completely random stuff. The other day a few people (including Ben Hoffman of Compass … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 61 Comments

The Atomic Bomb Considered As Hungarian High School Science Fair Project

I. A group of Manhattan Project physicists created a tongue-in-cheek mythology where superintelligent Martian scouts landed in Budapest in the late 19th century and stayed for about a generation, after which they decided the planet was unsuitable for their needs … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 858 Comments

Book Review: Seeing Like A State

I. Seeing Like A State is the book G.K. Chesterton would have written if he had gone into economic history instead of literature. Since he didn’t, James Scott had to write it a century later. The wait was worth it. … Continue reading

Albion’s Seed, Genotyped

Last year I reviewed Albion’s Seed, historian David Fischer’s work on the four great English migrations to America (and JayMan continues the story in his series on American Nations). These early migrations help explain modern regional patterns like why Massachusetts … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 105 Comments

Book Review: Eichmann In Jerusalem

[Content warning: Holocaust. This is a complicated and emotional subject and I make no claims to know much more than what I read in the book, nor to be 100% certain I am representing Arendt’s views faithfully.] I. For Holocaust … Continue reading

Book Review: Albion’s Seed

I. Albion’s Seed by David Fischer is a history professor’s nine-hundred-page treatise on patterns of early immigration to the Eastern United States. It’s not light reading and not the sort of thing I would normally pick up. I read it … Continue reading

The Battle Hymn

There is an important law of the universe that American patriotic songs have more verses than you think. The Star-Spangled Banner? Four verses (the second is the one that begins with “On the shore dimly seen…”). America the Beautiful? Also … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 103 Comments

Book Review: Red Plenty

I. I decided to read Red Plenty because my biggest gripe after reading Singer’s book on Marx was that Marx refused to plan how communism would actually work, instead preferring to leave the entire matter for the World-Spirit to sort … Continue reading