nhaliday + szabo   24

Unenumerated: How to succeed or fail on a frontier
There is a thread of space development that more closely resembles the pay-you-go methods of Portugal and other successful explorers and developers of frontiers. These involve launching useful satellites into orbit for communications and surveillance. As with the Portuguese, these serve both military and commercial purposes. They are not just for show. Spinoffs of these spacecraft form the flotilla of small unmanned spacecraft we have sent to by now explore all the planets of the solar system, as well as several comets and asteroids. The succesful Hubble telescope is a spinoff of the U.S. National Reconaissance Office's spy satellites. And environmental satellites have revolutionized weather prediction and climate study on our home planet. Recently, space tourism with suborbital rockets has demonstrated a potential to develop a new thread of pay-as-you-go space development largely unrelated to the prior gargantuan manned spaceflight efforts.

The Zheng He and NASA style of frontier-as-PR, where the emphasis is on showing the glory of the government, is a recipe for failure in the exploration and development of new frontiers. It is in sharp contrast to the pay-as-you go method by which tiny Portugal conquered the world's oceans, exemplified today by the practical unmanned satellites of the commercial and military efforts. It is by these practical efforts, that fund themselves by commercial revenue or practical military or environmental benefit, and not by glorious bureaucratic white elephants, that the successful pioneers will, in good time, explore and develop the solar system.
szabo  unaffiliated  history  early-modern  age-of-discovery  frontier  conquest-empire  china  asia  sinosphere  europe  mediterranean  expansionism  usa  stagnation  status  realness  space  pragmatic  scale  mostly-modern  cold-war  discovery 
june 2017 by nhaliday
Unenumerated: Why the industrial revolution?
unaffiliated  szabo  history  early-modern  spearhead  gregory-clark  roots  industrial-revolution  divergence  culture  society  anthropology  age-of-discovery  developing-world  protestant-catholic  embedded-cognition  commentary  chart  multi  institutions  agriculture  europe  asia  the-great-west-whale  britain  anglosphere  values  china  hanson  gwern  econotariat  marginal-rev  debate  economics  growth-econ  speculation  sinosphere  oceans  capital  capitalism  🎩  transportation  law  iron-age  mediterranean  the-classics  broad-econ  pseudoE  cultural-dynamics  galor-like  tradeoffs  parenting  developmental  life-history  malthus  zeitgeist  wealth-of-nations  enlightenment-renaissance-restoration-reformation  property-rights  conquest-empire  modernity  political-econ  microfoundations  ideas  network-structure  meta:reading  writing 
may 2017 by nhaliday
Unenumerated: Genoa
The Genovese were the chief commercial innovators of the later Middle Ages, and if anything was key to their innovations it was their advanced contract law and their commitment to freedom of contract. Nothing showed this commitment more than its long struggle against Church doctrine banning usury, which at the time meant any charging of interest. Genovese contracts "hid" interest charges as profits (which were acceptable) or in exchange rates.
unaffiliated  szabo  history  economics  business  contracts  institutions  coordination  europe  mediterranean  britain  early-modern  the-great-west-whale  capitalism  insurance  broad-econ  cultural-dynamics  medieval  anglosphere  wealth-of-nations  divergence  enlightenment-renaissance-restoration-reformation  modernity  political-econ  microfoundations  protocol-metadata 
february 2017 by nhaliday
Unenumerated: Artifacts of wealth: patterns in the evolution of collectibles and money
This is the first of at least two posts on the evolution of collectibles and money.  The goal is to explore the evolutionary and economic functions of the “ornamental” or “ceremonial” objects that are so common in the archaeological record. In this article, we will look broadly and visually at the patterns of evolution of artifacts, in terms of their material and visual characteristics, of the most common kinds of collectibles -- those objects that look to our modern eyes like jewelry.
carcinisation  history  anthropology  money  culture  essay  insight  len:long  🦀  contracts  postrat  szabo  techtariat  unaffiliated  wealth  cultural-dynamics  fungibility-liquidity 
august 2016 by nhaliday

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