Sunday, July 13, 2014

to understand a thing is to know whether or not to waste your breath in futile conversation with it...,


pbs |  On Making Sen$e this week, we’ve been publishing Paul Solman’s never-aired conversation with economic historian Gregory Clark about his 2007 book,“A Farewell to Alms.” In Friday’s installment, we get to the really controversial part: that genetics may explain why some societies, specifically industrial England, grew economically.

But, first, a recap of the journey Clark has taken us on this week. In the beginning of human history, population was limited by the limited resources to keep humans alive (this is the “Malthusian” economic view developed by Thomas Malthus.) And so with more violence (not to mention fewer working hours), hunter-gatherer society, Clark argued in part one of this interview, was easier than life in pre-industrial England, where material life was harder.

But that changed with the Industrial Revolution. Suddenly, the West got rich. One of the world’s intellectual puzzles has been, why and how did England break out of that Malthusian trap? In part two, Clark explained how human nature – indeed our very patience for gratification – changed as we moved from hunter-gatherer society to 1800.

England wasn’t the site of fast economic growth, as the economics literature has long preached, because of the existence of political and market institutions. No, Clark said in part three, England’s economic growth stemmed from the “survival of the richest;” those who personalities were best suited for capitalism thrived.

And now for the truly controversial part. Those traits, like being materially-driven and being able to wait for gratification (think of the marshmallow test), vary by class, and even if Clark believed (and hoped) that cultural transmission explains the class variance, he saw nothing to rule out a genetic explanation.

Paul Solman: The reason that the New York Times science section did this whole big story on you, even before this book came out, surely is because of the genetic part of this explanation, yes? Is that fair?

Greg Clark: Absolutely. And it is a fascinating possibility. Most of the assumption has been that basically human nature was completed in the hunter-gatherer era, that there wasn’t enough time between the hunter-gatherer era and the modern world for any further significant changes in people’s basic nature.

I think the data from somewhere like England, and this is just suggestive, and also the information about these fairly fundamental changes in features like people’s patience, or the amount of work that people do, at least raises the possibility that there was a further change in people, booting the Neolithic revolution and the onset of the Industrial Revolution.

19 comments:

Vic78 said...

How do you take these guys out when the people that are supposed to help have Scandal parties(these are supposed to be educated motherfuckers)? I wouldn't be so hard on the Black 'intellectuals' if they went after real monsters. They've pegged racism public enemy #1. We have real racism coming after us and the 'smart' people don't say shit. Fuck a toothless Mississippi hillbilly. The real problem is right here. Where's the march on New York Times? They'll go all in on Cliven Bundy. Where's Cornel West? He's part of some prophetic tradition. It would've been badass to go after NYT and PBS.

Vic78 said...

I checked the link. WTF!! They were talking about Lebron James going back to Cleveland like that really means something. I guess MHP said fuck it and just get the check.

As for Detroit, you have Rev Chickenbone at the table to talk about how sad it is that folks don't have water. The people controlling the spigots don't give a fuck about them. The downtrodden had better get uptrodden real fast. They've bullshitted long enough.

makheru bradley said...

Suddenly, the West got rich. One of the world’s intellectual puzzles has been, why and how did England break out of that Malthusian trap? Genetics--LOL. Slavery was the reason, as if they don’t know. England’s defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 made it the dominant force in the enslavement business.

[Slave-owning planters, and merchants who dealt in slaves and slave produce, were among the richest people in 18th-century Britain. Profits from these activities helped to endow All Souls College, Oxford, with a splendid library, to build a score of banks, including Barclays, and to finance the experiments of James Watt, inventor of the first really efficient steam engine.

Liverpool merchant bankers, heavily involved in the slave-based trades, extended vital credit to the early cotton manufacturers of its Lancashire hinterland. West Indian planters built stately homes - some, ridiculously extravagant dwellings such as William Beckford's Fonthill - and furthered the modernisation of British agriculture by 'improving' their estates. Others invested in canals.

The plantations were themselves by-products of a new economic system. Plantation slavery thrived thanks to a consumer revolution that took place in Britain and the Netherlands in the 17th century. In these countries, consumer markets widened as farmers and manufacturers hired wage workers as the best way to expand output and sales.

The fact that farmers had to pay rent, and that labourers needed a job if they were to feed their families, was the germ of a new economic system - what we now call capitalism.

In his famous 1944 book 'Capitalism and Slavery', the Trinidadian scholar Eric Williams argued that profits from slavery 'fertilised' many branches of the metropolitan economy and set the scene for England's industrial revolution'.

His thesis has focused decades of debate and controversy. It correctly identified the very great intimacy in 18th-century Britain between making money from slavery on the one hand, and the financing of British capitalist development, on the other.]

BigDonOne said...

BD would bet all those whining Detroit folks, who had water cut off, had no shortage of pizza, beer, cigarettes, bling....
What's next, 'Crack is a Human Right'...??!

CNu said...

lol, what's next is cutting off end-of-life medical treatment for old and spent lives devoid of any further economic value..,

BigDonOne said...

Hey!!...Cryonics is a Human Right.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryonics

Vic78 said...

What happened was the Axis powers lost the war and the whole world was against them. Nobody had Black folks' back like that. Did the Black South Africans get anything for their trouble after the Truth and Reconciliation? What about the Congo? Did Belgium ever pay the Congelese? Did the British pay the Indians?

CNu said...

lol, Jews devised nuclear fission and nuclear weapons. Afro-trekkies couldn't build a lady finger fire cracker if their lives depended on it, and they do. Evolve or die, and since we already know your ancestor worshipping evolutionary limits, just go ahead and die...,

makheru bradley said...

Your points are irrelevant to Cobb's statement: "Reparations are for Negroes." I assume the Japanese Americans who received reparations via the 1988 Civil Liberties Act are also Negroes.

"Crucially, the Civil Liberties Act pays compensation to the group (surviving internees and their next of kin) on the basis of a group criterion. The Act acknowledges that Japanese Americans were harmed as a group; that they should be compensated as a group; and that they should be made whole economically for the injuries they suffered on the basis of group membership." -- Robert Westley



I assume that the Afrikan American victims of the 1923 Rosewood Massacre must also be Negroes, since they also received reparations from Florida.

Ed Dunn said...

...

Constructive_Feedback said...

BigDonOne:


IF you are going to taunt "Black People" (and I don't know your racial affiliation and it doesn't matter) DO NOT use "Stupid S#&&!" Like you have done.

*** Pizza, Beer, Cigarettes, Bling, Fried Chicken, Collard Greens.
*** Had you said "Let The Blacks Get Their Water From The Watermelons That They Like So Much" - it would have been the same.


WHAT YOU MUST DO INSTEAD - is to put a TIME AND UPLIFT dimension to your TAUNT and then inquire:


"WHY IS IT THAT THE NEGRO IS SO SUSPICIOUS ABOUT EVERY OTHER SCHEME THAT THREATENS TO TAKE HIS MONEY (Subprime Mortgages, "Shopping While Black", Being Charged More For Car Purchases, etc) BUT when it comes to him asking his LEADERSHIP "Where Is The DEVELOPMENT You Promised Us 50 Years Ago IF We Help You Put FAVORABLE PEOPLE INTO POWER To Advance PROGRESSIVE PUBLIC POLICY?" - he loses his will to "Speak Truth To Power"

makheru bradley said...

"I don't even know..." Of course not, what else is new. You've proven your ignorance of history, time and time again.

makheru bradley said...

"Jews devised nuclear fission and nuclear weapons." Sadly those inventions did not keep them out of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Treblink did they. So what's the point, specifically as it relates to "Reparations are for Negroes?" "We already know your ancestor worshipping evolutionary limits." What you know about my knowledge of the Pharaonic Period of Afrikan Philosophy wouldn't fill a thimble. Everybody dies, and often those that wish death upon others die sooner than the others. The demonic spirit has a way of doing that to people.

CNu said...

lol, Bro. Makheru, you've gnawed every last scrap off that history bone and it's not nourishing you or anybody else in the present or for the future. In fact, even you've gotten so tired of gnawing that bone and your cognitive belly so shriveled and drawn up that all you've got to show for that endless gnawing is a shitty attitude and not a gotdayyum thing else to show for it!!!

GTFOH with all that old sour, tiresome, useless horseshit.

makheru bradley said...

If it is so much horseshit, it would be easily refutable. You talking about my attitude: You've met the enemy Bro. Nulan and it is yourself.

CNu said...

rotflmbao..., now a layer of ooga booga added to that other old sour horse shit. Save that for the ignorant little children compelled by their parent or their circumstances to put up with your gas. You can take that mummified thimble of uselessness and put it where the sun don't shine.

makheru bradley said...

You're throwing a lot of nattering nabnobs of negativism out into the Cosmos. When that isht comes back to bite your ass, it's going to be a sad day for you.

Ed Dunn said...

History are for Negroes....

Ed Dunn said...

Reparations is a coward version of revenge. Because the coward cannot execute revenge, they continuously ask/discuss reparations like a punk. And you know the funny part? These cowards talk among us "victims" about reparations, they ain't talking to the actual people who did them wrong.


Cobb is referencing the marginalized black identity clowns who want to talk about reparations for slavery but have no teeth in their bite and just all bark. Woof-woof and ish.