Browsing All Posts published on »February, 2013«

The Rise and Fall of Cliometrics, and the Coming Rise of Cliodynamics

February 26, 2013 by


The latest issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education has two related articles, one on Ian Morris and another on cliodynamics. One interesting theme in the second article is the relationship between cliodynamics and cliometrics. Initially ‘cliometrics’ was a faintly derogatory term used by the detractors of the new economic history that arose in the […]

What Happened in Prehistory

February 22, 2013 by


I just finished reading the book by Peter Peregrine, What Happened in Prehistory? Peregrine is an anthropologist at the Lawrence University in Wisconsin. I have known him primarily because he spearheaded the construction of the Atlas of Cultural Evolution database and was co-editor of the nine-volume Encyclopedia of Prehistory. (I am interested in these works […]

Proxmire Strikes from the Grave

February 16, 2013 by


The late (and unlamented, at least by the scientific community) William Proxmire was a US Senator from Wisconsin, who made a name for himself as an uncompromising fighter against wasteful government spending. Except when it was directed to the dairy industry. (source: pd lankovsky) Proxmire is best known for his Golden Fleece Award, given to […]

Not a Feather Shy of Magnificent

February 12, 2013 by


I recently was sent a link to this really wonderful video about birds of paradise. Watch the video, you won’t regret it. The birds of paradise are out of this world: (from Australian Geographic image source) (image source) But beautiful coloration and weird mating rituals are found, although in not quite as extreme form, in […]

The Double Helix of Inequality and Well-Being

February 8, 2013 by


The on-line magazine Aeon today published an article of mine on why economic inequality tends to wax and wane in very long (‘secular’) cycles, and what consequences it has for the society. One of the central ideas in the article was that general well-being (that is, of the overwhelming majority of population) tends to move […]

Questions from a 13-year old

February 5, 2013 by


VKL: My name is Vinh-Kha. I recently turned 13 and am in the eighth grade. I participate in a program called QuEST, which provides to above-average performing students the opportunity to engage in creating projects of personal interest. This year, I am working on a paper on population growth tendencies and how they affect and […]


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