Institutions, Instruments, and the Innovator’s Dilemma

I have written several posts that use Carol Quigly’s “institutional imperative” as a lens for understanding contemporary events. [1] Mr. Quigly suggests that all human organizations fit into one of two types: instruments and institutions. Instruments are those organizations whose role is limited to the function they were designed to perform.(Think NASA in the 1960s, defined […]

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Crony Capitalism and Stagnation, Connecting the Dots

Ashwin Parameswaran has an excellent piece up over at Macroeconomic Resilience on the intersection of  economic innovation and technological progress, crony capitalism, complex system dynamics, and unemployment. To quote from the post’s conclusion: The Cause and Impact of Crony Capitalism: the Great Stagnation and the Great Recession Ashwin Parameswaran. Macroeconomic Resilience. 24 November 2010. Due […]

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Notes From All Over 2/11/2010

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit – abridged addition this time around. DEMOGRAPHICS The Wheel of History Turns to The Gods Razib Khan. Gene Expression. 10 October 2010. An extremely important survey of global demographic trends over the next forty years.The post focuses on the difference between the birth rates of […]

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Adam Smith’s Invisible Foot

This week’s “intriguing passage” comes by way of Ashwin Parameswaran’s blog on macroeconomics, Macroeconomic Resilience. In his post “Evolvability, Robustness, and Resilience in Complex Adaptive Systems” Parameswaran finds reason to quote economist Joseph Berliner’s book, The Innovation Decision in Soviet Industry. Said Berliner: “Adam Smith taught us to think of competition as an “invisible hand” […]

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Notes on the Dynamics of Human Civilization: The Growth Revolution, Part I

The following series is an attempt to make some sense of that most peculiar of subjects: human civilization. My interest lies in the dynamics of civilized societies: their material needs and limitations, the recurring patterns of geography, social organization, and cultural complexity upon which they are built, and the type of interactions that define their […]

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