Time for Another Book Project, a Follow-Up to "Slouching Towards Utopia"? Quite possibly. Here is an opening bid...
Before you write another book, first write a screenplay for a movie or mini-series that details the history of the anti-democratic "neo-liberal conspiracy" that captured our society and is the root of so much bad economic thinking by the public even today. It could start at Mt. Pelerin, or even before, and take us up to present. Today, vastly more people learn from video than from dead trees... Personally, I am convinced that this tale could be told in a way that would grip, and horrify, a very large audience.
On takeaway #13-"it's likely that the process of enlargement of the human empire is near its end" - does that begin with a massive debt write off ? Noting - 1) "inflation is a monetary phenomenon"; 2) since 2008 massive amounts of money have been issued to enable politicians to avoid taking hard choices; 3) there was no inflation until recently (why ?? because of tech productivity and global south labour ???); 4) now there is plenty of inflation, (why ?? because the tech productivity and global south about dividends are over, but then again doesn't AI perform this same role ? ) which means 5) interest rates will remain high, which means the high levels of debt are unaffordable which means ultimately there is only one answer - write off / restructuring, which at the very least an extensive and long term pullback from any lofty ambitions the human empire may have had ..... Unless of course AI driven productivity comes to the rescue, but that will present its own challenges to the human project !!!
"...apply science to produce enough to create the possibility of freedom from want." Brad, Amartya Sen's Development as Freedom (as opposed to Milton Friedman's narrow Free to Choose) contains a broader realm of what you're probably thinking in point (2). Freedom is all too good. But "Freedom from what?" is Sen's question, the Development question. Your former(?) colleague, Partha Dasgupta, has a lot in his An Inquiry Into Well-Being and Destitution as well. Godspeed.
"But it wound up taking a lot longer than he thought it would. When he wrote, the process still had more than half a milennium to run."
Ah, the old optimist again. Bacon published The Great Instauration in 1620, and when I consider point 13, I'm not so sure that it will reach the half-millennium mark. Ada Palmer thinks that the research program initiated by Bacon did not bear fruit for two centuries; she considers it a remarkable example of perseverance. I don't think that's true; but maybe if you have an opinion you could write about that.
Professor DeLong has most of this on the cutting room floor from the last book. I'm on standby to help with the editing!!! :-)
Of course, if you came up with THE answer to the Dover Circle question, that would be it, but you are probably in a better place to go after the relation between the productivity slowdown, the anti-Promethean turn in culture and the rightward shift in politics.
And there is no clear way out and through.
True if constraints include "clear" and "through"; false if "no" defines the statement.
Westphalia, Appomattox Court House, and 15 August 1945 were ways out. They did not come about as a consequence of grace, wisdom, compassion, or a pesky infection of the better angels of our nature. What was true then is true now: not that the (da-dump) Decision will be made for us, Deus ex machina-style, but instead (Aba Eban?) "You can always trust the Americans to do the right thing. After they've tried everything else." Global warming, I think, or a quasi-Malthusian allotrope—climate displacement, or flooding, or drought, or a succinct phrase only a military could devise, "food and water insecurity constitute threat multipliers"—will elevate global cooperation over regional competition, reveal the degree to which ego is the substrate of great power rivalry, and force quite the codicil to The Grant Narrative. As for "the globalization that has enlarged our productive division of labor to maximum scope", I'm guessing, of course, but I suspect "you (we) ain't seen nuthin' yet." I also figure existential risk is a yeahbut yeahbut head game. Right up until disasters on the nightly news are happening outside the window.
Then again, anybody can complain. I'm 75. I'm doing my bit to find a way out and through. For one, wrapping up a Masters. Diplomacy. Gotta tell you, it's a far remove from a career in coding. For another, tussling with a prototype. (I thought I was soooo done with that. At least thermodynamics and PM-ing have that "Been here, done this" feel to them.) Borlag, Ford, Whitney. Environmentally beneficent. No pressure.
We'll get there. Where the scope of "there" is equal parts inchoate and large. Cooperation is our superpower.
'Scuze me. I've started Power & Progress. I learned about Ministry for the Future, oh, five minues ago. That's next.
1/3 lof humans are liberals, 1/3 conservative, 1/3 apolitical(independent).
People prefer conservative culture and understand explaoitation better,
Scientists and intellectuals have a liberal bias that non elites are jealous.
Biblical Judaism is conservative, but real Christians are liberal if they listen to Jesus.
There are no winners, just losers.and slouchers
I'll read it 🙂
Book on Henry Simons.
IF YOU DO ANOTHER BOOK, PLEASE GET A BETTER EDITOR. YOU MAY BE THE BEST THING SINCE KEYNES, BUT HE COULD ALSO WRITE.
Finally wrote your last chapter, eh?
Humanity slouching up the Maslow Heirarchy. We're so close to securing that bottom tier across the world, but tier 2 problems keep disrupting it.
Regarding your grand narrative 4 and 5, I just finished reading "The Ministry for the Future", which might well have been subtitled "Never let a climate crisis go to waste." The hypothesis may be far-fetched that a crisis (plus the delegation of authority to wise and benign central bankers and planners) would provide the "way out", but we may see some version of it tested nonetheless.
Yes, there is.
how about the industrial lab book