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    Today is the publication date of Hive Mind, a book by economist Garett Jones on the intimate relationship between average national IQs and national success, first and foremost in the field of economics. I do intend to read and review it ASAP, but first some preliminary comments. This is a topic I have been writing...
  • […] Karlin, A. (2015). Introduction to Apollo’s Ascent. The Unz Review. Retrieved from http://www.unz.com/akarlin/intro-apollos-ascent/ […]

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  • At his blog Greg Cochran raises the issue of the Great Stagnation. Basically, GDP per capita growth rates throughout the developed world have plummeted relative to the levels of 1950-1973 (the years of the miracle economy, Wirtschaftswunder, trentes glorieuses, etc). They are however more or less typical of growth rates earlier in the century, substantially...
  • @pyrrhus
    GDP is also heavily dependent upon the GDP deflator that is chosen by the government agency in charge of such things. Not surprisingly, the deflator has generally been unrealistically low, since it is drawn from data that excludes such items as food, energy, college tuition, and taxes. A more realistic deflator would reveal very little or no growth for decades...

    The average grocery shopper gets a regular food inflation shock, regardless of the official deflator numbers. Lower gas prices mitigate that only partially. Those are two visible, replicable data points that shoppers see routinely. Shadowstats website lays that out regularly.

    Who are you going to believe, the GDP numbers or the gas pump and cash register lyin’ eyes?

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  • @anonymous coward

    GDP must be quite tightly linked to material output
     
    Of course it isn't. If me and you exchange IOU's for 1 million dollars, our collective GDP just got raised by two million bucks. Meanwhile the net material output is negative. (We just wasted time trading equivalent pieces of paper.)

    GDP is also heavily dependent upon the GDP deflator that is chosen by the government agency in charge of such things. Not surprisingly, the deflator has generally been unrealistically low, since it is drawn from data that excludes such items as food, energy, college tuition, and taxes. A more realistic deflator would reveal very little or no growth for decades…

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    The average grocery shopper gets a regular food inflation shock, regardless of the official deflator numbers. Lower gas prices mitigate that only partially. Those are two visible, replicable data points that shoppers see routinely. Shadowstats website lays that out regularly.

    Who are you going to believe, the GDP numbers or the gas pump and cash register lyin' eyes?
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  • @Glossy
    Economics is political partisanship dressed up with math-like nonsense. The only real way to arrive at any opinions in this sphere is through intuition.

    My intuition, which I got from looking at what happens in a variety of situations, tells me that a pure libtardian free-for-all cannot work. It wouldn't even be able to sustain itself for a week because soon someone would grab a lot of power and it wouldn't be a free-for-all anymore.

    Command economies can work. I grew up in one, and I know it worked. But they can lead to misery as well. It all depends on who's commanding, what their motivations, loyalties and skills are.

    Limited-market economies can work as well. And they can lead to incredible misery too. It all depends on who's limiting the market, in whose interests, with what skill. As I said above, unlimited-market economies cannot work. They lead to collapse and the reintroduction of limits.

    Read, or listen, to the book Debt, by David Graeber, if you haven’t already. When the neoliberals come gunning for you, you’ll be mentally armed.

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  • @Gabriel M
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_Xw5tWsOQo

    No economic phenomena have one cause, but if you miss out this one, then you're not even beginning to tell the story.

    In regards to Richard Nixon, also my thought.

    In regards to the internet, it is probably a mixed blessing. More opportunities to find, use, and distribute economically useful info; but also a great distraction of looking at pics of cats on Facebook instead of getting to work.

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  • Reusability is an objective metric.

    In a market with competitive bidding for contracts, launch costs are determined by bidding. In this case, SpaceX underbid ULA and offered significantly lower launch costs.

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  • @Anonymous
    I'm talking about objective metrics like reusability and launch costs:

    http://qz.com/757860/spacex-blasts-off-and-lands-its-fifth-reusable-booster-rocket-this-year/

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-spacex-launch-ula-idUSKCN0XP2T2

    Reusability is a publicity slogan, not an “objective metric”. Launch costs are whatever a creative accountant declares them to be, which will vary according to context.

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  • @5371
    [Furthermore, the private US space industry has made significant progress recently towards reusable rocketry, which is the primary barrier to space exploration and which the US and USSR government space programs did not really make meaningful progress towards]

    A "muh gabidalizm" fanboy swallowing the hype whole. Never seen that before.
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    • Replies: @5371
    Reusability is a publicity slogan, not an "objective metric". Launch costs are whatever a creative accountant declares them to be, which will vary according to context.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Gabriel M
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_Xw5tWsOQo

    No economic phenomena have one cause, but if you miss out this one, then you're not even beginning to tell the story.

    Indeed. The financial vampires went off the rails after that.

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  • @5371
    [Furthermore, the private US space industry has made significant progress recently towards reusable rocketry, which is the primary barrier to space exploration and which the US and USSR government space programs did not really make meaningful progress towards]

    A "muh gabidalizm" fanboy swallowing the hype whole. Never seen that before.

    Is that a mutation on Muh Grab-it-all-ism?

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  • Often using things that are measurable is a benefit to understanding. But GDP seems like a concept that may have outlived its usefulness, given the coagulating stratification creeping in. I think GDP hides more than it reveals now that the Financial Class is having its way with us.

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  • @Anonymous
    Glossy,

    Around 90% of students in the US attend public schools for elementary and high school. About 75% of American college students attend public universities. The government also directs money to private universities, and provides student loans to students attending private universities. In practical terms, education in the US is government run.

    The US space program was another government run program. I would not say it was less successful than the USSR's program. Furthermore, the private US space industry has made significant progress recently towards reusable rocketry, which is the primary barrier to space exploration and which the US and USSR government space programs did not really make meaningful progress towards. The US and USSR government space programs had large budgets and were political prestige projects without real incentives for producing reusable rocketry.

    At any rate, I would not say that the US government education and space programs were necessarily worse than the USSR's. I will say that they, like other government programs in wealthy free market economies, tend to be quite wasteful and inefficient because they have a huge surplus generated by the private economy that they can tax. So they tend towards laziness, corruption, and inefficiency. By contrast, the rest of the Soviet economy, not just the education and space sectors, were command economies that did not generate a huge surplus. As a result, they were forced to be more efficient and disciplined in order to produce a decent space program.

    "You appoint artistic people to the appropriate jobs" is not a serious answer. You cannot run an economy that way. If it were that easy, everybody would be wealthy.

    [Furthermore, the private US space industry has made significant progress recently towards reusable rocketry, which is the primary barrier to space exploration and which the US and USSR government space programs did not really make meaningful progress towards]

    A “muh gabidalizm” fanboy swallowing the hype whole. Never seen that before.

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    Is that a mutation on Muh Grab-it-all-ism?
    , @Anonymous
    I'm talking about objective metrics like reusability and launch costs:

    http://qz.com/757860/spacex-blasts-off-and-lands-its-fifth-reusable-booster-rocket-this-year/

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-spacex-launch-ula-idUSKCN0XP2T2
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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Glossy,

    BTW, I agree that the US economy produces all sorts of negative things like low culture and art. But I disagree that this is primarily due to the market. I think it’s primarily due to the command economy aspects of the US economy. The government taxes the bourgeois and cultured segment of the population to pay for the life and reproduction of the segment of the population of lower culture. Furthermore, the government intervenes to reduce the control parents have over their children and their indoctrination, and enforces non-discrimination laws and glorifies and lower elements of the population. There is effectively a command economy in the cultural sphere that effectively prevents competitive subcultures with their own economies being significant.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Glossy,

    Around 90% of students in the US attend public schools for elementary and high school. About 75% of American college students attend public universities. The government also directs money to private universities, and provides student loans to students attending private universities. In practical terms, education in the US is government run.

    The US space program was another government run program. I would not say it was less successful than the USSR’s program. Furthermore, the private US space industry has made significant progress recently towards reusable rocketry, which is the primary barrier to space exploration and which the US and USSR government space programs did not really make meaningful progress towards. The US and USSR government space programs had large budgets and were political prestige projects without real incentives for producing reusable rocketry.

    At any rate, I would not say that the US government education and space programs were necessarily worse than the USSR’s. I will say that they, like other government programs in wealthy free market economies, tend to be quite wasteful and inefficient because they have a huge surplus generated by the private economy that they can tax. So they tend towards laziness, corruption, and inefficiency. By contrast, the rest of the Soviet economy, not just the education and space sectors, were command economies that did not generate a huge surplus. As a result, they were forced to be more efficient and disciplined in order to produce a decent space program.

    “You appoint artistic people to the appropriate jobs” is not a serious answer. You cannot run an economy that way. If it were that easy, everybody would be wealthy.

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    • Replies: @5371
    [Furthermore, the private US space industry has made significant progress recently towards reusable rocketry, which is the primary barrier to space exploration and which the US and USSR government space programs did not really make meaningful progress towards]

    A "muh gabidalizm" fanboy swallowing the hype whole. Never seen that before.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Glossy
    However, there are certain factors that have to be adjusted for, of which the single biggest one is whether a country was communist during the 20th century.

    I think what you're seeing there are mostly the lingeting effects of the thievish-oligarchic capitalism of the 1990s. There are better kinds of calitalism in the world, but that's the kind that the FSU got. The late Soviet system wasn't thievish or oligarchic. Its leaders lived about as well as Western lawyers or dentists, meaning that they didn't steal.

    Another thing that you're seeing there is the historic lag of Eastern Europe behind Western Europe. That's HBD. I think Anatoly made a graph once where he showed the Russian lag behind the West being about as large now as in the late tsarist period. The lag was much worse than that in the 1990s.

    I think Anatoly made a graph once where he showed the Russian lag behind the West being about as large now as in the late tsarist period. The lag was much worse than that in the 1990s.

    This assumes that lag was “natural”/permanent (my assumption is that it is not).

    For most of history Russia – along with everyone else – had been in a Malthusian trap; it just began to escape it a century later than the US and “core Europe.” By the 1900s/1910s literacy and urbanization were soaring, and it had the highest industrial growth rate of any major European country (though from a low base).

    This continued under the USSR, but what happened is that it hit a ceiling at around 50% of US GDP (less in terms of consumer wealth) by the 1970s, and started falling again thereafter. Under a market system, that ceiling might have been 70% or 80%.

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  • @Glossy
    If we’re comparing transition periods to judge the merits, command economies surely look worse.

    I wouldn't say surely. I don't think you realize the extent of the FSU disaster of the 1990s. The number of excess deaths was in many millions. The life expectancy fell by a lot. And stayed down for a long time.

    if only because they tend to be less efficient.

    I don't think they're less efficinet. I just gave you a few examples of bureaucrats running more efficinet industries than the market, meaning getting better results for less money: Soviet education vs. American, Euro healthcare vs. American, etc.

    It’s impossible to know lots of things without people taking risks and some of them taking drugs and dying or messing around with rockets in their back yard and blowing themselves up.

    Obviously, the USSR was a lot better with rockets than its Western rivals. And in market economies all significant space exploration has been done by governments. There aren't that many types of illegal drugs out there. It's been known that most of them are bad for centuries.

    How do you account for all this? And for all the other goods?

    You appoint artistic people to the appropriate jobs. Late Soviet people were dressed better (I'm talking about style) than Americans of that time. It's partly cultural - Americans care less about clothes than most peoples, prefer the casual look, sweatpants and sneakers, etc., even young women don't seem to care about how they look much. Soviet women cared, so they looked better.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the government enforce morals but leave production to the market?

    No, I think the late Soviet production setup was fine. And the market can be fine as well. It all depends on who's managing it, what their priorities are. All existing markets are managed in some way. The people who are managing the Chinese market now are doing it spectacularly.

    The life expectancy fell by a lot.

    Because of a very specific reason: The disintegration of the Soviet era vodka monopoly. Not capitalism per se.

    Health achievements is one of the very last things the USSR could boast of.

    So yes, I think that the GDP tends to overvalue market economies and undervalue command economies, meaning that there’s more consumer satisfaction per monetary unit of command-style GDP.

    This is completely backwards. On paper, Soviet production figures were respectable; approximately 50% of the US level per capita.

    Due to all the waste and misallocations, however, consumer needs were satisfied to a far lesser degree than they would have been under market conditions. Why did those (few) Soviet citizens who owned a car carry their windshield wipers with them?

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  • @Glossy
    Truly unfettered capitalism doesn't really exist, but US capitalism is certainly more unfettered than Euro capitalism. The US healthcare, pension, transportation, education systems are more market-oriented than the European ones.

    If your data set is as both simultaneously small and vague as the US and Europe then I can’t imagine what useful results you can imagine to get from it. Certainly one would be hard put to say that healthcare, pensions, transportation and education are better in Europe as a whole than the US, esp, once one factors in the U.S.’s (for now) uniquely large population of low IQ delinquents and the cost of financing a global empire.

    Capitalism is a lot more unfettered in Singapore than the U.S. and not only is the country prosperous, but it is far superior in enforcing decent standards of behaviour than either the US or Europe, which is why the fanatics at ‘Freedom House’ label it “partly free”.

    The idea that free markets are incompatible with cultural conservatism and/or the maintenance of authoritarian (I use the word in a value neutral sense) norms of social organisation has a a certain enduring popularity, but it doesn’t really seem to be based on anything at all. Democracy, on the other hand, really does seem to be a killer of cultures.

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  • @Gabriel M

    I think what you’re seeing there are mostly the lingeting effects of the thievish-oligarchic capitalism of the 1990s.
     
    Russia is one of the big discrepancies that is doing far worse than it should be, but an even bigger discrepancy is China. More to the point: every single country that had a communist period is doing worse than it should be.

    You want me to name countries that equate money with precious metals?
     
    In principle, fiat money would be the best system. The problem is that it is the most susceptible system to abuse and the only reason to actually establish one is to abuse it. However, that is a distraction from my question: name the countries and historical periods which you think represent "unfettered capitalism"?

    Truly unfettered capitalism doesn’t really exist, but US capitalism is certainly more unfettered than Euro capitalism. The US healthcare, pension, transportation, education systems are more market-oriented than the European ones.

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    • Replies: @Gabriel M
    If your data set is as both simultaneously small and vague as the US and Europe then I can't imagine what useful results you can imagine to get from it. Certainly one would be hard put to say that healthcare, pensions, transportation and education are better in Europe as a whole than the US, esp, once one factors in the U.S.'s (for now) uniquely large population of low IQ delinquents and the cost of financing a global empire.

    Capitalism is a lot more unfettered in Singapore than the U.S. and not only is the country prosperous, but it is far superior in enforcing decent standards of behaviour than either the US or Europe, which is why the fanatics at 'Freedom House' label it "partly free".

    The idea that free markets are incompatible with cultural conservatism and/or the maintenance of authoritarian (I use the word in a value neutral sense) norms of social organisation has a a certain enduring popularity, but it doesn't really seem to be based on anything at all. Democracy, on the other hand, really does seem to be a killer of cultures.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Glossy
    However, there are certain factors that have to be adjusted for, of which the single biggest one is whether a country was communist during the 20th century.

    I think what you're seeing there are mostly the lingeting effects of the thievish-oligarchic capitalism of the 1990s. There are better kinds of calitalism in the world, but that's the kind that the FSU got. The late Soviet system wasn't thievish or oligarchic. Its leaders lived about as well as Western lawyers or dentists, meaning that they didn't steal.

    Another thing that you're seeing there is the historic lag of Eastern Europe behind Western Europe. That's HBD. I think Anatoly made a graph once where he showed the Russian lag behind the West being about as large now as in the late tsarist period. The lag was much worse than that in the 1990s.

    I think what you’re seeing there are mostly the lingeting effects of the thievish-oligarchic capitalism of the 1990s.

    Russia is one of the big discrepancies that is doing far worse than it should be, but an even bigger discrepancy is China. More to the point: every single country that had a communist period is doing worse than it should be.

    You want me to name countries that equate money with precious metals?

    In principle, fiat money would be the best system. The problem is that it is the most susceptible system to abuse and the only reason to actually establish one is to abuse it. However, that is a distraction from my question: name the countries and historical periods which you think represent “unfettered capitalism”?

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Truly unfettered capitalism doesn't really exist, but US capitalism is certainly more unfettered than Euro capitalism. The US healthcare, pension, transportation, education systems are more market-oriented than the European ones.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Glossy
    However, there are certain factors that have to be adjusted for, of which the single biggest one is whether a country was communist during the 20th century.

    I think what you're seeing there are mostly the lingeting effects of the thievish-oligarchic capitalism of the 1990s. There are better kinds of calitalism in the world, but that's the kind that the FSU got. The late Soviet system wasn't thievish or oligarchic. Its leaders lived about as well as Western lawyers or dentists, meaning that they didn't steal.

    Another thing that you're seeing there is the historic lag of Eastern Europe behind Western Europe. That's HBD. I think Anatoly made a graph once where he showed the Russian lag behind the West being about as large now as in the late tsarist period. The lag was much worse than that in the 1990s.

    HBD isn’t all about IQ. There are conscienciousness, altruism, the capacity for hard work and many other things. Eastern Europe lagged behind Western Europe in 1000 AD, 1250 AD, 1500 AD, 1750 AD and today. The only way to change that relationship quickly is to change the population’s genetics, which Merkel and friends happen to be doing now.

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  • @Gabriel M
    Glossy.

    Here is a map of the world by IQ
    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2016/07/09/our-dumb-world/

    It confirms Karlin's basic argument, which is really obvious to any reasonable person, that national IQ is the single biggest determiner of wealth. However, there are certain factors that have to be adjusted for, of which the single biggest one is whether a country was communist during the 20th century. There's your experiment, carried out in dozens of countries over nearly a hundred years. The results are in: you're wrong.

    The late USSR eliminated gambling, prostitution, drugs, homelessness, unemployment, pornography, lending money on interest, etc. because these things were bad. It funded science and high art because they were good. This stuff isn’t hard to figure out.
     
    Russia is a mess. Every social indicator shows this. Putin is making it better (to make it clear I just said PUTIN IS MAKING IT BETTER - so leave me along Russophiles), but Russia is still a mess because of the pile of crap he had to inherit. Part of that was down to the chaos of the Yeltsin years, but most of it was down to your amazing late Soviet model which fell apart for no reason whatsoever.

    Libertardian utopia has never been seen, but modern examples of relatively unfettered markets produce, by their very nature, lots of negative outcomes for consumers.
     
    Say which countries you mean. By definition, a country with a fiat money and central bank does not have "unfettered markets", so I'm all ears. Then when you've done that, I want to hear your solution to the economic calculation problem. You'll be the greatest thinker in world history, so it's win-win all round.

    However, there are certain factors that have to be adjusted for, of which the single biggest one is whether a country was communist during the 20th century.

    I think what you’re seeing there are mostly the lingeting effects of the thievish-oligarchic capitalism of the 1990s. There are better kinds of calitalism in the world, but that’s the kind that the FSU got. The late Soviet system wasn’t thievish or oligarchic. Its leaders lived about as well as Western lawyers or dentists, meaning that they didn’t steal.

    Another thing that you’re seeing there is the historic lag of Eastern Europe behind Western Europe. That’s HBD. I think Anatoly made a graph once where he showed the Russian lag behind the West being about as large now as in the late tsarist period. The lag was much worse than that in the 1990s.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    HBD isn't all about IQ. There are conscienciousness, altruism, the capacity for hard work and many other things. Eastern Europe lagged behind Western Europe in 1000 AD, 1250 AD, 1500 AD, 1750 AD and today. The only way to change that relationship quickly is to change the population's genetics, which Merkel and friends happen to be doing now.
    , @Gabriel M

    I think what you’re seeing there are mostly the lingeting effects of the thievish-oligarchic capitalism of the 1990s.
     
    Russia is one of the big discrepancies that is doing far worse than it should be, but an even bigger discrepancy is China. More to the point: every single country that had a communist period is doing worse than it should be.

    You want me to name countries that equate money with precious metals?
     
    In principle, fiat money would be the best system. The problem is that it is the most susceptible system to abuse and the only reason to actually establish one is to abuse it. However, that is a distraction from my question: name the countries and historical periods which you think represent "unfettered capitalism"?
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    I think Anatoly made a graph once where he showed the Russian lag behind the West being about as large now as in the late tsarist period. The lag was much worse than that in the 1990s.
     
    This assumes that lag was "natural"/permanent (my assumption is that it is not).

    For most of history Russia - along with everyone else - had been in a Malthusian trap; it just began to escape it a century later than the US and "core Europe." By the 1900s/1910s literacy and urbanization were soaring, and it had the highest industrial growth rate of any major European country (though from a low base).

    This continued under the USSR, but what happened is that it hit a ceiling at around 50% of US GDP (less in terms of consumer wealth) by the 1970s, and started falling again thereafter. Under a market system, that ceiling might have been 70% or 80%.
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  • @Gabriel M
    Glossy.

    Here is a map of the world by IQ
    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2016/07/09/our-dumb-world/

    It confirms Karlin's basic argument, which is really obvious to any reasonable person, that national IQ is the single biggest determiner of wealth. However, there are certain factors that have to be adjusted for, of which the single biggest one is whether a country was communist during the 20th century. There's your experiment, carried out in dozens of countries over nearly a hundred years. The results are in: you're wrong.

    The late USSR eliminated gambling, prostitution, drugs, homelessness, unemployment, pornography, lending money on interest, etc. because these things were bad. It funded science and high art because they were good. This stuff isn’t hard to figure out.
     
    Russia is a mess. Every social indicator shows this. Putin is making it better (to make it clear I just said PUTIN IS MAKING IT BETTER - so leave me along Russophiles), but Russia is still a mess because of the pile of crap he had to inherit. Part of that was down to the chaos of the Yeltsin years, but most of it was down to your amazing late Soviet model which fell apart for no reason whatsoever.

    Libertardian utopia has never been seen, but modern examples of relatively unfettered markets produce, by their very nature, lots of negative outcomes for consumers.
     
    Say which countries you mean. By definition, a country with a fiat money and central bank does not have "unfettered markets", so I'm all ears. Then when you've done that, I want to hear your solution to the economic calculation problem. You'll be the greatest thinker in world history, so it's win-win all round.

    Part of that was down to the chaos of the Yeltsin years, but most of it was down to your amazing late Soviet model which fell apart for no reason whatsoever.

    The late Soviet model was doing fine until your amazing capitalist model ruined everything. Well, this particular instance of the capitalist model was run by thieves. Some capitalist models aren’t. But I think that the late Soviet economy was doing fine and didn’t have to be replaced.

    Say which countries you mean. By definition, a country with a fiat money and central bank does not have “unfettered markets”, so I’m all ears.

    You want me to name countries that equate money with precious metals? I don’t know if there are anymore. I seem to half-remember something about Khaddafy maybe threatening to go on the gold standard before he was killed, but I could be mistaken about it. Wouldn’t be snocked if all money was fiat money now. I don’t see anything wrong with the old system of saying that a dollar, a mark, a frank, whatever could always be exchanged for a specified amount of gold. I’m sure that made harder for governments to cheat.

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  • @Anonymous
    The introduction of command economies also resulted in deaths and destruction. If we're comparing transition periods to judge the merits, command economies surely look worse.

    I would not say I'm harmed by junk mail. And the industry of command economies tend to be very polluting, if only because they tend to be less efficient.

    I actually don't think that centralized command by officials is necessarily worse than centralized command by a few rich people or corporations. I think they have the same basic problem.

    Speaking in generalities about what is harmful and what is good is not the same thing as actually comprehending them in practice and producing them.

    I think in general regulators don't know that much a priori, and often what they do know comes after people have experimented. It's impossible to know lots of things without people taking risks and some of them taking drugs and dying or messing around with rockets in their back yard and blowing themselves up.

    Comprehending vague generalities like "pollution is bad" and "better shoes are good" is completely useless from an economic perspective. How exactly does that help someone who needs shoes right now? Different people need different shoes at different times. They lose and wear out shoes at different times. They have different size feet. Etc. How do you account for all this? And for all the other goods?

    It seems like what you're describing is a theocracy with a priesthood that prescribes what is good and bad for the people. That's fine for instilling specific morals and values, but burdening the priesthood with actually managing and producing what it deems good seems like an impossible task. Wouldn't it make more sense to have the government enforce morals but leave production to the market?

    If we’re comparing transition periods to judge the merits, command economies surely look worse.

    I wouldn’t say surely. I don’t think you realize the extent of the FSU disaster of the 1990s. The number of excess deaths was in many millions. The life expectancy fell by a lot. And stayed down for a long time.

    if only because they tend to be less efficient.

    I don’t think they’re less efficinet. I just gave you a few examples of bureaucrats running more efficinet industries than the market, meaning getting better results for less money: Soviet education vs. American, Euro healthcare vs. American, etc.

    It’s impossible to know lots of things without people taking risks and some of them taking drugs and dying or messing around with rockets in their back yard and blowing themselves up.

    Obviously, the USSR was a lot better with rockets than its Western rivals. And in market economies all significant space exploration has been done by governments. There aren’t that many types of illegal drugs out there. It’s been known that most of them are bad for centuries.

    How do you account for all this? And for all the other goods?

    You appoint artistic people to the appropriate jobs. Late Soviet people were dressed better (I’m talking about style) than Americans of that time. It’s partly cultural – Americans care less about clothes than most peoples, prefer the casual look, sweatpants and sneakers, etc., even young women don’t seem to care about how they look much. Soviet women cared, so they looked better.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the government enforce morals but leave production to the market?

    No, I think the late Soviet production setup was fine. And the market can be fine as well. It all depends on who’s managing it, what their priorities are. All existing markets are managed in some way. The people who are managing the Chinese market now are doing it spectacularly.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    The life expectancy fell by a lot.
     
    Because of a very specific reason: The disintegration of the Soviet era vodka monopoly. Not capitalism per se.

    Health achievements is one of the very last things the USSR could boast of.

    http://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/life_exp.jpg

    So yes, I think that the GDP tends to overvalue market economies and undervalue command economies, meaning that there’s more consumer satisfaction per monetary unit of command-style GDP.
     
    This is completely backwards. On paper, Soviet production figures were respectable; approximately 50% of the US level per capita.

    Due to all the waste and misallocations, however, consumer needs were satisfied to a far lesser degree than they would have been under market conditions. Why did those (few) Soviet citizens who owned a car carry their windshield wipers with them?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Do you get the sense that the Flynn Effect topped out with the generation who grew up accustomed to using the Internet to learn and get information while they were still kids? I first got access to the Internet when I was over 40. My daughter got it when she was 8, and the amount of knowledge she acquired that way is astounding – by her teens she knew hugely more than I did at the same age, scrabbling around for it in hard copies in libraries.

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  • Glossy.

    Here is a map of the world by IQ

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2016/07/09/our-dumb-world/

    It confirms Karlin’s basic argument, which is really obvious to any reasonable person, that national IQ is the single biggest determiner of wealth. However, there are certain factors that have to be adjusted for, of which the single biggest one is whether a country was communist during the 20th century. There’s your experiment, carried out in dozens of countries over nearly a hundred years. The results are in: you’re wrong.

    The late USSR eliminated gambling, prostitution, drugs, homelessness, unemployment, pornography, lending money on interest, etc. because these things were bad. It funded science and high art because they were good. This stuff isn’t hard to figure out.

    Russia is a mess. Every social indicator shows this. Putin is making it better (to make it clear I just said PUTIN IS MAKING IT BETTER – so leave me along Russophiles), but Russia is still a mess because of the pile of crap he had to inherit. Part of that was down to the chaos of the Yeltsin years, but most of it was down to your amazing late Soviet model which fell apart for no reason whatsoever.

    Libertardian utopia has never been seen, but modern examples of relatively unfettered markets produce, by their very nature, lots of negative outcomes for consumers.

    Say which countries you mean. By definition, a country with a fiat money and central bank does not have “unfettered markets”, so I’m all ears. Then when you’ve done that, I want to hear your solution to the economic calculation problem. You’ll be the greatest thinker in world history, so it’s win-win all round.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Part of that was down to the chaos of the Yeltsin years, but most of it was down to your amazing late Soviet model which fell apart for no reason whatsoever.

    The late Soviet model was doing fine until your amazing capitalist model ruined everything. Well, this particular instance of the capitalist model was run by thieves. Some capitalist models aren't. But I think that the late Soviet economy was doing fine and didn't have to be replaced.

    Say which countries you mean. By definition, a country with a fiat money and central bank does not have “unfettered markets”, so I’m all ears.

    You want me to name countries that equate money with precious metals? I don't know if there are anymore. I seem to half-remember something about Khaddafy maybe threatening to go on the gold standard before he was killed, but I could be mistaken about it. Wouldn't be snocked if all money was fiat money now. I don't see anything wrong with the old system of saying that a dollar, a mark, a frank, whatever could always be exchanged for a specified amount of gold. I'm sure that made harder for governments to cheat.
    , @Glossy
    However, there are certain factors that have to be adjusted for, of which the single biggest one is whether a country was communist during the 20th century.

    I think what you're seeing there are mostly the lingeting effects of the thievish-oligarchic capitalism of the 1990s. There are better kinds of calitalism in the world, but that's the kind that the FSU got. The late Soviet system wasn't thievish or oligarchic. Its leaders lived about as well as Western lawyers or dentists, meaning that they didn't steal.

    Another thing that you're seeing there is the historic lag of Eastern Europe behind Western Europe. That's HBD. I think Anatoly made a graph once where he showed the Russian lag behind the West being about as large now as in the late tsarist period. The lag was much worse than that in the 1990s.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The introduction of command economies also resulted in deaths and destruction. If we’re comparing transition periods to judge the merits, command economies surely look worse.

    I would not say I’m harmed by junk mail. And the industry of command economies tend to be very polluting, if only because they tend to be less efficient.

    I actually don’t think that centralized command by officials is necessarily worse than centralized command by a few rich people or corporations. I think they have the same basic problem.

    Speaking in generalities about what is harmful and what is good is not the same thing as actually comprehending them in practice and producing them.

    I think in general regulators don’t know that much a priori, and often what they do know comes after people have experimented. It’s impossible to know lots of things without people taking risks and some of them taking drugs and dying or messing around with rockets in their back yard and blowing themselves up.

    Comprehending vague generalities like “pollution is bad” and “better shoes are good” is completely useless from an economic perspective. How exactly does that help someone who needs shoes right now? Different people need different shoes at different times. They lose and wear out shoes at different times. They have different size feet. Etc. How do you account for all this? And for all the other goods?

    It seems like what you’re describing is a theocracy with a priesthood that prescribes what is good and bad for the people. That’s fine for instilling specific morals and values, but burdening the priesthood with actually managing and producing what it deems good seems like an impossible task. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the government enforce morals but leave production to the market?

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    If we’re comparing transition periods to judge the merits, command economies surely look worse.

    I wouldn't say surely. I don't think you realize the extent of the FSU disaster of the 1990s. The number of excess deaths was in many millions. The life expectancy fell by a lot. And stayed down for a long time.

    if only because they tend to be less efficient.

    I don't think they're less efficinet. I just gave you a few examples of bureaucrats running more efficinet industries than the market, meaning getting better results for less money: Soviet education vs. American, Euro healthcare vs. American, etc.

    It’s impossible to know lots of things without people taking risks and some of them taking drugs and dying or messing around with rockets in their back yard and blowing themselves up.

    Obviously, the USSR was a lot better with rockets than its Western rivals. And in market economies all significant space exploration has been done by governments. There aren't that many types of illegal drugs out there. It's been known that most of them are bad for centuries.

    How do you account for all this? And for all the other goods?

    You appoint artistic people to the appropriate jobs. Late Soviet people were dressed better (I'm talking about style) than Americans of that time. It's partly cultural - Americans care less about clothes than most peoples, prefer the casual look, sweatpants and sneakers, etc., even young women don't seem to care about how they look much. Soviet women cared, so they looked better.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the government enforce morals but leave production to the market?

    No, I think the late Soviet production setup was fine. And the market can be fine as well. It all depends on who's managing it, what their priorities are. All existing markets are managed in some way. The people who are managing the Chinese market now are doing it spectacularly.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Glossy
    I want to make myself as clear as I can. I don't think it's complicated to figure out what's good for a society and what isn't. I think most people know it instinctively. When a group of people commands an economy, the danger isn't failure to comprehend that drugs, or pollution for example, are bad, or that better-quality shoes would be good. The danger is loyalties to something other than the common good.

    Libertardian utopia has never been seen, but modern examples of relatively unfettered markets produce, by their very nature, lots of negative outcomes for consumers. There's always money to be made by screwing people over, and the market does not prune that activity much by itself.

    I’ll give you a famous example of bureaucrats furthering consumer satisfaction better than the market. The US healthcare system is much more market-oriented than European ones. Yet the European ones produce better life expectancies for much less money than the US system.

    The late Soviet educational system was much better than the Westsrn ones of its time at every level except for the very top, where it was comparable. Obviously, the Soviet system did this with less money.

    There’s generally a trend of more market-oriented systems spending more money to achieve the same or worse results than less market-oriented systems. Of course you have to make these comparisons HDB-neutral. But if you compare the US and Euro pension, education, transportation, healthcare systems, and if you make rough mental HDB-related adjustments, I think you’ll see that the Euros achieve similar results with less money. How? By decreasing the influece of the market.

    You get more of what you pay for. A more market-oriented economy will produce more economic activity, but not necessarily more customer/citizen satisfaction. Many types of economic activity are irrelevant or harmful to consumers and it’s precisely the job of regulators and planners to eliminate the harmful types of economic activity.

    So yes, I think that the GDP tends to overvalue market economies and undervalue command economies, meaning that there’s more consumer satisfaction per monetary unit of command-style GDP.

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  • @Glossy
    When examining the GDP of non-command economies, there is no assumption that anybody can comprehend or know what satisfies everybody and how to produce that satisfaction.

    Anybody can comprehend what kinds of things are harmful to a society and what kinds aren't. That's not usually the problem. The late USSR eliminated gambling, prostitution, drugs, homelessness, unemployment, pornography, lending money on interest, etc. because these things were bad. It funded science and high art because they were good. This stuff isn't hard to figure out.

    The usual cause of bad outcomes in politics is not a failure to comprehend what's good and what's bad. Instead it's loyalties to things other than the common good.

    All modern market economies are heavily regulated. You're arguing that no regulator could possibly comprehend what would help consumers and what would hurt them? Does that mean that you don't want the nuclear power industry regulated? What about medical drug manufacturers? What about illegal deugs? Do you think that the people who banned them had no business making that kind of a choice for consumers? What about the people who banned slavery? What about hunting people down for their organs? Do you think that the people who made that illegal had no business making that choice for consumers because no single human mind can understand the common good as well as the invisible hand? I think slavery was still widely practiced by Britan in its colonies when Adam Smith lived, so his conception of the invisible hand must have included slavery.

    On the one hand you say that you're not a free market fundamentalist, on the other hand you say that you don't think that bureaucrats can comprehend what satisfies consumers, what's good, what's bad. That latter stance is market fundamentalism.

    I want to make myself as clear as I can. I don’t think it’s complicated to figure out what’s good for a society and what isn’t. I think most people know it instinctively. When a group of people commands an economy, the danger isn’t failure to comprehend that drugs, or pollution for example, are bad, or that better-quality shoes would be good. The danger is loyalties to something other than the common good.

    Libertardian utopia has never been seen, but modern examples of relatively unfettered markets produce, by their very nature, lots of negative outcomes for consumers. There’s always money to be made by screwing people over, and the market does not prune that activity much by itself.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    I'll give you a famous example of bureaucrats furthering consumer satisfaction better than the market. The US healthcare system is much more market-oriented than European ones. Yet the European ones produce better life expectancies for much less money than the US system.

    The late Soviet educational system was much better than the Westsrn ones of its time at every level except for the very top, where it was comparable. Obviously, the Soviet system did this with less money.

    There's generally a trend of more market-oriented systems spending more money to achieve the same or worse results than less market-oriented systems. Of course you have to make these comparisons HDB-neutral. But if you compare the US and Euro pension, education, transportation, healthcare systems, and if you make rough mental HDB-related adjustments, I think you'll see that the Euros achieve similar results with less money. How? By decreasing the influece of the market.

    You get more of what you pay for. A more market-oriented economy will produce more economic activity, but not necessarily more customer/citizen satisfaction. Many types of economic activity are irrelevant or harmful to consumers and it's precisely the job of regulators and planners to eliminate the harmful types of economic activity.

    So yes, I think that the GDP tends to overvalue market economies and undervalue command economies, meaning that there's more consumer satisfaction per monetary unit of command-style GDP.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anonymous
    Glossy,

    I'm not a free market fundamentalist.

    I'm not sure that it's very useful to discuss whether this or that economy "works" or "worked well", since that is very vague and people have different notions of what "working" or "working well" constitute.

    Generally speaking, people regard their childhoods fondly and remember it as a happy time, regardless of the material conditions of their childhoods. For one thing, they have nothing to compare it to, but more importantly, kids are easily amused and satisfied, each day is a new adventure, simply being outside and running around is a source of great amusement and wonder, etc.

    The economy along with an entire political and social system collapsed with the Soviet Union. This was a unique historical event with many variables. Not exactly a controlled experiment.

    Advertising generally comes packaged in things people consume like magazines and commercials. So the people who subject themselves to the advertising aren't annoyed enough to not buy the product. Advertising also provides information, so it's not completely frivolous.

    I agree that there are harmful economic activities, although I think this is primarily due to a similar centralization and monopolization problem you see in command economies.

    It seems impossible to ascertain that "the USSR’s GDP was a more truthful reflection of consumer/citizen satisfaction." The USSR's GDP was the product of orders decided and issued by the politburo. So the assumption is that the politburo was able to figure out what maximized consumer/citizen satisfaction, as well as how to produce said satisfaction. That is a huge assumption. When examining the GDP of non-command economies, there is no assumption that anybody can comprehend or know what satisfies everybody and how to produce that satisfaction.

    When examining the GDP of non-command economies, there is no assumption that anybody can comprehend or know what satisfies everybody and how to produce that satisfaction.

    Anybody can comprehend what kinds of things are harmful to a society and what kinds aren’t. That’s not usually the problem. The late USSR eliminated gambling, prostitution, drugs, homelessness, unemployment, pornography, lending money on interest, etc. because these things were bad. It funded science and high art because they were good. This stuff isn’t hard to figure out.

    The usual cause of bad outcomes in politics is not a failure to comprehend what’s good and what’s bad. Instead it’s loyalties to things other than the common good.

    All modern market economies are heavily regulated. You’re arguing that no regulator could possibly comprehend what would help consumers and what would hurt them? Does that mean that you don’t want the nuclear power industry regulated? What about medical drug manufacturers? What about illegal deugs? Do you think that the people who banned them had no business making that kind of a choice for consumers? What about the people who banned slavery? What about hunting people down for their organs? Do you think that the people who made that illegal had no business making that choice for consumers because no single human mind can understand the common good as well as the invisible hand? I think slavery was still widely practiced by Britan in its colonies when Adam Smith lived, so his conception of the invisible hand must have included slavery.

    On the one hand you say that you’re not a free market fundamentalist, on the other hand you say that you don’t think that bureaucrats can comprehend what satisfies consumers, what’s good, what’s bad. That latter stance is market fundamentalism.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    I want to make myself as clear as I can. I don't think it's complicated to figure out what's good for a society and what isn't. I think most people know it instinctively. When a group of people commands an economy, the danger isn't failure to comprehend that drugs, or pollution for example, are bad, or that better-quality shoes would be good. The danger is loyalties to something other than the common good.

    Libertardian utopia has never been seen, but modern examples of relatively unfettered markets produce, by their very nature, lots of negative outcomes for consumers. There's always money to be made by screwing people over, and the market does not prune that activity much by itself.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anonymous
    Glossy,

    I'm not a free market fundamentalist.

    I'm not sure that it's very useful to discuss whether this or that economy "works" or "worked well", since that is very vague and people have different notions of what "working" or "working well" constitute.

    Generally speaking, people regard their childhoods fondly and remember it as a happy time, regardless of the material conditions of their childhoods. For one thing, they have nothing to compare it to, but more importantly, kids are easily amused and satisfied, each day is a new adventure, simply being outside and running around is a source of great amusement and wonder, etc.

    The economy along with an entire political and social system collapsed with the Soviet Union. This was a unique historical event with many variables. Not exactly a controlled experiment.

    Advertising generally comes packaged in things people consume like magazines and commercials. So the people who subject themselves to the advertising aren't annoyed enough to not buy the product. Advertising also provides information, so it's not completely frivolous.

    I agree that there are harmful economic activities, although I think this is primarily due to a similar centralization and monopolization problem you see in command economies.

    It seems impossible to ascertain that "the USSR’s GDP was a more truthful reflection of consumer/citizen satisfaction." The USSR's GDP was the product of orders decided and issued by the politburo. So the assumption is that the politburo was able to figure out what maximized consumer/citizen satisfaction, as well as how to produce said satisfaction. That is a huge assumption. When examining the GDP of non-command economies, there is no assumption that anybody can comprehend or know what satisfies everybody and how to produce that satisfaction.

    I’ve compared the late USSR to other economic setups. I think it worked better. The post-Soviet economies collapsed after and because of the introduction of the market system. It was the cause of the collapse that killed many millions of people. You can look at life expectancy statistics.

    So in that particular case the market was worse than the command economy. Can a limited market system work in general? Sure, it’s worled in many places. As I said above, it all depends on who limits the market, what their loyalties and skills are. The same can be said about command economies. Their success depends on who commands and what their loyalties and skills are.

    You are the consumer of direct mail. Do you like it? Did you ask for it? One can think of many other ways in which the market annoys or harms people by its nature of maximizing profit. Industries polluting the environment, manufacturing addictive substances.

    You seem to think that orders given by officials would naturally produce worse outcomes than rich people trying to make more money. I don’t share that assumption of yours.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Glossy,

    I’m not a free market fundamentalist.

    I’m not sure that it’s very useful to discuss whether this or that economy “works” or “worked well”, since that is very vague and people have different notions of what “working” or “working well” constitute.

    Generally speaking, people regard their childhoods fondly and remember it as a happy time, regardless of the material conditions of their childhoods. For one thing, they have nothing to compare it to, but more importantly, kids are easily amused and satisfied, each day is a new adventure, simply being outside and running around is a source of great amusement and wonder, etc.

    The economy along with an entire political and social system collapsed with the Soviet Union. This was a unique historical event with many variables. Not exactly a controlled experiment.

    Advertising generally comes packaged in things people consume like magazines and commercials. So the people who subject themselves to the advertising aren’t annoyed enough to not buy the product. Advertising also provides information, so it’s not completely frivolous.

    I agree that there are harmful economic activities, although I think this is primarily due to a similar centralization and monopolization problem you see in command economies.

    It seems impossible to ascertain that “the USSR’s GDP was a more truthful reflection of consumer/citizen satisfaction.” The USSR’s GDP was the product of orders decided and issued by the politburo. So the assumption is that the politburo was able to figure out what maximized consumer/citizen satisfaction, as well as how to produce said satisfaction. That is a huge assumption. When examining the GDP of non-command economies, there is no assumption that anybody can comprehend or know what satisfies everybody and how to produce that satisfaction.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    I've compared the late USSR to other economic setups. I think it worked better. The post-Soviet economies collapsed after and because of the introduction of the market system. It was the cause of the collapse that killed many millions of people. You can look at life expectancy statistics.

    So in that particular case the market was worse than the command economy. Can a limited market system work in general? Sure, it's worled in many places. As I said above, it all depends on who limits the market, what their loyalties and skills are. The same can be said about command economies. Their success depends on who commands and what their loyalties and skills are.

    You are the consumer of direct mail. Do you like it? Did you ask for it? One can think of many other ways in which the market annoys or harms people by its nature of maximizing profit. Industries polluting the environment, manufacturing addictive substances.

    You seem to think that orders given by officials would naturally produce worse outcomes than rich people trying to make more money. I don't share that assumption of yours.
    , @Glossy
    When examining the GDP of non-command economies, there is no assumption that anybody can comprehend or know what satisfies everybody and how to produce that satisfaction.

    Anybody can comprehend what kinds of things are harmful to a society and what kinds aren't. That's not usually the problem. The late USSR eliminated gambling, prostitution, drugs, homelessness, unemployment, pornography, lending money on interest, etc. because these things were bad. It funded science and high art because they were good. This stuff isn't hard to figure out.

    The usual cause of bad outcomes in politics is not a failure to comprehend what's good and what's bad. Instead it's loyalties to things other than the common good.

    All modern market economies are heavily regulated. You're arguing that no regulator could possibly comprehend what would help consumers and what would hurt them? Does that mean that you don't want the nuclear power industry regulated? What about medical drug manufacturers? What about illegal deugs? Do you think that the people who banned them had no business making that kind of a choice for consumers? What about the people who banned slavery? What about hunting people down for their organs? Do you think that the people who made that illegal had no business making that choice for consumers because no single human mind can understand the common good as well as the invisible hand? I think slavery was still widely practiced by Britan in its colonies when Adam Smith lived, so his conception of the invisible hand must have included slavery.

    On the one hand you say that you're not a free market fundamentalist, on the other hand you say that you don't think that bureaucrats can comprehend what satisfies consumers, what's good, what's bad. That latter stance is market fundamentalism.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Glossy
    Economics is political partisanship dressed up with math-like nonsense. The only real way to arrive at any opinions in this sphere is through intuition.

    My intuition, which I got from looking at what happens in a variety of situations, tells me that a pure libtardian free-for-all cannot work. It wouldn't even be able to sustain itself for a week because soon someone would grab a lot of power and it wouldn't be a free-for-all anymore.

    Command economies can work. I grew up in one, and I know it worked. But they can lead to misery as well. It all depends on who's commanding, what their motivations, loyalties and skills are.

    Limited-market economies can work as well. And they can lead to incredible misery too. It all depends on who's limiting the market, in whose interests, with what skill. As I said above, unlimited-market economies cannot work. They lead to collapse and the reintroduction of limits.

    a pure libtardian free-for-all cannot work

    LibERtardian. Typo. Although I’m sure that a pure libtardian free-for-all wouldn’t work either.

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  • @Glossy
    Oh, and by the way, the validity of this experiment was increased by the fact that the country was split into 15 new nations right when it occurred. And the economy collapsed in all 15 of them, yes, without a single exception, after the command economy was abolished. Actually, all of the eastern European economies went into a crisis at this time as well.

    These economies have since bounced back, as measured by the GDP, but you have to realize that the GDP overvalues the lassaiz faire system. Many types of economic activity that are harmful to consumers' well-being (gambling, stock speculation, advertising, porn, etc.) contribute to the GDP in non-command economies, but did not exist at all in the USSR's command economy.

    In other words, in capitalist economies you can add to the GDP by annoying and harming consumers. You couldn't do that in the USSR. So the USSR's GDP was a more truthful reflection of consumer/citizen satisfaction.

    To summarize: the introduction of capitalism caused a collapse in all the economies where it happened. We're talking about at least a couple dozen different countries. The more separate cases, the stronger the test. There's been an improvement after that collapse, as measured by the GDP, but GDP overvalues the extent of that improvement.

    The bounceback in the most inportant areas from the civilizationist perspective - science, technology and high art - was the most modest of all. None of the post-Soviet countries are contributing anywhere near as much to science and technology as they did under the command economy.

    Economics is political partisanship dressed up with math-like nonsense. The only real way to arrive at any opinions in this sphere is through intuition.

    My intuition, which I got from looking at what happens in a variety of situations, tells me that a pure libtardian free-for-all cannot work. It wouldn’t even be able to sustain itself for a week because soon someone would grab a lot of power and it wouldn’t be a free-for-all anymore.

    Command economies can work. I grew up in one, and I know it worked. But they can lead to misery as well. It all depends on who’s commanding, what their motivations, loyalties and skills are.

    Limited-market economies can work as well. And they can lead to incredible misery too. It all depends on who’s limiting the market, in whose interests, with what skill. As I said above, unlimited-market economies cannot work. They lead to collapse and the reintroduction of limits.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    a pure libtardian free-for-all cannot work

    LibERtardian. Typo. Although I'm sure that a pure libtardian free-for-all wouldn't work either.
    , @TomSchmidt
    Read, or listen, to the book Debt, by David Graeber, if you haven't already. When the neoliberals come gunning for you, you'll be mentally armed.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Glossy
    The 1990s in Russia showed that the command economy works. It's a very simple thing. The economy worked well in the 1980, when it was commnad. And it collapsed in the 1990s, after it stopped being command. I know that's not what you've been told, but you were told a lie. Those who saw is happen tend to think that the command economy works better than laissez-faire. A ceteris paribus experiment was arranged before my eyes. And, all else, equal, laissez faire lost.

    Oh, and by the way, the validity of this experiment was increased by the fact that the country was split into 15 new nations right when it occurred. And the economy collapsed in all 15 of them, yes, without a single exception, after the command economy was abolished. Actually, all of the eastern European economies went into a crisis at this time as well.

    These economies have since bounced back, as measured by the GDP, but you have to realize that the GDP overvalues the lassaiz faire system. Many types of economic activity that are harmful to consumers’ well-being (gambling, stock speculation, advertising, porn, etc.) contribute to the GDP in non-command economies, but did not exist at all in the USSR’s command economy.

    In other words, in capitalist economies you can add to the GDP by annoying and harming consumers. You couldn’t do that in the USSR. So the USSR’s GDP was a more truthful reflection of consumer/citizen satisfaction.

    To summarize: the introduction of capitalism caused a collapse in all the economies where it happened. We’re talking about at least a couple dozen different countries. The more separate cases, the stronger the test. There’s been an improvement after that collapse, as measured by the GDP, but GDP overvalues the extent of that improvement.

    The bounceback in the most inportant areas from the civilizationist perspective – science, technology and high art – was the most modest of all. None of the post-Soviet countries are contributing anywhere near as much to science and technology as they did under the command economy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Economics is political partisanship dressed up with math-like nonsense. The only real way to arrive at any opinions in this sphere is through intuition.

    My intuition, which I got from looking at what happens in a variety of situations, tells me that a pure libtardian free-for-all cannot work. It wouldn't even be able to sustain itself for a week because soon someone would grab a lot of power and it wouldn't be a free-for-all anymore.

    Command economies can work. I grew up in one, and I know it worked. But they can lead to misery as well. It all depends on who's commanding, what their motivations, loyalties and skills are.

    Limited-market economies can work as well. And they can lead to incredible misery too. It all depends on who's limiting the market, in whose interests, with what skill. As I said above, unlimited-market economies cannot work. They lead to collapse and the reintroduction of limits.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anonymous
    But the command economy model where a centralized body tries to decide what is valuable and then tries to force some concrete, material standard and quantity of output doesn't work.

    The reason we use GDP as a measure of standard of living is because it's a measure of spending by consumers and businesses for things they regard as valuable.

    The reason we use GDP as a measure of standard of living is because it’s a measure of spending by consumers and businesses for things they regard as valuable.

    This isn’t true. For example, most consumers regard advertising as an annoyance. Many types of economic activity harm many times more people than they benefit. The overall impact on society of many types of economic activity is negative.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anonymous
    But the command economy model where a centralized body tries to decide what is valuable and then tries to force some concrete, material standard and quantity of output doesn't work.

    The reason we use GDP as a measure of standard of living is because it's a measure of spending by consumers and businesses for things they regard as valuable.

    The 1990s in Russia showed that the command economy works. It’s a very simple thing. The economy worked well in the 1980, when it was commnad. And it collapsed in the 1990s, after it stopped being command. I know that’s not what you’ve been told, but you were told a lie. Those who saw is happen tend to think that the command economy works better than laissez-faire. A ceteris paribus experiment was arranged before my eyes. And, all else, equal, laissez faire lost.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Oh, and by the way, the validity of this experiment was increased by the fact that the country was split into 15 new nations right when it occurred. And the economy collapsed in all 15 of them, yes, without a single exception, after the command economy was abolished. Actually, all of the eastern European economies went into a crisis at this time as well.

    These economies have since bounced back, as measured by the GDP, but you have to realize that the GDP overvalues the lassaiz faire system. Many types of economic activity that are harmful to consumers' well-being (gambling, stock speculation, advertising, porn, etc.) contribute to the GDP in non-command economies, but did not exist at all in the USSR's command economy.

    In other words, in capitalist economies you can add to the GDP by annoying and harming consumers. You couldn't do that in the USSR. So the USSR's GDP was a more truthful reflection of consumer/citizen satisfaction.

    To summarize: the introduction of capitalism caused a collapse in all the economies where it happened. We're talking about at least a couple dozen different countries. The more separate cases, the stronger the test. There's been an improvement after that collapse, as measured by the GDP, but GDP overvalues the extent of that improvement.

    The bounceback in the most inportant areas from the civilizationist perspective - science, technology and high art - was the most modest of all. None of the post-Soviet countries are contributing anywhere near as much to science and technology as they did under the command economy.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Anatoly,

    If you ever have the time, it might be interesting if you reviewed Joe Studwell’s book “How Asia Works”, which came out a couple years ago:

    https://www.amazon.com/How-Asia-Works-Joe-Studwell/dp/0802121322

    In it, he talks about the importance of land reform, which is a factor that most economists and writers on this topic tend to ignore. The land reforms took land previously concentrated by a few landlords and distributed them as smaller plots to owner-farmers who farmed the land themselves. These smaller plots run and worked by the owner-farmers increased agricultural yields, and the owner-farmers used the surplus to engage in entrepreneurial activity and industry.

    Note that the communist land reforms did the opposite – they collectivized the farms and replaced all the landlords with one landlord, the government, and turned everyone into landless serfs. They were indeed worse than the previous situations that prevailed in the newly communist countries because they concentrated land ownership even more, and eliminated the small class of owner-farmers that they did have.

    The 19th century American economist Henry George, whose book “Progress and Poverty” was the most popular economics book and one of the most popular books overall in the 19th century, wrote about the importance of land and rent concentration in impeding economic progress. We may be in a similar situation now where land and more broadly wealth concentration is starting to slow down economic growth and progress.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Glossy
    More of the obvious stuff: more resources could be put into science and technology. Right now a large share of the smart fraction speculates in stocks or babbles about pseudoscience. Governments could attract them to real science and technology instead with financial rewards.

    But the command economy model where a centralized body tries to decide what is valuable and then tries to force some concrete, material standard and quantity of output doesn’t work.

    The reason we use GDP as a measure of standard of living is because it’s a measure of spending by consumers and businesses for things they regard as valuable.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    The 1990s in Russia showed that the command economy works. It's a very simple thing. The economy worked well in the 1980, when it was commnad. And it collapsed in the 1990s, after it stopped being command. I know that's not what you've been told, but you were told a lie. Those who saw is happen tend to think that the command economy works better than laissez-faire. A ceteris paribus experiment was arranged before my eyes. And, all else, equal, laissez faire lost.
    , @Glossy
    The reason we use GDP as a measure of standard of living is because it’s a measure of spending by consumers and businesses for things they regard as valuable.

    This isn't true. For example, most consumers regard advertising as an annoyance. Many types of economic activity harm many times more people than they benefit. The overall impact on society of many types of economic activity is negative.
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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous coward

    GDP must be quite tightly linked to material output
     
    Of course it isn't. If me and you exchange IOU's for 1 million dollars, our collective GDP just got raised by two million bucks. Meanwhile the net material output is negative. (We just wasted time trading equivalent pieces of paper.)

    That’s not counted in GDP:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gdp#Components_of_GDP_by_expenditure

    In contrast to its colloquial meaning, “investment” in GDP does not mean purchases of financial products. Buying financial products is classed as ‘saving’, as opposed to investment. This avoids double-counting: if one buys shares in a company, and the company uses the money received to buy plant, equipment, etc., the amount will be counted toward GDP when the company spends the money on those things; to also count it when one gives it to the company would be to count two times an amount that only corresponds to one group of products.

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  • Another factor that partly explains the boom of 1950-1973 is energy. Hydrocarbon (oil and gas) consumption doubled every 10 years during that period and rose from being a fringe fuel besides coal and wood to become widely used all over the world. The advantage of oil over coal is that it can be shipped much more efficiently, meaning that after 1950, the development of industry wasn’t tied to the country being both rich in energy and human capital but only in human capital anymore. Therfore, rapid development finally was possible in high-IQ but resource poor countries like Japan, Korea but also in Southern Europe. Brazil and mexico also developed rapidly, but soon hit the glass ceiling.

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    • Agree: BB753
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  • It’s not just economic growth that has fallen. In the West, many indicators of societal health have fallen since about 1975.
    Obesity has gone up, test scores have gone down, “social cohesion” in the US has fallen (as documented in Bowling Alone), divorce rates have risen, depression rates have risen, sperm counts have fallen, fertility has fallen, etc etc.
    (It should be noted, of course, that spectacular technological advancement has led to decreases in child mortality and increases in lifespans.)

    The West seems to be experiencing civilizational decline on a grand scale.

    As to why that decline is occurring, it seems reasonable to believe that a loss of understanding of something like “human nature” (however one wants to define that) would cause grave societal problems; and that the West has experienced exactly such a loss. For example, nowadays many argue that there is no such thing as “human nature” – e.g. many claim that boys are the same as girls and so on and so forth.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Chiang Kai-shek gave Chinese Taipei a (real) demographic transition and mass literacy, plus quadruple the GDP per capita.

    I think a lot of the Chinese elite fled with Chiang to Taiwan. The presence of those people must have given a boost to Taiwan’s economy.

    The Mao period wasn’t economically successful, but he preserved China’s independence from Japan, the USSR and the US. People have always been willing to sacrifice material comforts, and acually their lives too, for independence. Japan, Taiwan and South Korea aren’t independent.

    There are so few truly independent countries on earth that each instance of real sovereignty is an impressive achievement. Who knows what dangers China may escape in the future, what benefits it might reap, because it preserved its independence?

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  • @Glossy
    Could institutions be improved? Yes, of course. Some types of economic activity are useful to society and some are harmful. More of the harmful types could be banned. Advertising, a lot of what Wall St. does. More kinds of poisons and sources of addiction could be banned. More resources could be allocated to fighting the poisons and sources of addiction that are aready banned.

    All of that would improve the standard of living. Most of it would decrease the GDP though. A lot of the economic activity that's reflected in the GDP is harmful to society.

    More of the obvious stuff: more resources could be put into science and technology. Right now a large share of the smart fraction speculates in stocks or babbles about pseudoscience. Governments could attract them to real science and technology instead with financial rewards.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    But the command economy model where a centralized body tries to decide what is valuable and then tries to force some concrete, material standard and quantity of output doesn't work.

    The reason we use GDP as a measure of standard of living is because it's a measure of spending by consumers and businesses for things they regard as valuable.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Could institutions be improved? Yes, of course. Some types of economic activity are useful to society and some are harmful. More of the harmful types could be banned. Advertising, a lot of what Wall St. does. More kinds of poisons and sources of addiction could be banned. More resources could be allocated to fighting the poisons and sources of addiction that are aready banned.

    All of that would improve the standard of living. Most of it would decrease the GDP though. A lot of the economic activity that’s reflected in the GDP is harmful to society.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    More of the obvious stuff: more resources could be put into science and technology. Right now a large share of the smart fraction speculates in stocks or babbles about pseudoscience. Governments could attract them to real science and technology instead with financial rewards.
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  • No economic phenomena have one cause, but if you miss out this one, then you’re not even beginning to tell the story.

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    • Replies: @Chuck
    Indeed. The financial vampires went off the rails after that.
    , @MarkinPNW
    In regards to Richard Nixon, also my thought.

    In regards to the internet, it is probably a mixed blessing. More opportunities to find, use, and distribute economically useful info; but also a great distraction of looking at pics of cats on Facebook instead of getting to work.
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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Chiang Kai-shek gave Chinese Taipei a (real) demographic transition and mass literacy, plus quadruple the GDP per capita.

    Population of Taiwan: early 50s 8 million, mid 70s 16 million
    Population of PRC: early 50s 550 million, mid 70s 950 million

    Jiang Jieshi had had his chance on the Chinese mainland already.

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  • @5371
    [Why is China growing very fast? Because its growth is based on mere convergence to the developed world, which it can effect by dint of its First World-quality human capital. At a stroke, the reforms of the 1980s involved a quantum leap in social technology (i.e. abandonment of Maoist economics, an aberration that made Soviet-style central planning look rational]

    It was Mao who gave China a (real) demographic transition and mass literacy, which surely have more than a little to do with "human capital". Easy maybe, but no-one had done it for China before him.

    Chiang Kai-shek gave Chinese Taipei a (real) demographic transition and mass literacy, plus quadruple the GDP per capita.

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    • Replies: @5371
    Population of Taiwan: early 50s 8 million, mid 70s 16 million
    Population of PRC: early 50s 550 million, mid 70s 950 million

    Jiang Jieshi had had his chance on the Chinese mainland already.

    , @Glossy
    I think a lot of the Chinese elite fled with Chiang to Taiwan. The presence of those people must have given a boost to Taiwan's economy.

    The Mao period wasn't economically successful, but he preserved China's independence from Japan, the USSR and the US. People have always been willing to sacrifice material comforts, and acually their lives too, for independence. Japan, Taiwan and South Korea aren't independent.

    There are so few truly independent countries on earth that each instance of real sovereignty is an impressive achievement. Who knows what dangers China may escape in the future, what benefits it might reap, because it preserved its independence?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • [Why is China growing very fast? Because its growth is based on mere convergence to the developed world, which it can effect by dint of its First World-quality human capital. At a stroke, the reforms of the 1980s involved a quantum leap in social technology (i.e. abandonment of Maoist economics, an aberration that made Soviet-style central planning look rational]

    It was Mao who gave China a (real) demographic transition and mass literacy, which surely have more than a little to do with “human capital”. Easy maybe, but no-one had done it for China before him.

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    • Agree: Stephen R. Diamond
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Chiang Kai-shek gave Chinese Taipei a (real) demographic transition and mass literacy, plus quadruple the GDP per capita.
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  • @anonymous coward

    GDP must be quite tightly linked to material output
     
    Of course it isn't. If me and you exchange IOU's for 1 million dollars, our collective GDP just got raised by two million bucks. Meanwhile the net material output is negative. (We just wasted time trading equivalent pieces of paper.)

    Furthermore, the ample space for fiddling, fudge factors and fragile estimation makes any calculation of GDP a subjective exercise, to a vastly greater extent than that of material output. The GDP of China and South Korea would be much larger than it officially now is, if calculated on the same basis as that of the US or western European countries. This is without even raising the question of graver statistical inadequacies in Africa, for example.

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  • GDP must be quite tightly linked to material output

    Of course it isn’t. If me and you exchange IOU’s for 1 million dollars, our collective GDP just got raised by two million bucks. Meanwhile the net material output is negative. (We just wasted time trading equivalent pieces of paper.)

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    • Replies: @5371
    Furthermore, the ample space for fiddling, fudge factors and fragile estimation makes any calculation of GDP a subjective exercise, to a vastly greater extent than that of material output. The GDP of China and South Korea would be much larger than it officially now is, if calculated on the same basis as that of the US or western European countries. This is without even raising the question of graver statistical inadequacies in Africa, for example.
    , @Anonymous
    That's not counted in GDP:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gdp#Components_of_GDP_by_expenditure

    In contrast to its colloquial meaning, "investment" in GDP does not mean purchases of financial products. Buying financial products is classed as 'saving', as opposed to investment. This avoids double-counting: if one buys shares in a company, and the company uses the money received to buy plant, equipment, etc., the amount will be counted toward GDP when the company spends the money on those things; to also count it when one gives it to the company would be to count two times an amount that only corresponds to one group of products.
     
    , @pyrrhus
    GDP is also heavily dependent upon the GDP deflator that is chosen by the government agency in charge of such things. Not surprisingly, the deflator has generally been unrealistically low, since it is drawn from data that excludes such items as food, energy, college tuition, and taxes. A more realistic deflator would reveal very little or no growth for decades...
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  • Interesting, that the advent of the internet seems not to have had a noticeable effect.

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  • Last month there was an interview with Eliezer Yudkowsky, the rationalist philosopher and successful Harry Potter fanfic writer who heads the world's foremost research outfit dedicated to figuring out ways in which a future runaway computer superintelligence could be made to refrain from murdering us all. It's really pretty interestingl. It contains a nice explication...
  • I am not worried about hyper-smart AI. I am worried what a bit smarter than us AI could do to us. Such thing is much more plausible.

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  • There’s way too much paranoia and projection concerning this subject. It’s not likely AI will be burdened by millions of years of monkey social evolution so why speculate about its behavior being like man’s? Making gods manlike was simple-minded, so is believing that AI will be manlike.

    The only group that I fear is the psychopaths in government attempting to use it as a weapon, in which the problem will once again be, yes, government.

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  • @5371
    Proving the Poincaré Conjecture doesn't involve adhering to nearly as many rules as chanting from the Rig Veda correctly, so I see problems with your formalisation. Nor do I share your conception of common sense.

    Chanting the vedas is something that can be taught. This is quite different to discovering a proof.

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  • An AI does not even need to be technically more intelligent than a human in order to be practically much more intelligent.
    I am talking about speed, which is often overlooked in these debates in favor of theories about qualitatively higher intelligence that we would not be able to even understand.
    An AI on the level of a very intelligent (but not even necessarily a genius) human that can think a thousand times faster can still be a major threat.
    If you can spend 1000 years to think of a plan to take over the world provided that the world does not change significantly while you are thinking over all the details of your conquest, you will probably be able to do it as long as you have decent intelligence.
    An AI with the same intelligence as you and with the computing power of 1000 brains like yours can produce the same plan in 1 year instead of 1000 years.

    The ability to store and recall memory much more efficiently and to think faster can actually be a major advantage of an AI over humans, and it should be enough for a takeover if it decides to do it. A faster mind with no memory constraints means a productivity boost that will lead to superhuman achievements of intelligence even with a human IQ.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Hi,

    I agree that in the long term research should get harder and harder, I think that in the short term a superintelligence will have a lot of low hanging fruit, relative to itself, to exploit to increase its intelligence 10 to 100 fold over what the designers originally intended. Humans, myself included, are bad programmers and in a large project inefficiencies are bound to build up. A smarter than the team that built it AI should be able to go over its own code and improve dramatically.

    And I never understood why An AI needs to have infinite intelligence in order to be an existential threat to humanity. Skynet despite holding a massive idiot ball manages to kill most of humanity in a plausible way. If ELOPe had become any of the other possible mind spaces than the friendly AI in book 2, then humanity would have been screwed.

    Side note, for an AI to gain control of all humanities computers is pretty easy, write a better OS than windows with a Cortana/Siri/Google Now replaced with the AI, and offer it for free. Pitch to the CEO of the AI’s company about the Orwellian possibilities for information control and advertising, win.

    On further reflection a pretending to be friendly AI would be the most dangerous, without needing to be dramatically smarter than humans. An evil Celestia AI would upload humanity and then delete it and turn the rest of the universe into ponies and paperclips.

    A more advanced world would simply mean a harder initial challenge for the AI, as it needs to outsmart its cyborg creators. Once it does that however, the remaining takeover is much easier as all the infrastructure, robot work bodies, are in place.

    As for rival superintelligence, if they were from competing nuclear nation states, I don’t think humanity has a good outcome. But there is also an assumption there that superintelligences would automatically become rivals and choose defect, instead of cooperation, at least until humanity is subjugated or destroyed anyway.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    If you actually built an AI at some particular level of intelligence and it actually tried to do that, something would actually happen out there in the empirical real world, and that event would be determined by background facts about the landscape of algorithms and attainable improvements.

    You can’t get solid information about that event by psychoanalyzing people. It’s exactly the sort of thing that Bayes’s Theorem tells us is the equivalent of trying to run a car without fuel. Some people will be escapist regardless of the true values on the hidden variables of computer science, so observing some people being escapist isn’t strong evidence, even if it might make you feel like you want to disaffiliate with a belief or something.

    Gibberish.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Proving the Poincare Conjecture in the 2000s is harder than proving the Pythagoras Theorem in Ancient Greece. That's common sense more than anything.

    But if you really had to formalize it you would make the observation that proving PC certainly involves adhering to a massively larger amount of rules than in proving the PT, and couple it with:

    Item difficulties can be predicted by a set of nine Cognitive Operations to a satisfactory extent, as the Pearson correlation between the Rasch model and the LLTM item difficulty parameters r = .89, the mean prediction error is slightly different between the two models, and there is an overall effect of the number of combined rules on item difficulty (F(3,23) = 15.16, p < .001) with an effect sizeη2 = .66 (large effect).
     

    Proving the Poincaré Conjecture doesn’t involve adhering to nearly as many rules as chanting from the Rig Veda correctly, so I see problems with your formalisation. Nor do I share your conception of common sense.

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    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    Chanting the vedas is something that can be taught. This is quite different to discovering a proof.
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  • @5371
    [more advanced technologies need exponentially more and more cognitive capacity – intelligence, IQ – to develop]

    Do you have any independent evidence of this, though? How hard things are for you to understand now doesn't necessarily correlate with how hard they were the first time anyone understood them.

    Proving the Poincare Conjecture in the 2000s is harder than proving the Pythagoras Theorem in Ancient Greece. That’s common sense more than anything.

    But if you really had to formalize it you would make the observation that proving PC certainly involves adhering to a massively larger amount of rules than in proving the PT, and couple it with:

    Item difficulties can be predicted by a set of nine Cognitive Operations to a satisfactory extent, as the Pearson correlation between the Rasch model and the LLTM item difficulty parameters r = .89, the mean prediction error is slightly different between the two models, and there is an overall effect of the number of combined rules on item difficulty (F(3,23) = 15.16, p < .001) with an effect sizeη2 = .66 (large effect).

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    • Replies: @5371
    Proving the Poincaré Conjecture doesn't involve adhering to nearly as many rules as chanting from the Rig Veda correctly, so I see problems with your formalisation. Nor do I share your conception of common sense.
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  • [more advanced technologies need exponentially more and more cognitive capacity – intelligence, IQ – to develop]

    Do you have any independent evidence of this, though? How hard things are for you to understand now doesn’t necessarily correlate with how hard they were the first time anyone understood them.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Proving the Poincare Conjecture in the 2000s is harder than proving the Pythagoras Theorem in Ancient Greece. That's common sense more than anything.

    But if you really had to formalize it you would make the observation that proving PC certainly involves adhering to a massively larger amount of rules than in proving the PT, and couple it with:

    Item difficulties can be predicted by a set of nine Cognitive Operations to a satisfactory extent, as the Pearson correlation between the Rasch model and the LLTM item difficulty parameters r = .89, the mean prediction error is slightly different between the two models, and there is an overall effect of the number of combined rules on item difficulty (F(3,23) = 15.16, p < .001) with an effect sizeη2 = .66 (large effect).
     
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  • Charles Murray has made the entire database compiled for his book Human Accomplishment freely available at the Open Science Framework. Here is the link: Incidentally, my concept of Apollo's Ascent was to a significant extent the result of my reaction to Human Accomplishment. (A brief reminder of the AA thesis: The rate and global distribution...
  • @syonredux

    You didn’t even bother to read that list did you? Pushkin is not in there. You seem to be confusing Pushkin with Tolstoy. As Karlin posted the russians rank Pushkin ahead of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.
     
    Yes, I know that Pushkin doesn't make Murray's "Giants" list. But Tolstoy and Dostoevsky do.Why? Because Tolstoy and Dostoevsky have had more influence outside Russia than Pushkin has.

    It is absurd that Pushkin is not included in Murray’s list of top 20 in western literature. He should be in the top ten. How the hell are Lord Byron, Jean Racine, Schiller for example, bigger than Pushkin?
     
    Because Schiller, Racine, and Lord Byron have had more influence on Western Lit. Pushkin's influence within Russian Lit is enormous.However, he's had very little impact outside Russia.

    Lord Byron offers an Anglo parallel.Murray's list places him over Milton, Chaucer, Pope, Donne, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Whitman, Dickinson, Tennyson, Eliot, etc.Frankly, I can't imagine an Anglo critic doing that. But Byron has had an enormous amount of influence outside the Anglosphere, and that explains his placement.

    Racine is really really good, better than Shakespeare in some ways (Shakespeare, for example, is a little too excitable when describing eccentric and charismatic people – Racine sees such people in the light of truth). Pushkin is indescribably good – imagine a guy almost as clever as Shakespeare but with, unfortunately, less classical education (read too much Apuleius and not enough Ovid in his youth, that sort of thing) – but also imagine that the deficit in education is almost made up for with a greater desire to say what one really wants to say without caring about what other people think. All three of them, of course, were mere mortals, and much of what they wrote was a waste of their time and ours. But that is not a criticism of their genius, that is just what it is like to live in this world.

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  • “Shifting to open science paradigms is by far not the worst way of going about this.”

    Yeah, how’s that working out?
    Charles is a good guy for releasing this; I know it was painstakingly gathered, and I plan on noodling around with it myself. Still, I doubt as “open science” will ever become a thing. Most of ‘em are frauds; particularly in the psychological and other social sciences. It would be lovely if they started posting their data. They won’t. Because it will immediately become obvious what frauds they are.

    The old ideal of science as a quest for knowledge is long gone. Science is a quest for a sinecure and social status. I could probably get you rigorous p-values on that assertion, but it doesn’t really matter any more.

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  • @Bliss

    He’s there. Murray lists him as Machado, Antonio. He gets a score of 6.95.
     
    No he's not. Antonio Machado the spaniard writing in spanish is not Machado de Assis the brazilian writing in portuguese.

    Murray not including the premier literary figure of the most populous latin nation is utterly inexcusable. There is no better explanation other than his notorious racism. Ditto for him leaving out Pushkin, the most significant literary figure of the most populous european nation, from his top 20. Likewise for his low ranking of Antarah bin Shaddad whose poems were hung in the Kaaba in pre-islamic Mecca. And his low ranking for Alexandre Dumas, the most popular writer in the french language, whose books have been translated into numerous languages and made into many movies.

    He’s there. Murray lists him as Jalal al-Din ar- Rumi
     
    Very stupid of Murray to list Rumi not by the surname he is known by but by his first name.

    Brazilian literature and music are both very rich…

    of course, a typical hbd moronic on knowledge in intellectualitet.

    Achievements, specially in culture, there are in throughout the world.

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  • @Bliss

    He’s there. Murray lists him as Machado, Antonio. He gets a score of 6.95.
     
    No he's not. Antonio Machado the spaniard writing in spanish is not Machado de Assis the brazilian writing in portuguese.

    Murray not including the premier literary figure of the most populous latin nation is utterly inexcusable. There is no better explanation other than his notorious racism. Ditto for him leaving out Pushkin, the most significant literary figure of the most populous european nation, from his top 20. Likewise for his low ranking of Antarah bin Shaddad whose poems were hung in the Kaaba in pre-islamic Mecca. And his low ranking for Alexandre Dumas, the most popular writer in the french language, whose books have been translated into numerous languages and made into many movies.

    He’s there. Murray lists him as Jalal al-Din ar- Rumi
     
    Very stupid of Murray to list Rumi not by the surname he is known by but by his first name.

    No he’s not. Antonio Machado the spaniard writing in spanish is not Machado de Assis the brazilian writing in portuguese.

    Yeah, you’re right.

    Murray not including the premier literary figure of the most populous latin nation is utterly inexcusable. There is no better explanation other than his notorious racism.

    Dunno. It might have a lot to do with the fact that he hasn’t had much of an impact outside of the Portuguese speaking world.For example, I sent an email to my colleagues in the English, French, and German departments. The overwhelming majority have never heard of him. And even the ones who have heard of him have never read him.

    Ditto for him leaving out Pushkin, the most significant literary figure of the most populous european nation, from his top 20.

    Milton and Chaucer didn’t make the top 20 either. As with Pushkin, that has everything to do with varying levels of impact outside the author’s home language.

    Likewise for his low ranking of Antarah bin Shaddad whose poems were hung in the Kaaba in pre-islamic Mecca.

    Dunno. He makes Murray’s list of “Giants” in Arabic lit. He’s number 17, with a score of 29. That sounds rather impressive to me.At any rate, he did better than Milton did in Western Lit.

    And his low ranking for Alexandre Dumas, the most popular writer in the french language, whose books have been translated into numerous languages and made into many movies.

    Ian Fleming has been translated into umpteen languages. And loads of movies. That doesn’t mean that he’s an important writer. If anything, Dumas’ score of 11.77 seems a tad generous.

    Very stupid of Murray to list Rumi not by the surname he is known by but by his first name.

    Feel free to send him a note voicing your complaint.

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  • @syonredux

    Why do asian nations have separate listings but all european nations are lumped together in one list?
     
    Because Murray feels that Europe, Anglo-America, the antipodes (Australia and New Zealand), Latin America, etc, can best be studied as a group.

    That the criteria Murray uses to rank his list leads to so many absurdities clearly proves that they are flawed.
     
    Literature, as it is inextricably bound to the language in which it is composed (cf Robert Frost's famous quip:"Poetry is what gets lost in translation"), is probably the most difficult of the arts to evaluate in a cross-cultural context.Murray's approach is problematic (cf my comments on Byron and Scott), but I'm not sure what should replace it.

    Where are the non-arabs of the muslim world?
     
    Murray confines his list for Arabic Lit to authors who wrote in Arabic and Persian.

    Why are such big names as Khwarizmi,
     
    He's there.Murray lists him as" al-Khwarizmi, Abu Ja’far." He gets a score of 23.92 in the Mathematics category.

    Rumi etc not on the list?
     
    He's there. Murray lists him as Jalal al-Din ar- Rumi (Mawlana).

    Where is the greatest writer in the portuguese language: the part-african brazilian Machado de Assis? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machado_de_Assis

     

    He's there. Murray lists him as Machado, Antonio. He gets a score of 6.95.

    Dunno if he's the "greatest writer in the Portuguese language," though. Just confining ourselves to Brazil, there's João Guimarães Rosa.

    On the other hand, kudos for listing someone who actually is part Black.

    He’s there. Murray lists him as Machado, Antonio. He gets a score of 6.95.

    No he’s not. Antonio Machado the spaniard writing in spanish is not Machado de Assis the brazilian writing in portuguese.

    Murray not including the premier literary figure of the most populous latin nation is utterly inexcusable. There is no better explanation other than his notorious racism. Ditto for him leaving out Pushkin, the most significant literary figure of the most populous european nation, from his top 20. Likewise for his low ranking of Antarah bin Shaddad whose poems were hung in the Kaaba in pre-islamic Mecca. And his low ranking for Alexandre Dumas, the most popular writer in the french language, whose books have been translated into numerous languages and made into many movies.

    He’s there. Murray lists him as Jalal al-Din ar- Rumi

    Very stupid of Murray to list Rumi not by the surname he is known by but by his first name.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    No he’s not. Antonio Machado the spaniard writing in spanish is not Machado de Assis the brazilian writing in portuguese.
     
    Yeah, you're right.

    Murray not including the premier literary figure of the most populous latin nation is utterly inexcusable. There is no better explanation other than his notorious racism.
     
    Dunno. It might have a lot to do with the fact that he hasn't had much of an impact outside of the Portuguese speaking world.For example, I sent an email to my colleagues in the English, French, and German departments. The overwhelming majority have never heard of him. And even the ones who have heard of him have never read him.

    Ditto for him leaving out Pushkin, the most significant literary figure of the most populous european nation, from his top 20.
     
    Milton and Chaucer didn't make the top 20 either. As with Pushkin, that has everything to do with varying levels of impact outside the author's home language.

    Likewise for his low ranking of Antarah bin Shaddad whose poems were hung in the Kaaba in pre-islamic Mecca.
     
    Dunno. He makes Murray's list of "Giants" in Arabic lit. He's number 17, with a score of 29. That sounds rather impressive to me.At any rate, he did better than Milton did in Western Lit.

    And his low ranking for Alexandre Dumas, the most popular writer in the french language, whose books have been translated into numerous languages and made into many movies.
     
    Ian Fleming has been translated into umpteen languages. And loads of movies. That doesn't mean that he's an important writer. If anything, Dumas' score of 11.77 seems a tad generous.

    Very stupid of Murray to list Rumi not by the surname he is known by but by his first name.
     
    Feel free to send him a note voicing your complaint.
    , @Santoculto
    Brazilian literature and music are both very rich...

    of course, a typical hbd moronic on knowledge in intellectualitet.

    Achievements, specially in culture, there are in throughout the world.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Bliss

    Murray has separate listings for Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Arabic lit.
     
    Why do asian nations have separate listings but all european nations are lumped together in one list? That the criteria Murray uses to rank his list leads to so many absurdities clearly proves that they are flawed.

    Where are the non-arabs of the muslim world? Why are such big names as Khwarizmi, Rumi etc not on the list?

    Where is the greatest writer in the portuguese language: the part-african brazilian Machado de Assis? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machado_de_Assis

    Murray's list can be quite useful but it is far from accurate or complete as a compendium and ranking of human accomplishment.

    Why do asian nations have separate listings but all european nations are lumped together in one list?

    Because Murray feels that Europe, Anglo-America, the antipodes (Australia and New Zealand), Latin America, etc, can best be studied as a group.

    That the criteria Murray uses to rank his list leads to so many absurdities clearly proves that they are flawed.

    Literature, as it is inextricably bound to the language in which it is composed (cf Robert Frost’s famous quip:”Poetry is what gets lost in translation”), is probably the most difficult of the arts to evaluate in a cross-cultural context.Murray’s approach is problematic (cf my comments on Byron and Scott), but I’m not sure what should replace it.

    Where are the non-arabs of the muslim world?

    Murray confines his list for Arabic Lit to authors who wrote in Arabic and Persian.

    Why are such big names as Khwarizmi,

    He’s there.Murray lists him as” al-Khwarizmi, Abu Ja’far.” He gets a score of 23.92 in the Mathematics category.

    Rumi etc not on the list?

    He’s there. Murray lists him as Jalal al-Din ar- Rumi (Mawlana).

    Where is the greatest writer in the portuguese language: the part-african brazilian Machado de Assis? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machado_de_Assis

    He’s there. Murray lists him as Machado, Antonio. He gets a score of 6.95.

    Dunno if he’s the “greatest writer in the Portuguese language,” though. Just confining ourselves to Brazil, there’s João Guimarães Rosa.

    On the other hand, kudos for listing someone who actually is part Black.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss

    He’s there. Murray lists him as Machado, Antonio. He gets a score of 6.95.
     
    No he's not. Antonio Machado the spaniard writing in spanish is not Machado de Assis the brazilian writing in portuguese.

    Murray not including the premier literary figure of the most populous latin nation is utterly inexcusable. There is no better explanation other than his notorious racism. Ditto for him leaving out Pushkin, the most significant literary figure of the most populous european nation, from his top 20. Likewise for his low ranking of Antarah bin Shaddad whose poems were hung in the Kaaba in pre-islamic Mecca. And his low ranking for Alexandre Dumas, the most popular writer in the french language, whose books have been translated into numerous languages and made into many movies.

    He’s there. Murray lists him as Jalal al-Din ar- Rumi
     
    Very stupid of Murray to list Rumi not by the surname he is known by but by his first name.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anatoly Karlin
    FWIW, here is a Russian ranking of its literature greats with a methodology that is (very loosely) similar to Murray's:

    http://russianbookchamber.blogspot.com/p/russkie-pisateli-klassiki.html

    Top 10:

    1. Pushkin
    2. Tolstoy
    3. Gorky
    4. Chekhov
    5. Tolstoy (the other one)
    6. Gogol
    7. Turgenev
    8. Lermontov
    9. Dostoevsky
    10. Kuprin

    Incidentally, this illustrates a rather funny feature of West/Russian differences. Since Pushkin, as a writer of poetry or at most short, highly stylistic prose, is much harder to translate into foreign languages, he appears third on Murray's list. However, he appears first on the Russian list, and this is a rating that has face validity, i.e. Pushkin really is central in Russian school literature classes.

    In Murray's list, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy are joint first.

    I do think Dostoevsky is strangely low on the Russian list. I could just about see Chekhov edging him out, but Turgenev? A. Tolstoy?? Very strange.

    http://edge.org/conversation/richard_nisbett-the-crusade-against-multiple-regression-analysis

    Hope this will help in your analysis. Correlation study is not very reliable at all. Be very careful.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    FWIW, here is a Russian ranking of its literature greats with a methodology that is (very loosely) similar to Murray's:

    http://russianbookchamber.blogspot.com/p/russkie-pisateli-klassiki.html

    Top 10:

    1. Pushkin
    2. Tolstoy
    3. Gorky
    4. Chekhov
    5. Tolstoy (the other one)
    6. Gogol
    7. Turgenev
    8. Lermontov
    9. Dostoevsky
    10. Kuprin

    Incidentally, this illustrates a rather funny feature of West/Russian differences. Since Pushkin, as a writer of poetry or at most short, highly stylistic prose, is much harder to translate into foreign languages, he appears third on Murray's list. However, he appears first on the Russian list, and this is a rating that has face validity, i.e. Pushkin really is central in Russian school literature classes.

    In Murray's list, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy are joint first.

    I do think Dostoevsky is strangely low on the Russian list. I could just about see Chekhov edging him out, but Turgenev? A. Tolstoy?? Very strange.

    林安德, you might be interested in following documentary about current innovation of Chinese machine industry which starts to provide high end of equiments for developed nations like USA, Germany.

    Like Japan, people start innovation after learning. This documentary was made in 2013. Now far more stuffs come out.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MKVcE0zn6lgXPetpMBcce1UA0oY4Zz6q2AxFVebAhuc/edit#gid=708222749

    The list confirms that jewish accomplishment is almost entirely a post-Enlightenment phenomenon. With the great majority of the 183 jews on the list active in the 20th century, followed by the ones from the second half of the 19th century.

    Antiquity had just one jew (Philo, died 54 A.D.) and the next western jew (Rojas, died 1541 A.D.) on the list comes 1500 years later and he was actually a christian. After him there are 5 more jews (only 2 by religion) until the 19th century. Add the 2 jews from medieval muslim Spain and you have a total of only 9 jews on the list before the 19th century. In other words 95% of the jews on this list are from post-Enlightenment Europe and the Americas.

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  • @syonredux

    It is really stupid to claim that asian writers don’t count when they figure so prominently on Murray’s list.
     
    They don't count in terms of Western rankings. Murray has separate listings for Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Arabic lit. For example, here's his "Giants" list for Chinese lit:


    Du Fu 100
    Li Bai 87
    Bai Juyi 86
    Su Shi 83
    Han Yu 80
    Qu Yuan 78
    Sima Qian 68
    Tao Qian 68
    Ouyang Xiu 61
    Yuan Zhen 49
    Guan Hanqing 45
    Sima Xiangru 41
    Liu Zongyuan 40
    Ban Gu 37
    Wang Wei 35
    Luo Guanzhong 34
    Ma Zhiyuan 34
    Wang Shifu 34
    Song Yu 33
    Cao Xueqin 32

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Chinese_Literature

    Where the hell did you learn that impact outside the country applies only to western writers? On what basis do you think Murray ranks asian writers? Do you even think before you post?
     
    The Western lit category involves people writing in a multiplicity of languages: German, Latin, Greek, French, Russian, English, Dutch, etc. This is not the case in, say, the Japanese lit category.This means that writers within the Western canon have to have an impact outside their home languages in order to receive a high score from Murray.

    You really helped yourself….look foolish by denying the obvious with laughable comparisons like this:
     
    Dear fellow, feel free to believe whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

    The descriptions of Beethoven by people who actually saw him in real life trump all the denials and delusions of dumb and dishonest racists such as yourself.
     
    Again, dear fellow, if it helps you overcome your feelings of inferiority, go right ahead and believe whatever you like.

    Btw, Socrates too was described (including by himself) as showing visible african ancestry: low nasal bridge, broad nose, flaring nostrils, big lips, bulging eyes.
     
    Of course, dear fellow, of course. And I'm sure that Plato and Aristotle were Black, too.....

    Murray has separate listings for Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Arabic lit.

    Why do asian nations have separate listings but all european nations are lumped together in one list? That the criteria Murray uses to rank his list leads to so many absurdities clearly proves that they are flawed.

    Where are the non-arabs of the muslim world? Why are such big names as Khwarizmi, Rumi etc not on the list?

    Where is the greatest writer in the portuguese language: the part-african brazilian Machado de Assis? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machado_de_Assis

    Murray’s list can be quite useful but it is far from accurate or complete as a compendium and ranking of human accomplishment.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Why do asian nations have separate listings but all european nations are lumped together in one list?
     
    Because Murray feels that Europe, Anglo-America, the antipodes (Australia and New Zealand), Latin America, etc, can best be studied as a group.

    That the criteria Murray uses to rank his list leads to so many absurdities clearly proves that they are flawed.
     
    Literature, as it is inextricably bound to the language in which it is composed (cf Robert Frost's famous quip:"Poetry is what gets lost in translation"), is probably the most difficult of the arts to evaluate in a cross-cultural context.Murray's approach is problematic (cf my comments on Byron and Scott), but I'm not sure what should replace it.

    Where are the non-arabs of the muslim world?
     
    Murray confines his list for Arabic Lit to authors who wrote in Arabic and Persian.

    Why are such big names as Khwarizmi,
     
    He's there.Murray lists him as" al-Khwarizmi, Abu Ja’far." He gets a score of 23.92 in the Mathematics category.

    Rumi etc not on the list?
     
    He's there. Murray lists him as Jalal al-Din ar- Rumi (Mawlana).

    Where is the greatest writer in the portuguese language: the part-african brazilian Machado de Assis? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machado_de_Assis

     

    He's there. Murray lists him as Machado, Antonio. He gets a score of 6.95.

    Dunno if he's the "greatest writer in the Portuguese language," though. Just confining ourselves to Brazil, there's João Guimarães Rosa.

    On the other hand, kudos for listing someone who actually is part Black.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Bliss

    I am discussing Pushkin’s place within the Western Lit category
     
    You didn't even bother to read that list did you? Pushkin is not in there. You seem to be confusing Pushkin with Tolstoy. As Karlin posted the russians rank Pushkin ahead of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.

    It is absurd that Pushkin is not included in Murray's list of top 20 in western literature. He should be in the top ten. How the hell are Lord Byron, Jean Racine, Schiller for example, bigger than Pushkin?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Pushkin#Legacy

    Pushkin is usually credited with developing Russian literature. Not only is he seen as having originated the highly nuanced level of language which characterizes Russian literature after him, but he is also credited with substantially augmenting the Russian lexicon. Where he found gaps in the Russian vocabulary, he devised calques. His rich vocabulary and highly sensitive style are the foundation for modern Russian literature. His accomplishments set new records for development of the Russian language and culture. He became the father of Russian literature in the 19th century, marking the highest achievements of 18th century and the beginning of literary process of the 19th century. Alexander Pushkin introduced Russia to all the European literary genres as well as a great number of West European writers. He brought natural speech and foreign influences to create modern poetic Russian. Though his life was brief, he left examples of nearly every literary genre of his day: lyric poetry, narrative poetry, the novel, the short story, the drama, the critical essay, and even the personal letter.

    Pushkin's work as a journalist marked the birth of Russian magazine culture which included him devising and contributing heavily to one of the most influential literary magazines of the 19th century, the Sovremennik (The Contemporary, or Современник). Pushkin inspired the folk tales and genre pieces of other authors: Leskov, Esenin, and Gorky. His use of Russian language formed the basis of the style of novelists Ivan Turgenev, Ivan Goncharov, and Leo Tolstoy, as well as that of subsequent lyric poets such as Mikhail Lermontov. Pushkin was analyzed by Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol, his successor and pupil, and the great Russian critic Vissarion Grigoryevich Belinsky who has also produced the fullest and deepest critical study of Pushkin's work, which still retains much of its relevance.

    You didn’t even bother to read that list did you? Pushkin is not in there. You seem to be confusing Pushkin with Tolstoy. As Karlin posted the russians rank Pushkin ahead of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.

    Yes, I know that Pushkin doesn’t make Murray’s “Giants” list. But Tolstoy and Dostoevsky do.Why? Because Tolstoy and Dostoevsky have had more influence outside Russia than Pushkin has.

    It is absurd that Pushkin is not included in Murray’s list of top 20 in western literature. He should be in the top ten. How the hell are Lord Byron, Jean Racine, Schiller for example, bigger than Pushkin?

    Because Schiller, Racine, and Lord Byron have had more influence on Western Lit. Pushkin’s influence within Russian Lit is enormous.However, he’s had very little impact outside Russia.

    Lord Byron offers an Anglo parallel.Murray’s list places him over Milton, Chaucer, Pope, Donne, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Whitman, Dickinson, Tennyson, Eliot, etc.Frankly, I can’t imagine an Anglo critic doing that. But Byron has had an enormous amount of influence outside the Anglosphere, and that explains his placement.

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    • Replies: @middle aged vet
    Racine is really really good, better than Shakespeare in some ways (Shakespeare, for example, is a little too excitable when describing eccentric and charismatic people - Racine sees such people in the light of truth). Pushkin is indescribably good - imagine a guy almost as clever as Shakespeare but with, unfortunately, less classical education (read too much Apuleius and not enough Ovid in his youth, that sort of thing) - but also imagine that the deficit in education is almost made up for with a greater desire to say what one really wants to say without caring about what other people think. All three of them, of course, were mere mortals, and much of what they wrote was a waste of their time and ours. But that is not a criticism of their genius, that is just what it is like to live in this world.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @syonredux

    as I pointed out above, it has to do with the fact that Pushkin has had relatively little impact outside of Russia.

    Nonsense. There are dozens of writers from Asia and Europe ranked above Pushkin who have had lesser impact outside their countries…and much lesser impact within their countries.
     
    The writers from Asia don't count, as I am discussing Pushkin's place within the Western Lit category. As for writers within the Western category who are placed above Pushkin, which ones bother you? Which ones do you think are being overrated by Murray?

    Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western Music:

    Hmmm, actually Beethoven is tied at #1 along with 21 others in total (all nations, all categories). He is #5 only because of alphabetical order within that shared ranking (I overlooked that).
     
    Dear fellow, an all categories ranking is an absurdity. How would one begin to compare Bach to Newton? Or James Watt to Michelangelo? That's why I use Murray's rankings within categories. And Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western music.

    Coming from the pathologically dishonest character who denies that the Sphinx of Giza and the Olmec heads of Mexico are negroid in appearance
     
    You're really not helping yourself by bringing up your belief that the Olmec heads depict Black Africans.....

    you of course cannot be expected to be rational and objective in matters of race.
     
    Dear fellow, only Afrocentric cranks take the "Black Beethoven" theory seriously:



    http://www.academia.edu/4074689/Black_Beethoven_and_the_Racial_Politics_of_Music_History

    http://www.sjsu.edu/beethoven/research/faq_beethoven/

    I am discussing Pushkin’s place within the Western Lit category

    You didn’t even bother to read that list did you? Pushkin is not in there. You seem to be confusing Pushkin with Tolstoy. As Karlin posted the russians rank Pushkin ahead of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.

    It is absurd that Pushkin is not included in Murray’s list of top 20 in western literature. He should be in the top ten. How the hell are Lord Byron, Jean Racine, Schiller for example, bigger than Pushkin?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Pushkin#Legacy

    Pushkin is usually credited with developing Russian literature. Not only is he seen as having originated the highly nuanced level of language which characterizes Russian literature after him, but he is also credited with substantially augmenting the Russian lexicon. Where he found gaps in the Russian vocabulary, he devised calques. His rich vocabulary and highly sensitive style are the foundation for modern Russian literature. His accomplishments set new records for development of the Russian language and culture. He became the father of Russian literature in the 19th century, marking the highest achievements of 18th century and the beginning of literary process of the 19th century. Alexander Pushkin introduced Russia to all the European literary genres as well as a great number of West European writers. He brought natural speech and foreign influences to create modern poetic Russian. Though his life was brief, he left examples of nearly every literary genre of his day: lyric poetry, narrative poetry, the novel, the short story, the drama, the critical essay, and even the personal letter.

    Pushkin’s work as a journalist marked the birth of Russian magazine culture which included him devising and contributing heavily to one of the most influential literary magazines of the 19th century, the Sovremennik (The Contemporary, or Современник). Pushkin inspired the folk tales and genre pieces of other authors: Leskov, Esenin, and Gorky. His use of Russian language formed the basis of the style of novelists Ivan Turgenev, Ivan Goncharov, and Leo Tolstoy, as well as that of subsequent lyric poets such as Mikhail Lermontov. Pushkin was analyzed by Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol, his successor and pupil, and the great Russian critic Vissarion Grigoryevich Belinsky who has also produced the fullest and deepest critical study of Pushkin’s work, which still retains much of its relevance.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    You didn’t even bother to read that list did you? Pushkin is not in there. You seem to be confusing Pushkin with Tolstoy. As Karlin posted the russians rank Pushkin ahead of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.
     
    Yes, I know that Pushkin doesn't make Murray's "Giants" list. But Tolstoy and Dostoevsky do.Why? Because Tolstoy and Dostoevsky have had more influence outside Russia than Pushkin has.

    It is absurd that Pushkin is not included in Murray’s list of top 20 in western literature. He should be in the top ten. How the hell are Lord Byron, Jean Racine, Schiller for example, bigger than Pushkin?
     
    Because Schiller, Racine, and Lord Byron have had more influence on Western Lit. Pushkin's influence within Russian Lit is enormous.However, he's had very little impact outside Russia.

    Lord Byron offers an Anglo parallel.Murray's list places him over Milton, Chaucer, Pope, Donne, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Whitman, Dickinson, Tennyson, Eliot, etc.Frankly, I can't imagine an Anglo critic doing that. But Byron has had an enormous amount of influence outside the Anglosphere, and that explains his placement.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Bliss

    The writers from Asia don’t count, as I am discussing Pushkin’s place within the Western Lit category
     
    It is really stupid to claim that asian writers don't count when they figure so prominently on Murray's list. Where the hell did you learn that impact outside the country applies only to western writers? On what basis do you think Murray ranks asian writers? Do you even think before you post?

    You’re really not helping yourself by bringing up your belief that the Olmec heads depict Black Africans…..
     
    You really helped yourself....look foolish by denying the obvious with laughable comparisons like this:

    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Native-Olmec-compare-3.jpg

    only Afrocentric cranks take the “Black Beethoven” theory seriously:
     
    The descriptions of Beethoven by people who actually saw him in real life trump all the denials and delusions of dumb and dishonest racists such as yourself.

    Btw, Socrates too was described (including by himself) as showing visible african ancestry: low nasal bridge, broad nose, flaring nostrils, big lips, bulging eyes.

    It is really stupid to claim that asian writers don’t count when they figure so prominently on Murray’s list.

    They don’t count in terms of Western rankings. Murray has separate listings for Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Arabic lit. For example, here’s his “Giants” list for Chinese lit:

    Du Fu 100
    Li Bai 87
    Bai Juyi 86
    Su Shi 83
    Han Yu 80
    Qu Yuan 78
    Sima Qian 68
    Tao Qian 68
    Ouyang Xiu 61
    Yuan Zhen 49
    Guan Hanqing 45
    Sima Xiangru 41
    Liu Zongyuan 40
    Ban Gu 37
    Wang Wei 35
    Luo Guanzhong 34
    Ma Zhiyuan 34
    Wang Shifu 34
    Song Yu 33
    Cao Xueqin 32

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Chinese_Literature

    Where the hell did you learn that impact outside the country applies only to western writers? On what basis do you think Murray ranks asian writers? Do you even think before you post?

    The Western lit category involves people writing in a multiplicity of languages: German, Latin, Greek, French, Russian, English, Dutch, etc. This is not the case in, say, the Japanese lit category.This means that writers within the Western canon have to have an impact outside their home languages in order to receive a high score from Murray.

    You really helped yourself….look foolish by denying the obvious with laughable comparisons like this:

    Dear fellow, feel free to believe whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

    The descriptions of Beethoven by people who actually saw him in real life trump all the denials and delusions of dumb and dishonest racists such as yourself.

    Again, dear fellow, if it helps you overcome your feelings of inferiority, go right ahead and believe whatever you like.

    Btw, Socrates too was described (including by himself) as showing visible african ancestry: low nasal bridge, broad nose, flaring nostrils, big lips, bulging eyes.

    Of course, dear fellow, of course. And I’m sure that Plato and Aristotle were Black, too…..

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss

    Murray has separate listings for Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Arabic lit.
     
    Why do asian nations have separate listings but all european nations are lumped together in one list? That the criteria Murray uses to rank his list leads to so many absurdities clearly proves that they are flawed.

    Where are the non-arabs of the muslim world? Why are such big names as Khwarizmi, Rumi etc not on the list?

    Where is the greatest writer in the portuguese language: the part-african brazilian Machado de Assis? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machado_de_Assis

    Murray's list can be quite useful but it is far from accurate or complete as a compendium and ranking of human accomplishment.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Bliss
    Murray's list starts with Ancient Greece showing his eurocentric bias. History didn't start with Greece. The human accomplishments of Ancient Egypt, Sumer, Indus Valley predate Greece by thousands of years. Even the Olmec civilization of central america predates the beginning of this list by many centuries.

    Some observations:

    The ancient greeks start off the list 2700 years ago with Homer and Hesiod. Indians enter 2600 years ago with Carvaka and Kapila. Chinese start showing up 2550 years ago with Laozi. Romans ~2200 years ago. Arabs ~1500 years ago. Japanese ~1400 years ago. Northern europeans are the last to make the list, and among them the slavs are the last to appear on the scene.

    In the 700 years between 400 A.D. and 1100 A.D. europeans were conspicuous by their near-total absence. Arabs, Indians, Chinese and Japanese completely dominate. Conversely, europeans start dominating the list ~500 years ago and take off into the stratosphere after the Enlightenment.

    Murray’s list starts with Ancient Greece showing his eurocentric bias. History didn’t start with Greece. The human accomplishments of Ancient Egypt, Sumer, Indus Valley predate Greece by thousands of years. Even the Olmec civilization of central america predates the beginning of this list by many centuries.

    Murray starts his list at 800 BC for reasons of practicality. As he notes in his book, that’s about as far back as we can go and still discuss creative individuals.And it’s also about as far back as we can go in terms of the direct transmission of culture. The ability to read Egyptian hieroglyphs and cuneiform was only regained in the 19th century. And we still can’t read the writing system used by the Indus civilization.

    Some observations:

    The ancient greeks start off the list 2700 years ago with Homer and Hesiod. Indians enter 2600 years ago with Carvaka and Kapila. Chinese start showing up 2550 years ago with Laozi. Romans ~2200 years ago. Arabs ~1500 years ago. Japanese ~1400 years ago. Northern europeans are the last to make the list, and among them the slavs are the last to appear on the scene.

    On the other hand, Blacks Africans are nearly non-existent……

    In the 700 years between 400 A.D. and 1100 A.D. europeans were conspicuous by their near-total absence. Arabs, Indians, Chinese and Japanese completely dominate.

    Yeah, a well-known low point for European Civilization.Of course, Europe had produced one hell of a lot between 700 BC and 400 AD: the Homeric epics, Hesiod, Virgil, Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius, Tacitus, Herodotus, Thucydides, Archimedes, Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles, etc, etc

    Conversely, europeans start dominating the list ~500 years ago and take off into the stratosphere after the Enlightenment.

    Actually, the Western European recovery begins more than 500 years ago, as demonstrated by figures like Dante, Fibonacci,Thomas Aquinas, William of Occam, Chaucer, Giotto, etc

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  • @syonredux

    as I pointed out above, it has to do with the fact that Pushkin has had relatively little impact outside of Russia.

    Nonsense. There are dozens of writers from Asia and Europe ranked above Pushkin who have had lesser impact outside their countries…and much lesser impact within their countries.
     
    The writers from Asia don't count, as I am discussing Pushkin's place within the Western Lit category. As for writers within the Western category who are placed above Pushkin, which ones bother you? Which ones do you think are being overrated by Murray?

    Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western Music:

    Hmmm, actually Beethoven is tied at #1 along with 21 others in total (all nations, all categories). He is #5 only because of alphabetical order within that shared ranking (I overlooked that).
     
    Dear fellow, an all categories ranking is an absurdity. How would one begin to compare Bach to Newton? Or James Watt to Michelangelo? That's why I use Murray's rankings within categories. And Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western music.

    Coming from the pathologically dishonest character who denies that the Sphinx of Giza and the Olmec heads of Mexico are negroid in appearance
     
    You're really not helping yourself by bringing up your belief that the Olmec heads depict Black Africans.....

    you of course cannot be expected to be rational and objective in matters of race.
     
    Dear fellow, only Afrocentric cranks take the "Black Beethoven" theory seriously:



    http://www.academia.edu/4074689/Black_Beethoven_and_the_Racial_Politics_of_Music_History

    http://www.sjsu.edu/beethoven/research/faq_beethoven/

    The writers from Asia don’t count, as I am discussing Pushkin’s place within the Western Lit category

    It is really stupid to claim that asian writers don’t count when they figure so prominently on Murray’s list. Where the hell did you learn that impact outside the country applies only to western writers? On what basis do you think Murray ranks asian writers? Do you even think before you post?

    You’re really not helping yourself by bringing up your belief that the Olmec heads depict Black Africans…..

    You really helped yourself….look foolish by denying the obvious with laughable comparisons like this:

    only Afrocentric cranks take the “Black Beethoven” theory seriously:

    The descriptions of Beethoven by people who actually saw him in real life trump all the denials and delusions of dumb and dishonest racists such as yourself.

    Btw, Socrates too was described (including by himself) as showing visible african ancestry: low nasal bridge, broad nose, flaring nostrils, big lips, bulging eyes.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    It is really stupid to claim that asian writers don’t count when they figure so prominently on Murray’s list.
     
    They don't count in terms of Western rankings. Murray has separate listings for Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Arabic lit. For example, here's his "Giants" list for Chinese lit:


    Du Fu 100
    Li Bai 87
    Bai Juyi 86
    Su Shi 83
    Han Yu 80
    Qu Yuan 78
    Sima Qian 68
    Tao Qian 68
    Ouyang Xiu 61
    Yuan Zhen 49
    Guan Hanqing 45
    Sima Xiangru 41
    Liu Zongyuan 40
    Ban Gu 37
    Wang Wei 35
    Luo Guanzhong 34
    Ma Zhiyuan 34
    Wang Shifu 34
    Song Yu 33
    Cao Xueqin 32

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Chinese_Literature

    Where the hell did you learn that impact outside the country applies only to western writers? On what basis do you think Murray ranks asian writers? Do you even think before you post?
     
    The Western lit category involves people writing in a multiplicity of languages: German, Latin, Greek, French, Russian, English, Dutch, etc. This is not the case in, say, the Japanese lit category.This means that writers within the Western canon have to have an impact outside their home languages in order to receive a high score from Murray.

    You really helped yourself….look foolish by denying the obvious with laughable comparisons like this:
     
    Dear fellow, feel free to believe whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

    The descriptions of Beethoven by people who actually saw him in real life trump all the denials and delusions of dumb and dishonest racists such as yourself.
     
    Again, dear fellow, if it helps you overcome your feelings of inferiority, go right ahead and believe whatever you like.

    Btw, Socrates too was described (including by himself) as showing visible african ancestry: low nasal bridge, broad nose, flaring nostrils, big lips, bulging eyes.
     
    Of course, dear fellow, of course. And I'm sure that Plato and Aristotle were Black, too.....
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Bliss

    as I pointed out above, it has to do with the fact that Pushkin has had relatively little impact outside of Russia.
     
    Nonsense. There are dozens of writers from Asia and Europe ranked above Pushkin who have had lesser impact outside their countries...and much lesser impact within their countries.

    Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western Music:
     
    Hmmm, actually Beethoven is tied at #1 along with 21 others in total (all nations, all categories). He is #5 only because of alphabetical order within that shared ranking (I overlooked that).

    Beethoven wasn’t part Black
     
    Coming from the pathologically dishonest character who denies that the Sphinx of Giza and the Olmec heads of Mexico are negroid in appearance you of course cannot be expected to be rational and objective in matters of race.

    http://www.mdcbowen.org/p2/sf/faq068.htm

    Frederick Hertz, German anthropologist, in "Race and Civilization," refers twice to Beethoven's "Negroid traits" and his "dark" skin, and "flat, thick nose." (pp. 123 and 178).

    Frau Fischer, an intimate acquaintance of Beethoven, describes him thus, "Short, stocky, broad shoulders, short neck, round nose, blackish-brown complexion." (From r. H. Schauffler, The Man Who Freed Music, Vol. I, p. 18, 1929).

    Paul Bekker, another very noted authority on Beethoven, says that "the most faithful picture of Beethoven's head" shows him with "wide, thick lipped mouth, short, thick nose, and proudly arched forehead." (Beethoven, p. 41, 1925. trans. Bozman). Thayer adds that Beethoven was an ugly little man, and no one would be more astonished than the great composer should he return and see how he has been idealized by sculptors and painters.

    as I pointed out above, it has to do with the fact that Pushkin has had relatively little impact outside of Russia.

    Nonsense. There are dozens of writers from Asia and Europe ranked above Pushkin who have had lesser impact outside their countries…and much lesser impact within their countries.

    The writers from Asia don’t count, as I am discussing Pushkin’s place within the Western Lit category. As for writers within the Western category who are placed above Pushkin, which ones bother you? Which ones do you think are being overrated by Murray?

    Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western Music:

    Hmmm, actually Beethoven is tied at #1 along with 21 others in total (all nations, all categories). He is #5 only because of alphabetical order within that shared ranking (I overlooked that).

    Dear fellow, an all categories ranking is an absurdity. How would one begin to compare Bach to Newton? Or James Watt to Michelangelo? That’s why I use Murray’s rankings within categories. And Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western music.

    Coming from the pathologically dishonest character who denies that the Sphinx of Giza and the Olmec heads of Mexico are negroid in appearance

    You’re really not helping yourself by bringing up your belief that the Olmec heads depict Black Africans…..

    you of course cannot be expected to be rational and objective in matters of race.

    Dear fellow, only Afrocentric cranks take the “Black Beethoven” theory seriously:

    http://www.academia.edu/4074689/Black_Beethoven_and_the_Racial_Politics_of_Music_History

    http://www.sjsu.edu/beethoven/research/faq_beethoven/

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    The writers from Asia don’t count, as I am discussing Pushkin’s place within the Western Lit category
     
    It is really stupid to claim that asian writers don't count when they figure so prominently on Murray's list. Where the hell did you learn that impact outside the country applies only to western writers? On what basis do you think Murray ranks asian writers? Do you even think before you post?

    You’re really not helping yourself by bringing up your belief that the Olmec heads depict Black Africans…..
     
    You really helped yourself....look foolish by denying the obvious with laughable comparisons like this:

    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Native-Olmec-compare-3.jpg

    only Afrocentric cranks take the “Black Beethoven” theory seriously:
     
    The descriptions of Beethoven by people who actually saw him in real life trump all the denials and delusions of dumb and dishonest racists such as yourself.

    Btw, Socrates too was described (including by himself) as showing visible african ancestry: low nasal bridge, broad nose, flaring nostrils, big lips, bulging eyes.
    , @Bliss

    I am discussing Pushkin’s place within the Western Lit category
     
    You didn't even bother to read that list did you? Pushkin is not in there. You seem to be confusing Pushkin with Tolstoy. As Karlin posted the russians rank Pushkin ahead of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.

    It is absurd that Pushkin is not included in Murray's list of top 20 in western literature. He should be in the top ten. How the hell are Lord Byron, Jean Racine, Schiller for example, bigger than Pushkin?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Pushkin#Legacy

    Pushkin is usually credited with developing Russian literature. Not only is he seen as having originated the highly nuanced level of language which characterizes Russian literature after him, but he is also credited with substantially augmenting the Russian lexicon. Where he found gaps in the Russian vocabulary, he devised calques. His rich vocabulary and highly sensitive style are the foundation for modern Russian literature. His accomplishments set new records for development of the Russian language and culture. He became the father of Russian literature in the 19th century, marking the highest achievements of 18th century and the beginning of literary process of the 19th century. Alexander Pushkin introduced Russia to all the European literary genres as well as a great number of West European writers. He brought natural speech and foreign influences to create modern poetic Russian. Though his life was brief, he left examples of nearly every literary genre of his day: lyric poetry, narrative poetry, the novel, the short story, the drama, the critical essay, and even the personal letter.

    Pushkin's work as a journalist marked the birth of Russian magazine culture which included him devising and contributing heavily to one of the most influential literary magazines of the 19th century, the Sovremennik (The Contemporary, or Современник). Pushkin inspired the folk tales and genre pieces of other authors: Leskov, Esenin, and Gorky. His use of Russian language formed the basis of the style of novelists Ivan Turgenev, Ivan Goncharov, and Leo Tolstoy, as well as that of subsequent lyric poets such as Mikhail Lermontov. Pushkin was analyzed by Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol, his successor and pupil, and the great Russian critic Vissarion Grigoryevich Belinsky who has also produced the fullest and deepest critical study of Pushkin's work, which still retains much of its relevance.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Murray’s list starts with Ancient Greece showing his eurocentric bias. History didn’t start with Greece. The human accomplishments of Ancient Egypt, Sumer, Indus Valley predate Greece by thousands of years. Even the Olmec civilization of central america predates the beginning of this list by many centuries.

    Some observations:

    The ancient greeks start off the list 2700 years ago with Homer and Hesiod. Indians enter 2600 years ago with Carvaka and Kapila. Chinese start showing up 2550 years ago with Laozi. Romans ~2200 years ago. Arabs ~1500 years ago. Japanese ~1400 years ago. Northern europeans are the last to make the list, and among them the slavs are the last to appear on the scene.

    In the 700 years between 400 A.D. and 1100 A.D. europeans were conspicuous by their near-total absence. Arabs, Indians, Chinese and Japanese completely dominate. Conversely, europeans start dominating the list ~500 years ago and take off into the stratosphere after the Enlightenment.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Murray’s list starts with Ancient Greece showing his eurocentric bias. History didn’t start with Greece. The human accomplishments of Ancient Egypt, Sumer, Indus Valley predate Greece by thousands of years. Even the Olmec civilization of central america predates the beginning of this list by many centuries.
     
    Murray starts his list at 800 BC for reasons of practicality. As he notes in his book, that's about as far back as we can go and still discuss creative individuals.And it's also about as far back as we can go in terms of the direct transmission of culture. The ability to read Egyptian hieroglyphs and cuneiform was only regained in the 19th century. And we still can't read the writing system used by the Indus civilization.

    Some observations:

    The ancient greeks start off the list 2700 years ago with Homer and Hesiod. Indians enter 2600 years ago with Carvaka and Kapila. Chinese start showing up 2550 years ago with Laozi. Romans ~2200 years ago. Arabs ~1500 years ago. Japanese ~1400 years ago. Northern europeans are the last to make the list, and among them the slavs are the last to appear on the scene.
     
    On the other hand, Blacks Africans are nearly non-existent......

    In the 700 years between 400 A.D. and 1100 A.D. europeans were conspicuous by their near-total absence. Arabs, Indians, Chinese and Japanese completely dominate.
     
    Yeah, a well-known low point for European Civilization.Of course, Europe had produced one hell of a lot between 700 BC and 400 AD: the Homeric epics, Hesiod, Virgil, Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius, Tacitus, Herodotus, Thucydides, Archimedes, Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles, etc, etc

    Conversely, europeans start dominating the list ~500 years ago and take off into the stratosphere after the Enlightenment.
     
    Actually, the Western European recovery begins more than 500 years ago, as demonstrated by figures like Dante, Fibonacci,Thomas Aquinas, William of Occam, Chaucer, Giotto, etc
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @syonredux

    What part of top 100 total didn’t you understand?

    Tolstoy is ranked #218 and Pushkin #375. There are scores of obscure western euro and east asian writers/poets ahead of Pushkin who is the #1 most creative writer in the russian language. Does that actually makes sense to you?
     
    Dear fellow, here's Murray's list of the greatest authors in the Western Lit category:

    Figure Index score
    William Shakespeare 100
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 81
    Dante Alighieri 62
    Virgil 55
    Homer 54
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau 48
    Voltaire 47
    Molière 43
    Lord Byron 42
    Leo Tolstoy 42
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky 41
    Petrarch 40
    Victor Hugo 40
    Friedrich Schiller 38
    Giovanni Boccaccio 35
    Horace 35
    Euripides 35
    Jean Racine 34
    Walter Scott 33
    Henrik Ibsen 32
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Western_Literature

    Tolstoy is ranked at number 10. That means that only 9 Western authors are ranked ahead of him.

    As to why Pushkin ranks so far below Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, that has to do with Murray's methodology for assigning scores to literary figures. In order to avoid linguistic/nationalistic bias, authors are assigned scores according to how they are regarded by critics who do not belong to the same linguistic category as the author. For example, Anglo critics were not used for the purpose of assigning a score to Shakespeare. Pushkin has had a tremendous impact on Russian Literature, but his work does not translate well. Hence, he has had a relatively small impact on non-Russian literature. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, in contrast, have had a huge impact on non-Russian authors.

    And his pathological antipathy for africans explains his absurdly low ranking of the part-ethiopian Pushkin.
     
    No, as I pointed out above, it has to do with the fact that Pushkin has had relatively little impact outside of Russia.

    Ditto for his ranking the part-african Alexandre Dumas, the most popular writer of french fiction, at #1371 (well below numerous obscure french writers).
     
    Popularity often has very little to do with quality...

    If Murray knew that Beethoven was also part black he surely wouldn’t have ranked him #5:
     
    Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western Music:

    Figure Index score
    Ludwig van Beethoven 100
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 100
    Johann Sebastian Bach 87
    Richard Wagner 80
    Joseph Haydn 56
    Georg Friedrich Händel 46
    Igor Stravinsky 45
    Claude Debussy 45
    Franz Liszt 45
    Franz Schubert 44
    Robert Schumann 42
    Hector Berlioz 41
    Arnold Schoenberg 39
    Johannes Brahms 35
    Frédéric Chopin 32
    Claudio Monteverdi 31
    Giuseppe Verdi 30
    Felix Mendelssohn 30
    Carl Maria von Weber 27
    Christoph Willibald Gluck 26
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Western_Music


    And, needless to say, Beethoven wasn't part Black:

    http://www.academia.edu/4074689/Black_Beethoven_and_the_Racial_Politics_of_Music_History


    http://www.sjsu.edu/beethoven/research/faq_beethoven/

    as I pointed out above, it has to do with the fact that Pushkin has had relatively little impact outside of Russia.

    Nonsense. There are dozens of writers from Asia and Europe ranked above Pushkin who have had lesser impact outside their countries…and much lesser impact within their countries.

    Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western Music:

    Hmmm, actually Beethoven is tied at #1 along with 21 others in total (all nations, all categories). He is #5 only because of alphabetical order within that shared ranking (I overlooked that).

    Beethoven wasn’t part Black

    Coming from the pathologically dishonest character who denies that the Sphinx of Giza and the Olmec heads of Mexico are negroid in appearance you of course cannot be expected to be rational and objective in matters of race.

    http://www.mdcbowen.org/p2/sf/faq068.htm

    Frederick Hertz, German anthropologist, in “Race and Civilization,” refers twice to Beethoven’s “Negroid traits” and his “dark” skin, and “flat, thick nose.” (pp. 123 and 178).

    Frau Fischer, an intimate acquaintance of Beethoven, describes him thus, “Short, stocky, broad shoulders, short neck, round nose, blackish-brown complexion.” (From r. H. Schauffler, The Man Who Freed Music, Vol. I, p. 18, 1929).

    Paul Bekker, another very noted authority on Beethoven, says that “the most faithful picture of Beethoven’s head” shows him with “wide, thick lipped mouth, short, thick nose, and proudly arched forehead.” (Beethoven, p. 41, 1925. trans. Bozman). Thayer adds that Beethoven was an ugly little man, and no one would be more astonished than the great composer should he return and see how he has been idealized by sculptors and painters.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    as I pointed out above, it has to do with the fact that Pushkin has had relatively little impact outside of Russia.

    Nonsense. There are dozens of writers from Asia and Europe ranked above Pushkin who have had lesser impact outside their countries…and much lesser impact within their countries.
     
    The writers from Asia don't count, as I am discussing Pushkin's place within the Western Lit category. As for writers within the Western category who are placed above Pushkin, which ones bother you? Which ones do you think are being overrated by Murray?

    Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western Music:

    Hmmm, actually Beethoven is tied at #1 along with 21 others in total (all nations, all categories). He is #5 only because of alphabetical order within that shared ranking (I overlooked that).
     
    Dear fellow, an all categories ranking is an absurdity. How would one begin to compare Bach to Newton? Or James Watt to Michelangelo? That's why I use Murray's rankings within categories. And Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western music.

    Coming from the pathologically dishonest character who denies that the Sphinx of Giza and the Olmec heads of Mexico are negroid in appearance
     
    You're really not helping yourself by bringing up your belief that the Olmec heads depict Black Africans.....

    you of course cannot be expected to be rational and objective in matters of race.
     
    Dear fellow, only Afrocentric cranks take the "Black Beethoven" theory seriously:



    http://www.academia.edu/4074689/Black_Beethoven_and_the_Racial_Politics_of_Music_History

    http://www.sjsu.edu/beethoven/research/faq_beethoven/
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Bliss

    Actually, both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky occupy high positions in the Western Lit category:
     
    What part of top 100 total didn't you understand?

    Tolstoy is ranked #218 and Pushkin #375. There are scores of obscure western euro and east asian writers/poets ahead of Pushkin who is the #1 most creative writer in the russian language. Does that actually makes sense to you?

    Clearly Murray is hopelessly biased. His asian fetish and western euro chauvinism is shamelessly expressed in his rankings. And his pathological antipathy for africans explains his absurdly low ranking of the part-ethiopian Pushkin. Ditto for his ranking the part-african Alexandre Dumas, the most popular writer of french fiction, at #1371 (well below numerous obscure french writers).

    If Murray knew that Beethoven was also part black he surely wouldn't have ranked him #5:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=beethoven+black&espv=2&biw=1097&bih=492&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF7t_CoNPKAhUP-GMKHSGLAd0QsAQIGw

    What part of top 100 total didn’t you understand?

    Tolstoy is ranked #218 and Pushkin #375. There are scores of obscure western euro and east asian writers/poets ahead of Pushkin who is the #1 most creative writer in the russian language. Does that actually makes sense to you?

    Dear fellow, here’s Murray’s list of the greatest authors in the Western Lit category:

    Figure Index score
    William Shakespeare 100
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 81
    Dante Alighieri 62
    Virgil 55
    Homer 54
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau 48
    Voltaire 47
    Molière 43
    Lord Byron 42
    Leo Tolstoy 42
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky 41
    Petrarch 40
    Victor Hugo 40
    Friedrich Schiller 38
    Giovanni Boccaccio 35
    Horace 35
    Euripides 35
    Jean Racine 34
    Walter Scott 33
    Henrik Ibsen 32

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Western_Literature

    Tolstoy is ranked at number 10. That means that only 9 Western authors are ranked ahead of him.

    As to why Pushkin ranks so far below Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, that has to do with Murray’s methodology for assigning scores to literary figures. In order to avoid linguistic/nationalistic bias, authors are assigned scores according to how they are regarded by critics who do not belong to the same linguistic category as the author. For example, Anglo critics were not used for the purpose of assigning a score to Shakespeare. Pushkin has had a tremendous impact on Russian Literature, but his work does not translate well. Hence, he has had a relatively small impact on non-Russian literature. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, in contrast, have had a huge impact on non-Russian authors.

    And his pathological antipathy for africans explains his absurdly low ranking of the part-ethiopian Pushkin.

    No, as I pointed out above, it has to do with the fact that Pushkin has had relatively little impact outside of Russia.

    Ditto for his ranking the part-african Alexandre Dumas, the most popular writer of french fiction, at #1371 (well below numerous obscure french writers).

    Popularity often has very little to do with quality…

    If Murray knew that Beethoven was also part black he surely wouldn’t have ranked him #5:

    Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western Music:

    Figure Index score
    Ludwig van Beethoven 100
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 100
    Johann Sebastian Bach 87
    Richard Wagner 80
    Joseph Haydn 56
    Georg Friedrich Händel 46
    Igor Stravinsky 45
    Claude Debussy 45
    Franz Liszt 45
    Franz Schubert 44
    Robert Schumann 42
    Hector Berlioz 41
    Arnold Schoenberg 39
    Johannes Brahms 35
    Frédéric Chopin 32
    Claudio Monteverdi 31
    Giuseppe Verdi 30
    Felix Mendelssohn 30
    Carl Maria von Weber 27
    Christoph Willibald Gluck 26

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Western_Music

    And, needless to say, Beethoven wasn’t part Black:

    http://www.academia.edu/4074689/Black_Beethoven_and_the_Racial_Politics_of_Music_History

    http://www.sjsu.edu/beethoven/research/faq_beethoven/

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    as I pointed out above, it has to do with the fact that Pushkin has had relatively little impact outside of Russia.
     
    Nonsense. There are dozens of writers from Asia and Europe ranked above Pushkin who have had lesser impact outside their countries...and much lesser impact within their countries.

    Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western Music:
     
    Hmmm, actually Beethoven is tied at #1 along with 21 others in total (all nations, all categories). He is #5 only because of alphabetical order within that shared ranking (I overlooked that).

    Beethoven wasn’t part Black
     
    Coming from the pathologically dishonest character who denies that the Sphinx of Giza and the Olmec heads of Mexico are negroid in appearance you of course cannot be expected to be rational and objective in matters of race.

    http://www.mdcbowen.org/p2/sf/faq068.htm

    Frederick Hertz, German anthropologist, in "Race and Civilization," refers twice to Beethoven's "Negroid traits" and his "dark" skin, and "flat, thick nose." (pp. 123 and 178).

    Frau Fischer, an intimate acquaintance of Beethoven, describes him thus, "Short, stocky, broad shoulders, short neck, round nose, blackish-brown complexion." (From r. H. Schauffler, The Man Who Freed Music, Vol. I, p. 18, 1929).

    Paul Bekker, another very noted authority on Beethoven, says that "the most faithful picture of Beethoven's head" shows him with "wide, thick lipped mouth, short, thick nose, and proudly arched forehead." (Beethoven, p. 41, 1925. trans. Bozman). Thayer adds that Beethoven was an ugly little man, and no one would be more astonished than the great composer should he return and see how he has been idealized by sculptors and painters.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @syonredux

    Anyone who takes Charles Murray’s list seriously is an idiot. For example he has rated 17 japanese (all in art and literature) and 23 chinese (all but one in art and lit) among his top 100 but not a single russian. Apparently Pushkin and Tolstoy were not good enough for this “expert” in world literature.
     
    Actually, both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky occupy high positions in the Western Lit category:

    10: Tolstoy (score: 42)

    11:Dostoevsky (score: 42)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Western_Literature

    Slavs in general are few and far between among the thousands he has listed and ranked. There is always bias and prejudice in such lists, but this one is beyond ridiculous.
     
    The top four European countries (in terms of producing significant figures in the arts and the sciences) in Murray's book are Britain, France, Italy, and Germany. Given what they have produced over the last 1,000 years, that's not surprising.

    One fact that the list does help to highlight is how almost every accomplished northern european died less than 500 years ago. It took many centuries after the northern barbarians were civilized for them to start showing up in the list.
     
    So, perhaps in a thousand years or so, we'll start seeing Black African versions of Newton, Bach, Shakespeare, Gauss, Kant, Mozart,Edison, etc, etc...

    Actually, both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky occupy high positions in the Western Lit category:

    What part of top 100 total didn’t you understand?

    Tolstoy is ranked #218 and Pushkin #375. There are scores of obscure western euro and east asian writers/poets ahead of Pushkin who is the #1 most creative writer in the russian language. Does that actually makes sense to you?

    Clearly Murray is hopelessly biased. His asian fetish and western euro chauvinism is shamelessly expressed in his rankings. And his pathological antipathy for africans explains his absurdly low ranking of the part-ethiopian Pushkin. Ditto for his ranking the part-african Alexandre Dumas, the most popular writer of french fiction, at #1371 (well below numerous obscure french writers).

    If Murray knew that Beethoven was also part black he surely wouldn’t have ranked him #5:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=beethoven+black&espv=2&biw=1097&bih=492&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF7t_CoNPKAhUP-GMKHSGLAd0QsAQIGw

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    What part of top 100 total didn’t you understand?

    Tolstoy is ranked #218 and Pushkin #375. There are scores of obscure western euro and east asian writers/poets ahead of Pushkin who is the #1 most creative writer in the russian language. Does that actually makes sense to you?
     
    Dear fellow, here's Murray's list of the greatest authors in the Western Lit category:

    Figure Index score
    William Shakespeare 100
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 81
    Dante Alighieri 62
    Virgil 55
    Homer 54
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau 48
    Voltaire 47
    Molière 43
    Lord Byron 42
    Leo Tolstoy 42
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky 41
    Petrarch 40
    Victor Hugo 40
    Friedrich Schiller 38
    Giovanni Boccaccio 35
    Horace 35
    Euripides 35
    Jean Racine 34
    Walter Scott 33
    Henrik Ibsen 32
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Western_Literature

    Tolstoy is ranked at number 10. That means that only 9 Western authors are ranked ahead of him.

    As to why Pushkin ranks so far below Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, that has to do with Murray's methodology for assigning scores to literary figures. In order to avoid linguistic/nationalistic bias, authors are assigned scores according to how they are regarded by critics who do not belong to the same linguistic category as the author. For example, Anglo critics were not used for the purpose of assigning a score to Shakespeare. Pushkin has had a tremendous impact on Russian Literature, but his work does not translate well. Hence, he has had a relatively small impact on non-Russian literature. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, in contrast, have had a huge impact on non-Russian authors.

    And his pathological antipathy for africans explains his absurdly low ranking of the part-ethiopian Pushkin.
     
    No, as I pointed out above, it has to do with the fact that Pushkin has had relatively little impact outside of Russia.

    Ditto for his ranking the part-african Alexandre Dumas, the most popular writer of french fiction, at #1371 (well below numerous obscure french writers).
     
    Popularity often has very little to do with quality...

    If Murray knew that Beethoven was also part black he surely wouldn’t have ranked him #5:
     
    Beethoven is tied with Mozart for number one in Western Music:

    Figure Index score
    Ludwig van Beethoven 100
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 100
    Johann Sebastian Bach 87
    Richard Wagner 80
    Joseph Haydn 56
    Georg Friedrich Händel 46
    Igor Stravinsky 45
    Claude Debussy 45
    Franz Liszt 45
    Franz Schubert 44
    Robert Schumann 42
    Hector Berlioz 41
    Arnold Schoenberg 39
    Johannes Brahms 35
    Frédéric Chopin 32
    Claudio Monteverdi 31
    Giuseppe Verdi 30
    Felix Mendelssohn 30
    Carl Maria von Weber 27
    Christoph Willibald Gluck 26
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Western_Music


    And, needless to say, Beethoven wasn't part Black:

    http://www.academia.edu/4074689/Black_Beethoven_and_the_Racial_Politics_of_Music_History


    http://www.sjsu.edu/beethoven/research/faq_beethoven/
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  • Dostoyevsky is kinda hard to read in Russian.

    True to a degree, yet, sometimes his language almost replicates Tolstoy’s free flowing narrative. Both are quintessential Russian writers, and that never failed the attention of Isiah Berlin who wrote his masterpiece “The Hedgehog and the Fox”.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    FWIW, here is a Russian ranking of its literature greats with a methodology that is (very loosely) similar to Murray's:

    http://russianbookchamber.blogspot.com/p/russkie-pisateli-klassiki.html

    Top 10:

    1. Pushkin
    2. Tolstoy
    3. Gorky
    4. Chekhov
    5. Tolstoy (the other one)
    6. Gogol
    7. Turgenev
    8. Lermontov
    9. Dostoevsky
    10. Kuprin

    Incidentally, this illustrates a rather funny feature of West/Russian differences. Since Pushkin, as a writer of poetry or at most short, highly stylistic prose, is much harder to translate into foreign languages, he appears third on Murray's list. However, he appears first on the Russian list, and this is a rating that has face validity, i.e. Pushkin really is central in Russian school literature classes.

    In Murray's list, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy are joint first.

    I do think Dostoevsky is strangely low on the Russian list. I could just about see Chekhov edging him out, but Turgenev? A. Tolstoy?? Very strange.

    Dostoyevsky is kinda hard to read in Russian. My observation is that few in Russia read him for pleasure. Translations generally cannot fully convey his style, which ironically makes his books more accessible in other languages.

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  • Re art and literature, would that Murray examine the good/bad impacts ‘artiststs’ have had on civilizations’ successes/failures . . .

    The entertainment class (( artists of whatever venue )) has done more to topple high-culture civilization than any other factor, save environmental cataclysms.

    Generally, high culture rises upon left-brain reason (( masculinism )) and falls by right-brain emotion (( feminism )).

    “The past informs the present to predict the future.” -Brule’

    Examine the entertainment class in ancient Greece and Rome to predict present-day Hollywood’s bad impact on Western Civ.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    FWIW, here is a Russian ranking of its literature greats with a methodology that is (very loosely) similar to Murray's:

    http://russianbookchamber.blogspot.com/p/russkie-pisateli-klassiki.html

    Top 10:

    1. Pushkin
    2. Tolstoy
    3. Gorky
    4. Chekhov
    5. Tolstoy (the other one)
    6. Gogol
    7. Turgenev
    8. Lermontov
    9. Dostoevsky
    10. Kuprin

    Incidentally, this illustrates a rather funny feature of West/Russian differences. Since Pushkin, as a writer of poetry or at most short, highly stylistic prose, is much harder to translate into foreign languages, he appears third on Murray's list. However, he appears first on the Russian list, and this is a rating that has face validity, i.e. Pushkin really is central in Russian school literature classes.

    In Murray's list, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy are joint first.

    I do think Dostoevsky is strangely low on the Russian list. I could just about see Chekhov edging him out, but Turgenev? A. Tolstoy?? Very strange.

    Incidentally, this illustrates a rather funny feature of West/Russian differences. Since Pushkin, as a writer of poetry or at most short, highly stylistic prose, is much harder to translate into foreign languages, he appears third on Murray’s list. However, he appears first on the Russian list, and this is a rating that has face validity, i.e. Pushkin really is central in Russian school literature classes.

    In compiling his Western Lit inventory, Murray was quite worried about linguistic chauvinism. To get past that problem, he made a decision to evaluate each author via critical sources that were not in the same language that the author wrote in. Hence, Anglo authors were scored according to evaluations made by non-Anglo critics, Germans were scored according to evaluations made by non-German critics, etc.

    This has a tendency to produce rankings that can seem a bit odd.For example, here’s his lost of giants in Western Lit:

    Figure Index score
    William Shakespeare 100
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 81
    Dante Alighieri 62
    Virgil 55
    Homer 54
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau 48
    Voltaire 47
    Molière 43
    Lord Byron 42
    Leo Tolstoy 42
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky 41
    Petrarch 40
    Victor Hugo 40
    Friedrich Schiller 38
    Giovanni Boccaccio 35
    Horace 35
    Euripides 35
    Jean Racine 34
    Walter Scott 33
    Henrik Ibsen 32

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Western_Literature

    Now, the top scoring Anglos are Shakespeare, Byron, and Sir Walter Scott. Not many Anglos would argue about Shakespeare’s ranking, but Byron and Scott look weirdly out of place. How many Anglo critics would rate Byron above figures like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Milton, Eliot, Frost, Pope, etc? Very few, I’m sure. And I can’t think of anyone who would place Scott above Dickens, Austen, Henry James, William Faulkner, George Eliot, etc.

    However, those scores do make sense when one thinks of the impact that Byron and Scott have had outside Anglo Lit.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    FWIW, here is a Russian ranking of its literature greats with a methodology that is (very loosely) similar to Murray's:

    http://russianbookchamber.blogspot.com/p/russkie-pisateli-klassiki.html

    Top 10:

    1. Pushkin
    2. Tolstoy
    3. Gorky
    4. Chekhov
    5. Tolstoy (the other one)
    6. Gogol
    7. Turgenev
    8. Lermontov
    9. Dostoevsky
    10. Kuprin

    Incidentally, this illustrates a rather funny feature of West/Russian differences. Since Pushkin, as a writer of poetry or at most short, highly stylistic prose, is much harder to translate into foreign languages, he appears third on Murray's list. However, he appears first on the Russian list, and this is a rating that has face validity, i.e. Pushkin really is central in Russian school literature classes.

    In Murray's list, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy are joint first.

    I do think Dostoevsky is strangely low on the Russian list. I could just about see Chekhov edging him out, but Turgenev? A. Tolstoy?? Very strange.

    I do think Dostoevsky is strangely low on the Russian list. I could just about see Chekhov edging him out, but Turgenev? A. Tolstoy?? Very strange.

    Could this list reflect the observation that L. Tolstoy fans dislike Dostoevsky and vice versa?

    Murray also probably places Tolstoy and Dostoevsky too far down on his list. I agree with Smoothie’s statement that Murray’s list is complete crap.

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  • Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin
    FWIW, here is a Russian ranking of its literature greats with a methodology that is (very loosely) similar to Murray's:

    http://russianbookchamber.blogspot.com/p/russkie-pisateli-klassiki.html

    Top 10:

    1. Pushkin
    2. Tolstoy
    3. Gorky
    4. Chekhov
    5. Tolstoy (the other one)
    6. Gogol
    7. Turgenev
    8. Lermontov
    9. Dostoevsky
    10. Kuprin

    Incidentally, this illustrates a rather funny feature of West/Russian differences. Since Pushkin, as a writer of poetry or at most short, highly stylistic prose, is much harder to translate into foreign languages, he appears third on Murray's list. However, he appears first on the Russian list, and this is a rating that has face validity, i.e. Pushkin really is central in Russian school literature classes.

    In Murray's list, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy are joint first.

    I do think Dostoevsky is strangely low on the Russian list. I could just about see Chekhov edging him out, but Turgenev? A. Tolstoy?? Very strange.

    I do think Dostoevsky is strangely low on the Russian list. I could just about see Chekhov edging him out, but Turgenev? A. Tolstoy?? Very strange.

    I think Turgenev is in this position for obvious reason–Fathers And Children is one of the archetypal pieces of “Western” realism, no less important than anything Dostoevsky wrote. Per A.Tolstoy, if we are talking about Alexey Nickolaevich–considering his range from sci-fi Aelita or Hyperpoloid Of Engineer Garin to Hozhdenie Po Mukam, which is one of the best epics ever written, seems reasonable to me. I mean his fairly high position. I would, however, trade his position with Gogol’s.

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  • @FD
    And look at the list for Western music. No Dvorak, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky in the top 20. No Vivaldi for that matter.

    I didn’t find Albinoni either. Maybe I missed it accidentally. The list is a complete crap.

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  • And look at the list for Western music. No Dvorak, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky in the top 20. No Vivaldi for that matter.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    I didn't find Albinoni either. Maybe I missed it accidentally. The list is a complete crap.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • FWIW, here is a Russian ranking of its literature greats with a methodology that is (very loosely) similar to Murray’s:

    http://russianbookchamber.blogspot.com/p/russkie-pisateli-klassiki.html

    Top 10:

    1. Pushkin
    2. Tolstoy
    3. Gorky
    4. Chekhov
    5. Tolstoy (the other one)
    6. Gogol
    7. Turgenev
    8. Lermontov
    9. Dostoevsky
    10. Kuprin

    Incidentally, this illustrates a rather funny feature of West/Russian differences. Since Pushkin, as a writer of poetry or at most short, highly stylistic prose, is much harder to translate into foreign languages, he appears third on Murray’s list. However, he appears first on the Russian list, and this is a rating that has face validity, i.e. Pushkin really is central in Russian school literature classes.

    In Murray’s list, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy are joint first.

    I do think Dostoevsky is strangely low on the Russian list. I could just about see Chekhov edging him out, but Turgenev? A. Tolstoy?? Very strange.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    I do think Dostoevsky is strangely low on the Russian list. I could just about see Chekhov edging him out, but Turgenev? A. Tolstoy?? Very strange.
     
    I think Turgenev is in this position for obvious reason--Fathers And Children is one of the archetypal pieces of "Western" realism, no less important than anything Dostoevsky wrote. Per A.Tolstoy, if we are talking about Alexey Nickolaevich--considering his range from sci-fi Aelita or Hyperpoloid Of Engineer Garin to Hozhdenie Po Mukam, which is one of the best epics ever written, seems reasonable to me. I mean his fairly high position. I would, however, trade his position with Gogol's.
    , @AP

    I do think Dostoevsky is strangely low on the Russian list. I could just about see Chekhov edging him out, but Turgenev? A. Tolstoy?? Very strange.
     
    Could this list reflect the observation that L. Tolstoy fans dislike Dostoevsky and vice versa?

    Murray also probably places Tolstoy and Dostoevsky too far down on his list. I agree with Smoothie's statement that Murray's list is complete crap.
    , @syonredux

    Incidentally, this illustrates a rather funny feature of West/Russian differences. Since Pushkin, as a writer of poetry or at most short, highly stylistic prose, is much harder to translate into foreign languages, he appears third on Murray’s list. However, he appears first on the Russian list, and this is a rating that has face validity, i.e. Pushkin really is central in Russian school literature classes.
     
    In compiling his Western Lit inventory, Murray was quite worried about linguistic chauvinism. To get past that problem, he made a decision to evaluate each author via critical sources that were not in the same language that the author wrote in. Hence, Anglo authors were scored according to evaluations made by non-Anglo critics, Germans were scored according to evaluations made by non-German critics, etc.

    This has a tendency to produce rankings that can seem a bit odd.For example, here's his lost of giants in Western Lit:



    Figure Index score
    William Shakespeare 100
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 81
    Dante Alighieri 62
    Virgil 55
    Homer 54
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau 48
    Voltaire 47
    Molière 43
    Lord Byron 42
    Leo Tolstoy 42
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky 41
    Petrarch 40
    Victor Hugo 40
    Friedrich Schiller 38
    Giovanni Boccaccio 35
    Horace 35
    Euripides 35
    Jean Racine 34
    Walter Scott 33
    Henrik Ibsen 32

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Western_Literature

    Now, the top scoring Anglos are Shakespeare, Byron, and Sir Walter Scott. Not many Anglos would argue about Shakespeare's ranking, but Byron and Scott look weirdly out of place. How many Anglo critics would rate Byron above figures like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Milton, Eliot, Frost, Pope, etc? Very few, I'm sure. And I can't think of anyone who would place Scott above Dickens, Austen, Henry James, William Faulkner, George Eliot, etc.

    However, those scores do make sense when one thinks of the impact that Byron and Scott have had outside Anglo Lit.
    , @inertial
    Dostoyevsky is kinda hard to read in Russian. My observation is that few in Russia read him for pleasure. Translations generally cannot fully convey his style, which ironically makes his books more accessible in other languages.
    , @AG
    林安德, you might be interested in following documentary about current innovation of Chinese machine industry which starts to provide high end of equiments for developed nations like USA, Germany.

    https://youtu.be/x2i5s71GTbw?list=PLodP2yDwGRJGYp8yuZi1uNMOE3PcaBiYI

    Like Japan, people start innovation after learning. This documentary was made in 2013. Now far more stuffs come out.
    , @AG
    http://edge.org/conversation/richard_nisbett-the-crusade-against-multiple-regression-analysis

    Hope this will help in your analysis. Correlation study is not very reliable at all. Be very careful.
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  • @Bliss
    Anyone who takes Charles Murray's list seriously is an idiot. For example he has rated 17 japanese (all in art and literature) and 23 chinese (all but one in art and lit) among his top 100 but not a single russian. Apparently Pushkin and Tolstoy were not good enough for this "expert" in world literature.

    Slavs in general are few and far between among the thousands he has listed and ranked. There is always bias and prejudice in such lists, but this one is beyond ridiculous.

    One fact that the list does help to highlight is how almost every accomplished northern european died less than 500 years ago. It took many centuries after the northern barbarians were civilized for them to start showing up in the list.

    Anyone who takes Charles Murray’s list seriously is an idiot. For example he has rated 17 japanese (all in art and literature) and 23 chinese (all but one in art and lit) among his top 100 but not a single russian. Apparently Pushkin and Tolstoy were not good enough for this “expert” in world literature.

    Actually, both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky occupy high positions in the Western Lit category:

    10: Tolstoy (score: 42)

    11:Dostoevsky (score: 42)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Western_Literature

    Slavs in general are few and far between among the thousands he has listed and ranked. There is always bias and prejudice in such lists, but this one is beyond ridiculous.

    The top four European countries (in terms of producing significant figures in the arts and the sciences) in Murray’s book are Britain, France, Italy, and Germany. Given what they have produced over the last 1,000 years, that’s not surprising.

    One fact that the list does help to highlight is how almost every accomplished northern european died less than 500 years ago. It took many centuries after the northern barbarians were civilized for them to start showing up in the list.

    So, perhaps in a thousand years or so, we’ll start seeing Black African versions of Newton, Bach, Shakespeare, Gauss, Kant, Mozart,Edison, etc, etc…

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    Actually, both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky occupy high positions in the Western Lit category:
     
    What part of top 100 total didn't you understand?

    Tolstoy is ranked #218 and Pushkin #375. There are scores of obscure western euro and east asian writers/poets ahead of Pushkin who is the #1 most creative writer in the russian language. Does that actually makes sense to you?

    Clearly Murray is hopelessly biased. His asian fetish and western euro chauvinism is shamelessly expressed in his rankings. And his pathological antipathy for africans explains his absurdly low ranking of the part-ethiopian Pushkin. Ditto for his ranking the part-african Alexandre Dumas, the most popular writer of french fiction, at #1371 (well below numerous obscure french writers).

    If Murray knew that Beethoven was also part black he surely wouldn't have ranked him #5:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=beethoven+black&espv=2&biw=1097&bih=492&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF7t_CoNPKAhUP-GMKHSGLAd0QsAQIGw

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  • Anyone who takes Charles Murray’s list seriously is an idiot. For example he has rated 17 japanese (all in art and literature) and 23 chinese (all but one in art and lit) among his top 100 but not a single russian. Apparently Pushkin and Tolstoy were not good enough for this “expert” in world literature.

    Slavs in general are few and far between among the thousands he has listed and ranked. There is always bias and prejudice in such lists, but this one is beyond ridiculous.

    One fact that the list does help to highlight is how almost every accomplished northern european died less than 500 years ago. It took many centuries after the northern barbarians were civilized for them to start showing up in the list.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Anyone who takes Charles Murray’s list seriously is an idiot. For example he has rated 17 japanese (all in art and literature) and 23 chinese (all but one in art and lit) among his top 100 but not a single russian. Apparently Pushkin and Tolstoy were not good enough for this “expert” in world literature.
     
    Actually, both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky occupy high positions in the Western Lit category:

    10: Tolstoy (score: 42)

    11:Dostoevsky (score: 42)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Accomplishment#Western_Literature

    Slavs in general are few and far between among the thousands he has listed and ranked. There is always bias and prejudice in such lists, but this one is beyond ridiculous.
     
    The top four European countries (in terms of producing significant figures in the arts and the sciences) in Murray's book are Britain, France, Italy, and Germany. Given what they have produced over the last 1,000 years, that's not surprising.

    One fact that the list does help to highlight is how almost every accomplished northern european died less than 500 years ago. It took many centuries after the northern barbarians were civilized for them to start showing up in the list.
     
    So, perhaps in a thousand years or so, we'll start seeing Black African versions of Newton, Bach, Shakespeare, Gauss, Kant, Mozart,Edison, etc, etc...
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  • @pyrrhus
    Christianity laid the groundwork for genius by banning cousin marriage "to the 7th degree." That ultimately led to smarter people.
    My own question after reading HA the first time was: where was Nicola Tesla?

    My own question after reading HA the first time was: where was Nicola Tesla?

    He’s there. Score of 17.77 in Technology

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  • anon • Disclaimer says:

    The Greeks laid the foundation, but it was the transmutation of that foundation by Christianity that gave modern Europe its impetus and differentiated European accomplishment from that of all other cultures around the world.

    If the (simplified) root of it all is something like

    how much your country doesn’t suck = IQ * CQ

    where
    IQ is IQ (either accurate average IQ or smart fraction depending on your opinion)
    CQ is some kind of corruption quotient

    then if “clannishness” can make both IQ and CQ worse then the Christian ban on close cousin marriage may have been a major factor.

    In which case well done Augustine and Aquinas (and possibly Cleisthenes as well h/t tajikchik).

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  • anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Glossy
    "namely, that Christianity was at the root of Europe’s post-1450 intellectual preeminence"

    Before the Renaissance the most impressive intellectual achievements were made by the ancient Greeks. So the two best efforts in that direction were made by essentially the same people, Europeans. If that were a coincidence, it would be a big one. The ancient Greek effort was made before Christianity came into the existence. So I think it's the hardware, not the software. In other words it's the people themselves.

    What made Europeans special? I think it's interesting that the farming zone extends much further to the north in Europe than in the Far East. The north of the Far East is the Mongolian and Manchurian steppe, pastureland. Above that is Siberia.

    Low population density of farmers up in the European north, people on isolated homesteads having to battle against the inanimate forces of nature more than against other people, this slowly selecting for a specific kind of mindset - that's my guess as to where science ultimately came from.

    I've listed some reasons for thinking that the Greeks were conquerors from the north before, but here's another one:

    The word laconic comes from Laconia, the part of Greece where Sparta is located. Ancient Greeks loved to tell jokes about how laconic Spartans were, the same sort of jokes that modern Europeans tell about Finns.

    As a person of nearly 100% Mediterranean background I think I can say with some authority that none of us are laconic. I've never heard anyone accuse any native Mediterranean people of that. Which is just another little thing that tells me that ancient Spartans, Dorians, and likely Greeks in general, were newcomers to the region, like the Brits at Gibraltar now.

    I think it’s interesting that the farming zone extends much further to the north in Europe than in the Far East. The north of the Far East is the Mongolian and Manchurian steppe, pastureland. Above that is Siberia.

    I think that’s part of it too. Gulf Stream = big deal.

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  • @Glossy
    If it was the people themselves why did Europe lag behind for so long?

    I tnink I've explained this to you before. The reason was low population density. The mindset necessary for the scientific and industrial revolutions was likely born on isolated farmsteads, but you can't have a complex civilization on them.

    Northern Europeans achieved high population density in Greece and Italy in ancient times through conquest, followed by a demographic explosion due to warm-weather farming. But this was temporary. They kept on conquering (old habits die hard), bringing Middle Eastern slaves (POWs) to Greece and Italy. Eventually they merged with them.

    More than a thousand years later agricultural techniques improved to such an extent that high population density became possible in places like England and Germany.

    “bringing Middle Eastern slaves (POWs) to Greece and Italy. Eventually they merged with them”

    That’s not true either.

    http://italianthro.blogspot.com/2014/06/mediterranean-sea-as-genetic-barrier.html

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  • Note that the dataset is incomplete. It does not have the text length data from the primary sources. These however would be important to have if one was interested in checking that the index numbers were calculated correctly, or if one wanted to add more primary sources, or wanted to split up the persons into other groups, or wanted to examine different cut-off threshold for inclusion. I will ask Murray if the other data can be released too. I have in mind doing a replicating study by comparing the lengths with Wikipedia articles’ length and the number of articles linking to each article.

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  • @Glossy
    "namely, that Christianity was at the root of Europe’s post-1450 intellectual preeminence"

    Before the Renaissance the most impressive intellectual achievements were made by the ancient Greeks. So the two best efforts in that direction were made by essentially the same people, Europeans. If that were a coincidence, it would be a big one. The ancient Greek effort was made before Christianity came into the existence. So I think it's the hardware, not the software. In other words it's the people themselves.

    What made Europeans special? I think it's interesting that the farming zone extends much further to the north in Europe than in the Far East. The north of the Far East is the Mongolian and Manchurian steppe, pastureland. Above that is Siberia.

    Low population density of farmers up in the European north, people on isolated homesteads having to battle against the inanimate forces of nature more than against other people, this slowly selecting for a specific kind of mindset - that's my guess as to where science ultimately came from.

    I've listed some reasons for thinking that the Greeks were conquerors from the north before, but here's another one:

    The word laconic comes from Laconia, the part of Greece where Sparta is located. Ancient Greeks loved to tell jokes about how laconic Spartans were, the same sort of jokes that modern Europeans tell about Finns.

    As a person of nearly 100% Mediterranean background I think I can say with some authority that none of us are laconic. I've never heard anyone accuse any native Mediterranean people of that. Which is just another little thing that tells me that ancient Spartans, Dorians, and likely Greeks in general, were newcomers to the region, like the Brits at Gibraltar now.

    “the Greeks were conquerors from the north”

    No they weren’t.

    http://dienekes.awardspace.com/articles/hellenes/

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  • @Vradisrava
    "The thing that’s necessary for my view of things to be valid is for them to have undergone a few thousand years of selection as northern farmers. And yes, they did that. "

    But that's the thing. They were recently mixed (a few thousand years) BUT they weren't farmers.

    They were herders.

    To be clearer: proto-Indo-Europeans were both farmers and herders in the steppes. The amount of farming that they did increased once they came to Europe.

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  • @Vradisrava
    "The thing that’s necessary for my view of things to be valid is for them to have undergone a few thousand years of selection as northern farmers. And yes, they did that. "

    But that's the thing. They were recently mixed (a few thousand years) BUT they weren't farmers.

    They were herders.

    And I think proto-Indo-Europeans practiced both farming and herding, though more of the latter than most farmers.

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  • @Vradisrava
    "The thing that’s necessary for my view of things to be valid is for them to have undergone a few thousand years of selection as northern farmers. And yes, they did that. "

    But that's the thing. They were recently mixed (a few thousand years) BUT they weren't farmers.

    They were herders.

    They became farmers once they got out of the steppes and conquered most of Europe.

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