We’re all gonna make it

We live in exceptionally rare times. We’re a part of the first global, internet-native Scenius.

Throughout history, a handful of time-place combinations have punched so far above their weight in terms of contribution to human progress that their existence befuddled academics.

In 1997, historian David Banks argued in “The Problem of Excess Genius” that, “The most important question we can ask of historians is ‘Why are some periods and places so astonishingly more productive than the rest?’»

Figure out why, the logic goes, and we should be able to reproduce those productive periods and places on-command. But in his essay, Banks concluded that no one had sufficiently explained the phenomenon, in part because “essentially no scholarly effort had been directed towards it.”

Twenty-three years later, Tyler Cowen and Patrick Collison identified the same phenomenon in their 2020 essay, We Need a New Science of Progress:

Looking backwards, it’s striking how unevenly distributed progress has been in the past…the discoveries that came to elevate standards of living for everyone arose in comparatively tiny geographic pockets of innovative effort.

They called for a new scholarly discipline, Progress Studies, which “would study the successful people, organizations, institutions, policies, and cultures that have arisen to date, and it would attempt to concoct policies and prescriptions that would help improve our ability to generate useful progress in the future.”

Συνέχεια εδώ


Σχετικά Άρθρα