The Celestial Teapot

If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

That’s Bertrand Russell holding forth on the idiocy of revealed religions. I am quoting him here because I feel it is time I paid more attention to what is going on with the mad monotheists (I know, redundant) are doing to wreck the world.

Poverty and Freedom

“If poverty were simply an economic problem, we would be closer to a solution by now. But underdevelopment is a web of economic, political, institutional, ethnic, and class-related connections with persistent historical roots.” That’s Bob Solow, eminent neo-classical economists, winner of the Bank of Sweden’s Economic Sciences Prize in the Memory of Alfred Nobel (1987). Clearly, he understands the distinction between economic growth and economic development as he is the celebrated author of what is called the Solow-Swan economic growth model. That model, developed in the 1950s, was supplanted by endogenous growth models in the 1980s. The latter models have microeconomic foundations and one of their implications is that you can affect the long-run growth rate through suitable policy interventions that change incentives and which in turn affect the rate of innovation.
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