The Decline of Violence

If you are in the mood for some thought-provoking hope-giving reading this weekend, I recommend Steven Pinker’s essay “The History of Violence“:

In the decade of Darfur and Iraq, and shortly after the century of Stalin, Hitler, and Mao, the claim that violence has been diminishing may seem somewhere between hallucinatory and obscene. Yet recent studies that seek to quantify the historical ebb and flow of violence point to exactly that conclusion.

[Hat tip: Yuvaraj.]

Of Buffaloes and Children

The basic law of economics, of supply and demand, is a bitch. Like gravity, it is all-pervasive and you would have as much success overturning it as overturning the law of gravitational attraction or inventing the much sought after perpetual motion machine. It is primarily ignorance of basic physical conservation laws that makes designers of perpetual motion machines attempt the impossible. A similar lamentable ignorance of economics also impels people to act as if the iron law of supply and demand can be ignored.
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