Macaulay’s Idea of Progress – the bifurcation of material and social progress – Some thoughts on David Berlinski


Thomas Babington Macaulay, National Portrait Gallery, London [John Partridge d.1872]

Thomas Babington Macaulay,  National Portrait Gallery, London            [John Partridge d.1872]

David Berlinski begins his, still unacountably unfinished, book The Best of Times with this quote from 19th century British philosopher and Whig politician Thomas Babington Macaulay:

“We rely on the natural tendency of the human intellect to truth, and of the natural tendency of society to improvement.”

The 20th and 21st centuries speak otherwise according to Berlinski.

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A reply to EM – A view down the road towards evolutionary concrescence


E.M. Smith, the Chiefio, has a comment in under my previous post A Roman Holiday – Chiefio on the problem of no fixes for the same ol’ same ‘ol, which was itself an elaboration upon a post at his blog, Same Solution, Same Problem, no fix .

In the comments E.M. noted:

FWIW, I think California is a great example of how the myth of “closer ties” is broken. We’re about as “tied” to the USA as you can get and fully economically and financially integrated. We’ve just had a 3rd city declare bankruptcy and several counties along with the State proper are headed toward it. We are the “Greece of the USA” and everyone knows it. So if ‘closer integration’ was going to fix things: How come California is so messed up financially?

My reply became long winded enough, and covered enough new theoretical ground that I’ve decided to promote it to a new post.

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The Durability of Links – the impact of the massively colaborative


Jimmy Wales in 2008 by Manuel Archain via Wikimedia Foundation

Jimmy Wales is staring at me again – he’s hard to get away from sometimes, he can be quite relentless – it must be that time of year again –  you know Wikipedia‘s annual fundraising drive.  Eventually I will rummage around under sofa cushions, raid the change dish, generally do what ever it takes to round up my piddling $25 annual contribution and send it off hoping I can buy him off for another 11 months.  It’s not that I mind making the contribution it’s that I’m easily disturbed by confrontational stares.

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