Blog Archives

Why we have Extra Life today.

In the 1850s, upper royalty in England were living almost 70% longer than commoners. This graph shows average life expectancy for “ducal” families.  These were the highest rank of nobility, the dukes, just below the King’s nuclear family in the

Posted in Development, Health, statistics

Do we have a responsibility to develop more millionaire superheroes?

Peter Singer’s book called The Life You Can Save is about one of his most famous thought experiments: Suppose on a walk you notice a young girl drowning in a lake. If you can swim, and you can save her

Posted in Millionaire Superheroes, Philosophy and ethics

Slavery was a core part of civilization for most of history

What is the liberal arts?  The word arts means ‘subjects of study’ and today the word liberal in this context is usually taken to mean “wide-ranging” and “broad-minded”, but that wasn’t the original meaning of the term.  The liberal arts

Posted in Development

Maurice Hilleman, millionaire superhero

Almost nobody has heard of Maurice Hilleman, but everyone should know his name. As Radiolab said, “his work is estimated to save about 8 million lives a year… he was the greatest scientist of the 20th century… We live longer

Posted in Millionaire Superheroes

Guns, Toilets, and Steel: Different customs regarding humanure explain a lot of the differences in economic development.

The Humanure Handbook, by Joseph Jenkins, is a pioneering guide for people who want a simple composting toilet system.  I have used toilets that were inspired by the Handbook both in Guatemala and at a community a couple hours drive

Posted in Development

Corporations see a high-income world even though it is mainly middle-income

OpenStax is another high-quality open-source economics textbook provider and they produced a graph comparing the distribution of global income versus the distribution of global population. Hans Rosling found that most people incorrectly think that most of the world is poor,

Posted in Development, Globalization & International

How did the printing press revolutionize the world?

Writing changed the world by allowing one author to communicate with thousands of people. Even though only a few readers could read at the same time, a writing is a memory that can be preserved without corruption for decades and

Posted in Development

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