Tyler Cowen: Consider change at the ‘margin’

Does the world have too many writers, or not enough? What about comparative literature professors? How should we think about the future of literary culture when the written word is becoming so much more culturally dominant at the same time as books and journalism are falling apart?

What variable are we changing at the margin? If people watch less TV and write more, that is probably a plus. I also would favour fewer photographs and more writing. But I wouldn’t cut back on charity to increase the quantity of writing. If only comparative literature professors were people who simply loved books — at the margin a bit more like used book store owners and somewhat less like professors — and would compare them to each other…then I would want more of them. Until then, I don’t know how to keep the extra ones busy.

—Tyler Cowen in Theo asks, and I intersperse my answers

I loved this (underlined) bit. Merely evaluating ‘change’ can be too broad, too subjective to whims. Evaluating variables that are changing at ‘the margin’, is a way better approach.

Contracts & social media

Tyler Cowen thinks notes that “due to social media it will be increasingly difficult to write and enforce retail contracts with legal meanings very different from their ‘common sense’ meanings.”

Airline Shares and Whistleblowers, April 13, 2017 at 11:24AM

Reality of the Raj, and the recovery

… in the post-colonial period is that a democratic Indian government endeavored to invest more in the health and education of more citizens, however imperfectly this was implemented. The British, in contrast, supplied fewer public goods and too often the expenditures were directed toward defending British rule, extracting revenue or ensuring India as a captive market for British goods.

Legacy of British Rule Is Still Holding India Back, April 13, 2017 at 05:10 PM

Both of these are largely forgotten, if not deliberately erased.

Many Indians tend to blame post-colonial democratic governments for bringing India down.

Most British students are barely taught the reality of British colonial rule from perspective of the colonised.