Paul Ehrlich, 50 years on, is sticking to his story.
A six-minute video showing the changes in political boundaries. By 1000 AD and even more by 1300 AD it shows the zillions of polities in Western Europe that economists point to as a primary source of Western Europe's later prosperity. (If a ruler expropriated property or even taxed too much, another government was "just down the road".)
Decentralized government tends to be good for human beings and other living things.
I don't know about "amazing" but I'll agree it was an interesting story.
Nice concise essay by Joel Mokyr on his work. Key sentences:
After 1500, Europe’s unique combination of political fragmentation and its pan-European institutions of learning brought dramatic intellectual changes in the way new ideas circulated. . . . Europe’s intellectual community enjoyed the best of two worlds, both the advantages of an integrated transnational academic community and a competitive states system.
A lesson, all right: when the government sets its mind to confiscate, no asset is safe.
"Angkor Wat is the largest religious complex in the world, covering a space of 500 acres . . ."
"How would you rank all colonial empires from the most inhumane to the most humane in its treatment of conquered peoples and why?"
A few Quora-ites discuss this gross but interesting topic.
Kinda like 17th century fake news.
For decades, economists have pointed to 17th-century tulipmania as a warning about the perils of the free market. Writers and historians have reveled in the absurdity of the event. The incident even provides the backdrop for the new film Tulip Fever, based on a novel of the same name by Deborah Moggach.
The only problem: none of these stories are true.
You probably can guess who #2, #3, and #4 are, but do you know #1?