Is China Capitalist?

This question may be a bit premature at this point in the course but it’s important for various reasons. Therefore I will address it here for the benefit of those who wish to understand it now.

This is prompted by a question that Nithya asked:

In our 2nd live session, it was concluded that if Government gets into production then that country’s economy may not perform well. But, China is having a communist economy where most of the decisions and production is under government control. Still, they are the 2nd largest economy in the world. Why is it like that?

The short answer is that China is a capitalist economy, not a communist or socialist economy. India, by contrast, is a socialist economy. That distinction briefly explains why China’s economy is around 6 times larger than the Indian economy. And which is why China is poised to become the largest economy in the world in a few years, and why India will continue to be unfortunately a very poor country. Continue reading “Is China Capitalist?”

A Bit about Abstractions

To understand how something works we necessarily need to resort to and understand abstractions. Abstractions are high-level mental constructs that are expressed in language, and therefore the need for precise definitions of works used. Learning how things work requires learning vocabulary. 

So far we have introduced a bunch of vocabulary such as wealth, science, technology, energy, information, knowledge, etc. It will only become clear why these, and other concepts we will introduce as we go along, are necessary for understanding how the world works.  Continue reading “A Bit about Abstractions”

The World is Antifragile

In the 2nd session, we spoke about the bet between Paul Ehrlich and Julian Simon. Here’s a bit more from HumanProgress.org — The Counter-Intuitive Truth about the World’s Resources (Dec 2018):

Are we running out of resources? That’s been a hotly debated question since the publication of Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb in 1968. The Stanford University biologist warned that population growth would result in the exhaustion of resources and a global catastrophe. According to Ehrlich, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate”. Continue reading “The World is Antifragile”