I’m Trevor, and I write about progress.
We live in a truly special time, because we are lucky enough to be alive after AD 1850. In the 150 years since the Industrial Revolution, we have seen unprecedented progress in human wellbeing, and underwriting all of this has been technological innovation.
Since the turn of the 21st century, we have continued to see new discoveries and developments. Yet it doesn’t feel like we are living in an era of abundance. I want to figure out why that is and how we can get back to an age of progress!
In that vein, here are a few things I think a lot about:
The Deep Magic of Economic Growth
By looking to past examples of progress and stagnation, I want to appreciate the nuances of when we succeed and when we fail.
- Here are the basics of economic growth theory.
The Political Economy of Increasing Returns
The basis of civilisation is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. However, existing mechanisms for collective decisionmaking are ill-equipped to handle these increasing returns to scale.
These social institutions aren’t sociological constants, but they have remain frozen in the past. We need to treat them as technologies that we can re-imagine to better allow human flourshing. How can we drive institutional entrepreneurship?
The ABCs of Technology
Atoms, bits and cells: three primitives which make up fascinating emergent phenomena. If the Industrial Revolution reduced energy prices and the Information Revolution cut compute prices, what will happen in the Biological Revolution? Will we be able to change the very nature of life?
The Long Run is a Series of Short Runs
This may well be the most important century, but the long run is luckily just a handful of short runs. What are the short-run policies that set us on a positive long-run trajectory?
One example is monetary policy.
- Here is what happened during the Global Financial Crisis.
- Here is why business cycle fluctuations do matter.
- Here is an estimate that every 1% unemployment goes up, 2,000 people die.
- Here is why central bank loss functions include inflation and output.
- Here is why monetary policy works in practice, but not in theory.
- Here is how the plumbing of monetary policy actually functions.
- Here is how the Global Financial Crisis maps onto the world of cryptocurrencies.
There are plenty more policies out there too!
- Here is why zoning laws are the bane of civilisation.
- Here are some intuitions about optimal taxation policy.
- Here is why unfettered migration is an economic free lunch.
- Here is why compensation has decoupled from productivity since the 1970s.
- Here are some plausible social democratic economic policies.
Trimmings and Accompaniments
Sometimes, I write about other things which take my fancy.
- Here is why Tim Drake is the best Robin.
- Here is a summary of intermediate business cycle macroeconomics.
- Here is a 300 year intellectual history of macroeconomics.
- Here is why I worry that Bostock’s but-for causation is bi-exclusionary
- Here is a guess for how Eton could alter its endowment policy.
- Here are three economic models of romance.