About the Blog

hic sunt dracones

Trevor Chow

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.

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.

There are plenty more policies out there too!

Trimmings and Accompaniments

Sometimes, I write about other things which take my fancy.