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TED: The 6 killer apps of prosperity
Old 09-19-2011, 11:24 AM   #1
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TED: The 6 killer apps of prosperity

Just an interesting 20 minute video summary IMO...
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Over the past few centuries, Western cultures have been very good at creating general prosperity for themselves. Historian Niall Ferguson asks: Why the West, and less so the rest? He suggests half a dozen big ideas from Western culture -- call them the 6 killer apps -- that promote wealth, stability and innovation. And in this new century, he says, these apps are all shareable.
Niall Ferguson: The 6 killer apps of prosperity | Video on TED.com
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:18 PM   #2
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Very interesting.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:15 PM   #3
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Very interesting. In summary the underlying reasons for the "great Divergence" (the west 20x richer per capita than the east) are:

Laws and rules invented by reason
Ideas and institutions

And these factors included 6 "killer apps" the west developed:
Competition (corporation and sovereigns)
Scientific Revolution (versus theocracy)
Property Rights (versus land hunger)
Modern Medicine (versus sorcery)
The Consumer Society (versus bare necessities)
Work Ethic (versus the leisure preference)

These "apps" are currently being downloaded around the world and the wealth gap is dropping rapidly (the re-convergence). Others have commented on this phenomena and do not see it as a zero sum game (i.e. all boats can rise). But the narrator speculates that some of these geographical areas may not succeed or may be delayed because they will miss out on key apps (e.g. property rights).
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Others have commented on this phenomena and do not see it as a zero sum game (i.e. all boats can rise). But the narrator speculates that some of these geographical areas may not succeed or may be delayed because they will miss out on key apps (e.g. property rights).
I want to comment on your 2 separate statements. Dr. Ferguson has been a bear on North Africa and the middle east for a long time. He is not one who believes that democracy is a cure-all.

To your other point, <not a zero sum game and all boats can rise>, I think this is almost certain to run into a reality wall of declining per capita fuel supplies worldwide.

I believe that few planners can even understand this, let alone declare its importance. Other than me, of course.

Ha
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:15 PM   #5
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I believe that few planners can even understand this, let alone declare its importance. Other than me, of course.
But what if we just keep finding more oil?

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In this view, the world has decades of further growth in production before flattening out into a plateau—perhaps sometime around midcentury—at which time a more gradual decline will begin. And that decline may well come not from a scarcity of resources but from greater efficiency, which will slacken global demand.
Daniel Yergin: What's Wrong With Peak Oil - WSJ.com
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:34 PM   #6
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But what if we just keep finding more oil?



Daniel Yergin: What's Wrong With Peak Oil - WSJ.com
I am not much of an internet debater. Yergin is a very prominant peak oil naysayer. He certainly may be right, but that is not my bet. When I say bet, I am not talking a feeling or hunch, but money.

As to oil production per capita, which is what I mentioned, this peaked long ago. It is also the case that for several years production of crude has remained flat, and total liquids which include NGLs has not been able to get over 90mbpd. It is claimed tha tthis is due to lessened demand; but of so why are oil prices as high as they are?

I also am intrigued by the fact that although e have a very slow worldwide economy, (even China has been slowing up), the price of crude oil remains quite strong.

Ha
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:35 AM   #7
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To your other point, <not a zero sum game and all boats can rise>, I think this is almost certain to run into a reality wall of declining per capita fuel supplies worldwide.


Ha
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But what if we just keep finding more oil?
I tend to worry along with Ha and hope along with Leonidas although more on the side of scientific advances transcending oil than endless oil finds. I believe that new energy sources are almost a certainty but will they come before oil shortages have wreaked havoc? If worse comes to worse we (US) will probably do OK well beyond our life times and our children's by digging it out of shale deposits or off the coasts.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:45 AM   #8
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Here is a link to the transcript of a recent interview with Ferguson on Wealthtrack.

Consuelo Mack WealthTrack - Transcript: September 2, 2011
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:11 AM   #9
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It is claimed tha tthis is due to lessened demand; but of so why are oil prices as high as they are?
That's a darn good question. It makes one wonder how many non-producer/non-enduser market participants there are out there, and what games are being played.
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:20 AM   #10
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International Energy Agency - Oil Market Report
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:59 PM   #11
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Dr. Ferguson has been a bear on North Africa and the middle east for a long time. He is not one who believes that democracy is a cure-all.
A reverse example: Singapore.

And I would extend the bear outlook to ALL of Africa.
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