Stagnation

Lecture handout: Stagnation*

I provided some pessimistic views on transformative breakthroughs. But every now and then I notice the power of steady, incremental progress. For example:

Noah Smith has a nice Twitter thread on progress since 1970.

In December 2020 Tyler Cowen provided a list of new technologies that may mark the end of the great stagnation. He included:

Here is a podcast with Eli Dourado:

Extra reading: Dourado, Eli, “Notes on technology in the 2020s“, December 31st 2020

For more on Permissionless Innovation

A good, uplifting account of how creativity can result from not asking permission:

The importance of ideas:


This page ties into Chapter 12 of Economics: A Complete Guide for Business

Learning Objectives: Understand the debate around secular stagnation.

Cutting edge theory: A survey of potentially transformative breakthrough technologies.

Focus on diversity: Virginia Postrel’s book, The Future and it’s Enemies, encapsulates the distinctions made at the end of the lecture. 

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