Source: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Hat tip Josh

Category: Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

11 Responses to “What Drives History”

  1. a2ricedgti says:

    I heard of this comic today but there is a second comic/joke on the web page. Click on the link to open it up the click the red button in the lower right.

  2. constantnormal says:

    In case anyone has any doubts about this, I recommend putting the first season of the excellent PBS history of science and technology, Connections, by James Burke, in your video queue.

    It makes the point over and over and over again that progress is made via random “connections”, in a jerky-jerky manner, sometimes driven by great minds, other times by coincidence, mostly via raw random chance shuffling the cards of ideas, opportunities, and people, until something works.

    If you want a wonderful example of this, look into Samuel Clemens’ pursuit of the word processor, which bankrupted him at least three times, and he never achieved … but his concept was exactly of the same functional word processing technology that emerged a hundred years later as a fabulous invention. The motivation was there, the idea was there, but the technology wasn’t quite there (or maybe the folks he hired to build his ideas were more interested in milking him for money, which might have been the case). And anytime after Hollerith invented his tabulating machines, they could have been connected to typewriters and the printed page, with mass production driving the costs downward. Modern electronics made word processors dirt cheap, but the necessary technologies were present, as well as the notions of an automated word processor, decades before.

    Or ask yourself why it took all the time between the Greeks and Newton/Leibniz for calculus to be invented … after all, Zeno laid the conceptual foundation over a thousand years prior, and a LOT of advanced analytical work in algebra took place in the interim. I dunno why it took until it did for this to arrive, unless it was random connections that drive progress, not supply and demand. After all … today, calculus is taught in high schools, and we’re not all geniuses. It ain’t rocket science.

    Historical progress, in any field, be it science, business, societal, is mostly random noise that falls together in ways that move us forward (or back), but mostly sideways.

  3. Expat says:

    While I understand the biological imperatives of surviving and reproducing, this cartoon encapsulates my existential view that nothing really matters. After nearly fifty years on this face of this small, blue marble in space, I remain perplexed by the level of seriousness of many people. But I guess someone has to wake up every day and make the donuts.

  4. failedevolution says:

    Why banksters laugh with the recent ECOFIN’s decision

  5. VennData says:

    This isn’t funny. Job Creators create history with their genius, which they could apply to anything. The Bros. Koch could have been a pro football players, Olympic curlers or famous action-movie actors. They went where the taxes are least. Pure and simple.

    • S Brennan says:

      heh..heh..exactly! Want better pro-athletes? Then cut taxes…and they will come…or so say the faithful followers of Milton Friedman.

  6. willid3 says:

    is this a case of we think we are always in charge.

    or at least most do, unless they want to not be in charge because it makes them spend money on a problem they created. but dont want to spend the money to fix

  7. CitizenWhy says:

    Many aspects of the random can be harnessed and organized. Those who look at history realize that the most important things to organize are the production of superior weapons of destruction (“hard” weapons), The invention and refinement of “soft” weapons to control popular sentiment (which we can call PsyOps) and thereby get the consent of the ruled. Lying is traditionally acceptable as a superior weapon in Psy Ops.

  8. Richard W. Kline says:

    While altogether humorous, the cartoon is inaccurate. Randomicity looks _far more random_ than the trajectories of human history, for instance. A plague should have wiped out all population in Asia; giant intelligent carnivores should have made South America uninhabitable. A plant that is a true anti-aging radical would have had one group of 300-year-old folks gazing at their navels long ago. If randomicity really drove anything, we should have seen several significant populations abandon subsistence agriculture for hunter-gathering again after, say, 6000 BCE . . . but we don’t see that, even though subsistence agcriculture has been the Neverending Social Catastrophe of recent human history. Etc., etc. Sure, randomicity is huge, e.g. asteroid creating the Gulf of Mexico and wiping out the then current large terrestrial fauna, or the earth alchemicalizing an oxygen atmosphere, and the like.

    What really ‘drives’ history is self-organization, and it doesn’t so much propel anything as accure compatabilities. There’s no intelligence behind that kind of interaction so far as can be discerned, btw. I’d love to scrawl a long post on this, but who’s going to read it in comments here, so not so much.

  9. failedevolution says: