LinkFest 2016-07-05

England's Hour: A Review of 'The English and their History' by Robert Tombs

An idea I've seen from writers across the political and ideological spectrum is that England developed a distinctive culture and position in the world due to *just enough* isolation. This book review delves into the latest exploration of that idea.

Can we survive technology?

A 1955 essay from John von Neumann, the most remarkable intellect of the twentieth century. This is an exploration of the first episode of globalization, and its relation to the development of science and technology. Regrettably, this article on the Fortune website appears to be incomplete.

Why Brexit voters are the world's financial losers

When libertarian economists like Tyler Cowen say that open borders and free trade are worth it, this graph is the best evidence I can find for their position:

Clearly the modern world is doing something right for the world's poorest. I'm not certain that it had to involve the relative pain of the working classes in the developed world, but it did, and I am definitely certain that it is a bad idea to just write them off.

What kind of driverless cars do people want?

Apparently, not the kind that will drive you into a brick wall to avoid a jaywalker.

Looking behind the Brexit anger

One story about Brexit was the relative immiseration of the working classes in the developed world. Another story is the degree to which Labor voters in England [and white Democrats in America] remain socially conservative, and are increasingly ill-served by their parties.

Debuncification

An aside in the previous article led me to this investigation of the economic effects of better management and more effective-theft prevention measures: mostly more profits for business owners and improved economic statistics as underground economic activities were re-directed into official channels. I find this idea plausible, although I would want to look into it a lot more before investing too much in it. 

How Brexit shattered progressives' dearest illusions

And finally, a political look at how Brexit is intertwined with various global political projects, including what John J. Reilly used to call "transnationalism".

Zootopia deleted scene would have made the racial allegory a lot more disturbing

Steve Sailer helpfully points to more evidence that Zootopia is far more than the straightforward diversity tale it appears on the surface. I'll admit to a bit of schadenfreude at the linked article's annoyance that Zootopia doesn't map cleanly to current American racial problems.