High Modernism

Grand Schemes to Improve the Human Condition


” I want to learn to see the world around me as a set of solutions to problems” — Jason Crawford, in our interview

Human progress is a central interest of mine. Investigating this phenomenon is sometimes called Progress Studies, à la Tyler Cowen and Patrick Collison. If you are skeptical that human progress is something worth caring about, I would point you to either Cowen’s Stubborn Attachments or Crawford’s Smart, Rich & Free.

Some of the recent greats of this field include Dierdre McCloskey, Gregory Clark, and Joel Mokyr. Jason Crawford, working outside of academia, has become an excellent practitioner of the study and has influenced me greatly.

Since Cowen and Collison’s piece, more people have become interested in understanding and promoting human progress. I am interested in thinking about how to leverage this community’s enthusiasm towards productive ends.

With that goal in mind, I am undertaking a series of interviews with leading thinkers on progress to help others get a better understanding of the discussion.

Before I began the project, I interviewed Tyler Cowen. He is a of mine mentor and one of my greatest intellectual influences.

My first interview directly on the subject was with Anton Howes. He is a young economist doing very exciting work, both in terms of understanding the industrial revolution and our capacity for innovation more broadly.

My second interview was with Jason Crawford, who, as I mentioned, has been at the forefront of prosthelitizing for progress. His blog, Roots of Progress, is essential.

My third interview was with GMU professor Garrett Jones. Jones has done much interesting work, which when taken together has a certain unique and powerful vision of how society and government will function in the future. We sat down to discuss his latest book, 10% Less Democracy, which I later reviewed for Palladium Magazine.

My fourth interview was with Palladium Magazine Editor and Chief Jonah Bennett. Palladium Magazine’s tagline is Governence Futurism and the magazine has focued on the emerging challenges governments are facing.

I am in the process of other writing on progress. I will post links here as they are finished.