AEI Monday evening links 1. Chart of the Day I (above) that graphically illustrates this one-sentence summary of recorded human history according to Luke Muehlhauser: Everything was awful for a very long time, and then the industrial revolution happened. Here’s more: Interestingly, this is not the impression of history I got from the world history books I read in school. Those books tended to go on at length about the transformative impact of the wheel or writing or money or cavalry, or the conquering of this society by that other society, or the rise of this or that religion, or the disintegration of the Western Roman Empire, or the Black Death, or the Protestant Reformation, or the Scientific Revolution. But they could have ended each of those chapters by saying “Despite these
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1. Chart of the Day I (above) that graphically illustrates this one-sentence summary of recorded human history according to Luke Muehlhauser:
Everything was awful for a very long time, and then the industrial revolution happened.
Interestingly, this is not the impression of history I got from the world history books I read in school. Those books tended to go on at length about the transformative impact of the wheel or writing or money or cavalry, or the conquering of this society by that other society, or the rise of this or that religion, or the disintegration of the Western Roman Empire, or the Black Death, or the Protestant Reformation, or the Scientific Revolution.
But they could have ended each of those chapters by saying “Despite these developments, global human well-being remained roughly the same as it had been for millennia, by every measure we have access to.” And then when you got to the chapter on the industrial revolution, these books could’ve said: “Finally, for the first time in recorded history, the trajectory of human well-being changed completely, and this change dwarfed the magnitude of all previous fluctuations in human well-being.”
2. Chart of the Day II (above) shows yet another US energy milestone – on a monthly basis, America’s daily crude oil output topped 12 million barrels in April for the first time, setting a new all-time production record (EIA data here). Thanks to the shale revolution, America’s production of crude oil has increased by 140% in just a decade, from 5 million bpd to now 12 bpd. This phenomenal increase in energy output is arguably the most remarkable energy success story in American history, maybe in world history. Carpe Oleum!
3. Quotation of the Day I from Jeff Jacoby:
Liberalism then: I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.
Liberalism now: I not only disagree with what you say, but I’ll threaten you (or your career) with death to keep you from saying it.
In response to this disturbing article: “Gender Dissenter Gets Fired.”
4. Quotation of the Day II from Daniel Henninger’s Wall Street Journal article “Wahooing Betsy Ross: What’s striking about Colin Kaepernick’s Nike sneaker ban is how easy it was.”:
The left today has a compulsion to force obedience again and again. Thus, You didn’t like Wahoo and Kate Smith? Try this: We’re getting rid of your racist Betsy Ross flag, and you’ll shut your face and take it.
What they want from their opposition isn’t agreement with their ideas but submission—a kind of political lobotomization. And disturbingly, a lot of contemporary leaders—at Nike, the Yankees, the Flyers, almost any university—are volunteering to assist in the procedure.
5. Venn Diagram of the Day I (above) inspired by Art Carden’s article “To Help Women, Should We Boycott Women’s Soccer?“, here’s the closing:
Who ultimately decides how much Megan Rapinoe and company are paid? As Ryan McMaken points out, it’s ultimately the consumers, and by and large, consumers have voted overwhelmingly for men’s sports. There’s a lesson in here, incidentally, about raising the wages of anyone we think underpaid or otherwise ill-used, whether they be sweatshop garment workers, migrant fruit pickers, or the greatest soccer players in the world. If we want them to earn more, we need to vote for them with our dollars.
6. Some More Great Babylon Bee Headlines and Articles: a) “Women’s Soccer Team Sues To Overturn Unjust Law Of Supply And Demand,” b) “Police Watch Helplessly Through Starbucks Window As Masked Gunman Empties Register,” and c) “Dems Change Mind On Border Wall After Realizing It Will Keep People From Leaving When We Switch To Socialism.”
You’ll get consistently great political satire on a daily basis from the Babylon Bee.
7. Chart of the Day II (above) from the article “Research Note: Disintermediating Your Friends,” here’s the abstract:
We present new data from a nationally representative 2017 survey of American adults. For heterosexual couples in the U.S., meeting online has become the most popular way couples meet, eclipsing meeting through friends for the first time around 2013. Moreover, among the couples who meet online, the proportion who have met through the mediation of third persons has declined over time. We find that Internet meeting is displacing the roles that family and friends once played in bringing couples together.
8. Venn Diagram of the Day II (above) inspired by Damon Linker’s article “Liberals’ astonishingly radical shift on gender“:
This is how a progressive in 2014 can consider it an unacceptable limitation on individual freedom for gay couples to be denied the right to marry — and base that argument on the claim that a gay man’s love and natural desire for another man, like a lesbian’s love and natural desire for another woman, is irreducible and ineradicable — and then insist just five years later that it is an unacceptable limitation on individual freedom for anyone to be presumed a man or a woman at all.
As Andrew Sullivan has powerfully argued, the two positions are fundamentally incompatible. The first, which morally justifies same-sex marriage, presumes that biological sex and binary gender differences are real, that they matter, and that they can’t just be erased at will. The second, which many transgender activists embrace and espouse, presumes the opposite — that those differences can and should be immediately dissolved. To affirm the truth of both positions is to embrace incoherence.
9. Quotation of the Day III is from Thomas Sowell:
Various forms of government price control, minimum wage laws, interest ceilings, etc., reduce the number of mutually desired transactions — which are the only kinds of transactions actually carried out in a voluntary, market economy. The government may determine and decree a “living wage” under a minimum wage law, but unless the worker actually finds an employer willing to pay him that much, he will remain unemployed with a hypothetical right.
10. Video of the Day (below). The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again. San Diego retail stores report shoplifting has jumped 25% to 30% since disposable bags were banned in California.