Quantum Gypsies

I am trying to write a book

Birth of a book

For some years I have mused on writing a book. Not a steamy best seller or an academic tome, but a light-hearted assault on Western economic theory. Around my 75th birthday, in March of the year of our iPhone 2019, I decided that I had better get started before I ran out of time.

I thought a few thousand words on the stupidity of Pareto equilibrium theory and the mind-numbing stupidity of the construction of economic models that never mention money, would suffice to make my point, but no. The more I tried to write a critique of theory, the more I realised that without a good description of economic history, there was nothing much to hang my critique on.

So I started pulling together information on how the economies of the world have actually developed over time, but where to start? The industrial revolution looked a good bet as it was around that time that the first well-known economists, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx et. al., were all writing. But the industrial revolution did not suddenly spring out of the ground fully formed, it was a couple of hundred years in the making.

To cut a long story short, I ended up going right back to the beginning. To the first hunter-gatherers and the first trading states and to the earliest economic theories, which at least were short and clear. "Everything belongs to the divine king/emperor and if you can't see that, you don't need your eyes, so we'll put them out." The problem is that it makes for a much longer book, at least 80,000 words by my latest reckoning. Still, at least it keeps me off those dubious web sites, showing Russian drunken driving and cats being hilarious.

The original publication date of December 2020 that I pencilled in has long gone and I am still editing drafts of the various chapters and posting them on here. The drafts for most chapters are complete in the sense that they cover the ground that I want to cover, although not necessarily with the right words.

Last updated 30 October 2023