Morality and economy

Answers to tweets from a deleted account.

I wish we could say the same for Branko Milanovic’s system in economics. “personal morality exists only outside economics or capitalism”

Branko is a clever guy. Former lead economist in the World Bank’s research department. He wants to be with the king, and with the pleb. With Byz and against Byz. With personal morality (keep it at home) and without morality (in Bank). With Taleb’s system and without.

Research in christian values & economics show the same thing: pick any region w/ the worst conditions. Replace the inhabitants with English Puritans from the Victorian era and… boom! You’ll have a thriving economy. Why? Because personal morality drives the strongest economy.

Let’s change the framing. The issue here is the law. There are 2 schools of thought “legal = moral” (positivist) and the “unwritten laws of divine quality” (Antigone) translated as “natural laws”–> Enlightenment–> French & American revolution –> declaration of human rights.

You know, Antigone is not just for intellectual curiosity. It’s foundational in any decent Introduction to Law. It’s the rebellion against “legal positivism” (dominating modern EU & old dictatorships). It’s not just a philosophical battle, it’s a legal one! Dalloz, 2017 edition.


On Taleb’s Romans vs. Greeks (3)

That’s accurate. Note that “diehard” here is not metaphorical, it’s literal. The Greeks literally died massively for 100s of years defending the Byzantine territories e.g. Even after 1453 (fall of Constantinople) the Ottomans couldn’t take over Crete for the next 2 centuries.

According to the original byz sources of Phrantzes or Sphrantzes (Φραντζής) the Cretans where the last to abandon the battle defending Constantinople and among the first rising against the occupation (1771). The Cretan style (& music) remains the symbol of “national” in Greece.

That’s why the most famous Byzantine national song (ΑΚΑΘΙΣΤΟΣ ΥΜΝΟΣ, Τη Υπερμάχω Στρατηγώ) remains the strongest inspiration for Greek military, of course in greek language, lasting from 626 AC! Byzantines were in the most LITERAL sense DIEHARD Greeks.


On Taleb’s Romans vs. Greeks (2)

Monsieur Taleb, all summer you’re sliding one degree per day. You don’t like models unless…. they’re your own & for 6-year-olds?

Romans were the COPIERS & CENTRALISERS of history. To be Roman is to copy what Greeks invent, centralise it & dehumanise it e.g. theatres to arenas.

Did Cato expelled greek doctors also? Medicine was (and still remains) the ultimate test of BS models, developed by Greeks throughout the Roman & Byzantine period. The inability of Romans to form & test new models is evident in their low-innovation copy-paste legalistic culture.

Medicine was (and remains) the ultimate test of BS models. It needs COURAGE equal to Achilles to propose a radical new model against old wisdom. For every 100 models (hypotheses) only 1 may be useful. It’s safer to play the Roman Rationalist & reject all models as BS.

To sumarize:

– Romans: centralisation + deductive reasoning (legal science)
– Greeks: decentralisation (demos) + testing models with high-level semiotics & inductions (medicine)
– Byzantines: deductive (legalistic) + inductive (modern hospitals)

Some more comments
So this story can be traced back to Descartes & Francis Bacon (Scientific Method) criticising the dogmatic approach of the Aristotelian establishment of their time. Today it’s different. Scientists don’t read Plato or Aristotle from the original, thus spreading misinformation.

I remember the time when a doer was judged by the roughness of his hands, not by his best-selling books against tawkers. I also remember the time when hard-working Protestants were recognised as the pillars of modernity. Things have changed.

Source 1, Source 2