Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Prehistoric Origins of European Economic Integration   posted by Razib @ 3/08/2008 11:19:00 AM

My history posts often leave me unsatisfied. I don't know much about the topics I'm blogging about, but most readers know even less, and a substantial subset are pretty self-satisfied with their ignorance (and some are just stupid, so they have weak analytic capacities anyhow). The science posts are easier since being wrong or right is scaffolded by some broad theoretical constraints; the history posts require a pretty large base of data which most of us (including me) don't really have, and it's really hard to extract inferences from theoretical presuppositions. A primary goal is to get pointers to more literature, or occasionally nuggets of data. Respectful questions are fine, but too often many readers seem to have a grasp of facts on the order of someone who would read A Coloring Book of the Middle Ages (I'm not being inaccurately insulting, I think it is a pretty good assessment of the level of knowledge some people have when they join comment threads on somewhat obscure topics and offer their "opinion"). So I'm going to try something new. Over the next week I will read The Prehistoric Origins of European Economic Integration (PDF); if you want to comment, you too will read this paper (it's about 60 pages). It's free and you don't need to go the library. At 60 pages it shouldn't entail more than a few hours of investment, max. I'll put up my post next weekend, and let's see if the comments are better since at least we'll all be ignorant about the same thing....

And please be aware, if a comment implies pretty strongly by its content that you haven't read the paper I'll just delete it. So help me avoid false positives!

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