Has Technological Progress Stalled?
2 August 2022 | 6:50 pm

Or Comments on the Thiel Thesis, Part I

Last week Mary Harrington published a long interview with Peter Thiel in the online magazine Unherd. Much of her article centers on Thiel’s conviction that meaningful technological progress stopped a good half century ago. This view is not unique to Thiel. In many ways it is the starting point for the entire “Progress Studies” movement. The Thielites and the Progress Studies folk take this shared premise to different end points, but both deem scientific inertia as the defining feature of the 21st century. Both also see technological and material stagnation as the root source of myriad ills tearing at America’s social fabric.

Here is Thiel’s description of the problem, as written up by Harrington:


The World That Twitter Never Made
15 July 2022 | 8:00 pm

A few months ago Jonathan Haidt made waves with a big think-piece in the Atlantic arguing that most of the ills of the 2010s can be traced back to the invention of the retweet button. I read the essay and disagreed with it vociferously. Today City Journal published my critique. You can read my counter essay here. Below I would like to add some additional thoughts on social media and American politics that could not fit into that piece.


The Fall of History as a Major–and as a Part of the Humanities
12 July 2022 | 8:19 pm

Over on the Scholar's Stage forum, one forum member asks why the number of American university students selecting history as their chosen four year degree has been on the decline since the 1970s. He offers three hypotheses:


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