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Ep. 209 Bob Murphy Critiques Curtis Yarvin’s Explanation of Inflation

In a May 2021 essay, Curtis Yarvin (aka Mencius Moldbug) argues that the American economy runs on an inflation machine. Yarvin claims that the best way to measure the amount of inflation is to look at the change in aggregate personal net worth over a given period. Murphy explains why this is wrongheaded.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

The audio production for this episode was provided by Podsworth Media.

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Research Assistant Professor with the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech, Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute, and co-host with Tom Woods of the podcast "Contra Krugman."

1 Comment

  1. Tel on 07/22/2021 at 3:18 PM

    First I heard of the phrase “The Cathedral” was this essay (famous but oldish) which came out of the free software community. It’s about freedom, software and economics, but unfortunately there’s a lot of highly specific details about software projects that you need to understand in order to make sense of it.

    I suspect the recent usage might be something of a derivative from that, and perhaps a bit of creative misinterpretation. The rough idea being that “The Cathedral” is representative of a top down hierarchical design and implementation process (i.e. central planning), which gets very cumbersome as complexity levels increase. In contrast “The Bazaar” is more of a bottom up, self organizing process where small teams assemble whatever little bits and pieces are needed at the time and then exchange them with each other. Although Eric Raymond was talking specifically about software design, the same concept works for a lot of other high-tech activity where the effort is dominated by pushing against complexity boundaries. It does not work for simple linear projects like humans digging holes with shovels where that activity is dominated by logistics and mass mobilization.

    The author is indeed a Libertarian, and something of an anarchist … he might even be in the Libertarian Party if you can get hold of him for an interview could be good, I haven’t heard much liberty talk from him in a long time but his blog has been active with programmer stuff. There’s lots of essays on his site, you might find some of them interesting.

    That fish they serve in Japan is called “Fugu”, made from a puffer fish that contains a paralysis poison … surprisingly some of the victims appear dead for several days and then wake up again. Others never do wake up, it’s almost spooky.

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