Markets Turn the Miraculous Into the Mundane

Jeff Tucker points out how truly astounding internet language translation technology is. This is how truly unbelievable our world is: we can get automatic translations via the Google Labs “translate this message” command, and people barely notice. In her ongoing series of books on the Bourgeois Era, Deirdre McCloskey argues that one of the things that helped create modern economic growth was a change in rhetoric whereby it was recognized that people can do good by doing well. At the beginning of the year, I wrote an article on some of the progress we made during the 2000s. The advances we’ve made since that article was published at the beginning of January have been astounding. Apple has introduced the iPad and a new iPhone, Droid phones are advancing by leaps and bounds, I’ve started running Chrome on all my computers, and I synchronize documents across my computers with Dropbox. The Dell computer in my office runs Windows 7, and I can transfer files from Windows to my Mac laptop and my Mac at home with no trouble at all. Our baby daughter was born on June 16, and we’re able to share pictures and information with family and friends around the world without giving it a second thought. All of this emerges not from the central plans of a benevolent despot, but from the innumerable interactions of people interacting voluntarily.

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