[I]’ve been arguing for two decades that we have had 500 years of ‘unusual’ as we spread the voluntary organization of production around the world (often by force), and conquered and exploited two new continents. And that what we see is the new normal. There aren’t enough asymmetries to exploit any longer to maintain the prior asymmetry of wealth.
Or rather, normative asymmetries (institutions) are terribly productive and last for generations if maintained, territorial asymmetries are almost as productive, and can last for generations if trade routes are maintained, while technological asymmetries are decreasingly durable.
Or as technologists tend to say: “technology is not a competitive advantage” because it is so easily neutralized.
Conversely, territorial, trade route, and normative asymmetries produce for the long run.
Hence my (and Taleb’s) concern about fragility. And my concern that the progressive fantasy of technology as savior, and norm as inhibitor is backwards.
Source: Curt Doolittle