This is an e-mail I sent to co-blogger cdfox, who is interested in the book A Farewell to Alms:

Knowledge Problem has a post on it. The book certainly seems to be attracting a lot of attention.

Without having read the book, I have to wonder: if “the cultural values consistent with growth and dynamic capitalism are genetically transmitted”, then doesn’t that imply that the main obstacle to 3rd world development is genetic? Isn’t that at odds with the fact that some 3rd world countries are developing very quickly and that some are not? It seems unlikely that the Chinese population or the Indian population has recently undergone widspread radical genetic changes. I have a large stack of books I need to read, but it looks like I will have to add this one to the pile.


P.S. do all my correspondences now read like blog posts?