Re: Cliometrics (was: Re: Anti-Quatitative History a Reaction to Fogel)

The Low Golden Willow (
Wed, 16 Apr 1997 18:07:58 -0700 (PDT)

On Apr 17, 10:24am, Damien Broderick wrote:

} `I have certainly never read or seen anything with even the most passing stats
} in historical works recently. Although my thesis contains a few which
} might make it even more untrendy.'

Sulloway's _Born to Rebel_ has tons of number crunching behind it, and
is about applying Darwinian family mechanics to personality development.
It doesn't do much for predicting history per se, but claims to tell you
something about the people in it. Sulloway also applied for a grant to
do some statistical study, I forget about what, and the NSF historians
basically laughed him out because of his idea of applying numbers to
history. At least that's how he tells it.

Diamond's _Guns, Germs, and Steel_ isn't so obviously numerical, but
it's certainly an attempt at figuring out broad laws from empirical

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

"Some would sooner die than think. In fact, they often do." -- B. Russell