Blog posts 004

Chinese imperial exams and legitimacy in a pandemic


It was nice to see my post ‘Against alcohol’ make it onto Marginal Revolution and Hacker News last weekend, and get discussed on Twitter. Thanks to those who shared it.

Two posts this week:

  • The first is highlights from another section of Mote’s Imperial China, with brief comments on the authority of the emperor, the national exam system, and the population size under the Song.

  • The second, The Revolt of the Public and how to survive it, is my own take on what Martin Gurri’s book means in light of government failures over the past year.

I also wrote a brief thread on an old controversy that prefigures some of the themes in my second post (the self-taught outsider beating the establishment experts).

Finally here are some links from earlier in the week that I enjoyed reading:

Til next week,


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