Few thoughts on New York Times article

Brilliant article in New York times today:

Key points I found interesting :

Institutions are the rules that coordinate social behavior. Without taking human behavior in account you misunderstand the nature of political institutions. Such behavior especially the faculty for creating rules are the basis for social institutions, even though the content of institutions is supplied by culture.

My take: This at a wider level relates to the three most important institutions in the 21st century; Religion, Financial system & Democracy. Same principle can be applied to the evolution of language. 


Societies are not trapped by their past nor are they free in any given generation to remake themselves. Building institutions is as difficult as changing them. Poor countries remain poor because of the absence of a strong law.

My take: Even though we continue to criticize our system, what we must understand is that systems are a product of the need(for order) of the time they are created in. They are subject to the second law of thermodynamics (disorder increase with time) as everything else is. Perfect society is a dream we have been chasing since time immemorial and will continue to - because perfection doesn't exist & we are wired to be curious. The universe & it's laws are dynamic and unpredictable. So is human nature. 


Rule of law comes out of organized religion & democracy is a weird accident in history. Parliaments in Europe had legal rights & it was a complete historical accident that the English parliament could fight a civil war & produce a constitutions settlement that became the basis of modern democracy.

My take: Serendipity is good & unavoidable. Read more


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