Here’s Bryan Caplan:
More populous countries today produce many more scientific, technological, and cultural innovations that less populous countries. There’s even a +.46 correlation between population and gold medals in the 2004 Olympics—India notwithstanding. Here’s a challenge for you: Name the most credible measure of idea production that isn’t at least moderately positively correlated with population.
I’ve got one: IQ! But I blog anonymously.
He’s trying to get Greg Clark to bite.
Is this the academic version of playing the race card? We all know what the truth is, but we can’t really admit it. Caplan wins the argument because we’re not allowed to answer the question. Congrats.
Caplan’s argument – that more population is correlated with “idea production” – is obviously false. Has Haiti’s idea production increased a lot in the last 50 years? Has Nigeria’s? Is Nigeria’s this much better than Iceland’s?
(Note: I’m reading “idea production” to mean “economic growth”, because the idea that merely producing ideas – any ideas! – is good is too retarded for me to contemplate).
A world filled with people whose IQs are below 70 is not going to produce more ideas than a world than consists of a handful of people with 210 IQs. Unless fart jokes count as ideas.