History - "No, look, honestly, anachronism is not about spiders."

This paper analyzes the elimination of hand spinning in Britain during the Industrial Revolution and shows that it was one of the earliest examples of large-scale technological unemployment. First, it uses new empirical evidence and sources to estimate spinning employment before the innovations of the 1760s and 1770s. These estimates reinforce and expand upon the findings of Muldrew (2012): spinning employed up to 20% of women and children by c. 1770. Next, the paper systematically analyzes the course, extent, and locations of technological unemployment produced by mechanization using more than 200 detailed qualitative sources. It first presents an estimate of job loss in hand spinning of cotton by the late 1780s. It then uses evidence from more than 2200 observations by contemporary social commentators, county agricultural surveys, and the 1834 Poor Law Commission’s Rural and Town Queries to show the breadth and duration of unemployment produced by mechanization.

There’s bad history, and then there’s WWI bad history.


The Cuban Missile Crisis and JFK’s sneaky recording.

Even for a Nazi, this is deliciously spiteful:

But if the German professors selfishly and unjustly hid their intellectual debts, the English were worse. Thomson should have given him more credit for his work on the photoelectric effect, for instance. This, however, was no more than one could expect from a nation of vulgar materialists—Lenard would surely have sympathy with Napoleon’s remark about shopkeepers—who knew nothing of the heroic, selfless Germanic Kultur . James Franck later claimed that, when he was fighting at the front in the First World War, Lenard wrote to him expressing his hope that the defeat of the English would make amends for their never having cited him decently.