28 February 2007

An interesting quote

This morning I dropped into the PAO library (US Public Affairs Office) to catch up on the print news and found an interesting quote. At least interesting to me as a historical ecologist studying interactions between landscapes and cultures.

"Comparative history provides a way of dissecting the roles of chance and necessity, of assessing how and to what extent the time invariant and space invariant laws intersect with the unique attributes of individuals and their surroundings (250)."
- G.Vermeij, Nature: An Economic History (2004)

I wasn't actually reading the book, I was reading a review written by an economist in the Journal of Economic Literature. Somehow I was able to overcome my inherent phobia of financial matters and browse the economic journals to which the library subscribes. (I am able to do my own taxes and follow my investments, it just isn't something I get a kick out of like other people I know and love.)

The actual review was interesting as well - comparing the fields of biology (mostly evolutionary biology) and economics. However, I was disappointed that the author didn't mention economic anthropology. Another book for my ever-growing reading list.

Makyr, Joel. 2006. Economics and biologists: a review of Geerat J. Vermeij's Nature: An Economic History. Journal of Economic Literature 44: 1005-13.

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