Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Revolutionary Encylopedia

I find this post, about this joke of interest.

But in my post title, I refer to Diderot's Encylopedia. To see human knowledge set out in a structured form that anybody can read is to see a revolution in the making. No longer must one depend on the authority of the nobility and priests for interpretation and direction of one's beliefs.

Some economists might find the entries on "Corn" and "Farmers" in the Encyclopedia of interest. As I understand it, François Quesnay wrote these. These entries, at least in the original French, are available online.

I'm not a registered Wikipedia user. And I've edited articles over a number of years from a number of computers where my IP is randomized. So I've long lost track of what I've contributed. I thought I wrote something about Francois Quesnay, but I can find no traces in the current entry. I also see a definite error. Maybe I wrote something about physiocracy, but here, too, my words have vanished. (On the other hand, the entry on Post Keynesianism retains some of what I wrote, while being much improved (chiefly by Jim Devine).)

Some think Piero Sraffa was influenced in his "corn model" interpretation of David Ricardo by Karl Marx's Theories of Surplus Value interpretation of Quesnay.

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