Michael responds to an item in Wednesday's links:

I looked at, and liked, the visual representation of the Asian Century, but then thought a bit more, and asked myself two questions:

  • For how long could we have drawn the circle that way? (I imagine the bulk of the world's population has been in the circle for a while now – like maybe some decades or even hundreds of years?)
  • Which leads to a related question: how much of the world's GDP/military spending/other metric is inside that circle may be the better question to ask. Until the Industrial Revolution, population largely determined GDP, so the move of GDP/power resulted from greater productivity elsewhere – ie. population has not determined power distribution for a while now, so simply looking at where the population is can be misleading.