One of those nights with nothing much to say. I suppose over the course of months of writing, that’s not unexpected but I’d prefer it didn’t happen too often. I actually have a couple of posts working but they are taking more effort than I can summon this evening. Venice voted to secede from Italy today in a non-binding, unofficial Internet poll. At first blush, this seems like silly European politics but there is some momentum towards smaller city states reappearing in the world. For centuries, Venice was an independent city-state, prosperous and powerful. The idea of a nation-state is fairly new in history, only appearing in the last 500 years or so. Before that, the world in general and Europe in particular was broken up into much smaller entities based on feudalism and commerce. In many ways, the nation-state is far too large to succeed in the world and the larger and more powerful it gets, the larger and more powerful it is driven to be. The idea of a unified Europe via the EU with a single monetary base without the corresponding fiscal and political base showed us how flawed that concept was in 2008. With Scottish independence under discussion and now Venice, we are seeing a possible return to the smaller national entities. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in the coming decades.
Nassim Taleb will certainly be happy tonight as the main thesis in his latest book Antifragile is that large entities, whether they are countries, corporations or ecological systems, are fragile and susceptible to shocks that smaller more agile entities can withstand. See the financial system in 2008. By having more entities like Venice that are smaller, we make the entire system stronger because while certain ones might fail, they will have no larger repercussions in the greater scheme of things because there isn’t a greater scheme of things. The web of connectedness in our financial system (that still exists today) remains fragile to massive, fat-tail shocks. Our large nations face the same problems.
It’s been a pretty depressing sports scene in Dallas the last few days. The Mavs lost to Brooklyn at home last night and fell out of 7th place in the West. The Stars have been miserable lately. The Rangers pitching staff is pretty sad right now other than Yu. Plus Jurickson Profar is out 10-12 weeks with a muscle tear in his right shoulder and we haven’t even started playing real games yet. After an apparently solid off season, the Rangers are starting out banged up from the get-go, never a good thing in a 162 game sport.