Requests from Benedikt
4. James Steuart- overrated or underrated
5. Do border regions have above average cuisines (Sechuan, Bourgogne)
6. Zurich- overrated or underrated
Are there some great ethnic restaurants I haven’t heard of?
7.Would you have been a pagan or a Christian In the third century AD roman empire?
12. How would you compare the Swiss to the Irish enlightenment?
13. What is your Swiss take in general?
4. James Steuart was a Scottish economist and a precursor of Adam Smith, though more of a mercantilist. He had a good understanding of market structure, competition as a process of dynamic rivalry, and outlined how increasing competition would cause monopolistic prices to fall. He put forward a rudimentary understanding of supply and demand in his 1767 treatise. His macroeconomics is sometimes considered a precursor of Keynes, as it was demand side-oriented. He also put forward the idea of a purely abstract unit of account. Yet he isn’t talked about much, so definitely underrated.
5. Do border regions have better food? What exactly counts as a border region? The parts of the United States near Canada? The best food in Italy is not obviously at the (rather skimpy) borders. China and India might be the best food countries in the world, but because they are so large most of their cuisine is not “border cuisine.” So I say no.
6. Zurich is underrated, by everyone and everything, except the market prices for the real estate. The underrated side of the city includes the art scene (most of all the Kunsthaus), good ethnic food in the nooks and crannies, proximity to many good Swiss and German opera houses, proximity to the southern Schwarzwald, proximity to Basel, and proximity to Wallensee and many other wonderful short drives in Switzerland.
7. I still have the choice to be either a pagan or a Christian, and I am neither. Perhaps the same would be true for 3rd century AD Roman Empire Tyler.
12. I see the Swiss Enlightenment as centered in Albrecht von Haller, a mid-18th century poet (Die Alpen), scientist, polymath, and naturalist. I see the Swiss Enlightenment as focusing on two themes: a) coming to terms with a naturalistic rather than theological understanding of the beauties and world around them, and b) constructing an idealized narrative about Switzerland itself and its history and lifestyles. See also Salomon Gessner and Johann Jakob Bodmer. Can you count the Rousseau of this period as Swiss? Geneva had not yet joined the Swiss Confederation, but that is possibly another angle. How about the influence of Switzerland on Edward Gibbon?
13. My Swiss take in general is that the country and its success is radically understudied by outsiders.