Steven Stoll


On his book The Great Delusion: A Mad Inventor, Death in the Tropics and the Utopian Origins of Economic Growth

Cover Interview of December 29, 2008

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“Living with scarcity does not mean living in poverty; it means changing how we will live.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“If going to Costco seems anything but a journey into utopia, consider that the plenty it offers every day (for low unit prices) differs hardly at all from what utopian writers promised during the 1840s.”

On the second:

“Etzler took the most rational scientific ideas of his time and formulated them into a scheme to create infinite wealth with infinite energy for a world population that he hoped would top one trillion in his lifetime.  The point is that if Etzler was crazy, so are we.”