Works in Progress: 2023 Wrapped
Our most read work of the year
Another great year of Works in Progress has come to a close. We wanted to share our most popular work of the year.
Our top articles of the year:
How mathematics built the modern world — In a tour-de-force, Bo Malmberg & Hannes Malmberg explore how, over hundreds of years, mathematics laid the groundwork for the industrial revolution and came to dominate every almost every aspect of human life.
France’s baby bust — Guillaume Blanc writes about the world’s first baby bust, which happened in France. Why did it happen, and what can it tell us about fertility today? See also our more recent piece from Phoebe Arslanagic-Little and Anvar Sarygulov on when the inverse happened: Understanding Baby Boom.
Why Britain doesn’t build — Samuel Watling tells the story of housing development in Britain, and why the country hasn’t been able to build enough homes since the second world war. Samuel has since joined Works in Progress as a researcher and staff writer.
Our top Notes on Progress of the year:
Degrowth and the monkey’s paw — Stian Westlake reflects on his time in the ‘social innovation’ sector and the trendy idea of degrowth. In fact, England has had “degrowth” for the last 10 years - was it as good as it sounded?
The value of family — Phoebe Arslanagic-Little and Anvar Sarygulov put a controversial hypothesis to the test: Do traditional values lead to larger families? The data is clear: they don’t.
A few favorite links of the year:
Sam Watling wrote for the Times on why Britain can’t build infrastructure, either.
They aren’t alone: From Brian Potter, The long, sad story of America’s attempts to build high speed rail.
How to save twenty million lives – an interview with Mark Dybul by the Institute for Progress’s Santi Ruiz.
More from us:
The most popular section of Stewart Brand’s Maintenance was Rust never sleeps, Stewart’s exploration of the villain that is rust and our pursuit to tame it. Stewart will be returning with Ch. 3 in the new year, so make sure to opt-in to Books in Progress.
Our most popular video of the year: Gentle Density: Brooklyn.
Our most popular event of the year was the Stripe Press pop-up in New York. Stay tuned for more pop-ups in 2024
See you all next year!
– Ben, Sam, Nick, and Saloni