Niall Ferguson on Counterfactuals and Playing Games

An oldish article in Wired on Niall Ferguson: What if the great events in history had turned out differently? How would the world today be changed? Niall Ferguson wonders about this a lot. He’s a well-known economic historian at Harvard, and a champion of “counterfactual thinking,” or the re-imagining of major historical events, with the variables slightly tweaked. In a 1999 book Virtual Histories, Ferguson edited a collection of delightfully weird counterfactual hypotheses. One essay argued that if Mikhail Gorbachev had never existed, the USSR would still exist today. Another posited an alternative 18th century in which Britain allows its … Continue reading Niall Ferguson on Counterfactuals and Playing Games