Two years of Noahpinion
What happened to the world in 2022, and what I wrote about it
First of all, I really want to thank everyone for reading my blog. Two years ago today, I started Noahpinion with very little idea of how many people would be interested in getting my ideas in their inbox several times a week, much less pay to read even more posts! But the response has been really incredible. My initial goal for Noahpinion was to have 100,000 people on my email list; I’m now 95% of the way to that goal, and at this rate should hit it in less than a month. I’ll do my very best to keep providing you with useful analysis.
A special thanks, of course, goes out to all my ~7500 paid subscribers — thanks to you, I have the chance to do this as a job instead of just a hobby. And for everyone else, this post might be paywalled, but more than half of my posts will remain free to read as usual.
This year was a pretty turbulent one — from the war in Ukraine to the crash in tech stocks and crypto, to continued inflation, there has been no shortage of threats and chaos. And at the same time, we’re having to deal with the longer-term challenges of climate change and competition with China. So I thought I’d follow my tradition of reviewing seven major throughlines from the past twelve months, and linking to what I wrote about each.
The crisis of the 21st century
The last two centuries also began with major wars in Europe. In 1805, hearing of Napoleon’s victory at Austerlitz, William Pitt said “Roll up that map [of Europe]; it will not be wanted these ten years.” In 1914, at the start of World War 1, Edward Grey said “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.” I’m not sure if we had a similarly dramatic British quote to mark Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, but the parallels are uncomfortable nonetheless.
Russia’s act of imperialist aggression didn’t lead to a world war (at least, not yet). But it did provide a moment of moral clarity that has united most of the world in condemnation. Europe came together to support Ukraine and sanction Russia, showing a level unity that it hasn’t shown since…well, maybe ever? Sweden and Finland joined NATO. In the U.S., a strange alliance of rightists and leftists teamed up to oppose American aid for Ukraine, but so far public opinion and bipartisan political support have remained solid. Thanks in part to Western weapons but mostly to the grit, ingenuity, and sacrifice of the Ukrainians themselves, Russia’s advances were halted and partially rolled back, and Russia was exposed as a weak and ailing power. Even China, which declared a “no limits” partnership with Russia before the war, has now been edging away from its flailing compatriot.
But the war isn’t over yet — Ukraine is still suffering grievously, Russia still controls 18% of its territory, and Putin continues to throw massive resources into the conflict. Only time will tell whether the West will remain resolute.
The big tech crash and the fall of crypto
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