My guest today, Jack Weatherford, is an anthropologist and author of several books, including one on money, a number on indigenous cultures in North America and beyond, and a revisionist and very thought provoking history of Genghis Khan, called “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.”
Tom Morgan, who is a successful fund manager, described this book on Jim O’Shaughnessy’s podcast Infinite Loops as the best business and investing book that he’d ever read. That got me curious, so I grabbed a copy, changed my mind about almost everything I believed about Genghis Khan, and invited Jack onto the show.
In this conversation, rather than talking about investing, we explored the impact that Genghis Khan had on the modern world, how he introduced the rule of law, meritocracy, paper based money, religious freedoms and international trade routes. In fact, even though he was a genuine pioneer in many of these arenas, and this was 800 years ago, listening to the news today, it feels like we’re going backwards in a number of these topics.
What Is Covered:
- How the practical side of Genghis Khan produced revolutionary cultural innovations
- The role of Genghis Khan in the evolution of money
- How the adaptivity of indigineous people can serve as an advantage in today’s world
Key Takeaways and Learnings:
- Governments are allowing for the development of digital currencies until these systems start to work, and then they’ll want to gain control over it. It’s not the technology, it’s the people.
- There was nothing ideological about Genghis Khan, there were a lot of practical decisions, and we can learn from that kind of thinking, because it’s not tied to one religion or one way of life. It’s more adaptable.
- Indigenous people are often better at handling crises and the skills of hunting and gathering can be better for the use of the internet than knowing how to farm.
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
- Tom Morgan – Curation in the Age of Information Abundance on Infinite Loops Podcast
- Mohnish Pabrai: Cloning, Learning from Charlie Munger, 100 Baggers on OutsideVoices Podcast
- Wade Davis: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in Today’s World on OutsideVoices Podcast
- Anthro-Vision: Shifting the Perspectives on Life and Business with Gillian Tett on OutsideVoices Podcast