Ideas are nothing without execution

Robert Hooke is the poster boy for the notion that it is not sufficient to have a good idea. As I’ve lugged Lisa Jardin’s biography of Hooke around over the past few weeks, it’s been hard to explain who exactly Hooke was. You may remember him as the ugly cretin in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos […]

The curious life of Charles Darwin

Your ideas are the sum of your influences. This is something I first came across in Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From: “ideas are works of bricolage; they’re built out of that detritus. We take the ideas we’ve inherited or that we’ve stumbled across, and we jigger them together into some new shape.” And […]

The path dependency of higher education

An interesting paper by Etienne Leppers at the LSE suggests that where central bankers (specifically, those on the Federal Open Market Committee of the the US Federal Reserve) were educated has a "systematic impact" on the way they vote on monetary policy. This is true even considering the more than four decades that have elapsed […]

Mozart was a village

It’s hard to fathom the mind of a genius. Although I really enjoy biographies, I often learn more of and from the world around them than I do from the subject itself. In the case of Paul Johnson’s short, brilliant biography of Mozart, it’s Mozart’s father that piqued my interest. The endless renditions of concertos, […]


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