It’s about who you know and trust

There is a pervasive idea in Western culture that humans are essentially rational, deftly sorting fact from fiction, and, ultimately, arriving at timeless truths about the world. This line of thinking holds that humans follow the rules of logic, calculate probabilities accurately, and make decisions about the world that are perfectly informed by all available […]

Time to update our democratic models

Throughout childhood and until late adolescence, our brains are building their internal models of what is out there and how it all works –physical, social, emotional and so on. After that, our core beliefs harden and we find change, according to Professor of Psychiatry Bruce Wexler, ‘difficult and painful’. The power of our many cognitive […]

An island of stone money?

The Island of Yap plays host to one of economics’ most interesting stories. It’s said that the inhabitants of Yap used gigantic round pieces of limestone as a form of currency. I’ve encountered this story in a few popular books and even a podcast, but the academic literature seems pretty thin. I’ve just started my […]

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 […]

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