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Fate of the World game: “Malthus on a computer chip”

Norm Benson at Timberati has a great post about a new video game, Fate of the World. He writes: The scenario for Fate of the World (FotW) starts in the year 2020 when climate change induced disasters strike. Then the “World Environment Organization,” (a turbo-charged United Nations), makes you the climate czar to “decide how […]

GM’s IPO: not a return to former glory

Thumbnail : GM’s IPO: not a return to former glory

General Motors went public again last week, raising $23 billion in its initial public offering (IPO) – the country’s largest ever. The US government’s ownership stake was halved as a result. The successful offering appeared to vindicate the Obama administration’s decision to bail out the struggling automaker in early 2009. For many of those who support free markets […]

Visualizing the shadow banking system

Thumbnail : Visualizing the shadow banking system

This chart is a roadmap of “The Shadow Banking System”. It was created by economists at the New York Federal Reserve, and I learned about it from an article by Gillian Tett in the Financial Times. My picture of the map is hard to read here, but it does convey how complicated finance has become. The top […]

This week’s articles of note

“The future of free speech,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, by Tim Wu “What sparked the Tea Party movement,” National Journal, by Michael Hirsh “The Palin network,” The New York Times Magazine, by Robert Draper “Start-up city,” City Journal, by Edward L. Glaeser “Neuroeconomics: in Oxytocin we trust,” Big Think, by John Cookson “Students are […]

China’s high-speed rail expansion leaves US behind

Thumbnail : China’s high-speed rail expansion leaves US behind

  There was an interesting item on National Public Radio this morning about the amazing expansion of China’s high-speed rail network. In two years’ time, China will have about 8,000 miles of high-speed rail tracks – which means it will have more than all of the rest of the world combined. NPR notes: Soon, almost all the major […]

Brooks’ “liberals hard, conservatives soft”: a false dichotomy

In today’s New York Times, David Brooks writes about “the two cultures” he observes: Most of the psychologists, artists and moral philosophers I know are liberal, so it seems strange that American liberalism should adopt an economic philosophy that excludes psychology, emotion and morality. Yet that is what has happened. The economic approach embraced by […]

“Don’t touch my junk”

Will John Tyner become the latest American folk (mass media) hero for uttering those words? As you will learn from this video, Tyner refused to be scanned by one of the new, full-body Advanced Imaging Technology machines at San Diego airport. He then resisted a TSA agent’s attempt to swipe his hand over his body, including […]

Anti-religious holiday messages are not humanistic

The American Humanist Association (AHA) and similar groups will soon be launching an anti-religion advertising blitz to coincide with the holiday season. The AHA’s campaign will contrast violent and sexist passages from the Bible and Koran with quotes from non-believers like Albert Einstein and Katharine Hepburn. It differs from last year’s “Be Good for Goodness Sake” theme. […]

This week’s articles of note

“Live by the movement, die by the movement,” The New Republic, by Sean Wilentz “Inside the Gates Foundation,” Financial Times, by Gideon Rachman “Let’s banish nudges and bans,” Huffington Post, by Alan Miller “Dirty coal, clean future,” The Atlantic, by James Fallows “My endless New York,” New York Times, by Tony Judt “Life, liberty and the […]

G-20 in Seoul: real conflict, but not a return to the 1930s

Conferences like last week’s G-20 gathering usually produce bland communiques and not much change. But the Seoul summit took this to an extreme: it involved real conflict which the final statement could barely conceal. As I recently described in spiked (here), the ostensible issue has to do with currencies and monetary policy, particularly between the austerity/trade […]

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