Books, Finance, Regulations, Society

Recent Read: “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys is a short (I read it on a Seattle-DC flight), well-written, exasperating and flawed look into the world of High Frequency Trading (HFT). HFT, for those not familiar with the acronym, is the term used to describe trading that has two principal features. First of all, HFT is executed primarily by computer algorithms […]

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Society, Technology

FT: “Let’s get geeks into government”

Gillian Tett has a good piece on FT.com about Brett Goldstein, a former executive at OpenTable, who left the tech world for local government in Chicago out of a desire to get more involved socially. Notes Tett: Fifteen years ago, Brett Goldstein seemed to be just another tech entrepreneur. He was working as IT director of […]

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Economics, Society

Are Poor People Too Nice?

David Graeber has an interesting piece in the Guardian which wonders why, in the face of the damage done by financial and political elites in the last decade, working class people did not rise up in protests around the world. As he notes, the rich certainly would have done so if the opposite had happened: “What […]

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Society, Technology

For a Better Brain, Click Here

Check out the interesting piece on the WSJ site about neuroimplants, “The Future of Brain Implants.” An excerpt: What would you give for a retinal chip that let you see in the dark or for a next-generation cochlear implant that let you hear any conversation in a noisy restaurant, no matter how loud? Or for […]

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Economics, Society

Does Wealth = Life?

There is an interesting article on the  NY Times site by Annie Lowrey on the potential impact that economic inequality might be having on U.S. lifespans. The article, “Income Gap, Meet the Longevity Gap,” analyzes two counties in particular: Fairfax County, Va., and the much poorer McDowell County, W.Va. The wealth and lifespan data from these […]

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Economics, Society

The Economics of Designer Humans

There is an interesting piece on the conversation.com by the philosopher Jenna Thompson on a new in-vitro fertilization (IVF) technique, about to be approved by the National Health Service in the UK, called “Three-Person IVF.” Notes Jenna: Supporters hail the technique as a cure for the debilitating and incurable diseases caused by defective genetic material in […]

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Politics, Society

Is a Lottery the Way to Fix Politics?

Alexander Guerrero of U Penn makes an interesting proposal in a recent article in Aeon Magazine. It’s time, he argues, to move the U.S. legislative selection process to a lottery-based system. Today’s money-driven model has become so corrupted, he argues, that only the introduction of a randomness element to the selection process can re-establish some […]

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Manufacturing, Society

Welcoming the “Circular Revolution”

  There is an interesting post by Frans van Houten (CEO of Royal Philips) on ProjectSyndicate on what he calls “The Circular Economy.” Van Houten makes the point that the world has to move from a “linear” economy in which products are produced, consumed and then discarded to a circular model in which the full […]

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Economics, Regulations, Society

Schiller: “The Financial Fire Next Time”

There’s a good post by Robert Schiller on ProjectSyndicate on the failure, since the financial crisis, to evolve markets to prevent another crisis. Schiller, who is a long-time advocate of expanding creative risk management options in areas such as income protection and housing, (a position I wholeheartedly support) is critical of regulators’ inability to develop […]

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