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Tag Archives: Other Writing

Book of the Week 26 – How to do Nothing by Jenny Odell

Book of the Week 26 – How to do Nothing by Jenny Odell This thoughtful – and thought-provoking – book takes on a different undertone when read in the light of lockdown. Odell takes her time describing her slow meanderings around the Rose Garden in Oakland, California, sitting and listening to birdsong. Last year that might have felt slightly quirky; this year, we’ve all been doing it. I was expecting Odell’s book to be something like Cal Newport’s excellent Digital...

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Book of the Week 26 – How to do Nothing by Jenny Odell

Book of the Week 26 – How to do Nothing by Jenny Odell This thoughtful – and thought-provoking – book takes on a different undertone when read in the light of lockdown. Odell takes her time describing her slow meanderings around the Rose Garden in Oakland, California, sitting and listening to birdsong. Last year that might have felt slightly quirky; this year, we’ve all been doing it. I was expecting Odell’s book to be something like Cal Newport’s excellent Digital...

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Can the pandemic help us fix our technology problem?

Can the pandemic help us fix our technology problem? We have a technology problem. By that, I mean that we currently lack the technology to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. We don’t have a cheap, easy, self-administered test. We lack effective medicines. Above all, we don’t have a vaccine. But I also mean something vaguer and more diffuse. We have a technology problem in the sense that scientific and technological progress has been sputtering for a while. That is evident in...

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Book of the Week 22 – The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova

Book of the Week 22 – The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova I’ve been a fan of Maria Konnikova’s writing for a while. She’s a Harvard-educated academic psychologist who switching to writing and turned out to be even better at that than psychology – her book, The Confidence Game, is a modern classic with a great mix of psychological research and true storytelling. Just my kind of thing. The new book, The Biggest Bluff, sees Konnikova taking on the world of professional poker in...

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Book(s) of the Week 20: The Next Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy

Book(s) of the Week 20: The Next Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy Okay, this week I’m plugging my own brand new book, The Next Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy.  At least, a little bit. But I have some other books to tell you about too. One of the joys of writing this book was to be able to pick up two or three wonderful books on each topic, learn all about the history and the characters involved, and then try to figure out how to use what I’d learned to tell a...

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Book(s) of the Week 20: The Next Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy

Book(s) of the Week 20: The Next Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy Okay, this week I’m plugging my own brand new book, The Next Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy.  At least, a little bit. But I have some other books to tell you about too. One of the joys of writing this book was to be able to pick up two or three wonderful books on each topic, learn all about the history and the characters involved, and then try to figure out how to use what I’d learned to tell a...

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The Next Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy – book and talk

The Next Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy – book and talk “Endlessly insightful and full of surprises — exactly what you would expect from Tim Harford.” Bill Bryson I’m delighted to announce the launch of my new book, The Next Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy. It’s a sequel to the original in which I presented a selection of fifty radical inventions that changed the world – in the form of surprising, instructive and untold stories about the people and ideas...

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The Next Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy – book and talk

The Next Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy – book and talk “Endlessly insightful and full of surprises — exactly what you would expect from Tim Harford.” Bill Bryson I’m delighted to announce the launch of my new book, The Next Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy. It’s a sequel to the original in which I presented a selection of fifty radical inventions that changed the world – in the form of surprising, instructive and untold stories about the people and ideas...

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Why we fail to prepare for disasters

Why we fail to prepare for disasters You can’t say that nobody saw it coming. For years, people had warned that New Orleans was vulnerable. The Houston Chronicle reported that 250,000 people would be stranded if a major hurricane struck, with the low-lying city left 20ft underwater. New Orleans’s Times-Picayune noted the inadequacy of the levees. In 2004, National Geographic vividly described a scenario in which 50,000 people drowned. The Red Cross feared a similar death toll....

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Remembering Peter Sinclair

Remembering Peter Sinclair Peter Sinclair died yesterday, after many days in hospital with covid-19. It’s a heavy blow. Peter was an inspirational economics teacher and a wonderfully kind man. Peter inspired a generation of great economists and economics journalists, including Dave Ramdsen (long time head of the Government Economic Service), Camilla Cavendish, Tim Leunig, Evan Davis, and Diane Coyle, who posts her own memories. He also taught David Cameron. I’m envious of all of...

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