10 Weekend Reads

Good Saturday morning. Well, thats the first time we’ve had two consecutive negative months in several years. No worries, we have some longer form weekend reads while you digest that info:

• The Super Bowl Scammer: Dion Rich Is the Godfather of Gatecrashing (Rolling Stone)
• The Real Story Behind Jeff Bezos’s Fire Phone Debacle And What It Means For Amazon’s Future (Fast Company)
• The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains. (The Atlantic) see also Why the modern world is bad for your brain (The Guardian)
• Science, Meet Journalism. You Two Should Talk. (Wilson Quarterly)
• Getting Out Of Afghanistan: By the time we thought about leaving Afghanistan, we’d been tossing gear into the country for more than a decade. This is the story of how we moved out. (Fast Company)
• Inside the box: How workers ended up in cubes—and how they could break free (The Economist)
• How YouTubers discovered a human condition no one had talked about before (Mashable)
• Boom: Inside a British ATM-Bombing/Robbing Spree (Bloomberg)
• What It Would Really Take to Reverse Climate Change (IEEE Spectrum)
• Life in the Sickest Town in America: I drove from one of the healthiest counties in the country to the least-healthy, both in the same state. Here’s what I learned about work, well-being, and happiness. (The Atlantic)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this week with angel investor Howard Lindzon (Bloomberg and iTunes).


BoE: Higher Rates Aren’t the Right Tool to Tame Bubbles

Source: Real Time Economics


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Discussions found on the web:
  1. RW commented on Jan 31

    Cognitive vs. behavioral in psychology, economics, and political science

    …think about “behavioral economics” not so much as “economics” but as “behavioral.” From a psychology point of view, behaviorism is a nearly century-old theory that was in many ways superseded by cognitive psychology. And, in many ways, “behavioral economics” is a sort of counter-revolution: it’s full of tropes under which people are doing things for irrational reasons, in which actions speak louder than words etc.

    The full story here is complicated but one reason I think these ideas are popular in neoclassical economics is that they are, in some sense, anti-democratic. …

    …there is a wave of research, coming from different directions, but all basically saying that our …attitudes are shallow and easily manipulated and thus, implicitly, not to be trusted. I don’t find this evidence convincing and, beyond this, I’m troubled by the eagerness some people seem to show to grab on to such claims, with their ultimately anti-democratic implications ….

    NB: As I learned it, behavioral economics could really be seen as an attempt to escape the neoclassical tradition. However if you believe (as I did) that the neoclassical tradition was only interested in defining perfect markets — perfect rationality was convenient but people were actually irrelevant — then the adoption of behavioral language is not surprising because it leads to exactly the same conclusion; i.e., we must rely upon markets and similarly aligned institutions because people cannot be trusted to think.

    • RW commented on Jan 31

      Could have phrased last sentence of that NB better: Should have read, “…the adoption of behavioral language is not surprising because it can be used to lead to exactly the same conclusion …”

      The point was that even technical concepts and language can be expropriated for purposes at variance with, or hostile to, their original meaning.

  2. VennData commented on Jan 31

    An Armed Chinese-Made Drone Crashed In Nigeria

    ​”…While the U.S. and allies have been reluctant to export UCAV technology, China has been far less shy, with Nigeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as probable customers already…”​



    ​If something bad happens here, it’s all on the Republicans.​

  3. Jojo commented on Jan 31

    Opinion: Pope Francis’s U.S. tour will set off economic fireworks
    By Paul B. Farrell
    Published: Jan 27, 2015 6:55 a.m. ET

    Pope Francis headlines are hard-hitting, targeted, staccato twitters, you get the whole truth in a series of blastings. First, starting with: “Pope Francis Has Declared War on Climate Deniers,” New Republic. Then, at the Week we read: “Republican Party’s war with Pope Francis has finally started,” Yes, 2015 is now a war zone: GOP conservatives at war with the Vatican.

    Then the Federalist, a conservative website, waves a red flag warning: “Don’t Pick Political Fights With Pope Francis.” Why? “Conservatives have everything to lose and nothing to gain from getting mad at Pope Francis for his public comments on homosexuality, global warming, free speech, and more.”

    Yes, conservatives warning Republicans: Don’t go to war with Pope Francis, you will lose. He’s got an army of 1.2 billion faithful worldwide including 78 million American Catholics. Francis will win.

    A huge army. More important, Francis has a direct link to a heavenly power source. As the 266th descendent of the first leader of Christians, St. Peter, the pontiff will be touring America this fall. First stop, Philadelphia. Ring the Liberty Bell.

    Yes, Francis is actually on a campaign tour, selling his new economic mandate. And watch out. Behind that sweet smile and happy demeanor, this former boxer is attacking everything conservatives, capitalists, Big Oil, energy billionaires and Republicans love, cherish and believe as gospel. And they can’t defend their agenda nor counterpunch him directly.


  4. rd commented on Jan 31

    American consumers are shirking their national duty by failing to pump their savings at the gas pump into purchases. Instead, they are cravenly executing austerity paying down debt or saving the money. Only corporations and governments are supposed to be doing this. Their employees should be seeking to increase their companies revenues so that the stock price can go up and their executives can make more money.


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