Call to mind, say, the time of Vespasian, and you will see the same old things: people marrying, bringing up children, falling sick, dying, fighting wars, feasting, trading, working the land, flattering, putting on airs, suspecting their fellows, hatching plots, praying for the death of others, grumbling at their present lot, falling in love, piling […]
Nigeria is not a great country. It is one of the most disorderly nations in the world. It is one of the most corrupt, insensitive, inefficient places under the sun … It is dirty, callous, noisy, ostentatious, dishonest and vulgar. In short, it is among the most unpleasant places on earth!1 It’s dirty and an […]
…in 1860 the lights and shadows were still mediaeval, and mediaeval Rome was alive; the shadows breathed and glowed, full of soft forms felt by lost senses. No sand-blast of science had yet skinned off the epidermis of history, thought, and feeling. The pictures were uncleaned, the churches unrestored, the ruins unexcavated. Mediaeval Rome […]
This was fun music, joyous music, not the austere minimal techno of downstairs, or the jazzy techno of Jonson and Minilogue, or the hardcore techno that would inspire one to press the dwarf. The bass rattled the empty tin record bins behind the d.j.1 To those who are into these sorts of things, the latest […]
Reclining in a hammock in Puerto Escondido last week, my mind wandered to thoughts of my dog and whether there is a tradeoff between freedom and happiness. Since I was on vacation, the further development of these thoughts took a back seat to what one might consider the proper course of action while recumbent in […]
In The Reckoning, I suggested that the decades-long squeeze on labor still has room to run, particularly in light of two technological trends: the growing adoption of robotics and the emergence of 3D printing. Two interviews released this week lend credence to the continuing squeeze.
Speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, David Rubenstein reportedly criticized policy initiatives that push students to orient themselves toward science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The real scarcity, he apparently asserted, is in problem solving and critical thinking skills—both of which may be gleaned from the study of humanities, […]
Unsustainable economic trends will lead to populist politics and demagogues (Jan 2014)
In light of the holiday season and year end, I thought I’d share the best books I read this year. While most of these weren’t published in 2013—a number of them dutifully collected dust on bookshelves in no less than three apartments until they were summoned—the following eight books stand out as my favorites over […]
Last month, FT Alphaville’s Izabella Kaminska picked up a potent critique of free-market capitalism from Pope Francis’s first Apostolic Exhortation.1 I must confess, I’m not a regular reader of papal exhortations—indeed, papal pronouncements of any variety tend not to make my “to read” list2—but the snippets Kaminska selected gave me pause.