Talking about numbers – evaluating pandemic responses (In Swedish)

In the beginning of the pandemic I wrote a blogpost in Swedish, inspired by Tyler Cowen, arguing that we owe it to ourselves to predict a number of fatalities that we believe would within what we expect to reach – because without this we just recede into a position of referenceless criticism. The key I developed then to assessing the Swedish pandemic response had two … Continue reading Talking about numbers – evaluating pandemic responses (In Swedish)

10 questions for thinking in games (Mental Models VII)

It is fair to say that playing video games have a number of positive cognitive and attentional effects (see this metastudy of 116 different papers), but one thing that is rarely highlighted is the fact that video games in some cases offer mental models that can be applied cross domains and used to think through complex scenarios and problems. It seems almost frivolous to suggest … Continue reading 10 questions for thinking in games (Mental Models VII)

What will the pandemic mean for the composition of our economy?

This paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is an interesting signal for determining what happens to the economy post-pandemic. It shows a sharp recovery in the starting of new businesses – and when compared to the Great recession this really is evidence of resilience – but! – and this may be a marker of something different happening here – that transition rate, the … Continue reading What will the pandemic mean for the composition of our economy?

Can money buy you happiness? On comfort science.

In what has become the accepted wisdom, income does not increase your happiness over some level – usually at around 75000 USD / year. But in a recent paper on PNAS that claim was shown to be false…or was it? The debate that has been raging about the paper since it came out has been really interesting to follow and there are essentially two different … Continue reading Can money buy you happiness? On comfort science.

What kind of explainer are you? (Mental Models VI)

This article discusses a subject that increasingly has caught my interest: what is a good explanation? This is an old question in philosophy – and deciding that something is an explanation of some fact or phenomenon is not as straightforward as it seems. Explanations can operate at different levels and we may decide that different explanations are more or less relevant for different kinds of … Continue reading What kind of explainer are you? (Mental Models VI)

Exploring the Stagnation Hypothesis

The stagnation hypothesis, the idea that we have seen steady decline across science and technology over the last 50 years or so is increasingly gaining ground and becoming mainstream: Thiel, along with economists such as Tyler Cowen (The Great Stagnation) and Robert Gordon (The Rise and Fall of American Growth), promotes a “stagnation hypothesis”: that there has been a significant slowdown in scientific, technological, and … Continue reading Exploring the Stagnation Hypothesis

Regulate Tech #2: The Arab Spring Revisited

This time, Richard Allan discusses the Arab Spring, what we have learned as a society and how the Arab Spring might play out today. It is an interesting discussion, and Richard was close to the whole thing in a way that makes it really worthwhile to hear him think through the issues and challenges. All ideas and thoughts about other subjects, ideas or new things … Continue reading Regulate Tech #2: The Arab Spring Revisited

Three pieces – Friday reading & links

Looking for new perspectives? Here are a few articles to check out. “The New National American Elite” by Michael Lind. In this article, Lind suggests that the US has first now established a national elite – and risen from the fragmented state aristocracies that used to compete with each-other nationally: “In short, a historical narrative which describes a fall from the yeoman democracy of an … Continue reading Three pieces – Friday reading & links

President Biden and the attention-deficit

As President Joe Biden now takes on the presidency he is facing a lot of substantive challenges, but he also faces an interesting stylistic one – and that is how he communicates. We seem to be back to press-briefings and less of the tweeting that the former president excelled in until his account was banned. That has been hailed as a relief, but there is … Continue reading President Biden and the attention-deficit

Wikipedia and the future of the Internet

Wikipedia celebrates its 20th birthday and there are a lot of interesting articles out there about the wonderful and weird phenomenon that wikipedians have created and are curating. Here are a few of the perhaps less well-known “No Rest for the Wiki: The free encyclopedia is one of the last vestiges of an earlier internet” by Rebecca Panovka. In this article the author focuses not … Continue reading Wikipedia and the future of the Internet