Let’s avoid another arms race

Max Tegmark is a professor of physics at MIT. He’s also the president of the somewhat sinister sounding Future of Life Institute, the group that authored the letter asking for a six-month pause on the development of advanced artificial intelligence. You know, to preserve the future of humanity. What Needs Sorting?  It’s easy to get […]

The history of easy money

Before there were coins or bills, there was interest. Creditors have been lending money (and before that, seeds and animals) since the eighth century BC. The Mesopotamians recorded their loans on clay tablets, not unlike your credit card companies or the bank that services your mortgage. The First Financial Crises We don’t know exactly when […]

Do you care about the future?

Human civilization is relatively young—and it could last for a very long time. If humanity manages to persist for millions of years, it means that those of us living today will be considered the ancients, living at the very beginning of history.  Choose Wisely Ask yourself, are you a good ancestor? Or the type whose […]

When Ignorance Ain’t Bliss

When did ignorance become a virtue in American politics? Comedian and satirist Andy Borowitz says that US media clearly favors politicians who are entertaining and extreme over classic qualities like intelligence and competence. In his latest book, Borowitz traces this disappointing heritage. The Guy Who Dumbed Everything Down Poor old Dan Quayle. No politician wants […]

Is Bernie Sanders Really Radical?

In the 2020 Democratic primaries, Senator Bernie Sanders’s ideas were dismissed as “radical” by political elites and many in the media. But millions of people supported his grassroots campaign, so it’s not exactly fair to describe his agenda as fringe. What should we make of his politics? Making America Great Again (Bernie Remix) If Americans […]

Megathreat Creep

Nouriel Roubini has a pretty cool nickname for an economist. But “Dr. Doom,” as he’s known, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the future, particularly since he predicted the 2008 economic collapse. His new book, Megathreats, is about how interconnected economic, technological, environmental, and political problems may be the end of society as we know it. Dr. […]

How Did We Get Here?

How does a cataclysmic event alter the world? It’s an interesting question to ponder as we watch the effects of COVID-19 continue to unfold. Recognizing that history doesn’t actually happen overnight, business prof Scott Galloway analyzes almost a century’s worth of crisis and change in the United States, including events like World War II and […]

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