Category Archives: books and book reviews

Michael Mauboussin on Luck

A commenter recommended him, and I watched this video. Some interesting points: 1. As skill in an activity becomes more refined, differences in skill at the high levels tend to narrow. As a result, luck starts to play a relatively … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, links to my essays | 12 Comments

Tyler Cowen’s Complacency Quiz

It sorts you into four categories: Trailblazer Striver Comfortable Complacent I was rated as a striver. I don’t think of myself that way. I might feel better if there were a category called “contrarian.” It would describe me, and I … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 13 Comments

Yuval Levin on Paulos and Cowen

He writes, Stagnation moved by insecurity seems a little more like the predicament we are in than stagnation moved by complacency (which Cowen defines as “a growing sense of satisfaction with the status quo”). The former, more negative, kind of … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews | 3 Comments

Asymmetric Intolerance

In the United States, the average number of automobile accidents per year is 5.25 million (source). The average number of fatalities per year is 30,000 to 35,000. (source). How many accidents are we willing to tolerate involving self-driving cars before … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Growth Causes and Consequences, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 34 Comments

My Review of Tyler Cowen’s Complacent Class

I conclude, there is an important category of people who are dissatisfied with the status quo and at the same time are averse to risk and to change. It is an interesting pathology, but I think it is misleading to … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, links to my essays, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 13 Comments

Tyler Cowen Reminds me of Charles Murray and Neal Stephenson

I just opened my (Kindle) copy of The Complacent Class. He describes three complacent sub-groups. First is “the privileged class.” the wealthiest and best educated 3 to 5 percent of the American population This is Charles Murray’s Belmont (or Neal … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 6 Comments

Shorter Version of Tyler Cowen’s New Book

From one of my comenters. the chief anti-libertarian human tendency is the wish to minimize risk by distributing it which leads to all the “too big to fail” and social security and regulatory boondoggles. The bigger and richer the society … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 6 Comments

The Demand for a Shaman

From my review of a recent book by Sandra Peart and David Levy. I am more concerned with the Shaman problem. Given a choice between an economist who claims to have a low-cost solution to a problem and an economist … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, public choice | 6 Comments

I have influence with Steve Bannon

Apparently. he was indeed reading “The Best and the Brightest.” Read the whole article, by Marc Tracy in the NYT. No, there is no indication that I had anything to do with Bannon’s choice of reading. Tracy makes this point: … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Politics | 22 Comments

Prestige and Social Change

Vera L. te Velde asks which cooperative norms are chosen to be enforced and how does this come about? Pointer from Tyler Cowen. Read her whole post. Joseph Henrich, in The Secret of our Success, emphasizes the role of prestige. … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, culture | 3 Comments