Neoliberalism, Astronomy, Anthony Appiah, Moral Hazard, Hillary Clinton


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Out Of The Wreckage

Will Davies | Guardian | 14th September 2017

Western market democracies were content with the story of neoliberalism, as told by Hayek and echoed by Thatcher and Blair, until the 2008 financial crash. Since then the need for a new story has been clear, but none has been forthcoming, and people are getting restless. “That which is dangerous can also be thrilling. The capacity for democracy to throw up surprises is mesmerising. Something new will be born one way or the other. Still, the danger persists and may be growing” (1,450 words)

Pickering Called

Rivka Galchen | LRB | 27th September 2017

Enchanting and informative review of Dana Sobel’s Glass Universe, about women working in the Harvard College Observatory in the 1890s computing the location of stars. “There’s some science, of course – but also a tragic drowning, a fatal case of dysentery and a marriage plot or two. One reason nineteenth-century novels are the way they are is that the nineteenth-century was the way it was. These women have some control over their lives, but chance is a more powerful determinant” (4,300 words)

Interview: Kwame Anthony Appiah

Daniel Kodsi | Oxford Review Of Books | 22nd September 2017

Philosophical conversation about identity and identity politics. “The way human sexuality works, it’s going to continue to be important for an awful lot of people what the sex is of the people they have sex with, so we’re not likely to do very well with a system that doesn’t allow us socially to signal what our sex is to people we don’t yet know. There’s not an obvious analogue to sex and sexuality in the case of race, which is why racial abolitionism makes more sense than gender abolitionism” (11,000 words)

Moral Hazard: A Primer

Kermit Schoenholtz & Stephen Cecchetti | Money And Banking | 25th September 2017

The term “moral hazard” originated in insurance, where it referred to the integrity of the customer. In economics it refers to the creation of unintended incentives to behave badly. “For example, a fire insurance policy might limit the motivation to install sprinklers while a generous automobile insurance policy might encourage reckless driving. Employment arrangements suffer from moral hazard, too: Will you shirk unpleasant tasks at work if you’re sure to receive your paycheck anyway?” (1,800 words)

What Happened – Digested Read

John Crace | Guardian | 24th September 2017

Hillary Clinton’s campaign-trail memoir, What Happened, is condensed here from 512 pages to 800 words, with a dose of snark stirred in. “Friends have asked me why I did it, why I agreed to run for president. To tell the truth, I had no option. I knew that many people didn’t like me. And I knew that it would be hard to defend Barack Obama’s desperately poor record in office. But I had to do it. All my life I’ve never wanted to do anything other than serve my country. And be president” (800 words)

Video of the day: Myanmar’s Ethnic Cleansing

What to expect:

Vox explainer. Why and how thousands of Rohingya Muslims are fleeing Myanmar for Bangladesh every day (5’12”)

Thought for the day

Always choose the most difficult way. There you will not meet competitors
Charles de Gaulle

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