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Weekly selection
7 July 2017

5 insightful op-eds or articles to help make sense of today’s world

  • Robert Shiller, “In Long Run, There’s No Such Thing as an Einstein Investor”

    (The New York Times - metered paywall - 23 June 2017)

    The Nobel laureate explains why the world is much too complex for any one investment method to work all of the time. Both published statistical analyses and published actions and opinions of successful investors, are worth mulling over, but following successful strategies blindly won’t work. Investors need to exercise intuitive judgment as well as rely on the wisdom of smart, well-informed people to decide whether to continue to rely on statistical indicators and investment strategies that seemed to work in the past (reads in 4-6 min).

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  • David Frum, “Western liberalism is under siege”

    (Vox - 6 July 2017)

    This is a rich, dense conversation between David Frum (the editor of the Atlantic) and Edward Luce (a FT columnist who’s just published “Liberalism Under Siege”) about the uncertain future of Western-style democracy. Luce argues that elite complacency and contempt for the disadvantaged have weakened democracy to a point where it is “far closer to collapse than we may wish to believe;” but Frum thinks this may be more about the retreat of Anglo-American liberalism (reads in 12-15 min).

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  • Mark Bowden, “How to deal with North Korea?”

    (The Atlantic - 31 July 2017)

    The US has no good options for dealing with North Korea, but some are worse than others. The four options, all bad, are the following: (1) prevention; (2) turning the screws, (3) decapitation; (4) acceptance. The latter is probably the least bad (reads in 10-15 min).

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  • Katrin Bennhold, “On London’s Streets,
Black Cabs and Uber
Fight for a Future”

    (The New York Times - metered paywall - 4 July 2017)

    This is a great piece of journalism! Katrin Bennhold looks at the issue of “disruption against the incumbent” through the lens of a black cab driver and a Uber female immigrant driver. Her analysis makes the reader realize that London’s cabby wars epitomize what disruption is all about: they are less about the disruptive power of an
app, or a new business model, and more about the disruption of a country’s way of life (reads in 7-9 min). 

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  • Livia Gershon, “The Future Is Emotional”

    (AEON Magazine - 24 June 2017)

    Across the economy, technology is edging human workers into more emotional territory, meaning that many of the most important jobs of the future will require soft skills or “emotional labour”, currently undervalued and underpaid but invaluable. A growing real-world demand for workers with empathy and a talent for making other people feel at ease requires a serious shift in perspective. It means moving away from our singular focus on academic performance as the only road to success (reads in 7-10 min).

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