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Weekly selection
9 March 2018

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

  • Paul Krugman, “Trade War, What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing”

    (The New York Times - metered paywall - 3 March 2018)

    The NYT editorialist is renowned as an economist for his work on trade. He explains in this article why trade isn’t a zero-sum game: it raises the productivity and wealth of the world economy. Trade deficits only become a problem when the economy is depressed, and unemployment is high. At this juncture, a cycle of retaliation would shrink overall world trade, making the world as a whole, and America in particular, poorer (reads in about 4-5 min).

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  • Kat Manalac, “The nine types of startups Y Combinator thinks the world needs in 2018”

    (Quartz - 6 March 2018)

    This is a must-read to keep abreast of what’s going on in tech and innovation. Each year, Y Combinator reviews thousands of start-ups’ projects and funds a few hundred. One of its partners gives us a rundown of the nine ideas he’d choose to fund in the coming year: (1) Bricks and mortar 2.0; (2) Carbon-removal technology; (3) Cellular agriculture and clean meat; (4) Cleaner commodities; (5) Improving memory; (6) Longevity and anti-ageing; (7) Safeguards against fake video; (8) Supporting creators; (9) Voice-apps (reads in 5-7 min).

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  • Lucas Chancel, “40 Years of Data Suggests 3 Myths About Globalization”

    (Harvard Business Review - 2 March 2018)

    The general coordinator of the World Inequality Report 2018 dispels three myths about globalization and states that: (1) Globalization has led to a rise in global income inequality, not a reduction; (2) Income doesn’t trickle down; (3) Policy – not trade or technology – is most responsible for inequality (reads in 5-7 min).

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  • Robinson Meyer, “The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News”

    (The Atlantic - 8 March 2018)

    A major study conducted at MIT and just published in Science reveals that falsehoods almost always beat out the truth on Twitter, penetrating further, faster, and deeper into the social network than accurate information. Put simply: false information outperforms true information. The consequence, according to a group of 16 political scientists and legal scholars: “We must redesign our information ecosystem in the 21st century”  (reads in 7-9 min). 

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  • Ephrat Livni, “How to read less news but be more informed, according to a futurist”

    (Quartz - 6 March 2018)

    In our age of information overload, how to create a smart information filter - “a net that captures what’s happening and what really matters without making you a slave to information of fleeting importance”? (1) Practice selective ignorance; (2) Burst the bubble; (3) Find the “tall poppies”; (4) Hit the road; (5) Find sources you trust; (6) Chill out; (7) Carve out designated reading time; (8) Embrace silence; (9) Get-off social media; (10) Go dark (reads in 4-6 min).

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