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Economics

Global Warming and (My) Productivity

Reporting on the results of an unexpected experiment ... with unexpectedly global implications. After 20 years in the same house in Northern California, we installed whole-house air conditioning earlier this year. It seems that most of the apartments here have it, but not too many single family homes. Somehow the weather seemed to have gotten…

Almost half of US households can barely make it

This is incredibly awful and shameful. According to the United Way ALICE project, a research project run by a group of charities, almost half of US households are barely getting by. ALICE stands for: Asset Limited Income Constrained, but Employed. and it means: a "household who cannot always pay the bills, has little or nothing…

Will cooperation replace competition?

Enthusiasm has been growing in many places about new, more cooperative models for organizing society, replacing capitalism as we know it today. Advocates of these new models are convinced a broad transition to large-scale collaboration is "inevitable" and starting to happen. Those of us who have not drunk the cool-aid yet sympathize (everybody is cooperating…

How complex systems fail, or the curious Brexit paralysis

After losing the Brexit vote, prime minister Cameron resigned. That sounds reasonable: he lost and so he resigned. But did you notice that nobody, absolutely nobody, wants to become the next prime minister? Not even senior politicians like Boris Johnson that campaigned in favor of Leave and wanted to be PM for a long time?…