Author posts

Agents of revolution: How 500 years of social networks shaped humanity

Facebook might be the biggest social network but it's far from the first, despite what those in Silicon Valley will have you believe.

Political extremism in America? Blame Facebook and Twitter, not Russia.

"Anybody who expected a wonderful happy global community to form on the Internet in which everybody would share cat videos has been gravely disappointed."

Can Silicon Valley save the world? Or are social networks ruining everything?

"At times, it seems as if we are condemned to try to understand our own time with conceptual frameworks more than half a century old." Historian Niall Ferguson says it's time for an update. 

Why It's Better to Study History Than Economics

Niall Ferguson: I’m constantly struck by the levels of historical ignorance that I encounter.  In rooms full of very well-paid financial professionals, nobody appears to have read any of the major works of financial history of the last 30 or 40 years.

Global Competition, In Perspective

For every one Western 17-year-old boy there are about 28 Chinese boys the same age working twice as hard to get the lifestyle that our one Western kid assumes will be his.

How Much More Can Downsized Workforce Work?

Businesses are reaching the limits of what they can squeeze out of a downsized workforce. 

Complexity Theory in 2 Minutes

Complexity theory is about adaptive systems that teeter on the edge of chaos.

Fixing Education: Where Do We Begin?

Niall Ferguson: going on a world tour and seeing which systems do the best job seems like a pretty good starting place to me. 

Social Mobility is More Important Than Equality

When you have a very rigid society without social mobility the underachieving kids of overachieving parents get a privileged run and get helped into colleges they shouldn’t really be getting into.

How Complexity Theory Illuminates History

Complex systems can fall apart really quickly if they tip over the edge of chaos.