The eurozone mess is the classic illustration of a saying attributed to Herbert Stein, “Economists are very good at saying that something cannot go on forever, but not so good at saying when it will stop.”
Reading a book, it’s often very hard to judge just how reliable the author is, or how cherry-picked the data might be. But if a high-profile hedge-fund industry association spends months putting forward a point-by-point rebuttal, and that rebuttal is utterly underwhelming, then at that point you have to believe that the book has pretty much got things right.
Europe’s tragedy is not the result of an evil plot, but stems, rather, from a lack of coherent policies. As in ancient Greek tragedies, misconceptions and a sheer lack of understanding have had unintended but fateful consequences.
The richness of math is in the abstraction. It allows you to take a step back from reality, and that gives us the freedom to think the way we want. Mathematicians display a great deal of imagination.
Bike thievery is essentially a risk-free crime. If you were a criminal, that might just strike your fancy. If Goldman Sachs didn’t have more profitable market inefficencies to exploit, they might be out there arbitraging stolen bikes.
I am always fascinated when I see the latest Apple products. Apple has managed to achieve what I never achieved: using the power of their products to persuade people to queue to buy them. For me, I had to queue to receive food at the end of World War II. That’s quite a change.
In the 1950’s photography could rightly be a provocative act. Being photographed was an event not a default setting.