The Fifth Risk

As I write this it’s unclear whether the current British Government will survive. Amidst the chaos, spare a thought for the civil servants who have to keep the show on the road. They’re incredibly important. For a description of why their expertise matters, read Michael Lewis’s new book The Fifth Risk. It’s terrifying. There’s no […]

Should we say hello to aliens?

It’s an interesting, and possibly civilisation-ending, question. Should we go out of our way to let other alien civilisations know that we’re here, or try to remain very, very quiet? It’s an example in Steven Johnson’s excellent new book Farsighted — an expansive sweep of all the techniques that are available today to help us make better […]

The best Five Books on anything

I stumbled across Five Books this morning. It’s a fantastic archive of interviews with people who recommend the best five books on their chosen subject. It ranges from Diane Coyle talking about the best economics books of 2016, through to Tyler Cowen on the best books about information theory or Jeremy Mynott on the best […]

Ten years on from the first murmurings of the financial crisis

Alastair Darling was on the radio this week talking about how he got his first inkling of the financial crisis while on holiday in France. It was ten years ago and he’d walked into the local village to pick up some croissants and a copy of the FT and he read the news that BNP […]