The really real reason why banks have so many scandals

“Since we have not more power of knowing the future than any other men, we have made many mistakes (who has not during the past five years?), but our mistakes have been errors of judgment and not of principle.” J.P. Morgan Jnr, 1933 A couple of months ago I was toying with the idea of … Continue reading The really real reason why banks have so many scandals

Samuel Bowles on economic inequality as a policy option

http://tuvalu.santafe.edu/~bowles/ Prof Sam Bowles has a couple of books that compliment the work of Richard Sennett on cooperation - one published in 2011, the other due later in 2012. Whereas Sennett takes a sociological approach, Bowles focuses on economics. In particular he has done some interesting work on computer modelling of property rights.

Experts and Cultural Cognition

Dan Kahan's blog at the Cultural Cognition Project makes some conjectures about whether experts think in similar ways to non-experts. Specifically he wonders whether experts exhibit the kinds of cultural biases already demonstrated by non-experts. Do experts use cultural cognition? My observation is that there would need to be care taken to avoid something like … Continue reading Experts and Cultural Cognition

Biosemiotics and slime mould

New Scientist has an interesting article on the ways in which it may make sense to talk about non-conscious entities creating meaning. Biosemiotics. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727741.200-biosemiotics-searching-for-meanings-in-a-meadow.html?full=true Hat tip to Meika. I had been thinking abut this when I came across a report on the slime mould's 'irrational' decision-making process.It seems that like humans, Physarum polycephalum makes quick … Continue reading Biosemiotics and slime mould

Detroit: a city fit for superheroes?

Chatting with my young son this evening it occured to us that superheroes require certain types of cities, certain kinds of urban form, in order to thrive. Spiderman needs tall buildings closely packed in order to leap between them. The Hulk needs impressive edifices to knock down. Only certain types of urban form are fit … Continue reading Detroit: a city fit for superheroes?

Mutualism: Flavour of the month

As predicted this time last year, mutualism is the new favourite political idea.  It has been so ignored by policy makers over many decades that it has temporarily lost its left/right label and the Tories are also talking about it. But it shouldn't be thought that mutualism is a way of making money grow on … Continue reading Mutualism: Flavour of the month