Naimisha Forest

Black Swans: Burke, Keynes, Taleb

Branco Milanovic has a very interesting post on why Nassim Nicholas Taleb is “one of the most important thinkers today.”

Milanovic is a professor of economics at CUNY, a leading student of income inequality, Silvrback blog imageand not one, I suppose, to lightly hand out such praise.  Taleb, you recall, is a former derivatives trader, . . .

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February 03, 2018

Cats and Rats: Happy Birthday Ulysses

Today, February 2nd, 2018 marks several big dates in James Joyce world, says Emily Temple in “Ulysses – Good and Bad.”

Silvrback blog image“This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first appearance of James Joyce’s Ulysses—it was first serialized in The Little Review between March 1918 and December . . .

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February 02, 2018

Truthtelling from the sh—hole, or ‘Make Africa Great Again.’

Some of the racket about President Trump’s alleged politically incorrect reference to ‘shithole countries’ was that it would likely offend African elites. Which it did; the African Union issued an angry protest, for example. But it’s less plausible that Silvrback blog imagethe alleged comment would offend ordinary Africans, who endure all . . .

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January 25, 2018

Remarkable poll numbers on immigration: why Democrats folded on the government shutdown

Little wonder Chuck Schumer and the Democrats folded on the government shutdown. Look no further than this Harvard-Harris poll released yesterday:  the public supports Silvrback blog imagethe sort of immigration deal President Trump wants by a margin of around 2 to 1.   

Specifically: “Would you favor or oppose a congressional deal that . . .

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January 23, 2018

Family and Country

Silvrback blog image"We begin our public affections in our families. No cold relation is a zealous citizen. We pass on to our neighbourhoods, and our habitual provincial connexions. These are inns and resting-places. Such divisions of our country as have been formed by habit, and not by a sudden jerk of authority, were so many little images of the great country . . .

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January 20, 2018

The vanity of American power

Silvrback blog imagePolitico magazine has a long interview with Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in 2013-16, and Ben Rhodes, a speechwriter and adviser to President Obama. The occasion is a forthcoming HBO documentary on ‘The Final Year’ of the Obama administration, seen through the doings of these two functionaries.

The interviewer, . . .

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January 17, 2018

Personal explorations in price discrimination - 'that's how they getcha!'

Silvrback blog imageThe other day I had a post on the growing ability of online businesses to charge customers different prices according to their ability to pay – perfect price discrimination in economists’ jargon.  Which led naturally to the question: am I being screwed, and, if so, how badly? 

Here are the results of a small . . .

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January 15, 2018

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