Can you trust your feelings?

A few paragraphs from Robert Wright’s new book Why Buddhism is True. Our feelings weren’t designed to depict reality accurately even in our “natural” environment. Feelings were designed to get the genes of our hunter-gatherer ancestors into the next generation. If that meant deluding our ancestors — making them so fearful that they “see” a snake that […]

The arc of the social universe is long, however it bends

Technology can be used for good or ill, but over the course of human history it’s clearly been a source of major progress. (If you’re not convinced, Robert Gordon’s book is one of my favorites to make the case.) But even if technology ultimately contributes to progress, it can cause a lot of harm along […]

What is financial innovation?

Emphasis mine: Whatever the cause or focus of financial innovation, it involved four basic forms, namely product, market, organization, and regulation. Product innovation was the design of a financial instrument to meet a specific need. Market innovation was the creation of a trading system through which these financial products could be bought and sold. Organizational […]

Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Dan Kahneman: AI will surpass humans in emotional intelligence

Some economists with whom I work hosted a conference on the economics of AI in Toronto last week, and while I couldn’t attend, some of the videos are online. And Brad Delong has provided a “rough transcript” of psychologist Dan Kahneman’s remarks, which include this bit about emotional intelligence: [????] said yesterday that humans would always […]

Larry Summers gives a great answer on competition, concentration, and market power

His podcast with Tyler Cowen is worth a listen for many reasons, but this was particularly in line with my own thinking: COWEN: Regular economics: one hears increasingly these days that the higher concentration ratios in the American economy are an economically relevant fact. We all know those ratios are up somewhat. But at the same […]