Boundless Reads #121: Economics, Elites, Positivity & Joy
Greetings from Taipei. Read anything good this week?
Five Good Reads
#1 Positivity: This thread from Reddit highlights teachers sharing of positive signs from “today’s youth.” Our brains are wired to search for the negative (and our news organizations are giving us a healthy dose). If you want the positive you can find that too:
As a university history professor, I've noticed that even first year students are more willing to express countering opinions and views. There are far fewer who just regurgitate my lectures and instead offer counter points and disagreement, which is an amazing trend for academic debate
#2 Joy: I enjoyed this essay from Zadie Smith on Joy
#3 Reflections From An Elite Conference: A blogger reflects on a conference about “trust” and the insecurity of the elite groups (both boomer and millennial represented) in attendance:
Many periods of history have been constrained by structural necessity. This isn’t one of them. Rather than a forking path, we face possibilities that radiate in every direction, like spokes from a hub. Even the immediate future seems up for grabs.
#4 Asian Economics: I’ve written before about How Asia Works, a thoroughly nerdy and fun read about the trajectories of multiple Asian countries over the last 70 years. This Medium essay reviews the book and others to draw lessons from what mattered. Two factors I found interesting: high-status of civil government employees and corruption.
#5 IQ Debates: There was a fierce debate on Twitter this week about the usefulness of IQ. I found this essay from Nassim Taleb (love him, hate him) to be a thoughtful perspective. He argues that IQ is a good test of unintelligence rather than as a predictor of performance or other 2nd order effects
Some people seem to like this tactic for blocking the outrage on Twitter
Thanks for reading Boundless Reads! I started this in 2016 as a way to share what I was reading and as a way to engage with others who want to go deeper and explore different ideas.
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