Cloudy with a Chance of Technological Breakthrough

Laurence Articles

Will the cloud drive massive increases in productivity and wealth — as the internet did before it? That is the central question asked by Mark Mills in his stunning new book, The Cloud Revolution. Little changes sometimes morph into very big ones by stealth: you don’t see the big change coming until it has enveloped you. This is how ARPANET, …

How To Think: Steven Pinker’s Instruction Manual For Your Brain

Laurence Articles

An urban legend has Amos Tversky, the late cofounder (along with Daniel Kahneman) of behavioral economics, asking a computer scientist what he was working on. The computer man responded, “I study artificial intelligence.” Tversky, a notorious smart aleck, responded, “I study natural stupidity.” Steven Pinker has studied natural stupidity more carefully than almost any other living writer. Trained as a …

Is a Rejection of Classical Finance Justified?

Laurence Articles

Einstein’s theory of relativity advanced Newtonian physics. That did not mean Newton was wrong – only that his theories could be improved upon. In an ambitious new book, the economist Andrew Smithers rejects core “Newtonian” principles of economics, replacing them with radical departures from conventional wisdom. But as I will explain, unlike Einstein, some of Smithers’ theories fail meet the …

Generational Differences Are Less Important Than You Think

Laurence Articles

We shouldn’t read too much into pop sociology, especially when investing other people’s money. William Strauss and Neil Howe built a following by perpetuating a scholarship that embraces substantive differences among generations: Baby Boomers, Millennials, Gen-X and so forth. But that view is mistaken, according to Bobby Duffy. Duffy asks whether our lives are largely shaped by when we were …

Friedman’s Bulldog? Edward Yardeni Presents a Brief for Capitalism

Laurence Articles

A Personal Reflection At some level you carry what you learned in school with you for the rest of your life. I went to the University of Chicago out of high school, hoping to study with Milton Friedman, who had published Capitalism and Freedom a decade earlier. I didn’t wind up studying directly with Friedman but I got to know …