Adam Smith Blog

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The dangers of dark nudging

Undercover Economist
“If you want people to do the right thing, make it easy.” That is the simplest possible summary of Nudge (UK) (US) by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler. We are all fallible creatures, and so benevolent policymakers need to make sure that the path of least resistance goes to a happy destination. It is a simple […]

Curious books

Marginalia
I’ve written recently about how much I’ve been enjoying Soonish (UK) (US) by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith, a highly amusing exploration of the latest technologies from satellite launch vehicles to 3D printed houses to gene therapy to self-organising robot swarms. But what else is out there to celebrate the curious? I recommend Steven Johnson’s Wonderland: How Play Made […]

A way to poke Facebook off its uncontested perch

Undercover Economist
We need to talk about Facebook. Google (or Alphabet, if you prefer) is more ubiquitous; Apple makes more money; Amazon is a more obvious threat to the bricks-and-mortar economy; yet there is something uniquely troubling about the social media leviathan. One concern is Facebook’s unwholesome contribution to our diet of information. Because what we see […]