Adam Smith Blog

Marginalia

Curious books

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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 […]

Some podcasts you should hear

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Forgive me not linking, because different people will access their podcasts in different ways, but here are a few feeds I suggest you check out: Radio 4’s Seriously feed contains two documentaries a week, with a marvellous range of techniques. The US storytelling style is wonderful, but there’s more variety in the Seriously stable, and while it […]

The best books about failure

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I wrote Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure (UK) (US) several years ago, but I’ve not stopped thinking and talking about the idea. So often we’re told to “learn from our mistakes” or “fail forward”, but the truth is that this advice isn’t easy to take: failure is painful and denial is common. Here […]

Was Luca Pacioli overrated?

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One of my favourite chapters in Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy (UK) (US) is on double-entry bookkeeping. You can read a briefer adaptation of the chapter on the BBC website. Luca Pacioli, Renaissance mathematician admired by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, is one of the stars of my story. I have read in various […]