The Subversive Origin Of the Monopoly Board Game (3 min read)

We’ve all played Monopoly. You go around the board, try to accumulate sets of properties (ideally the green and dark blue ones), build hotels and then drive everyone else into bankruptcy. It can often drag on and on, but it’s worth the wait if it means you defeat your siblings. But did you know that this celebration of monopolistic capitalism was actually based on a game that was meant to show the evils of monopolies?! Continue reading “The Subversive Origin Of the Monopoly Board Game (3 min read)”

The Oldest Book Ever Written On Trading Stocks (It’s 330 years old!)

In the 1600s, the world’s first stock exchange was established in Amsterdam. In 1688, a trader by the name of Josef de la Vega wrote “Confusion Of Confusions” – the world’s oldest surviving account of trading stocks. The book is an amazing record of the business. Yet despite being written over 300 years ago, it sounds eerily familiar to our markets today. Continue reading “The Oldest Book Ever Written On Trading Stocks (It’s 330 years old!)”

How Well Do You Know the Good Or Bad State Of the World?

The late Hans Rosling found fame through his TED talks on visualising facts about the world. His last book,“Factfulness”, was published this year, and is a great read.

The thrust of the book is that we lazily make assumptions about the world, which are not based on facts, and then go on to formulate big world views. To make his point, he starts his book with 13 questions on the state of the world. I was surprised by many of the answers. Here are the questions (and the answers). See if you get them right!

13 Questions About the World

1. In all low-income countries across the world today, how many girls finish primary school? Continue reading “How Well Do You Know the Good Or Bad State Of the World?”

Best Of the Web: Talking To Children, Belly Fat, Uber For Snitching and more…

I come across so many great articles on the web, so I thought I’d try to regularly share the best ones. Let me know if you like the selection or if you like more (or less) of certain types.

Personality and Self-Help (6)

How Emotional Intelligence Boosts Your Endurance
A new paper has found that those who were better at recognizing and regulating their emotions ran faster races. Runners who agreed with statements like “Expressing my emotions with words is not a problem for me” or “I often pause and think about my feelings.” turned out to be Continue reading “Best Of the Web: Talking To Children, Belly Fat, Uber For Snitching and more…”

21 Must-Read Articles From Around the Web From Blockchain Bubbles to Chinese Values

I’m constantly scouring the web for good material to read and here’s my latest curated list:

Big Brother

Life Inside China’s Social Credit Laboratory Yikes. China has started to quantify people’s trustworthiness based on their “behaviour”. They then get a social credit score which determines their movements and services they can access. Continue reading “21 Must-Read Articles From Around the Web From Blockchain Bubbles to Chinese Values”

What I Tell Young Researchers (3 min read)

Having  been a researcher for many many years, I’ve picked up lots of useful tips and tricks to produce good research. Most I’ve been given by others, so I equally like to share everything I’ve learned to all the newbies in my research team. Below is the list I give (and it can useful for non-researchers too): Continue reading “What I Tell Young Researchers (3 min read)”

Overcoming Fake News – Welcome To the Reputation Age (3 min read)

From the Establishment Age to the Information Age

Fake news, social media manipulation, government propaganda – the list goes on, so who do we now trust to understand the “truth”. In the old days, it was enough that it came from a reputable organisation like a top university (say Harvard or Cambridge), government body (say the FDA or UN) or large media company (say the BBC or NY Times). The internet and perhaps more importantly the social media era disrupted that. Continue reading “Overcoming Fake News – Welcome To the Reputation Age (3 min read)”

How Tomatoes Could Be Killing Us!

Have you ever wondered why tomatoes look so perfect and never seem to rot? Well, it’s largely thanks to large dosages of herbicides, like glyphosates, which zap all the bacteria and bugs that could gnaw away on the tomato and also the narrow breeding of varieties of tomatoes that last on trucks that transport them across the world. Moreover, there has a recent trend to grow more tomatoes in “soil-less” glass houses, which further distance the tomato from the messiness of nature. Continue reading “How Tomatoes Could Be Killing Us!”

8 Articles From Around the Web That Caught My Eye

“President Chaos” and a return to Congressional government The piece argues that it has only been since FDR’s election in the 1930s that the US government has become so President-centric, before that Congress drove policy. The authors argue we could be seeing a return to that mode especially if the recent bipartisan core that ended the shutdown endures. Continue reading “8 Articles From Around the Web That Caught My Eye”

China’s Dream Factory (3 min read)

I recently read a striking front-page manifesto from the Chinese Communist Party published in China’s People’s Daily. I Google translated it, edited and picked out the following highlights:

Historic turning point

October 2017 will be remembered in history as the golden autumn. The Chinese Communist Party, one of the largest political parties and most successful Marxist ones, has brought the world’s attention to China’s new era. Continue reading “China’s Dream Factory (3 min read)”