Summer is here, so it’s time to get some reading time in. Here are some recent books I’ve read, that I’d recommend adding to your list:
Working(Robert Caro, 2019) – Caro is one of the great reporters and biographers of our time. He wrote huge biographies on US President Lyndon Johnson and all-powerful NY urban developer Robert Moses. In this book, “Working”, Caro discusses the research and interviews he did for those biographies. And through them, you learn about Moses and Johnson and the impressive work ethic and humility of Caro.
One of the positives of the lockdown has been that it’s forced me to cook my own meals. Before COVID, the extent of my cooking was boiling eggs and pasta. Now, I’m comfortable taking on any cooking challenge. I’ve discovered it’s not that hard to follow recipes and it provides a nice structure to the day. In fact, at random moments of my workday, I’ll think about what would happen if I added a bit more lemon juice to a recipe. A nice distraction from our dystopian times.
One year ago, we set up Macro Hive. It came into existence as we sent out our first email. It contained two notes from me – one on climate change, another on the euro-area – a selection of handpicked macro blogs and academic papers, and a curation of podcasts. It felt a bit like sending your child off to school for the first time. An extension of you is venturing into the wild, and you hope for acceptance rather than rejection. A year on, Macro Hive is thriving: we’ve built a great community, developed multiple business lines and built a nice culture. And here are five lessons we’ve learned along the way:
Pink people. Yellow people. Red people. Black people. Brown people. White people. In theory, we believe everyone’s lives matter equally. In practice, we know that’s not true. I like to think in terms of the philosopher John Rawls veil of ignorance. How would you want society to be structured if you didn’t know who you would end being in that society? So, if suddenly your skin turned black, would you be confident that you would get a fair shot in life. Or if the police stopped you – what skin colour would you prefer – white or black?
I often think that what movies you watch as a teenager tells you something about what you’ll be like later. It could be that the movies reflect the culture you were living in during your formative years or it could be that movies even create the culture. Whatever the reason, it would be interesting to see what movies were popular during the teenage years of each generation, defined as:
Raised in western culture, I think of time as an arrow. That is, I feel I’m constantly moving forward to the future leaving the past behind. Implicit within this is the notion that I’m progressing. While this has many benefits, it has many shortcomings too. A fundamental one is that I’m never happy where I am. But there are there other ways to think about time, which can make life more fulfilling: Continue reading “How To Rethink Time To Become Fulfilled (3 min read)”
The supremely entertaining and smart physicist, Richard Feynman, was once tasked to giving introductory physics lectures to Caltech students. Feynman being Feynman started by posing this question:
“If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?”