Critical Section


Economist filter pass

Saturday,  07/18/20  09:54 PM

Hi all ... I've done a poor job recently in my unofficial role of Economist filter, for which I apologize.  Some fairly recent links:

Economist: steeper than expectedTechnology Quarterly: An understanding of AI’s limitations is starting to sink in.  Subhead: “steeper than expected”.  A good collection of articles about real-world experiences with AI, including Brain Scan, about the potential and pitfalls of Medical AI.

Economist: The New World DisorderSpecial Report: The New World Disorder.  Subhead: “global leadership is missing in action.”  (The Economist would always rather have governments in charge, despite their market focus.)  It’s a good survey of the dynamics in world politics, including the fading role of the UN.

Zoom and Gloom.  “Can Zoom be trusted with users’ secrets?”  Interesting survey including the back-story with a Chinese founder and development team.

From yields to maturity.  “The Fed has been supporting markets.  Now it must find ways to boost growth.”  Well in my view supporting markets is exactly and only what the Fed should to do boost growth, but what do I know.

Economist: The World IfThe World If.  “Scenarios for a warming world.”  Their Editor’s Note: Each of these climate change articles is fiction, but grounded in historical fact and real science.  Okayyy.  They don't quite say the pandemic is good for the Earth, but they certainly hint at it; a sample musing: Peak Plane (“What if aviation doesn't recover from Covid-19”).  For me the most prescient was The Road Not Taken, “what if nuclear power had taken off in the 1970s”.

Economist: Invisible MenAnd finally from the most recent issue: Invisible Men, “how objectivity in journalism became a matter of opinion.”  It is, dare I say, a reasonably objective survey of how the pendulum has swung over the years.  We expect journalists to try to be objective, and are dismayed when they aren't, but it was not always so, and increasingly it isn't so anymore, either.

Cheers and happy reading

PS I share these links thinking they are publicly readable, please let me know if they are not, and I'll share the articles themselves instead.

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