Optionality by Richard Meadows

Richard Meadows has released his book Optionality: How to Survive and Thrive in a Volatile World.

It’s a beautifully written book that synthesises the ideas of many thinkers to argue that the good life is a function of good options.

He covers why having high-quality options is the best proxy for the good life; decision making under uncertainty; using options with capped downside and open upside to build health, wealth, skills, and social capital; risk management; when to deliberately constrain your options; and making meaning in a meaningless universe.

Never have I read something so profound and erudite delivered so lightly. This is a must-read book that you will be talking about for a long time.

There is further background, including a free chapter to download, at Richard’s blog Deep Dish.

Virginia Postrel on Textiles and the Fabric of Civilization

EconTalk | 16 November 2020 | 1h 06m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Virginia Postrel about her book The Fabric of Civilization and How Textiles Made the World. Tells the fascinating story behind the clothes we wear and everything that goes into producing them throughout history. The history of textiles, Postrel argues, is a good way of understanding the history of the world.

Empire of Deception with Dean Jobb

The Can’t Make This Up History Podcast | 5 February 2019 | 0h 57m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Dean Jobb about his book Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation. Discusses a largely forgotten con artist Leo Koretz whose investment scheme puts Charles Ponzi to shame. Covers the economic atmosphere of the Roaring Twenties that made Chicago ripe for the picking, how Koretz built an imaginary investment empire that made himself and his early investors fantastically wealthy, and how even the most carefully built house of cards eventually falls down.

Jacob Goldstein on Money

Books on Pod with Trey Elling | 22 September 2020 | 0h 34m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Jacob Goldstein about his book Money: The True Story of a Made Up Thing. Discusses why money is fiction and fundamentally social, the origins of coins and paper money, Genghis Khan’s grandson inventing inflation, Blaise Pascal’s role in the formulation of insurance, how artificial light explains monetary progress, the gold standard’s undoing, the rise of digital money, and more.

Nicholas Crafts: Is the Age of Fast Economic Growth Really Over?

Political Economy with James Pethokoukis | 5 June 2020 | 0h 24m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Nicholas Crafts discussing why productivity has slowed in the past half-century, how we might kick-start innovation in the economy, and whether artificial intelligence could be about to power a fourth industrial revolution.

Are Boomers to Blame for Millennials’ Struggles?

Rationally Speaking | 9 November 2020 | 0h 59m | Listen Later | iTunes
Faced with stagnant wages and rising costs of education, rent, and health care, Millennials have a tougher path to economic security than Boomers did. Discusses whether Millennials’ situation is the result of misguided and irresponsible policy choices by Boomers. Perspectives from: Jill Filipovic, author of OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind; Joseph C. Sternberg, author of The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole Millennials’ Economic Future; and Patrick Fisher, author of Demographic Gaps in American Political Behavior.

It’s great to see Rationally Speaking return after a twelve-month hiatus.

How WeWork Did NotWork

All Of It | 21 October 2020 | 0h 22m | Listen Later
Interview with Reeves Wiedeman about his book Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork. Discusses the inside story of the once $47 billion start-up, its 2019 bankruptcy, and its founder’s subsequent fall from grace.

David Leiser – How We Misunderstand Economics and Why it Matters

Science Salon | 10 December 2019 | 1h 22m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with David Leiser about his book How We Misunderstand Economics and Why it Matters: The Psychology of Bias, Distortion and Conspiracy. Discusses folk economics and why our intuitions are so often wrong; the evolutionary origins of our thinking about economics and why we are not prepared cognitively to understand complex economic ideas; UBI; income inequality; CEO pay and why we think it’s too high; the importance of trust in economic exchanges; and reparations for slavery vs. reparations for the Holocaust.