What we keep getting wrong about inflation
What is inflation? The answer seems obvious: when things get more expensive, that’s inflation, and it’s bad. But an alternative view is Milton Friedman’s. In a talk in 1963, the hugely influential …
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Even when you do succeed, sometimes it pays to try again
If at first you don’t succeed, goes the old saying, try, try again. Good advice, up to a point. But let me offer a modification: even when you do succeed, try, try again. Tempting as it is to decla…
It’s the uncertainty, not the delay, that gets you in the end
I first began to conceive of this column three and a half hours before typing these words, as I stood with my wife and children in an impossibly long queue for the Eurostar, snaking across Gare du …
What magic teaches us about misinformation
“The things right in front of us are often the hardest to see,” declares Apollo Robbins, the world’s most famous theatrical pickpocket. “The things you look at every day, that you’re blinded to.” A…
How to really change someone’s mind
I’ve been thinking recently about three debates. In the first, which took place in January 2016, two Harvard students, Fanele Mashwama and Bo Seo, proposed that “the world’s poor would be justified…
«People change their minds because they persuade themselves. Rapport, listening and inviting people to elaborate can all open a space for that self-persuasion to happen.»
Your phone’s notification settings and the meaning of life
Switching to a new phone is easy enough these days. The wheezing older model formed a huddle with the shiny oversized new thing, and within a few minutes had effected a near-complete digital handov…
«“At the end of your life, looking back, whatever compelled your attention from moment to moment is simply what your life will have been.”»
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