What I’ve been reading

1. Kevin Donnelly, Adolphe Quetelet, Social Physics, & the Average Men of Science, 1796-1874.  The Belgian Quetelet was one of the pioneers of applying statistics to the social sciences, and he had a long-running and fascinating career obsessed with astronomy, crime, opera, jokes, and short essays, among many other things.  He developed the notion of […]

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My Conversation with Patricia Fara

The last chat was with Brian Armstrong about bitcoin, this one started with Isaac Newton and bit coins (really).  Here is the audio, video, and transcript.  Here is the CWTeam summary: Patricia Fara is a historian of science at Cambridge University and well-known for her writings on women in science. Her forthcoming book, Life After Gravity: […]

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*Resetting the Table*

The author is Robert Paarlberg and the subtitle is Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat.  This book is a refreshing change of pace from most of the other food books, which tend to be illiterate on the economic side.  Here is one excerpt: Modern farming protects the environment not only by using […]

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What should I ask Shadi Bartsch?

I will be doing a Conversation with her, most of all about her forthcoming and very good translation of Virgil’s Aeneid.  She is a professor of classics at the University of Chicago, and here is Wikipedia: Bartsch has contributed to classical scholarship in the areas of the literature and culture of Julio-Claudian Rome, the ancient novel, Roman stoicism, and […]

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Who first noticed the tech was ready for human genome sequencing? (that was then, this is now)

Perkin Elmer’s last purchase had been a Cambridge, Massachusetts, company called PerSeptive Biosystems, a protein-analysis enterprise started by Lebanese-born wunderkind Noubar Afeyan seven years earlier, when the ink was still wet on his Ph.D. from MIT. Afeyan had sold his company to Perkin Elmer for almost $400 million. The deal had yet to be finalized, […]

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What I’ve been reading

1. Honor Moore, Our Revolution: A Mother and Daughter at Midcentury.  An excellent book on “what it was like back then.”  Plus the daughter-mother memoir often is neglected by male readers, and this is one place to start.  The mother ends up diagnosed with cancer at age fifty, and furthermore her war hero and Bishop […]

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My Conversation with Benjamin Friedman

Here is the audio, transcript, and visual. Here is part of the CWT summary: Benjamin Friedman has been a leading macroeconomist since the 1970s, whose accomplishments include writing 150 papers, producing more than dozen books, and teaching Tyler Cowen graduate macroeconomics at Harvard in 1985. In his latest book, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, Ben argues that […]

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What I’ve been reading

1.Danielle Dreilinger, The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live.  A pathbreaking book that unearths and presents part of the “hidden” history of economics, in this case as practiced largely by women, and often black women at that.  Think of it as the […]

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