Assorted links

17th January, 2022

Publication day approaches for the paperback of “The Data Detective” (1 Feb). As always, pre-orders of the paperback, positive reviews if you’ve read the hardback, spreading the word – all are so valuable and very gratefully received.

The UK edition of the same book, “How To Make The World Add Up“, was top of the Sunday Times business bestseller list for 2021. I would be delighted if US and Canadian audiences were able to discover what the buzz is about.

This episode of @RiskyTalkPod from @PuzzlesTheWill @ChloeColliver2 @LauraEdelson2 @Sander_vdLinden and @d_Spiegel discussing misinformation and what to do about it, was outstanding. None of the usual hand-wringing – lots of solid practical advice, policy analysis and evidence.

I’ve been listening to Stewart Brand’s short audiobook, “The Maintenance Race“. Absolutely outstanding. Compelling storytelling, but more importantly Stewart Brand helps you see the world with fresh eyes.

Arriving on my book pile last week was @JohnsonWhitney ‘s “Smart Growth” – applying the S-curve idea of innovation diffusion to personal and business growth: exploring, accelerating, consolidating.

I also had a chance to browse “Making Numbers Count” by @KarlaStarr and @ChipHeath. Lots of excellent advice about how to use statistics in communication to be clear and persuasive.

In this post @TylerCowen offers his advice about how to make long term investments in your health. (EG “Don’t drink.” “Don’t eat junk food.” “Be happy. Have goals and projects. Have sex. Have good social networks.”)

What I love about the post is not the advice but the framing: “I do not think I am the expert you should consult… common sense appears to yield some broad dividends, or will involve no real cost.  I think the answers that follow are pretty stupid and uninteresting.” More people should couch their advice in such terms.

A reminder that am performing alongisde the Orchestra of the Age of Englightenment; come along either in London or Oxford on Sunday 30th January 2022. Music, readings, a talk from me – it should be lots of fun. Come along!

Oh – and @BBCMoreorLess is back on air (podcast, or Radio 4 9am Wednesdays). Sorry, I should have mentioned. Please send your ideas to Thank you!

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