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My favourite newsletters

Now we live in the substack era, I thought I'd share a few newsletters I enjoy receiving... Admittedly, the line between newsletter and RSS feed is rather blurred (and personally I like to consume things via RSS when I can). But here are a few recommendations... David...

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Two cheers for the Christmas newsletter

In these polarised times, one truth can be relied upon to unite the British commentariat: Christmas letters are ghastly. Writing in Country Life magazine, Kit Hesketh-Harvey advised being “alert enough to shake the card out directly over the recycling bin”. The late...

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The best podcasts of 2021

I'll admit, this is a somewhat arbitrary mix of podcasts that are noteworthy because they are particularly wonderful, noteworthy because I feel they are underappreciated, and noteworthy because they are new. Still - they are all free, and truly we live in an age of...

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Why carbon taxes really work

A friend recently wrote to me agonising over an ethical question. He was pondering a long-haul trip to see his family but was all too aware that the flight would have a huge carbon footprint. Could the journey possibly be justified? I suggested that my friend find out...

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My books of the year 2021

Ananyo Bhattacharya, The Man From the Future - A biography not only of the genius's genius, John von Neumann, but also of von Neumann's ideas and influence, which are nearly impossible to exaggerate. Serious and brilliantly-written. David Bodanis, The Art of Fairness...

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Notes on a statistical scandal

Even a spreadsheet can become a victim of its own success. Just ask the World Bank’s Doing Business report. While many worthy publications from the World Bank are never downloaded, Doing Business has been a smash hit for years. No longer. Amid an ugly scandal about...

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Interesting books arriving on my pile

The books I'm actually reading this week are: Mastermind by Maria Konnikova - drawing on the life of Arthur Conan Doyle and the adventures of Sherlock Holmes as inspiration to riff on creativity, rationality and memory. A pleasure to read and full of good ideas....

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Christmas? I had it wrapped up weeks ago

Christmas is coming early this year! Christmas shopping is anyway — or such is my plan. I’ve seen too many queues and empty shelves over the past couple of years to leave things to chance. (Supply chains, people!) I’ve been making a list, I’ve been checking it twice,...

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