The joy of the humble brick

‘I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.’ That is supposed to have been the boast of Caesar Augustus, the first Roman emperor, just over two thousand years ago. If it was, he was exaggerating: ancient Rome is a city of brick, and no less glorious...

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A live speech at last, and other news

I'm speaking at the FT Weekend Festival (in a well-ventilated tent in Hampstead) - do come along! If you prefer your speeches online, you might enjoy this discussion with UCL economics students, in which we cover carbon taxes, thinking like a statistician, and the...

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How to vaccinate the world more quickly

With more than half the UK population fully vaccinated and the UK government just a little too eager to declare victory, spare a thought for Cameroon. With a population about half the size of England, Cameroon has — according to Our World in Data — administered just...

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4000 weeks and the clock is ticking

Oliver Burkeman’s wonderful (and alarming) new book is “4000 Weeks”. I wholeheartedly recommend it, despite the stress-inducing reminder that the human lifespan is 4000 weeks and I’m well past half way. Burkeman’s book is part Getting Things Done, part Being and Time,...

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Summer maths books!

New questions have gone live on the Data Detective challenge on the Good Judgement Open website - check them out and test your skills! I’ve found myself reading four very interesting maths books this summer. Shape by Jordan Ellenberg – I’m speaking on a panel with...

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