The biggest political and economic effects of pandemics come from public panic and panicked government responses, not the disease itself. Read the rest at Geopolitical Futures.
I hate to be the skunk at the garden party, but I fear that 2020 will be an awful lot like 2019 — only worse. My latest for Puget Sound Business Journal.
The British general election dealt a devastating blow to the Labour Party. The Conservatives have won the largest majority in Parliament since Margaret Thatcher’s reelection in 1987. Read the rest at The National Interest.
Those of us wishing that decency and practicality would emerge victorious at the ballot box were left defeated and dejected. Conditions were ripe for an overhaul at the City Council. Yet, Seattle voted in favor of the status quo, and the rest of the state voted for dysfunction. Read the rest at the Puget Sound Business Journal.
I like to tell people that I have experienced three life-changing events: The day I got married, the day my daughter was born and the day I bought a MacBook. Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.
I have mixed emotions as I see a skyscraper going up in the U District. Apparently, at least eight more are on the way. These uneasy feelings were compounded when I visited Kerry Park, and much to my dismay, I no longer recognized the skyline of Seattle. Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.
As a scientist who has spent time in the business world, I am continually shocked by how some of the greatest business minds are susceptible to pseudoscience and magical thinking.
In a way, it’s not surprising. Businesspeople, and CEOs in particular, must be relentlessly optimistic. When investors are scarce and revenues are dwindling, it is a survival strategy. That probably explains why executives often recommend fluffy self-help books — it’s sort of like the prosperity gospel for entrepreneurs. Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.
I used to freelance for The Economist, and one of my favorite covers is from 1992. Under the headline, “Who would tame Leviathan?” is a grotesque, blue monster (donning a bowler hat, of course) with an insatiable appetite for money. Who is Leviathan? Leviathan is the government. Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.
Every once in a while, it is worth pausing to ponder carefully on current affairs and our place in history. I’ve come to the unsettling conclusion that, despite the towering cranes and shiny new buildings, there are some deep pathologies running in our city’s veins. Seattle is in crisis. Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.
An attempt to reopen the Yucca Mountain facility in Nevada, where it was built to store nuclear waste, was recently shot down in Congress. The state’s refusal to become the nation’s central repository for nuclear waste means that we are forced to store it at 80 sites across 35 states — an impractical, expensive and less safe solution. It’s time to tempt Nevadans with an outside-the-box approach: Let’s pay them. Read the rest at USA Today.