What I’ve been reading

1. Predictocracy: Market Mechanisms for Public and Private Decision-Making, by Michael Abramowicz.  A good compilation of current knowledge on prediction markets; he also argues for letting prediction markets determine many social decisions.  Here is his debate with Robin Hanson on the same.

2. Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East, by Robin Wright.  An intelligent and experienced book on current trends in the Middle East and why we should be optimistic that pluralism will triumph.  Here is one good review.

3. "What makes Finnish kids so smart?"

4. Superior, Nebraska: The Common Sense Values of America’s Heartland, by Denis Boyles.  Contra "What’s the Matter with Kansas?", Boyle argues that the Midwestern values of individual responsibility are wise and sophisticated and that the Republican Party embodies much of this wisdom.  The author lives…in France.  By the way, here are maps for per capita Starbucks and Wal-Mart.

5. Edward Castronova, Exodus to the Virtual World: How Online Fun is Changing Reality.  This seems to be less popular than Synthetic Worlds but in terms of social science I think it is better and deeper; recommended.  Here is a Russ Roberts podcast with Castronova.


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