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Book Bits: 10 April 2021

Summary:
● You Are What You Risk: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain WorldMichele UckerSummary via publisher (Simon & Schuster)How you see risk and what you do about it depend on your personality and experiences. How you make these cost-benefit calculations depend on your culture, your values, the people in the room, and even unexpected things like what you’ve eaten recently, the temperature, the music playing, or the fragrance in the air. Being alert to these often-unconscious influences will help you to seize opportunity and avoid danger. You Are What You Risk is a clarion call for an entirely new conversation about our relationship with risk and uncertainty. In this ground-breaking, accessible and eminently timely book, Michele Wucker examines why it’s so important to

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You Are What You Risk: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World
Michele Ucker
Summary via publisher (Simon & Schuster)
How you see risk and what you do about it depend on your personality and experiences. How you make these cost-benefit calculations depend on your culture, your values, the people in the room, and even unexpected things like what you’ve eaten recently, the temperature, the music playing, or the fragrance in the air. Being alert to these often-unconscious influences will help you to seize opportunity and avoid danger. You Are What You Risk is a clarion call for an entirely new conversation about our relationship with risk and uncertainty. In this ground-breaking, accessible and eminently timely book, Michele Wucker examines why it’s so important to understand your risk fingerprint and how to make your risk relationship work better in business, life, and the world.

Seven Deadly Economic Sins: Obstacles to Prosperity and Happiness Every Citizen Should Know
James R. Otteson
Summary via publisher (Oxford U. Press)
You have heard of the Seven Deadly Sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. Each is a natural human weakness that impedes happiness. In addition to these vices, however, there are economic sins as well. And they, too, wreak havoc on our lives and in society. They can seem intuitively compelling, yet they lead to waste, loss, and forgone prosperity. In this thoughtful and compelling book, James Otteson tells the story of seven central economic fallacies, explaining why they are fallacies, why believing in them leads to mistakes and loss, and how exorcizing them from our thinking can help us avoid costly errors and enable us to live in peace and prosperity.

Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence
Kate Crawford
Summary via publisher (Yale U. Press)
What happens when artificial intelligence saturates political life and depletes the planet? How is AI shaping our understanding of ourselves and our societies? In this book Kate Crawford reveals how this planetary network is fueling a shift toward undemocratic governance and increased racial, gender, and economic inequality. Drawing on more than a decade of research, award-winning science, and technology, Crawford reveals how AI is a technology of extraction: from the energy and minerals needed to build and sustain its infrastructure, to the exploited workers behind “automated” services, to the data AI collects from us.

Moving to Higher Ground: Rising Sea Level and the Path Forward
John Englander
Excerpt via GreenBiz.com
There are other projections for worst-case sea level rise, higher than the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change]’s. Recent studies from 2017 to 2019 by the U.S. government, the British government, California and New York state are all looking at high-end scenarios of 8 to 10 feet for SLR this century. They are able to change their protocols more easily than the huge international IPCC. Still, they are unable to answer the question of the probability of such a worst case. That comes back to the unpredictability of the rate of warming in the coming decades and the mysteries of glacial collapse.

Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue: Tax Follies and Wisdom through the Ages
Michael Keen
Summary via publisher (Princeton U. Press)
Governments have always struggled to tax in ways that are effective and tolerably fair. Sometimes they fail grotesquely, as when, in 1898, the British ignited a rebellion in Sierra Leone by imposing a tax on huts—and, in repressing it, ended up burning the very huts they intended to tax. Sometimes they succeed astonishingly, as when, in eighteenth-century Britain, a cut in the tax on tea massively increased revenue. In this entertaining book, two leading authorities on taxation, Michael Keen and Joel Slemrod, provide a fascinating and informative tour through these and many other episodes in tax history, both preposterous and dramatic—from the plundering described by Herodotus and an Incan tax payable in lice to the (misremembered) Boston Tea Party and the scandals of the Panama Papers.

Crisis and Inequality: The Political Economy of Advanced Capitalism
Mattias Vermeiren
Summary via publisher (Polity)
Spiralling inequality since the 1970s and the global financial crisis of 2008 have been the two most important challenges to democratic capitalism since the Great Depression. To understand the political economy of contemporary Europe and America we must, therefore, put inequality and crisis at the heart of the picture.In this innovative new textbook Mattias Vermeiren does just this, demonstrating that both the global financial crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis resulted from a mutually reinforcing but ultimately unsustainable relationship between countries with debt-led and export-led growth models, models fundamentally shaped by soaring income and wealth inequality.

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James Picerno
James Picerno is a financial journalist who has been writing about finance and investment theory for more than twenty years. He writes for trade magazines read by financial professionals and financial advisers. Over the years, he’s written for the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Bloomberg Markets, Mutual Funds, Modern Maturity, Investment Advisor, Reuters, and his popular finance blog, The CapitalSpectator.

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