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Society

Essays and videos on social issues, history, political life and the future
Shopfront of NY 99 Cent Fresh Pizza restaurant with an open sign, vaccine notice, and menu visible through the window.
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essay

Economic history

Economics 101

Why introductory economics courses continued to teach zombie ideas from before economics became an empirical discipline

Walter Frick

Image of an offshore wind turbine in the sea with a large LNG ship in the background under a partly cloudy sky in calm waters.
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essay

The environment

Decoupling

We need to find a way for human societies to prosper while the planet heals. So far we can’t even think clearly about it

Ville Lähde

A collage showing a ‘just married’ car, a couple speaking with a bank teller, a couple by a crib, and a close-up of a BankAmericard with a gold coin in a money clip.
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essay

Economic history

Credit card nation

Americans have always borrowed, but how exactly did their lives become so entangled with the power of plastic cards?

Sean H Vanatta

Female healthcare worker examines a tattooed man’s mouth in a hallway decorated with colourful artwork.
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essay

Economics

Who bears the risk?

Under the guise of empowerment and freedom, politicians and business are offloading lifethreatening risk to individuals

Suzanne Schneider

A man wearing a hat and red shirt is chopping a log with an axe, with wood chips flying around, next to a tent under a blue sky with clouds.
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video

Work

Does capitalism make ‘non-playable characters’ of us all? An uncanny exploration

21 minutes

Close-up of an orange Mercedes car with the focus on the front tyre, which is inscribed with ‘In Crypto We Trust’
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essay

Economics

The cruelty of crypto

Selling itself as the new American dream, crypto exposes the vulnerable to fraud and scams, and loads risk onto the poor

Rachel O’Dwyer

A woman in a pink coat and carrying a pink umbrella walks past a protestor carrying a yellow placard appealing to people to use cash
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essay

Economics

Going cashless

It’s not in the interests of the ordinary person but it’s not a conspiracy either. A cashless society is a system run amok

Brett Scott

A person adjusts a digital board displaying red illuminated numbers, possibly currency exchange rates, against a blurred background of people.
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essay

Economics

Finance as alchemy

Finance fraud is not a deviation from an essentially rational system but a window onto the reality-distortion of markets

Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou

A shopfront with “O’DEA’S” in gold letters, two windows above with flower boxes holding pink flowers, and the number 66 on the right side.
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video

Home

Whether above a pub or in a castle, our childhood homes leave an indelible mark

15 minutes

Abandoned shopping trolley beside a closed, grey roller shutter, surrounded by fallen autumn leaves.
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essay

Economics

The empty basket

Economics is the language of power and affects us all. What can we do to improve its impoverished menu of ideas?

Ha-Joon Chang

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video

Demography and migration

How the world’s harshest lockdown hit India’s millions of migrant workers

27 minutes

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essay

Anthropology

Keeping the score

The gifts we exchange are both generous and yet fraught with social rules and obligations. Marcel Mauss explained why

Gili Kliger

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video

Work

Living out of a truck, Maikhuu finds promise and peril on Mongolia’s ‘coal highway’

25 minutes

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video

Economics

We all play by economic rules set by men. What could a feminist economics look like?

30 minutes

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video

Art

Is paying with hand-drawn banknotes artistry or forgery? The knotty case of J S G Boggs

10 minutes

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essay

Economics

Beyond Eurocentrism

If you really want decolonisation, go beyond cultural criticism to the deep structural insights of economist Samir Amin

Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven

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essay

Economics

A softer economics

Financial markets are entangled and uncertain. When will economists let go of physics envy to embrace the quantum revolution?

David Orrell

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essay

Economics

The worldly turn

After generations of ‘blackboard economics’, Berkeley and MIT are leading a return to economics that studies the real world

Tom Bergin

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video

Travel

‘My people!’ A Trinidadian’s love letter to his island, just before its 1962 independence

17 minutes

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essay

Economics

The biggest picture

No wonder we cannot agree on how globalisation works and whether it’s a good thing. All the stories we have are flawed

Anthea Roberts & Nicholas Lamp

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video

Animals and humans

Familiarity breeds roach-respect, and even love, for a group of Florida insect farmers

13 minutes

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video

Thinkers and theories

Bigger isn’t better – the renegade ‘Buddhist economics’ of E F Schumacher

30 minutes

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essay

Economics

Stock-picking for humanity

Everyone on the planet has a stake in making investment more ethical. What’s new is that they have the power to do so too

Ellen Quigley

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video

Future of technology

Tech companies shroud their algorithms in secrecy. It’s time to pry open the black box

4 minutes