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Essay/
History
The big squeeze

Sicily’s mafia sprang from the growing global market for lemons – a tale with sour parallels for consumers today

Ola Olsson

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Fairness & Equality
The respect deficit

Economic inequality is an urgent problem. Deeper still is our loss of mutual respect, the foundation of a fair society

Richard V Reeves

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Future of Technology
The blitzscaling illusion

All the great inventions took painstaking, risky, indirect routes to fruition. Has Silicon Valley really escaped history?

Edward Tenner

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Cognition & Intelligence
The fallacy of obviousness

A new interpretation of a classic psychology experiment will change your view of perception, judgment – even human nature

Teppo Felin

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Politics & Government
The divided public heart

Is politics driven by pragmatic self-interest or by identities and ideals? The self-harming voter offers a clue

Sharun Mukand & Dani Rodrik

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Economics
Confidence tricks

The financial world is a theatrical production, abundantly lubricated by that magical elixir of illusionists: confidence

Matt Seybold

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Political Philosophy
The real Adam Smith

He might be the poster boy for free-market economics, but that distorts what Adam Smith really thought

Paul Sagar

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Economics
Economics is quantum

Money and brains are both quantum phenomena – so it’s not surprising that economics is overdue for a quantum revolution

David Orrell

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History of Science
Against citizen science

It might style itself as a grassroots movement but citizen science is little more than a cheap land-grab by big business

Philip Mirowski

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Economics
The small business myth

Small businesses enjoy an iconic status in modern capitalism, but what do they really contribute to the economy?

Benjamin C Waterhouse