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Society

Essays and videos on social issues, history, political life and the future
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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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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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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

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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

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Home

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

15 minutes

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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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Demography and migration

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

27 minutes

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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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Work

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

25 minutes

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Economics

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

30 minutes

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Art

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

10 minutes

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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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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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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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Travel

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

17 minutes

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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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Animals and humans

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

13 minutes

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Thinkers and theories

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

30 minutes

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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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Future of technology

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

4 minutes

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Thinkers and theories

The abuses of Popper

A powerful cadre of scientists and economists sold Karl Popper’s ‘falsification’ idea to the world. They have much to answer for

Charlotte Sleigh

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Subcultures

Dented cans, ugly fruit – it’s all tasty (and free) if you’re willing to get your hands dirty

21 minutes

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Economic history

Economics for the people

Against the capitalist creeds of scarcity and self-interest, a plan for humanity’s shared flourishing is finally coming into view

Dirk Philipsen

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Human rights and justice

Weak links

The idea of the ‘supply chain’ shackles how we think about economic justice. What forces could new metaphors unleash?

Michael Gibb