The Economics of an Ugly Boyfriend

Naked self-promotion: the third edition of my book, Economics Is Everywhere (Worth Publishers), has just appeared. It contains little articles like those I have included on this blog (and, no doubt, some of the posts from this blog will be included in the fourth edition). I love many of the stories, but my all-time favorite from among the 700 that have been in the book's various editions combines several basic economic ideas:

The Nanny Nation

Barry Ritholtz, in his new book Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy writes, "The iconic image is the American cowboy. You can picture him on a cattle drive, wearily watching over his herd. All he needed to get by were his wits, his horse -- and his trusty Winchester."

How the Market Influences What Language You Read In

My Dutch friends tell me that they read foreign (non-Dutch) novels that are translated into English rather than into Dutch.

Their English is very good, but their Dutch is clearly better. So, I ask, why read in English?

Is Free Free?

You can read Malcolm Gladwell's review Chris Anderson's Free: the Future of a Radical Price online for free--except of course for the price you paid for your computer, mobile device, electricity and internet connection. This hitch is just one problem Gladwell has with Anderson's idea...

By a Bunch of Nobodies: A Q&A With the Author of The Wikipedia Revolution

These debates notwithstanding, Wikipedia's popularity continues to make standard encyclopedias look as hip as buggy whips.

Wikipedia editor/administrator Andrew Lih, author of the book Wikipedia Revolution, has agreed to answer our questions about Wikipedia and what it means to society.

Serious Fun: A Q&A With the Author of Play

Stuart Brown Whether he’s playing tennis with “a convivial group of codgers” or hanging out with his grandkids, Stuart Brown, the author of Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, plays as often as he can. With a background in neuroscience and behavioral medicine, Brown has studied play globally, […]

Bring Your Questions for White Tiger Author Aravind Adiga

I recently had occasion to visit India for the first time to speak at a conference put on by the media conglomerate India Today. Sadly my visit was very short, just a toe-touch. Still, it was fascinating from start to finish. On the way over, one of the flight attendants told me she was using […]

Who Do You Root for When You Watch the TV Show COPS?

Photo: Lorri37 My friend Tim Groseclose passed along this interesting passage from the book Scratch Beginnings by Adam Shepard. The premise of the book is that the author, having just graduated from college, sets out to see if — starting with the clothes on his back, a sleeping bag, and $25 — he can build […]

The Atlas Shrugged Index

From recession-culture trends we’ve written about on this blog lately, a recession icon of sorts emerges, wrapped in a Snuggie, puffing on a pipe — and now with a copy of Ayn Rand‘s Atlas Shrugged on his lap. The Economist reports that the book’s sales rank on Amazon is far above what it’s been in […]

How You Know It's Been Too Long Since You Published Your Last Book

I asked my 8-year-old daughter Amanda if she had any suggestions as to how I could be a better dad. “Finish SuperFreakonomics,” she answered. “I am tired of waiting to read it.”