Everything you ever wanted to know about Bitcoin, explained in a 3-minute motion graphics piece. Also see Felix Salmon on why Bitcoin is “the best and cleanest payments mechanism the world has ever seen.”
We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants. And it’s a policy unfit for today’s world.
The economy of the last century was primarily based on natural resources, industrial machines and manual labor. Many of these resources were zero-sum and controlled by companies. If someone else had an oil field, then you did not. There were only so many oil fields, and only so much wealth could be created from them.
Today’s economy is very different. It is based primarily on knowledge and ideas — resources that are renewable and available to everyone. Unlike oil fields, someone else knowing something doesn’t prevent you from knowing it, too. In fact, the more people who know something, the better educated and trained we all are, the more productive we become, and the better off everyone in our nation can be.
This can change everything. In a knowledge economy, the most important resources are the talented people we educate and attract to our country. A knowledge economy can scale further, create better jobs and provide a higher quality of living for everyone in our nation.
To lead the world in this new economy, we need the most talented and hardest-working people. We need to train and attract the best.
Excellent graphic explainer of the fiscal cliff from Newsbound
To give you pause – gender income inequality by the numbers, in an interactive map. In Utah, the bottom of the disparity barrel an average woman makes 55 cents for every dollar an average man brings home.
In the Dutch National Archives is the only known primary reference to the Manhattan sale: a letter written by Dutch merchant Pieter Schage on November 5, 1626, to directors of the West India Company, which was instrumental in the exploration and settlement of “New Netherland.” In the letter, he writes, “They have purchased the Island of Manhattes from the savages for the value of 60 guilders.” …
Nineteenth century historians converted those 60 guilders to U.S. dollars and got what was then $24. That same figure has been repeated for almost two centuries since, frozen in time and untouched by changes to the value of currency—but those guilders don’t stand at $24 today. According to this converter from the International Institute of Social History at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 60 guilders in 1626 was equivalent to 734.77 euros in 2011. The exchange rate to the US dollar varies, but a conversion as I’m writing this gets us $951.08 USD, which puts us more in the ballpark.
Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, on why creativity is the new economy – a must-see talk.
If you think about the whole financial crisis, we’ve taken people and we’ve put them in situations which basically are guaranteed to blind or, at least, to distort their vision. And we expect people to overcome that.
We all have a tendency to think of people as good or bad. And, we say, as long as we kick the bad people, everything would be fine. But the reality is that we all have the capacity to be quite bad, under the right circumstances, and I think in banking we’ve created the right circumstances for everybody to misbehave. And, because of that, it’s not such a matter of kicking some people and getting new people in — it’s about changing the incentive structure. Because, unless we change that, we’re not going to get forward.
52 Shades of Greed – illustrated playing cards for economic education.
A tragedy of priorities: The most appalling infographic you’ll see today compares the cost of the Olympics vs. the cost of landing Curiosity on Mars. And yet, the future of space exploration is more precarious than ever.
“Based on Wolff (2010), the bottom 40% of the population combined has only 0.3% of wealth while the top 20% possesses 84% (see Figure 2). These differences between levels of wealth in society comprise what’s called the Gini coefficient, which is one way to quantify inequality.”
Income inequality by the numbers, from Americans Want to Live in a Much More Equal Country (They Just Don’t Realize It – great read by Dan Ariely.