Dec 222011
 

I’ve seen many others attempt to link our current situation with the 30’s but I think this article does one of the better jobs at making that argument:

The Book of Jobs by Joseph E. Stiglitz in Vanity Fair

Monetary policy is not going to help us out of this mess. Ben Bernanke has, belatedly, admitted as much. The Fed played an important role in creating the current conditions—by encouraging the bubble that led to unsustainable consumption—but there is now little it can do to mitigate the consequences. I can understand that its members may feel some degree of guilt. But anyone who believes that monetary policy is going to resuscitate the economy will be sorely disappointed. That idea is a distraction, and a dangerous one. What we need to do instead is embark on a massive investment program—as we did, virtually by accident, 80 years ago—that will increase our productivity for years to come, and will also increase employment now.

Dec 212011
 

I’ve been catching up on a lot of reading with my kindle and the lovely instapaper.com. I found this article particularly good. Not only because it outlines how technology will change how we view crimes, but also a framework for how we should implement that understanding in the future. I recommend checking it out:

The Brain on Trial by David Eagleman in the Atlantic.

Today, neuroimaging is a crude technology, unable to explain the details of individual behavior. We can detect only large-scale problems, but within the coming decades, we will be able to detect patterns at unimaginably small levels of the microcircuitry that correlate with behavioral problems. Neuroscience will be better able to say why people are predisposed to act the way they do. As we become more skilled at specifying how behavior results from the microscopic details of the brain, more defense lawyers will point to biological mitigators of guilt, and more juries will place defendants on the not-blameworthy side of the line.