Cogs and Monsters and Dungeons and Dragons, oh my!
Lots of intriguing books on deck this week!
Jon Peterson’s “Game Wizards” is an in-depth history – and I really do mean in-depth – of the creation of Dungeons and Dragons and in particular the ugly struggle for control of TSR. It’s vivid and incredibly well-researched, although this particular niche is… well, it’s very niche.
Robin Wigglesworth’s excellent “Trillions” is at the other end of the scale: Robin describes the invention of the index fund, a hugely consequential development in financial markets that has made almost no impact whatsoever on popular culture. One estimate reckons that the Vanguard index funds alone have saved investors about a trillion dollars in fees. Not sure I can quite endorse that number but it’s in the right ball-park. Great storytelling; recommended.
In “Cogs and Monsters” Diane Coyle argues that we’re getting our critique of economics all wrong. The critics create a straw man of economics, attacking flaws it doesn’t have – while at the same time ignoring very real and consequential weaknesses in the discipline. Diane is extremely wise, and the best friend economics could have – one willing to offer some serious tough love.
It was very kind of Oliver Burkeman to praise my book “Messy” – it’s a book of which I am extremely fond. Oliver’s latest book “Four Thousand Weeks” needs no praise from me as it is doing brilliantly, and deservedly so. But y’all might enjoy his occasional email newslatter, The Imperfectionist.
That’s all from me for this week, except to commend to you this irrefutable argument that every movie is improved by closing with Walk of Life” by Dire Straits…
The paperback of “How To Make The World Add Up” is now out. US title: “The Data Detective”.
“One of the most wonderful collections of stories that I have read in a long time… fascinating.”- Steve Levitt (Freakonomics)
“If you aren’t in love with stats before reading this book, you will be by the time you’re done.”- Caroline Criado Perez (Invisible Women)
I’ve set up a storefront on Bookshop in the United States and the United Kingdom – have a look and see all my recommendations; Bookshop is set up to support local independent retailers. Links to Bookshop and Amazon may generate referral fees.← How to tackle vaccine hesitancy A Nobel memorial prize for turning statistics into insight →
Owl Media Group takes pride in providing social-first platforms which equally benefit and facilitate engagement between businesses and consumers and creating much-needed balance to make conducting business, easier, safer, faster and better. The vision behind every platform in the Owl Media suite is to make lives better and foster a healthy environment in which parties can conduct business efficiently. Facilitating free and fair business relationships is crucial for any thriving economy and Owl Media bridges the gap and open doors for transparent and successful transacting. No advertising funds influence the functionality of our media platforms because we value authenticity and never compromise on quality no matter how lucrative the offers from advertisers may seem.
Originally posted on: https://timharford.com/2021/10/cogs-and-monsters-and-dungeons-and-dragons-oh-my/