Conflating Poverty Alleviation with Income Inequality Reduction

I’ve often found that writers— even those trained in economics— conflate alleviating poverty with trying to make the societal income distribution more equal. The most recent example of this that I’ve encountered was within Rutger Bregman’s acclaimed book Utopia for Realists. I enjoyed the majority of the book, which advocated a universal basic income (UBI), a…

Venture Deals – Targeting Specific VC Firms

As someone interested in tech entrepreneurship and venture capital, I decided to start taking the free Venture Deals course offered by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson of Foundry Group in partnership with the Kauffman Fellows Academy and Techstars. The course is based on Feld and Mendelson’s book of the same name, widely considered one of the best…

Rutger Bregman on Universal Basic Income

Today, instead of writing my own post, I’d like to share a talk by Rutger Bregman from TEDxMaastricht. Bregman is a 28-year-old historian and author who has published four books on history, economics, and philosophy. As an aside, I find it interesting how writing by “pop historians” like Bregman, Yuval Harari, and Nassim Taleb has…

Unsocial Sociability: Why People Cooperate and Defect

Human beings are tough to predict because our social dynamics are vastly different from other animals. Some animals, like wolves, must function in packs; a so-called “lone wolf” would in most circumstances perish. Others, like tigers, are solitary, so that they do not need to compete with other members of their species for resources; a…

How Nepotism and Tenure Create Bad Outcomes

Nepotism is defined as the practice of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. The reason I wish to discuss it today is because of Georgetown basketball’s lackluster season, the worst in 40 years. The common view is that Gtown’s coach, John Thompson III, has a job simply because his father, John Thompson Jr.,…

The Myth of Excellence

After I started working in consulting, I developed a deep love for frameworks as a way of structuring my thoughts. So today, I want to share an interesting framework that I learned about a while back: The Myth of Excellence. Originating in a book of the same name by Fred Crawford and Ryan Matthews, The…

The Pain of Paying

Human beings don’t like to spend money. This stems from the principle of “loss aversion,” whereby the pain of losing something is psychologically about twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining something. Thus, we experience the pain of paying because we feel worse about giving up our cash regardless of what we gain in…

Things Fall Apart: A View of Why Relationships Fail

Not long ago, I wrote about how modern relationships don’t form deep roots because of the “trading up” phenomenon, which refers to the influence of dating apps like Tinder on people’s dating preferences. Instead of finding someone good enough and settling, people get addicted to “swiping right” and think they’ll be able to find some…

How High Frequency Trading Changed Everything

Throughout most of modern financial history, stock trading has been a fundamentally human practice. When one bought or sold a stock, the trade would be handled by an actual person at one of the major stock exchanges. As Michael Lewis puts it in Flash Boys, “in 2002, 85 percent of all stock market trading happened…

Humanity Needs GMO Foods

Originally defined by the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the acronym GMO stands for “genetically modified organism” and more specifically to “any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology.” With the rise of the organic and locavore movements, GMO foods have faced harsh criticism. Organic, local…