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The Frog in the Data Well

Surveillance is ubiquitous these days; in fact, a Soviet KGB handler would be shocked how easy it is to find out intimate details of a mark’s life. There’s no need to threaten or coerce either, though that doeshappen sometimes. Information is central to control. We have known that for ever. Spies are the world’s second […]

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Uber Economics

The crowd livery company Uber’s riding hot. It’s latest market valuation is $17 billion. Not bad for a company that connects freelance drivers to customers via mobile apps. Uber’s success showcases the latest avatar of valley entrepreneurship. Uber doesn’t own anything tangible. The car belongs to the driver, the roads belong to the city. Uber […]

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The Subject Formerly Known as Mathematics

It was my second year of graduate school. I had been in the US for a year. I had cracked my qualifiers. I knew the difference between pop tarts and Belgian waffles. I felt confident enough to start talking to non-mathematicians. After a few failed attempts, I met an economist (I will call her N) […]

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The Concrete Universal

In my previous post I introduced the idea of a concrete universal and asked if it wasn’t a contradiction in terms. The critic might argue that a concrete entity, like this computer in front of me has shape and size and heft, while universals like “computer-ness” is not located anywhere and has neither shape nor […]