Crisis

Facebook Will Prove You’re Alive During the Next Disaster

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5889455/facebook-will-prove-youre-alive-during-the-next-disaster

Facebook Will Prove You're Alive During the Next DisasterWhen an earthquake ravaged Fukushima and terrified all of Japan, the entire country had one reaction: is everyone OK? And if you knew someone in an afflicted area, you might’ve been thinking, is my husband okay? Now Facebook will tell you.

Facebook’s new Disaster (currently in trial for Japan only) feature is so simple and could be so very useful: if you’re in an area hit by a natural disaster (or terrorist attack, I presume), you’ll have the option to flag yourself as safe with all the ease of clicking “Like.” Or, if you’ve managed to get in touch with someone you know in a danger area, you can flag their profile as safe for them. Either way, Facebook will become a go-to source for peace of mind. It’s the kind of tool you hope you’ll never have to use, but one we might be glad to have. And one that’ll rack up ad views for Facebook the next time a crisis hits. Click! [YokosoNews via NewScientist]

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 digital No Comments

I Read 21 Books About The Financial Crisis And They Explained Nothing

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/andrew-lo-21-books-financial-crisis-2012-2


andrew lo

Ever thought you would have to read 21 books to get to the bottom of what caused the financial crisis?

Andrew Lo, an economist at MIT, has some bad news: it’s going to take at least 22.

Lo, a leading expert on hedge funds and financial engineering, has written a paper (h/t NPR) for the Journal of Economic Literature describing his experience reading 21 books on the crisis — nine by journalists, 11 by academics and one by a former Treasury Secretary.

His conclusion: In a field that prides itself on its scientific rigor (however dismal), the books reveal that alarmingly few facts about the crisis have been agreed upon. Was there too little or too much regulation? How much of a factor were low interest rates? No one’s been able to say conclusively.

“After each book, I felt like I knew less,” Lo told NPR’s Planet Money.

Economics, he says, has fallen well short of that standard when it comes to understanding the crisis:

“Many of us like to think of financial economics as a science, but complex events like the financial crisis suggest that this conceit may be more wishful thinking than reality.”

Read Andrew Lo’s Reading About the Financial Crisis: A 21-Book Review >

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 news No Comments

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