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The Undercover Economist - famed for his explanations - now offers solutions.Tim Harford introduces a new way of thinking about how to solve the world's most urgent problems, from climate change to terrorism, African poverty to global finance - even the problems we encounter in our own daily lives. When faced with such challenges, we instinctively look to leaders, experts, and gurus to provide us with pre-chewed solutions. Harford argues that the world has become too unpredictable and complex for that. Instead, we must adapt - improvise rather than plan, work from the bottom up, take baby steps.Adapt draws on exciting new work by passionate young economists and on innovative ideas from across the sciences. It looks at how and why innovation really comes about, extolling the value of trial and error and arguing that we should learn to embrace failure. Above all, Adapt applies hard-won lessons learned in the field, from a spaceport in the Mojave Desert to the street of Iraq, from a blazing offshore drilling rig to the frozen tundra of Siberia. The book shows that it's up to individuals - us - to change the world.From the Hardcover edition.
Throughout history, great philosophers have been answering profound questions about life. But do they know why your socks keep disappearing from the dryer, or how to choose the quickest line at the supermarket? Probably not, but Tim Harford does. . . . In Dear Undercover Economist, the first collection of his wildly popular Financial Timescolumns, Tim Harford offers witty, charming, and at times caustic answers to our most pressing concerns-all through the lens of economics. Does money buy happiness? Is "the one" really out there? Can cities be greener than farms? Can you really "dress for success"? When's the best time to settle down? Harford provides brilliant, hilarious, unexpected, and wise answers to these and other questions. Arranged by topic, easy to read, and hard to put down,Dear Undercover Economistlends an outrageous, compassionate, and indispensable perspective on anything that may irk or ail you-a book well worth the investment.
'Truly eye-opening . . . There is almost no situation that Harford cannot dissect with his sharp economist's tools . . . economics has never been this cool' NEW STATESMANIf humans are so clever, why do we smoke and gamble, or take drugs, or fall in love? Is this really rational behaviour? And how come your idiot boss is so overpaid? In fact, the behaviour of even the unlikeliest of individuals - prostitutes, drug addicts, racists and revolutionaries - complies with economic logic, taking into account future costs and benefits, even if we don't quite realise it. We are rational beings after all.
Thanks to the worldwide financial upheaval, economics is no longer a topic we can ignore. From politicians to hedge-fund managers to middle-class IRA holders, everyone must pay attention to how and why the global economy works the way it does. Enter Financial Times columnist and bestselling author Tim Harford. In this new book that demystifies macroeconomics, Harford strips away the spin, the hype, and the jargon to reveal the truth about how the world's economy actually works. With the wit of a raconteur and the clear grasp of an expert, Harford explains what's really happening beyond today's headlines, why all of us should care, and what we can do about it to understand it better.