Physics

A wonderfully written piece in today’s FT Magazine by Stephen Foley, on the changing role of physicists in financial markets. A short extract below, and the full article is here (sign up may be required but is free for a certain number of articles). ‘…complex systems are not systematically predictable. They’re only predictable in some regimes…’ The […]

This is the text of an article in the Washington Post by Dominic Basulto about last week’s events in the financial markets. Great stuff. When news first broke Thursday that JPMorgan’s credit derivatives portfolio had sustained a loss of $2 billion, and potentially as much as $5 billion, on trades gone awry, there was an […]

Humanitarian coordination has been described in a new ODI paper as a ‘wicked problem’ which demands new and radical solutions. This post explores the  longstanding incentive issues underlying the lack of effective coordination and suggests possible ways forward. In a paper published last year,  Michael Barnett and I argued that the humanitarian system was stuck in much the […]

A fascinating 7 minute TED talk by Sean Gourley.

…Because of our urgency to end poverty, we act as if development is a construction, a matter of planning and engineering, rather the complex and often opaque set of interactions that we know it to be… This is a excerpt from a recent interview I gave to Dennis Whittle (former CEO of Global Giving). Click […]

“Why is geometry often described as cold and dry? One reason lies in its inability to describe the shape of a cloud, a mountain, a coastline or a tree.”   Benoit Mandelbrot, 1924-2010 Benoit Mandelbrot, one of the most influential and original mathematicians of the past century, died last Thursday aged 85. Mandelbrot’s contribution to […]