Frances Coppola has an interesting take on how the positions of both women and men in society are changing.

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I just can’t resist this one. Vista Equity Partners is paying around $100 million less than expected for Tibco Software Inc because Goldman Sachs got the number of shares wrong in the spreadsheet that did all the calculations. OK, $100 million isn’t much in the context of a $4 billion deal, but it’s an awful lot […] Read more

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Randall Munroe, over at xkcd, does some really funny cartoons, and is a physicist by training. Every week he answers a hypothetical question: this week it’s How much of the Earth’s currently-existing water has ever been turned into a soft drink at some point in its history? His answer, by the way, is “not much”. […] Read more

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… but some are more wrong than others. It’s emerged that a risk calculator for cholesterol-related heart disease risk is giving some highly dubious results. So completely healthy people could start taking unnecessary drugs. It’s not clear if the problem is in the specification or the implementation: but either way, the results seem rather dubious. […] Read more

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I’ve been recently been working with the Centre for Risk Studies in Cambridge on some extreme scenarios: one-in-200, or even less likely events. It’s been an interesting challenge, not least because it’s very difficult to make things extreme enough. We find ourselves saying that the step in the scenario that we’re working would never actually […] Read more

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A few days ago I noted the difficulty of thinking in terms of dependency ratios: being economically active is a continuum, rather than black or white. There’s another side to the story, too. An aging population can provide opportunity, not only by producing products that appeal directly to a growing segment of the population, but […] Read more

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We all know that feeling: people are talking about something as if they expect you know what it is, or understand it, and you’re going to look really stupid if you admit ignorance. It’s a common phenomenon in all sorts of fields, not least when technical matters are concerned, as discussed in this article. Not long […] Read more

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It’s a commonplace that high-achieving women often suffer from the imposter syndrome — a belief that they do not deserve the success they have achieved. Athene Donald has some interesting posts about it in the context of academia. It’s also commonly observed that women tend towards self-deprecation. Sometimes it’s in jest, but not always. Lucy Kellaway […] Read more

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Frances Coppola makes some interesting points about dependency ratios, sparked by this article from The Economist. We often see charts showing the proportion of the population aged over 65 compared to those between 16 and 64, based on the assumption that the former aren’t working and the latter are. The trouble is, as Frances points […] Read more

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High tech risks are out there, and are potentially serious, but low tech risks don’t go away, and may be just as serious. For example, we learned recently that Edward Snowden managed to get hold of peoples’ user ids and passwords, giving him unauthorised access to some of the classified information that he then leaked. […] Read more

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