Ruchir Sharma: “Since early 1998 [when it was ground zero of the Asian financial crisis], Thailand has faded on the global radar but the baht has proved uncommonly resilient, holding its value against the dollar better than any other emerging world currency and better than all but the Swiss Franc in the developed world…Thailand has achieved financial stability despite constant political upheaval, including four new constitutions in the last 25 years. By overcoming challenges the Swiss franc never faced, the Thai baht has sealed its unlikely claim to be the world’s most resilient currency — and a case study in the upsides of economic orthodoxy.
Julian Simon: “The quantity of a natural resource that might be available to us – and even more important the quantity of the services that can eventually be rendered to us by that natural resource – can never be known even in principle, just as the number of points in a one-inch line can never be counted even in principle.” [via CafeHayek]
Eugenia Cheng: “There is a whole branch of mathematics devoted to attempting accurate calculations just by folding paper—that is, by using origami, best known as a Japanese art form. The idea of employing physical tools to do math goes back to the ancient Greeks, who tried to make mathematical constructions using just a pair of compasses and a straight edge. The straight edge didn’t have markings and wasn’t used to measure things, so there were only two basic actions to this method: Drawing circles of any size or a straight line between any two points. By folding paper we cannot even draw circles, but we can make many more straight-line constructions…The art of origami provides ways to solve equations and design gear for outer space.”
Ed Warren: “America has a strenuous challenge ahead. Ideologues bemoan America’s failures and proclaim “American carnage.” But their shortsightedness and self-interest should not dictate America’s future. Instead, we should build upon the virtues already integrally woven into our civic DNA. Average Americans give their full measure of devotion by leading decent, honorable lives despite the distractions and disappointments of our current moment. They request very little outside help; they simply want the economic opportunity, social foundation, and basic respect to build lives of meaning for themselves and their children. The task ahead of us is to see the goodness in their example, internalize it, and begin the work of building a more empowering and respectful society.”
Arnold Kling: “We might think of the state as a set of commitments and mutual obligations between the rulers and the ruled. One of the implications of this perspective is that government must have long-term credibility in order to function…Democracy works better than autocracy because the transfer of power does not entail a crisis. In a democracy, the mechanism is in place for a peaceful transfer of power. Civil servants can keep working. Soldiers can remain at their posts. Citizens know that they ought to continue to pay taxes and obey the law. The regime persists.”