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Tim Harford
Works at BBC
Attended University of Oxford
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Tim Harford

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Behavioural economics lesson courtesy of Star Trek Into Darkness...

If the first two thirds of your film are strong, with believable characters that the viewers care about, a palpable sense of the threat, cool plot twists and genuine moral dilemmas... and the last third is a big pile of pants, viewers will leave the cinema thinking the film is a big pile of pants.

n=2 (Me and my wife)
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Ah. After the last one I promised myself that I wouldn't subject my brain to another cinema-released Trek film. Thanks for the confirmation that the decision was sound.
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Tim Harford

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Brilliant! Stewart Brand's "How Buildings Learn" is on Youtube. STOP EVERYTHING AND WATCH IT NOW: 1. How Buildings Learn - Stewart Brand - 1 of 6 - "Flow"
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Thank you Tim for recommending this programme.
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Tim Harford

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Discovering the unknown photographer
 
A 26 years old real estate agent buys a box with thousands of negatives and may have discovered one of the finest street photographers of the mid 20th century: a Chicago nanny called Vivian Maier. While the story itself isn't really news anymore, it has not lost any of its fairy tale romance…
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We will definitely here more abt vivian maier... Many more rolls are yet to be discovered & developed.... Thankx Tim. 
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A very good book about modern art.
I am devouring Will Gompertz's "What are you looking at?", which is an excellent, engaging and unpretentious history of modern art, starting just before the impressionists and proceeding from one movement to another in roughly chronological order to pickled sharks. It's lively, fun to read and I am learning lots and lots.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0670920495/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=0670920495&linkCode=as2&tag=timharford-21
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Thanks Tim,  just downloaded it.
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Video of episode one of Pop Up Economics, all about innovation: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21030274
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A very interesting series Tim and keep up the great work, has the series ended? The last episode available on iTunes is "when the geeks took over poker"
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I am trying to find a sensible estimate for how much world economic output weighs (and how that's changed over time). Suggestions welcome!
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how about using the ratio of the weight of shipped goods to their value?  see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB927152422854765260.html
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Tim Harford

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Struggling with Feedly... In the NYT, David Pogue says Feedly is the perfect replacement for Google Reader - seamless and trouble-free synchronisation, well able to mimic Reader's basic interface, beautiful and easily customisable. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/technology/personaltech/three-ways-feedly-outdoes-the-vanishing-google-reader.html

My own experience is a little different: I can't customise Feedly to behave remotely like Reader. Far from being seamless, it keeps asking me to log into Reader every time I open up Feedly. And the Feedly Chrome plug-in prevents Windows 7 from shutting down. In other words - it's awful sh*te. But the rest of the world doesn't seem to have these problems. (sigh) Time to try again, I guess.
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Am now getting used to it & like it :)
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How to Make a Difference - send emergency supplies to disaster zones http://howtomakeadifference.net/2010/01/sally-grint/
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"Two Cheers for Anarchism" is a book you should read. (UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0691155291/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=0691155291&linkCode=as2&tag=timharford-21; US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0691155291/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0691155291&linkCode=as2&tag=timharford-20)
I've just finished James Scott's latest book, a short collection of thoughts on anarchism, state power and autonomy that I can wholeheartedly recommend. Slightly messier than his classic "Seeing Like a State", but also much briefer and more informal, Two Cheers manages to be at times impish and at times adopts the tones of high academia. But it is a genuine original - I am not aware of anyone else making these arguments, now that Jane Jacobs has passed away. Check it out.
(And also: Seeing Like a State, UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0300078153/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=0300078153&linkCode=as2&tag=timharford-21 and US:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0300078153/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0300078153&linkCode=as2&tag=timharford-20)
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I like Scott (and Jacobs) too.
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Three bloggers walked into a room with Bill Gates...
I enjoyed reading three different accounts of this discussion with Gates. The subject matter (Bill Gates and development projects) is interesting, but it's also a good lesson in journalism to see how different the accounts can be.

Here's Tyler Cowen: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/02/observations-on-meeting-bill-gates-2.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+marginalrevolution%2Ffeed+%28Marginal+Revolution%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Here's Dana Goldstein: http://www.danagoldstein.net/dana_goldstein/2013/01/inside-my-interview-with-bill-gates.html
And here's Jason Kottke: http://kottke.org/13/01/read-bill-gates-annual-letter
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Jobs for behavioural scientists at the Financial Services Authority:
Behavioural economics role: http://www.i-grasp.com/fsa01/?newms=jj&id=39970&newlang=1
Behavioural psychology role: http://www.i-grasp.com/fsa01/?newms=jj&id=39972&newlang=1  

(I should probably stop posting job vacancies - this may develop into an alarming habit...)
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I should stop it now. People may think you have gone into recruitment Tim.
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What works and what bombs on Kickstarter? http://www.economist.com/node/21569784?fsrc=scn/gp/wl/dc/winningoverthecrowd. This chart is fascinating because it shows that the answer varies completely depending on how you pose the question - total cash raised, largest average donations, or success rate.
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Have him in circles
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Work
Employment
  • BBC
    Presenter, 2007 - present
  • The Financial Times
    Senior Columnist, 2006 - present
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
The Undercover Economist. Not terribly undercover these days.
Introduction
Author, "The Undercover Economist" and "Adapt". Columnist for the FT. Presenter of BBC Radio 4's "More or Less". Coffee lover. Dad.
Education
  • University of Oxford
    1992 - 1998