My weekly collection of the provocative, intriguing, or curious, in a world where the house is falling down. The contextual, the cultural, and other things that catch my eye. 

Image credit: via The Economist
  • We’re living in a gerontocracy. Especially in the US. Older politicians respond less well to new problems and show poorer judgement.
  • Which technologies will disappear in the next 50 years? Fewer than you might expect, say a whole lot of academic experts. Thanks to Pippa Biggs.
  • We over-rate confidence and charisma when we appoint leaders. They’re poor indicators of success. Oh, and they’re more associated with men. HBR podcast, 24’00
  • The Irish poet Ciaran Carson died this week. His collection The Irish for No gave a visceral sense of what it was like living in The Troubles.
  • Corrections. Note to self: ignore Twitter threads on rail gauges. Paul Raven sent me this useful debunking. Had Brunel won the gauge wars in England, or the South the American Civil War, railway gauges could have been very different.

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“The whole world’s at sixes and sevens, and why the house hasn’t fallen down about our ears long ago is a miracle to me.” (Thornton Wilder)