The Conversation's Contributions

Trade Wars Will Boost Digital Manufacturing – at Consumers’ Own Homes With Personal 3D Printers

By The Conversation – The U.S. is in multiple international trade wars. After President Trump ordered higher taxes on some Chinese imports, the Chinese retaliated. The trade dispute now involves as much as US$200 billion worth...

The Nuclear Industry Is Making a Big Bet on Small Power Plants

By The Conversation – Until now, generating nuclear power has required massive facilities surrounded by acres of buildings, electrical infrastructure, roads, parking lots and more. The nuclear industry is trying to...

Tulip Mania: The Classic Story of a Dutch Financial Bubble Is Mostly Wrong

By The Conversation – Right now, it’s Bitcoin. But in the past, we’ve had dotcom stocks, the 1929 crash, 19th-century railways and the South Sea Bubble of 1720. All these were compared by contemporaries to “tulip mania”...

Why Amazon and Friends’ Plan Could Be a Major Disruptor of Health Care System

By The Conversation – Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase’s announcement that they will create an independent company to offer health care to their employees “free from profit-making incentives and constraints” sent a shock...

Why States May Get Away With Creative Income Tax Maneuvers

By The Conversation – Fearing that the new tax law will make it harder for them to raise enough revenue for public schools and other vital services, high-tax states such as California, New Jersey and New York are wasting no...

With FCC’s Net Neutrality Ruling, the US Could Lose Its Lead in Online Consumer Protection

By The Conversation – The internet may be an international system of interconnecting networks sharing a rough global consensus about the technical details of communicating through them – but each country manages...

Nobody Is Going to Bail Out Venezuela

By The Conversation – Venezuela, the South American country convulsed by economic and humanitarian catastrophe, has defaulted on some of its debt after missing an interest payment due in October. Even as investors...

The Challenge of Authenticating Real Humans in a Digital World

By The Conversation – Proving identity is a routine part of modern daily life. Many people must show a driver’s license to buy alcohol at a store, flash an ID card to security guards at work, enter passwords and passcodes to...

Trump Picks ‘Safe’ Choice to Lead the Federal Reserve: 5 Questions Answered

By The Conversation – Markets breathed a sigh of relief after President Donald Trump named Jerome Powell his pick to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve. If confirmed, Powell – considered a “safe” choice – would take over from...

How China’s Skewed Sex Ratio Is Making President Xi’s Job a Whole Lot Harder

The Conversation – As odd as it sounds, China’s economic policy is being held hostage by its heavily skewed sex ratio. China’s excess of young, unmarriageable males poses an acute dilemma for President Xi Jinping and other...

Economist Who Helped Behavioral ‘Nudges’ Go Mainstream Wins Nobel

By The Conversation – The 2017 Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to University of Chicago’s Richard Thaler for his work in behavioral economics, which is the integration of economics with psychology. While the award was...

The Opioid Epidemic in 6 Charts

The Conversation – Drug overdose deaths, once rare, are now the leading cause of accidental death in the US, surpassing peak annual deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents, guns, and HIV infection. As a former public health official...

Dear Elon Musk: Your Dazzling Mars Plan Overlooks Some Big Nontechnical Hurdles

By The Conversation – Elon Musk has a plan, and it’s about as audacious as they come. Not content with living on our pale blue dot, Musk and his company SpaceX want to colonize Mars, fast. They say they’ll send a duo...

Equifax Breach Is a Reminder of Society’s Larger Cybersecurity Problems

By The Conversation – The Equifax data breach was yet another cybersecurity incident involving the theft of significant personal data from a large company. Moreover, it is another reminder that the modern world depends on...

Flood Insurance Is Broken. Here Are Some Ways to Fix It

By The Conversation – Hundreds of thousands of Americans whose homes were damaged or destroyed by flooding from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma don’t know how they will pay for repairs, rebuilding or replacement.

Massive Sunspots and Huge Solar Flares Mean Unexpected Space Weather for Earth

By The Conversation – If you still have your solar viewing glasses from the eclipse, now is a good time to slap them on and look up at the sun. You’ll see two big dark areas visible on our star. These massive sunspots are regions...

Artificial Intelligence Cyber Attacks Are Coming – But What Does That Mean?

By The Conversation – The next major cyberattack could involve artificial intelligence systems. It could even happen soon: At a recent cybersecurity conference, 62 industry professionals, out of the 100 questioned, said they thought the first AI...

How Trump’s Nominee for the Fed Could Turn Central Banking on Its Head

By The Conversation – President Donald Trump on July 10 nominated Randal Quarles to be one of the seven governors of the Federal Reserve System, the central bank of the United States. Before I get to Quarles and his qualifications, it’s important to...

Cash Is Falling Out of Fashion – Will It Disappear Forever?

By The Conversation – On June 27, the ATM turns 50. Former US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker once described it as the “only useful innovation in banking.” But today, the cash that ATMs dispense may be on the endangered list.

Satellite Sends Quantum-Spooky Signals to Earth – Raising Hopes of Secure Global Communications

By The Conversation – The satellite Micius, launched from Jiuquan, China, in August last year, is unlike any other in the sky. While other satellites communicate with Earth using physics worked out by James Clerk Maxwell 150 years ago, Micius...