Category Archives: Humanities & Social Sciences

Let me leave aside for a moment our talk about scientists and papers, and bring up a topic that, at first sight, might seem totally unconnected: Ronald Coase’s economic theory about the firm and the allocation of property rights. […]

Conspicuous consumption can be broadly defined as the type of consumption that does not satisfy a direct need or want, but rather, a desire to be regarded as someone that occupies a higher position in a hierarchy. For example, I […]


The allocation of merit to individual scientists is one of the crucial aspects of how scientific systems work. Publication of ‘papers’ in important journals, and, still most significantly, citation of those papers in the works of colleagues, is perhaps […]

One of the topics of discussion within behavioral economics is the motivation of effort. Although the typical economic model usually assumes monetary incentives, they do not preclude the existence of other factors, like preferences for being first or psychological […]


In the two previous entries (1, 2) of this series I described the different diagnoses that Marina Garcés and Steven Pinker make of humanity’s current predicament, without concealing my sympathies for the latter’s: with up […]

We usually think of nature as existing completely independently of us and possessing a definite reality and behaviour even when we are not observing it. For instance, you assume that the world outside of the place where you are now […]

As a recent mom, I can attest to the fact that at least some humans don’t quite get enough sleep, but the thing is, independently of why my baby thinks sleep is for cowards, in a new article researchers Charles […]

In many group decisions unanimity is required to ensure that a reform will be adopted only if it benefits all its members. Multinational organizations may be the best example of this. However, when members have incomplete and private information about […]

Are we in the best of the times, as Steven Pinker asserts? Or do we live in a ‘posthumous’ society, to say it with the favourite image of Marina Garcés? As I told in the previous entry, it is […]

Keep in mind the word Enlightenment, because it’s very likely that it will be one of the most fashionable concepts within the next months. At a global level, Steven Pinker’s new book, Enlightenment now, will probably carry the […]