The Conversation #51 — Phyllis Tickle

Historians get real­ly ner­vous about pat­terns. That’s chang­ing a bit now. And the truth of it is there’s not much way to avoid the 500-year cycle. You almost have to work too hard to unsay it, it’s so obvi­ous­ly there in every way. And if you say every 500 years we go through one, then you imme­di­ate­ly say we’re in the 21st cen­tu­ry and baby are we going through one.

The Conversation #26 — Jenny Lee

The worst-case sce­nario for Detroit would be that the archi­tec­ture of the Internet as it is now con­tin­ues, and Detroiters’ sto­ries, voic­es, lives, are absent. And the New York Times sto­ry about the cre­ative class sav­ing Detroit, or the doc­u­men­tary about the aban­don­ment and whole­sale destruc­tion of Detroit that por­trays it as a waste­land and a blank can­vas ready for entre­pre­neur­ial exploita­tion, that those sto­ries are defin­ing the nation­al, the glob­al imag­i­na­tion of what Detroit is. And that those sto­ries, they don’t use influ­ence people’s desire to come here and do those things and live that life, though that’s part of it, but it also shapes the per­cep­tion of peo­ple inside the city.

The Conversation #4 — Colin Camerer

We know very lit­tle about com­plex finan­cial sys­tems and how sys­temic risk, as it’s called, is com­put­ed and how you would man­age poli­cies. And if you look back at the finan­cial cri­sis, you can either say, as many econ­o­mists do, It all had to do with badly-designed rules,” which may be part of the sto­ry; it’s cer­tain­ly part of the sto­ry. Or it may have to do with the inter­ac­tion of those rules and human nature, like mort­gage bro­ker greed, opti­mism… And you see it not just in indi­vid­u­als who now have hous­es and fore­clo­sure, but at the high­est lev­els.