One of the many delights of reading Tyler Cowen’s new book, “Average is Over,” is the instinctive effort to extend his twinned theses. The provocative little volume has generated a lot of controversy -- even President Barack Obama was asked about it on National Public Radio -- and, like many controversial works, it has been widely misread.
There was something ineffably sad about the recent report that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has awarded an $18 million contract to develop an inhabitable balloon to attach to the International Space Station.
David Graeber likes to say that he had three goals for the year: promote his book, learn to drive, and launch a worldwide revolution. The first is going well, the second has proven challenging, and the third is looking up.
Over the course of 2012, the U.S. economy rebounded with all the vitality of a slug waking from a long nap. In debt-strapped, recession-hit Europe, investors fret about a Spanish bailout, a Greek default and whether the euro itself will shatter.