Weekly reading list #3

Another week, another reading list. The past days have been packed with readings. I am trying to navigate a full-time job, studying for GRE and, oh well, reading as much as I can.

  1. A classic anti-gig economy piece in The Guardian. You might have come across it already as I did several times. I am following a lot of academics on Twitter and they have the tendency to distribute The Guardian’s articles the most. But this article particularly follows-up on a long-standing debate in our societies about the changing nature of work in modern times. Bottom line: “When it comes to working in the gig economy, Huws is clear: young people aren’t usually in it by choice”. Agreed, nobody wants precarious employment conditions, we are forced into it.  Is there an alternative?
  2. A brilliant piece on statistics and justice following the Supreme Court of the USA stated “allergy to mathematics”. It dissects the use of stats as evidence in courts and the reluctance of judges to use it when making important decisions that will affect irrevocably the life of people. It argues that the reluctance to use stats in judging is because the justice system prefers arguments based on ideology rather than on facts.
  3. A very wonkish piece on social networks and a splendid extension of early seminal studies on the strength of weak ties (Granovetter, remember?). The study comes up with a new way to measure strength and weakness of relationships in a real network.
  4. Bonus: a very thick article that argues (successfully at times) that the financialisation of our societies is the cause of  our precariousness that ultimately leads to authoritarianism. Max Haiven is the person to go to in case of need of radical anti-capitalist writings. Again, sometimes this type of critical pieces barely come with alternatives and they tend to ruminate the same old ideas. However, Haiven’s writings are easy to digest and make for a great evening reading that will bring your spirits down a notch, closer to the world’s state of affairs.

What am I up to this week?

I am reading Happiness & Economics, a book on how the economy and institutions affect human well-being. I might review it in an upcoming article.