This week we speak with the economist and broadcaster Tim Harford, presenter of More or Less on BBC Radio 4 and the podcast Cautionary Tales, a Financial Times columnist and author of several books including The Undercover Economist, Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy, and Messy.
His latest book, How to Make the World Add Up, is about why – for all their occasional limitations, misuses and flaws – statistics can give us a better understanding of everything from ourselves, to pandemics, to our investment decisions.
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Thinking is exhausting work. The brain devours between a fifth and a quarter of the energy used by the entire human body, despite accounting for just 2 to 3 per cent of overall weight. Little wonder it has developed a plethora of short-cuts that enable us to make fast-and-easy decisions that are often very effective.
Click here to read 'Five reasons your mind messes with your investments'
Legend has it the challenges posed by the South Sea bubble prompted Sir Isaac Newton to protest: “I can calculate the motions of heavenly bodies but not the minds of men”. Click here to find out what can be learned from the original investment bubble.