What is rent-seeking?

what is rent-seeking

What is rent-seeking? There’s a strict textbook definition of socially unproductive economic activity and a broader sense of just milking the system. The truth is somewhere in between, where Covid contract VIP lanes meet secondary ticket markets.

The strangest lotteries you’ve never heard of

World's Strangest Lotteries

Have you heard about the US Conscription lottery that randomly selected who went to war or the Taiwanese Receipt lottery trying to improve its tax take? There’s even a new breed of lotteries trying to form habit loops to nudge beneficial behaviours and lotteries using crypto to rework 19th savings schemes. Welcome to the world’s strangest lotteries.

Cleromancy, sortition & the Custom of the Sea

World Cup Drawing Lots

Variations on cleromancy, the drawing of lots, have been used in fascinating ways across all cultures, including life and death situations like the euphemistically termed ‘custom of the sea’ and could even provide a fair system of future governance.

What is survivorship bias?

Survivorship bias - focusing on the outcome not the process.

Survivorship bias explains why big Lottery wins are always accompanied by an image of the ecstatic winners popping champagne and gripping a giant oversized cheque. The salient image encourages us to focus on the outcome – the smiling winner- and ignore the process – millions of losing tickets.  Understanding survivorship can help you make better decisions, and there’s no better place to start learning than the Mountain of Hell Downhill Bike Race.