Former Prez Jimmy Carter
I was at the American Society of Criminology meeting in Atlanta last week, and the keynote talk was given by former President Jimmy Carter. I've always appreciated his human rights work, his involvement in Habitat for Humanity and his humble ethic of service. Among the highlights:When asked about Christianity and the many who call themselves Christian but do not share his values, Carter commented "I worship the Prince of Peace, not the Prince of Pre-emptive Strikes."He articulated human rights as simple common sense - the right to have a job, the right to have shelter, the right to have food,... continue reading »

Black Swans, Banks and Bird Flu in the U.S.
In nature, swans are white, but black swans are a low probability event that is observed with regularity. In other contexts, a black swan is a low probability event with serious, even catastrophic consequences. Terrorism is a prime example of a black swan event, and I earlier blogged about the simulation of a 10 megaton nuclear weapon in a shipping container being sent to the port of Los Angeles. Now, we have another simulation of a black swan event - an examination to see how the U.S. financial system would hold up to a bird flu pandemic that could happen... continue reading »