What I'm thinking about. I'm sharing these in case you have some of the same interests. If so I'd love to hear from you!
History is “all the data we have so far”.
I like to triangulate by reading several books on the same topic, mixing surveys (e.g. on the American Civil War) with biographies (e.g. on Grant and Douglass).
I think economic history is especially important. I'm most familiar with the last few hundred years in the US but have been trying to reach back further in time.
The Global Financial Crisis fascinates me. That led me to the financial sector more broadly and its connection to macro stability and innovation.
Cities are critical economic units. I'm especially interested in land use, labor agglomeration, parking, and the well-being of citizens.
I bumped into tax policy learning about its breakdowns, abuses, and failures. Now I'm seeing the effects of tax policy everywhere.
Lastly I've been getting into accounting(!): its history, importance, abuses, and future.
How do you create impactful institutions, like Caltech, Skunkworks, or even whole countries?
What about undertaking massive projects, such as Apollo?
I'm curious about weird organizational arrangements, like the Japanese keiretsu. (We're experimenting with something unusual ourselves at Ink & Switch.)
Law is another area of interest; I'm studying how judges think, how interests group shape the law, and the common law and civil law traditions.
Provisioning public goods is a critical social technology problem. The most interesting work I've seen so far is from RadicalxChange.
I've enjoyed my publishing work on Go by Example, for our research lab, and on this site. I'm dissatisfied with the online publishing status quo of trackers, ads, and content mills, and am looking for better technical and organizational models.
I'm curious about journalism, especially accountability and investigative journalism. We need to find a way to support journalism commensurate with its social importance.
I suspect non-text media is underused. E.g. I think we need more comics about serious topics.
This has been the focus of my professional career, initially in tools for developers and online businesses.
In my current venture we're building a tool for free form thinking on tablets, and my recent research focused on related issues.
If you'd like to discuss any of the above, or I might be able to help you, please reach out!