Bill Browder, the famous hedge fund manager whose grandfather was the head of the Communist Party in the United States, is someone I have known for years. My personal experience in Russia is limited to a trip I took with a group from The RAND Corporation to meet senior officials and oligarchs shortly after the Russian financial crisis of 1998. The place was corrupt from top to bottom. At the top, a $5 billion IMF loan to Russia’s central bank disappeared in a matter of days. At the bottom, an elderly beggar I engaged in conversation outside of a MacDonald’s told me how much she had to pay for the privilege of begging in that particular location.
Dave Hickey is little known outside the art world, and within it is known as an iconoclast and provocateur. If you were looking to challenge your intellectual perspective, critic Dave Hickey crafts sharp arguments. His latest, Pirates and Farmers: Essays on the Frontiers of Art, contains brilliantly written essays about art and culture that captivate with style as well as insight. In fact, should Hickey ever be true to his word in quitting his art critic’s title, we can find relief in the intellectual nourishment his prose will always provide, regardless of topic.
Ian Bremmer, one of the most charismatic debaters to grace the IQ2US stage, has ignited a national debate about America’s role as a superpower. In his new book, Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World, he presents a nation in a state of identity crisis, and explores three alternative paths to help us find our way. Bremmer asks, which superpower would you choose: Indispensable America? Moneyball America? Or Independent America?
In this brilliant book, Walter Mischel surveys the current state of knowledge on mastery of self control. It is a profoundly optimistic book that argues that the ability to delay immediate gratification for the sake of future rewards is an acquirable cognitive skill.
This is hardly an obvious conclusion: the marshmallow test itself is a now famous experiment which presented pre-schoolers with a choice between a single marshmallow on demand, or two marshmallows if they could delay eating the first one for 20 minutes.
The test turned out to correlate with SAT scores, social and cognitive functioning, and sense of self worth.
Thus, I am sure he wouldn’t mind my mentioning that at a dinner I hosted in honor of this book he more than held his own in debate with Henry Kissinger and Boris Johnson. His recent biography is titled Napoleon in America and Napoleon the Great in Britain. And therein lies the debate.