Book Bits: 13 February 2021

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends:
The Cyberweapons Arms Race

Nicole Perlroth
Review via The Washington Post
The U.S. government is paying hackers for vulnerabilities it finds in software and hardware used by corporations and governments. Once they’ve bought those vulnerabilities, they’re turning them into cyberweapons employed in attacking or spying on adversaries.
That’s the moral, political and economic dilemma explored by “This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race,” a new book out today by New York Times cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth.

Artificial Intelligence for Asset Management and Investment: A Strategic Perspective
Al Naqvi
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
The rise of artificial intelligence is nothing short of a technological revolution. AI is poised to completely transform asset management and investment banking, yet its current application within the financial sector is limited and fragmented. Existing AI implementations tend to solve very narrow business issues, rather than serving as a powerful tech framework for next-generation finance. Artificial Intelligence for Asset Management and Investment provides a strategic viewpoint on how AI can be comprehensively integrated within investment finance, leading to evolved performance in compliance, management, customer service, and beyond.
Why Nations Rise: Narratives and the Path to Great Power
Manjari Chatterjee Miller
Summary via publisher (Oxford University Press)
What are rising powers? Do they challenge the international order? Why do some countries but not others become rising powers? In Why Nations Rise, Manjari Chaterjee Miller answers these questions and shows that some countries rise not just because they develop the military and economic power to do so but because they develop particular narratives about how to become a great power in the style of the great power du jour. These active rising powers accept the prevalent norms of the international order in order to become great powers. On the other hand, countries which have military and economic power but not these narratives do not rise enough to become great powers–they stay reticent powers.
What’s Luck Got to Do with It?: How Smarter Government Can Rescue the American Dream
Edward D. Kleinbard
Summary via publisher (Oxford University Press)
The American dream of equal opportunity is in peril. America’s economic inequality is shocking, poverty threatens to become a heritable condition, and our healthcare system is crumbling despite ever increasing costs. In this thought-provoking book, Edward D. Kleinbard demonstrates how the failure to acknowledge the force of brute luck in our material lives exacerbates these crises — leading to warped policy choices that impede genuine equality of opportunity for many Americans. What’s Luck Got to Do with It? combines insights from economics, philosophy, and social psychology to argue for government’s proper role in addressing the inequity of brute luck. Kleinbard shows how well-designed public investment can blunt the worst effects of existential bad luck that private insurance cannot reach and mitigate inequality by sharing the costs across the entire risk pool, which is to say, all of us.

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