Book Bits: 28 August 2021

The Ten Equations That Rule the World: And How You Can Use Them Too
David Sumpter
Summary via publisher (Flatiron Books/Macmillan)
Is there a secret formula for getting rich? For going viral? For deciding how long to stick with your current job, Netflix series, or even relationship? This book is all about the equations that make our world go round. Ten of them, in fact. They are integral to everything from investment banking to betting companies and social media giants. And they can help you to increase your chance of success, guard against financial loss, live more healthfully, and see through scaremongering. They are known by only the privileged few – until now… mathematician David Sumpter shows that it isn’t the technical details that make these formulas so successful. It is the way they allow mathematicians to view problems from a different angle – a way of seeing the world that anyone can learn.

DeFi and the Future of Finance
Campbell R. Harvey, et al.
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
During the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, our financial infrastructure failed. Govern­ments bailed out the very institutions that let the economy down. This episode spurred a serious rethink of our financial system. Does it make any sense that it takes two days to settle a stock transaction? Why do retailers, operating on razor thin margins, have to pay 3% for every customer credit card swipe? Why does it take two days to transfer money from a bank account to a brokerage–or any other company? Why are savings rates miniscule or negative? Why is it so difficult for entrepreneurs to get financ­ing at traditional banks? The book argues that the current financial landscape is ripe for dis­ruption and we are seeing, in real time, the reinvention of finance.

They Knew: The US Federal Governments Fifty-Year Role in Causing the Climate Crisis
James Gustave Speth
Summary via publisher (MIT Press)
In 2015, a group of twenty-one young people sued the federal government in Juliana v. United States for violating their constitutional rights by promoting climate catastrophe and thereby depriving them of life, liberty, and property without due process and equal protection of law. They Knew offers evidence supporting the children’s claims, presenting a devastating and compelling account of the federal government’s role in bringing about today’s climate crisis. James Gustave Speth, tapped by the plaintiffs as one of twenty-one preeminent experts in their climate case, analyzes how administrations from Carter to Trump—despite having information about the impending climate crisis and the connection to fossil fuels—continued aggressive support of a fossil fuel based energy system.

Advanced R Solutions
Malte Grosser, et al.
Summary via publisher (Chapman and Hall/CRC)
This book offers solutions to all 284 exercises in Advanced R, Second Edition. All the solutions have been carefully documented and made to be as clear and accessible as possible. Working through the exercises and their solutions will give you a deeper understanding of a variety of programming challenges, many of which are relevant to everyday work. This will expand your set of tools on a technical and conceptual level. You will be able to transfer many of the specific programming schemes directly and will discover far more elegant solutions to everyday problems.

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