Book Bits: 9 July 2022

Cloudmoney: Cash, Cards, Crypto, and the War for Our Wallets
Brett Scott
Reference via New York Magazine
There is an undeniable measure of convenience to digital payment. At its best: beep, buzz, go. Convenience, however, rarely comes without a cost, and here there are a few. In his book, Cloudmoney: Cash, Cards, Crypto, and the War for Our Wallets, journalist and former derivatives broker Brett Scott sets out to convince the reader that we all have something at stake in the war on cash. Scott’s target is the campaign to computerize all transactions and the corresponding vision of a predestined historical arc from cha-ching to beep-boop, as promoted by anti-cash interests. What he shows is that a cashless society would be so fast it’s guaranteed to leave some people behind.

The Pursuit of Equality in the West
Aldo Schiavone
Summary via publisher (Harvard U. Press)
One of the world’s foremost historians of Western political and legal thought proposes a bold new model for thinking about equality at a time when its absence threatens democracies everywhere. How much equality does democracy need to survive? Political thinkers have wrestled with that question for millennia. Aristotle argued that some are born to command and others to obey. Antiphon believed that men, at least, were born equal. Later the Romans upended the debate by asking whether citizens were equals not in ruling but in standing before the law. Aldo Schiavone guides us through these and other historical thickets, from the first democracy to the present day, seeking solutions to the enduring tension between democracy and inequality.

Investing Ahead: Eight Essentials For Achieving Financial Security
Thomas J. Curran
Summary via Amazon
These days, between taxes and consumption, many people have nothing left to invest. Tom Curran will show you that it doesn’t have to be that way, and he will advise you on how to change that. That means not just financial strategies but emotional intelligence because if spending and saving money were simply logical matters, most people would have plenty. Regardless of how smart or logical you are, when it comes to making decisions, emotion is the great neutralizer.

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