Trust and Panic/Who's in Charge?
- Why do we need to trust strangers with our money?
- Why is it unnatural to trust strangers with our money?
- What kinds of animals engage in elaborate task sharing between genetically-unrelated individuals?
- What institutions make elaborate task sharing even possible?
- Roughly, how many people needed to cooperate to make and get his shirt to Paul Seabright?
- Who is in charge of the supply of bread to London?
- Which is a more important underpinning of our economy: our power to engage in rational calculation or our disposition to engage in strong reciprocity?
Man and the risks of nature/Our violent past/How have we tamed our violent instincts?
- What role does risk-sharing play in making elaborate task sharing beneficial?
- What role does specialization play in making elaborate task sharing beneficial?
- What role does the collection of knowledge play in making elaborate task sharing beneficial?
- Why does Seabright believe that humans--or at least human males--have been predisposed by evolution to be killer apes?
- What fraction does Seabright think our current murder rate compared to what we think was the case 20,000 years ago?
- Why do we pay taxi drivers? Why don't taxi drivers claim we stiffed them?
- Can you think of something that happened this week in which your self interest and strong reciprocity reinforced each other?
How did the social emotions evolve?/Money and human relationships/Honor among thieves: hoarding and stealing/Honor among bankers: what caused the financial crisis?
- Why is it important that we be able to trust and tend to help near-strangers?
- In what sense is money perhaps our ultimate trust-making institution?
- Why do we trust our money?
- How does the government choose what our money will be?
- In what sense is your idea that the money you deposited is still in the bank an illusion? In what sense is it a reality?
- What is a bank run? Wherefore deposit insurance?
- What is a Ponzi scheme?
Professionalism and fulfillment in work and war/The city, from ancient Athens to modern Manhattan/Water: commodity or social institution?
- Why are planned cities so often boring?
- What are we committing ourselves to when we treat water as just another economic commodity?
Prices for everything?/Families and firms /Knowledge and symbolism
- What must be true about a market for what Seabright calls "tunnel vision" to be most effective?
- In what sense are prices opinion polls?
- What things should not be for sale?
- How large should the islands of central planning in our market economy be? *Why do cities tell us that decentralized market exchange is not enough--that we need collective action, and governance?
- What is a "winner take all" market? Why are there more of them than there used to be?
- In what senses is intellectual property like and unlike other forms of property?
Exclusion: unemployment, poverty, and illness/States and empires/
- "Machine operators become unemployed because other people stop trusting finance directors". How? Why?
- What is an "information island"?
- What are "public goods"?
- Why, in what are supposed to be market economies, do North Atlantic governments spend 40% of the money?
Globalization and Political Action
- What does Seabright think is wrong with the history modern liberalism tells about itself?
- How fragile is the great experiment?