Gary Klein – Sources of Power – How People Make Decisions (1999)
Expertise can be an illusion, but in fields where people run into similar situations repeatedly, and receive feedback on the decisions they make, it is possible to build up the powerful sense of intuition that marks a true expert. Where the novice agonizes over multiple options, the expert immediately sees the right one – or at least one that is good enough to act upon. It looks like magic, but is actually just subconscious pattern-matching that allows them to see what others don’t.
Vaclav Smil – Energy Myths and Realities – Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate (2010)
There are no easy solutions to our energy problems. Electric cars are no more green than the electricity they run on, nuclear power is expensive and unpopular, wind power requires a lot of space and complex infrastructure, and biofuel pits food and energy in direct competition for the same land. And no matter how theoretically useful a new technology may be, the transition to it must necessarily be slow and expensive. Basically, if we’re not making large investments in Technology X right now, (and we’re not), it’s not going to be a major energy source 30 years from now.
Francis Spufford – Red Plenty – Inside the Fifties Soviet Dream (2010)
Hayekian market philosophy told as a science fiction novel from reality, about a people who set all their best minds to the work of building something smarter than markets, and failed.