Economic Anxiety, Elementary School Robotics Edition

In early February, after the students won a local robotics challenge — a steppingstone to qualify for a state robotics championship — a couple of competitors from other schools were heard screaming, “You need to go back to Mexico!”

Washington Post: These robotics students were told ‘to go back to Mexico.’ The taunt only fueled their success.

Cognitive Taxes

In a series of experiments run by researchers at Princeton, Harvard, and the University of Warwick, low-income people who were primed to think about financial problems performed poorly on a series of cognition tests, saddled with a mental load that was the equivalent of losing an entire night’s sleep. Put another way, the condition of poverty imposed a mental burden akin to losing 13 IQ points, or comparable to the cognitive difference that’s been observed between chronic alcoholics and normal adults.

— How Poverty Taxes the Brain

Latency Arbitrage

One way or another, that money is coming out of your retirement account. Think of it like the old movie The Sting. High-speed traders already know who has won the horse race when your mutual fund manager lays his bet. You’re guaranteed to come out a loser. You’re losing in small increments, but every mickle makes a muckle — especially in a tough market.

— Make $377,000 trading Apple in one day

Financial innovation! The system works!