Opioids, betting and the world of work – the best economic reads of the year

Bettors: How Paddy Power Bet Billions And Change The Game Forever -Aaron Rogan

When it comes to brands, Paddy Power is certainly one of Ireland’s most prominent business icons.

The aptly named parent company Flutter Entertainment has successfully transformed this original union of three mid-size bookies founded in 1988 into a billion dollar business that continues to grow.

With advertising campaigns as colorful as the most vibrant jockey outfits, Paddy Power has become a byword for gaming entertainment visible everywhere, from storefronts and bus shelters to sports arenas and smartphone screens.

After growing rapidly, the company has carved its own edge in the crowded gaming market, pledging to stay ahead of the competition no matter what the price.

Humor and skillful promotion have always played a key role in the pleasant attitude of the company.

Ahead of Ireland’s 2019 Six Nations rugby match with England, for example, the company launched a poster campaign mocking Brexit and the different political positions of the two nations.

He even set up a pop-up passport office in the city center – a direct reference to the influx of UK citizens requesting his EU-accessible document.

In a similar vein, Paddy Power also created a pop-up confessional adjacent to Phoenix Park ahead of Pope Francis’ visit in 2018, offering punters the chance to “clear their conscience on the go.”

Expanding aggressively, the company has opted for a maximum profile strategy, rather than the half-hidden street locations favored by previous generations.

With numerous interviews tracing its beginnings to its current colossal reach, Paddy Power’s story is as colorful as any of its attention-grabbing campaigns.

Here’s how they tell me the world is ending: the cyber arms race – Nicole Perlroth

Cybercrime and cyberattack are all too familiar words in Ireland 2021 – especially when our entire national healthcare system has been brought to its knees by dark forces whose identities have yet to be revealed. Could it happen again? Definitively. Could the next attack be even more crippling? No question.

Prepare for another definition destined to reach common language very soon – “day zero”. A software bug that allows hackers to break into the world’s most secure computer networks, on day zero is a aptly named addition to the cybercrime arsenal.

A tool seemingly impervious to any high-tech defense, it has the power to tap into any smartphone, infect any computer system, dismantle industrial security controls, and shut down an entire nation’s power grid. .

Zero day has been labeled “the diamond in the blood of the security trade” – a tool so dangerous that dangerous governments are bought out for huge sums to loosen its deadly cyber coils around our throats.

Winner of the FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2021, it has been described as “bewitching” and “part le Carré”.

Stuffed with spies, hackers and arms dealers, the fearless New York Times Security reporter Pelroth lifts the curtain on a dark world whose tentacles are everywhere – a zero-day nightmare from which no one is safe.

Work Won’t Like You Back: How dedication to our work keeps us exploited, exhausted and alone – Sarah Jaffe

Never before in the modern age have so many people reassessed their lives, and especially the work they do.

While the pandemic has severely altered the social models of our lives, its effect on the way we view the office and our occupations has been simply seismic.

Mrs Jaffe, who writes for The New York Times, The Guardian, and Atlantic, ask how much we love our work.

Some workers move to different regions, make huge commutes, and often change everything else in favor of employment.

But is it really worth it? Work is no longer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., she argues, but a commitment to the office as a family, our homes as an extension of the business, and the urge to turn off the phone on weekends. end a retrograde career change.

Such devotion to work is taking its toll, with recent research from the World Health Organization revealing that overwork – defined as working more than 54 hours a week – can be a deadly virus in itself, killing three-quarters of people. a million people a year.

Mrs. Jaffe thinks that such dedication to “doing what you love” is another form of exploitation, manipulating us into an endless hamster wheel.

By examining the experiences of individuals in various professions – the unpaid intern, the overworked teacher, and the nonprofit organization – she unravels the deception that we have willingly accepted.

Realizing our true value, our core value, will allow us to negotiate fair compensation for the precious time we spend for the benefit of the company.

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty – Patrick Radden Keefe

“How the powerful fell” is a timeless epilogue in business, as great institutions once crumbled under the weight of their own impunity, nepotism and greed.

Never has the phrase been more apt, however, than in relation to the Sackler family – a name engraved with proud association on many esteemed international institutions.

A dynasty whose wealth and philanthropy depended on pharmaceuticals, especially Valium, it eventually crashed dramatically by Oxycontin – a drug that became the catalyst for the egg crisis.

Like any great dynasty, the Sacklers had their fair share of Medici-style drama, ranging from outrageous personal lifestyles, bitter board battles, Machiavellian legal disputes, and immense political influence.

A benefactor of institutions such as Harvard University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the University of Oxford and the Louvre, he was not so far removed from the television series, Succession.

Tracing the family’s rise through the Great Depression of the 1930s to building a pharmaceutical empire based on innovation and astute self-promotion, Oxycontin generated $ 35 billion (€ 31 billion) of income, but also caused a massive public health crisis in which hundreds of thousands would die.

Mr. Keefe is an award-winning editor of The New Yorker magazine and the author of “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland”.

He is also the author and host of “Wind of Change,” a series that investigates the convergence of espionage and pop music during the Cold War and was named podcast # 1 of 2020.

Scary Smart: The Future of Artificial Intelligence and How You Can Save Our World – Mo Gawdat

Like it or not, artificial intelligence is often smarter and more efficient than us humans.

Without being distracted by the myriad trivialities of life that we succumb to daily, AI can process information at lightning speed and stay focused on specific tasks for endless periods of time.

It looks perfect, especially for the repetitive and monotonous tasks of everyday life. However, robotic systems are never as good as they should be, a failure mainly due to the poor design that we humans have of the algorithms that define how AI works.

Mr. Gawdat, as the former chief commercial officer of Google, suggests more useful ways for us humans and our machines to coexist better.

“Technology is putting our humanity at risk to an unprecedented degree,” he says.

This book is not intended for the engineers who write the code or for the policy makers who claim to be able to regulate it. This is a book for you. Because believe it or not, only you can fix it.

By 2049 – in less than three decades – AI will be a billion times smarter than humans.

“Scary Smart” explains how we can correct the current trajectory and ensure that future AI can preserve our species.

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