Must-Read: A Bunch of Websites Migrate to Medium--Following: How We Live Online: "Medium has now placed its bets firmly on the 'platform' side of its bipolar business...:
Must-Read: Brian Feldman: A Bunch of Websites Migrate to Medium--Following: How We Live Online: "Medium has now placed its bets firmly on the 'platform' side of its bipolar business...
Live from La Strada: Michael O'Hare: Why Is It So Hard to Increase Learning?: "The single most important obstacle to improving student learning in college...
...is our terrier-like obsession with assessment and our faith in punishment and reward as the only motivators of any use. It’s all summative evaluation, that does nothing for performance because it’s delivered too late and in an affectively toxic context.... What improves quality is (1) formative, and evaluation is the least of it, and (2) collaborative. These are bromides of industrial quality assurance, but in higher ed, for teaching, we are still in the dark ages of the 1970s when GM thought it could make quality cars by doubling inspections and having a larger reject lot at the end of the assembly line where defective cars could be triaged into ‘scrap, rework, or ship’....
Live from Somewhere Over the Great Basin: John Gapper: Bridgewater and ‘Radical Transparency’: "The fact that [Dalio's] method of running his firm seems so weird...
With Bill Clinton, or Bill Bradley, or Al Gore, or Barack Obama, or Lloyd Bentsen, or Hillary Rodham Clinton--you listen to them, or you talk to them, and you know there is a mind back there deeply knowledgeable about and wrestling with substantive issues of societal welfare and technocratic policy.
J. Bradford DeLong on February 08, 2016 at 07:36 AM in Economics: Information, Information: Better Press Corps/Journamalism, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science: Cognitive, Storystream: Maintaining Standards in the Public Sphere, Streams: (Monday) Smackdown Watch, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (17)
Agathon: 'Professor! Good to see you. Getting coffee?'
Glaukon: 'Yes. I'm teaching. I find that teaching is always and everywhere a caffeine phenomenon.'
Agathon: 'I tend to find that teaching is usually a bagel phenomenon myself. What are you going to teach them?'
J. Bradford DeLong on February 05, 2016 at 02:19 PM in Berkeley, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Information, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, StoryStream: The Moral Economics of the Economy, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (5)
Jo Walton (2015): The Just City (New York: Tor Books: 9780765332660) http://amzn.to/1WQi0cn
John Holbo: Walton’s Republic: What is Athene’s motive in dragging all those robots from the future to help build this thing?...
Brad DeLong: Re: ‘What is Athene’s motive in dragging all those robots from the future to help build this thing?’ Aristoteles son of Nikomakhos of Stagira:
J. Bradford DeLong on January 28, 2016 at 02:06 PM in Books, Economics: Growth, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Information, Science Fiction, StoryStream: The Rise of the Robots?, Storystream: Utopias, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (1)
David Warsh (1998): Whose `Rules?': "For the last year, hardly a week has passed without...
...some bright new book fetching up on my desk promising to explain some aspect of the business dynamics of the new age of information.... In all this stack of books on managing knowledge, intellectual capital, the ecology of information and the like, the single volume most worth reading -- and, for many persons having, for it bears consulting again and again -- is 'Information Rules.'...
Comment of the Day: Peter Dorman: May I Say That I Have a Bad Feeling About This?: "In the case of my institution...
...the move to Canvas (from Moodle) was motivated by the perceived need to up the capabilities for social media. Canvas is apparently strong in this, and the consultants are saying that to reach today's students you have to provide an environment that looks like what they're used to in their own digital universe.
Live from the Roasterie: Did this, in any important sense, matter for Apple's ability to resist the Android onslaught in mobile more successfully than it resisted the Windows onslaught on the desktop?
Ben Thompson: Craig Federighi on Swift: "With the advent of mobile, suddenly the processors that mattered were dramatically slower...
Live from La Farine: Baratunde Thurston:
1. Hail cab. 2. Before unlocking door driver asks "how far are you going?" with attitude 3. Launch uber app.— Baratunde (@baratunde) November 20, 2015
Filed a complaint today after getting passed up again by a NYC Yellow cab. Cabbie picked up a white guy a block away. Wonder why Uber wins?— Al Roker (@alroker) November 22, 2015
In the fall of 2012, the most recent semester with complete data in the U.S., four million undergraduates took at least one course online, out of sixteen million total, with growth up since then. Those numbers mean that more students now take a class online than attend a college with varsity football. More than twice as many now take a class online as live on campus. There are more undergraduates enrolled in an online class than there are graduate students enrolled in all Masters and Ph.D. programs combined. At the current rate of growth, half the country’s undergraduates will have at least one online class on their transcripts by the end of the decade. This is the new normal.
Jennie Eliot: Your Uncharted Interview Video: To Brad, Peter....
All links in one place:
And let me add:
Comment of the Day: Cosma Shalizi: Olivia Goldhill: “Robot Helpers”: "'It can go either way, depending
on the details, in which is the devil...
The struck-through phrase is clearly Siri's mangling of whether the people paying for the system would rather have for fungible, easily-replaced subordinates with little bargaining power, or skilled, autonomous workers who might have their own ideas about how to do the job, or even demand for more money. (And cf. Denrell, 2000.)
Must-Read: It is all in the framing: is the human the robot's assistant, or the robot's boss? Does the human merely help the robot by helping in all the edge cases? Or does the robot handle routine matters leaving the human free to spend more time exercising their judgment? It can go either way, depending on the details, in which is the devil...
Olivia Goldhill: “Robot Helpers”: "As AIs take on a growing role in the workplace, a new role is opening up for humans...
J. Bradford DeLong on November 08, 2015 at 10:06 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Information, History, Information: Internet, Long Form, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science Fiction, Science: Cognitive, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (14)
Ben Thompson: Venture Capital and the Internet's Impact: "In the case of publishing...
what happened is that the Internet was, at least at first, a huge boon: suddenly newspapers were reaching millions of people all over the world that they had previously had no access to. That breaking down of geographic barriers, though, ultimately undermined an entire business model predicated on arbitrage between readers seeking information and advertisers seeking attention.
Elizabeth Barre: What is the Point of a Teacher?: "What is it that makes a teacher valuable in a way that books are not?
Eric Schlosser (2006): On Upton Sinclair: 'I Aimed For The Public's Heart, And... Hit It In The Stomach': "'The Jungle' Was A Socialist's Cry For Labor Justice....
...It Launched A Consumer Movement Instead....
Brad DeLong in conversation with Peter Leyden: Uncharted 2015: Are our economic problems new (robots) or old (forgetting Keynes)?
Live from Silicon Valley: Heidi Roizen: How to Build a Unicorn From Scratch--and Walk Away with Nothing: "Liquidation preferences, participation, ratchets...
...even the very term preferred shares (they are called ‘preferred’ for a reason) are things every entrepreneur needs to understand. Most terms are there because venture capitalists have created them, and they have created them because over time they have learned that terms are valuable ways to recover capital in downside outcomes and improve their share of the returns in moderate outcomes--which more than half the deals they do in normal markets will turn out to be. There is nothing inherently evil... standard procedure for high risk investing. But for you the entrepreneur to be surprised after the fact about what the terms entitle the venture firm to is just bad business--on your part. For any private company with different classes of stock, the capitalization table is not-at-all the full picture of who gets what in an outcome...
Live from (Outside of) New York ComicCon: We Have (Close to the Equivalent of) Replicators: So Why Do We (Still) Have Non Personal-Service Jobs?
We grow things--but fewer and fewer of us do. We make things--but fewer and fewer of us do. We provide personal services--non-information and information. What else do we do?
It strikes me that a huge proportion of jobs these days are really "your mom isn't here!" jobs.
What proportion of jobs wouldn't it be necessary if people would only behave--if people would reliably and properly drop the money they owe into the jar, would clean up if they spilled something, leave the place in the clean state it was when they arrived, would not break machines by trying to operate them when they do not understand them, and so on?
Live from South of Market: Ben Thompson: Twitter's Moment: "It’s essential, though, that Twitter not forget about those living mostly happily with the company’s core product...
Must-Read: I wonder: Berkeley's very sharp Pam Samuelson played a substantial role in helping to create this cluster#@$%. Yet I haven't heard much from her trying to fix it. I wonder why not?
Tim Wu: What Ever Happened to Google Books?: "It was the most ambitious library project of our time...
Must-Read: Charlie Stross: A Question About the Future of the World Wide Web: "The current state of the ad-funded web...
Must-Read: I had written, apropos of Medium: "I keep hoping that someone like Ben Thompson will write a dazzling piece on his daily newsletter to make everything clear to me."
Lo and behold! Ben Thompson delivers!
What a strange new world, that has
such people the ability to order up on whim a 2000-word essay from one of keenest of analysts exactly prepared to write on exactly the topic I am curious about in it!
Ben Thompson: What is Medium Doing?: "There are a huge number of publishers on the Internet....
You really need to pay for one technology newsletter: and Ben Thompson's Stratechery is the one that you really need to pay for:
Ben Thompson: Popping the Publishing Bubble: "Today Apple releases iOS 9 with support for...
...“content blocking extensions”... enabl[ing] ad blockers for Safari, iOS’s default web browser.... Facebook... Twitter and most other social networks... [are] not affected.... [But] while the concern over ad-blockers may be too early, publisher angst is arguably too late: if iOS 9 ad blockers do end up causing serious harm it is only because the publishers have been living in an unsustainable bubble....
As near as I can see, no.
She placed a huge bet on the merger with COMPAQ--over very strong objections from her Board and her shareholders--based on a belief about economies-of-scale in the PC industry. That belief was wrong. The merger was not a financial success:
J. Bradford DeLong on September 11, 2015 at 03:48 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Information, History, Long Form, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (4)
Must-Read: The standard story of Christensenian disruption is that there is a niche large enough to allow for economies of scale and for learning by doing but too small for incumbents to focus on serving--and then the disruptive technology eats the rest of the industry alive as it rides down the learning curve while incumbents cannot find a way to compete because cannibalizing their existing markets is not something their organizations can actually plan and do. The problem with the TV is that there does not seem to be any such niche as long as cable providers bundle the set-top box. Therefore either the FTC has to intervene and force unbundling, or Apple has to hope there are enough fanboys who will buy anything it makes to get them over the hump. It will be interesting to watch:
Steve Jobs (2010): Apple and the TV Market: "The television industry... has a subsidized... model...
Must-Read: Chad Orzel: Planning To Study Science In College? Here's Some Advice: "I’ll outsource a bit of this to... Rhett Allain...
Live from Bullwinkle Plaza: there is a line in my globalization lecture that I am going to have to take out.
Hitherto, when talking about how connected the world is, I hold up my cell phone and say: "The number of this phone is on my CV, and any phone number in the world can call it and I will answer--that is, I will answer it once, and more if I find you interesting enough."
Because of cellphone spam--"Your business has been approved for a loan of $250,000!"--that is no longer true...
Must-Read: The very thoughtful and sharp Mark Thoma has swung around to thinking that, with the right student body, online education can do 60% of the job of the residential university campus for... 10%? 5%? of the non-student-time-and-effort cost. Of course, the principal cost is still student time and effort...
Mark Thoma: 12 Good and Bad Parts of Online Education: "I was initially very skeptical about the claims being made about online education...
Live from Evans Hall: An unexpected surprise! I get to spend this afternoon with evocations of George Akerlof and Bob Shiller!
Admittedly, the evocations are sub-Turing ones. But as long as you are willing to go with it and not test their bounds to the breaking point, the illusion of learning from and interacting with other minds--other minds clearly smarter than me--is well-nigh complete!
Samuel Brittan--who I believe is extremely perceptive and penetrating (although not at all unsympathetic)--on Friedrich Hayek. From 'Hayek, Freedom, and Interest Groups,' in The Role and Limits of Government (London: Maurice Temple Smith, 1983):
The first page of the first chapter of Hayek's own Constitution of Liberty starts with the sentence:
We are concerned in this book with that condition of men in which coercion of some by others is reduced as much as possible.
J. Bradford DeLong on June 30, 2015 at 10:45 AM in Economics: History, Economics: Information, Economics: Macro, History, Moral Responsibility, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: (Wednesday) Economic History, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (0)
Think are intellectual property protections are insufficiently strong?
Five years ago I put a tickler in to see what would happen to this. Glad to see that sanity reigned after all:
bottlerocketscience: Startup Geometry Podcast EP 004: Brad DeLong:
J. Bradford DeLong on June 17, 2015 at 12:49 PM in Economics: Finance, Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Information, Economics: Macro, Long Form, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science Fiction, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: Cycle, Streams: DeLong FAQ, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (1)
Scott Gosnell: Brad Delong on the TPP: "In this short preview of my interview with economist Brad Delong...
...we discuss the economic and social impact of the trade deals currently being negotiated by the US Trade Representative, including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trade Promotion Authority and related bills under consideration in Congress this month. The full interview will be available next week...
Scott Gosnell: Let me ask about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade deal that are going on right now. What do you think of them?
It is very nice to see the Financial Times correction of Niall Ferguson--although it does not, in my opinion, go far enough.
A word, however, to Lionel Barber, Gillian Tett, and company: The Financial Times's only current assets are an incredibly skilled and hard-working journalistic team and a reputation as a trusted information intermediary. You are not going to be able to out-pander the Spectator, the Wall Street Journal, the Torygraph, and Fox News as a place where the rich feel comforted rather than afflicted by the news. That means you cannot risk your reputation as a trusted information intermediary by routinely publishing pieces that undermine it.
Jonathan Chait: Niall Ferguson Claims Smeared by Facts, Fights Back: "[Ferguson's] most recent example of ‘correct politicalness’ is the humiliation Ferguson suffered when...
Over at Project Syndicate: Putting Economic Models in Their Place:
Among the voices calling these days for new--or at least substantially different--economic thinking http://ineteconomics.org is the very sharp Paul M. Romer http://paulromer.net/ of New York University, with his critique of what he calls "Mathiness" in modern economics http://paulromer.net/mathiness/. He seems, to me at least, to be very worried principally about two aspects of modern economic discourse. The first is to take what is true about one restricted class of theories and generalize it, claiming it is true of all theories and of the world as well.
Google keep? No thanks, I'll pay for Evernote lest you Google Reader me. @clippingsio charges $2 to format my kindle notes? Take my money.— Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) May 19, 2015
How did I get started weblogging?
In my memory, I got started weblogging because one afternoon sometime in the 1990s that convinced me that weblogging was likely to become a key part of the forthcoming ecology of intellectual influence.
A POLICY AGENDA FOR THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY
- Policy debate dominated by discussions of ‘reform’
- Policy agenda set in 1980s >* Irrelevant or counterproductive today
- We need a 21st century policy agenda
- Previous reform era provides a way to think about this.
Over at Equitable Growth: Mark Thoma directs us to Paul Romer. And Paul Romer gets remarkably exercised about George Stigler's long and successful war against the use of the theory of monopolistic competition in economics, with its consequence that even today we have "scientifically unacceptable" people who say:
We will never, as a matter of principle, consider a model in which there are ever any monopolies. We will dogmatically stick only to models of price-taking competition...
From my perspective it is not the contemporary implications of this train of thought for growth theory that are important--for as best I can tell there are people who write growth models where every market has price-taking competition but there is nobody outside who reads them--but rather the historical implications of this train of thought for industrial organization, antitrust, and the rise of the rent seeking sector in the American economy.
I eagerly want to read and hope to see more work in this area. READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth Much of the dysfunction of the American press corps is driven by the ideological commitments of its bosses, the cultural flaws of its journalists' communities, or the desperate need to scare its readers and viewers and thus keep them reading and viewing so that their eyeballs can be sold to advertisers.
Some of the dysfunction is not. Some of the dysfunction is unmotivated and completely pointless, even on its own terms.
Here we have Eugene Stern warning readers that reading Nick Kristof of The New York Times will not make you better informed: READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth: A good review by Jonathan Knee of the exteremely-sharp Richard Thaler's truly excellent new book, Misbehaving. The intellectual evolution of the Chicago School is very interesting indeed. Back in 1950 Milton Friedman would argue that economists should reason as if people were rational optimizers as long as such reasoning produce predictions about economic variables--prices and quantities--that fit the the data. He left to one side the consideration even if the prices and quantities were right the assessments of societal well-being would be wrong. READ MOAR
Alma Mater Blogging: Greg Mankiw's desire to move Harvard to someplace better adapted to human life than Massachusetts was triggered by:
Greg Mankiw's Blog: Time for Harvard to Move?: The Wall Street Journal reports one of the most pernicious ideas I have heard of late:
Massachusetts legislators, demonstrating a growing resentment against the wealth of elite universities in tight economic times, are studying a plan to levy a 2.5% annual tax on the portion of college endowments that exceed $1 billion. The effort takes aim at one of the primary economic engines of the state...