Category Archives: Economics and public policy

Is change we can’t theorise, change we can believe in? Part One

There’s a world of difference between (let’s call it) youthful social change seeking in the sixties and immediate post-sixties social and political movements and much social change seeking today. Then the focus was largely on political activism. And ‘theory’ played … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, History, Philosophy, Political theory | 2 Comments

Old farts (clever old farts) holding up scientific progress: Shock!!

Does Science Advance One Funeral at a Time? by Pierre Azoulay, Christian Fons-Rosen, Joshua S. Graff Zivin Abstract: We study the extent to which eminent scientists shape the vitality of their fields by examining entry rates into the fields of 452 … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Science | Leave a comment

Political debate as culture wars: A TripAdvisor for the arts

As I’ve argued elsewhere, most public debates on policy – and I suspect on pretty much everything else – tend to take place as culture wars. In a culture war the ‘sides’ are well defined – usually mapping pretty well … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Architecture, Bargains, Economics and public policy, Innovation, IT and Internet, Journalism, Politics - national | 7 Comments

Conspiracies against the public: the Braille edition

When Adam Smith said that “people of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public” I read that statement broadly. He clearly intended to refer to business … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Innovation, IT and Internet | 3 Comments

Surprises of the Internet

With the Internet being a regular feature of our lives for about 20 years now, what have been the related developments that were hard to pick at the outset? What are the lessons? Five thoughts: Communication and personal expression is … Continue reading

Posted in Best From Elsewhere, Business, Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Geeky Musings, History, Information, Innovation, IT and Internet, Libertarian Musings, Miscellaneous, Philosophy, Political theory, Public and Private Goods, Science | 21 Comments

Social middleware: another installment – another app

In an earlier post I argued the case for the ‘middleware of democracy’ arguing for the inculcation of the (largely social) skills that help constitute collective intelligence. Skills like having some small inkling of how ignorant we all are, listening to … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Education, Philosophy | 4 Comments

Another one for the robots: they’re better at hiring low skill workers

Discretion in Hiring by Mitchell Hoffman, Lisa B. Kahn, Danielle Li – #21709 (LS) Who should make hiring decisions? We propose an empirical test for assessing whether firms should rely on hard metrics such as job test scores or grant managers discretion … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy | 5 Comments