The Future of Phones? Free Phablets!

Giant phones, “phablets” with 5-6 inch screens, seemed pretty crazy to me at first. But phablets are becoming increasingly popular, especially in less developed countries. What’s even more interesting is that phablets may become free.

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Economists agree on microeconomics, not macroeconomics. The public believes the opposite.

I’ve posted about the awesomeness of economist Scott Sumner before. In particular I find Sumner’s argument that tight Fed policy is the primary cause of the 2008 recession totally convincing. See my take here. But for this post I wanted to cite Sumner on another topic. Sumner has a fun rant where he points out… Continue reading Economists agree on microeconomics, not macroeconomics. The public believes the opposite.

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MOOCs and the future of college

Last week’s post on MOOCs focused on the the “bundle” of disparate things you get from attending college. Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a real threat to this bundle, in particular for job skill teaching and job credentialing, so it’s appropriate colleges are freaking out. But since MOOCs (another word for online video classes) only… Continue reading MOOCs and the future of college

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The College “Bundle” and MOOC online learning

When new technology disrupts an industry, it does so by providing not just cheaper (and slightly worse) alternatives, but by splitting apart economic bundles which prior to disruption seemed innately tied together. For example John Hawks recently tweeted MOOCs are to Colleges what Craigslist is to newspapers. For consumers printed newspapers were about the news, but… Continue reading The College “Bundle” and MOOC online learning

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College athletes should be paid

With March Madness 2013 finishing up, the contrast between the half billion dollars of college basketball revenue versus the amount paid to the players (nothing) has never been starker. By now there are plenty of people pushing the idea of paying college players. And of course I think it’s a good idea. But an interesting way to… Continue reading College athletes should be paid

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Categorized as Economics

Digital Economics: Content wants to subscription stream

This is a multipart series on digital economics. More here. Maybe ten years ago I read a provocative article arguing that music, TV, movies, newspapers, and other types of media were all evolving towards subscription streaming as their end point. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a link. But by now we’re familiar enough with paying a monthly fee for… Continue reading Digital Economics: Content wants to subscription stream

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How much should we worry about the Population Apocalypse?

Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb starts with an introduction “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” Of course 45 years later food has never been cheaper or more abundant. So… Continue reading How much should we worry about the Population Apocalypse?

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Articles worth thinking about – Feb 2013

This week’s post is commentary and links to other essays and posts. It’s a common way to blog, so let’s try it out. The selection criteria was for essays or posts that made me think.

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Categorized as Economics