He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.
— Jonathan Swift
If there has been a“next big thing” in the field of economics during the past decade, it is the application of techniques from medical research — specifically, “randomized controlled trials,” or RCTs — to assess the effectiveness of development or other government-initiated projects.
The general thrust of the work is as simple as it is seemingly brilliant: rather than employ complex, and often unreliable, econometric methods to tease out the extent to which a project or policy actually had a beneficial impact on intended beneficiaries, why not…
This post accompanies my Econtalk discussion with Russ Roberts on the rise of populism.
In July 2016, I wrote a post on Medium arguing that the decisive divide in politics in the United States and Europe was rural-versus-urban. With regard to the U.S. in particular, I wrote:
Cities vote Democrat. Rural areas vote Republican. Suburban decides the outcome.
So far as the 2016 U.S. presidential election was concerned, I was not mistaken:
There’s one thing you know right away when you step out at night onto the Esplanade at Black Rock City for the first time: this ain’t no Carnival cruise.
The Esplanade is to Black Rock City what the Bund is to Shanghai or the Quai d’Orsay is to Paris: where you stand to gaze out at the illuminated tableau of an urban landscape. Unlike these other famed frontages, the Esplanade does not offer views of cathedrals, castles, and bridges, however. Instead, it offers a view of a black expanse traversed by moving lights and bursts of flame so intense and…
Marc Andreessen grew up in New Lisbon, Wisconsin, a town of 2,500 people located along the Lemonweir River in the center of the state. His father, Lowell, worked for local seed company; his mother, Patricia, for the mail-order giant, Lands’ End. New Lisbon was “Scandinavian, hard-core, very self-denying people who go through life never expecting to be happy,” he recalls. “The natural state of human beings is to be subsistence farmers, and that was my expectation.”
Legend has it that Ruth Wakefield, proprietress of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts, ran out of nuts while mixing a batch of cookies sometime in 1937. In their place she is said to have used broken pieces of Nestlé’s semi-sweet chocolate, expecting the chocolate to melt and absorb into the dough to create chocolate cookies. Instead, when she removed the pan from the oven, the bits of chocolate remained embedded in the cookie and thus the chocolate chip cookie was born — or so the story goes.
by Philip Auerswald
Editor’s Note: In an article first published in Harvard Business Review online, Philip Auerswald, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the MIT Press Innovations journal defines what innovation is — and is not.
As the editor of the journal Innovations, I’m asked with some regularity, “So, what is innovation anyhow? How would you…?” (eyebrows usually furrow here) “… define it?” Since I don’t particularly enjoy debating definitions, I usually respond by saying: “That’s a difficult question. But one thing is for sure: If you’re not pissing someone off, it’s probably not innovation.”
I like this response because, if…
In the Spring of 1987 ABC (the television network … still exists) announced it would broadcast a TV miniseries titled Amerika. Like the movie Red Dawn that preceded it, the premise of the show was that the Soviet Union had accomplished a bloodless takeover of the United States. A handful of citizen militias stood in the way of Total Communist Domination. Yada yada.
Now Reagan’s pronouncement about the Soviet Union being an “evil empire” — and the sharp escalation in military spending that went along with that rhetoric — were one thing. But turning anti-Communist propaganda into prime-time entertainment ……
“Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason.”— Article III, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution of the United States
No one who is sensible wants to hear that a U.S. presidential candidate’s campaign director might be complicit with a foreign power. It’s an unapealing thought. …
Everyone has heard the latest reports, this one from The New York Times this morning:
Computer systems used by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign were hacked in an attack that appears to have come from Russia’s intelligence services, a federal law enforcement official said on Friday.
The apparent breach, coming after the disclosure last month that the Democratic National Committee’s computer system had been compromised, escalates an international episode in which Clinton campaign officials have suggested that Russia might be trying to sway the outcome of the election.
In the next column over The Times reports that Democrats “used their convention…
Consider the following three maps at the county level in the United States that show:
The question is, which is which?
author, the code economy: a forty-thousand-year history