Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years
Some more up-to-date predictions: science
, space travel
, mental health
, smart machines
, robots, mind uploading
What is your prediction
posted by MetaMonkey
on Oct 5, 2006 -
Plunging into the shadows:
"In thinly traded, lightly regulated and untransparent markets
, the bold
can make an awful lot of money—and they can lose it
on an even more extravagant scale... In today's caffeine-fuelled dealing rooms, a barely regulated private-equity group could very well borrow money from syndicates of private lenders, including hedge funds, to spend on taking public companies private. At each stage, risks can be converted into securities
, sliced up, repackaged, sold on and sliced up again. The endless opportunities to write contracts on underlying debt instruments
explains why the outstanding value of credit-derivatives contracts has rocketed
to $26 trillion—$9 trillion more than six months ago, and seven times as much as in 2003."
posted by kliuless
on Sep 24, 2006 -
Foreign Aid: Can it work? The conundrum facing the rich countries is that everywhere in the developing world, and particularly in Africa, you see children dying for want of pennies, while it's equally obvious that aid often doesn't work very well....But the pitfalls of aid tend not to be discussed among humanitarians, at least in loud voices, for fear of scaring donors. And now along comes William Easterly, in his tremendously important and provocative new book, The White Man's Burden, which asserts with great force that the aid industry is deeply flawed.
posted by storybored
on Sep 23, 2006 -
Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution asks
: "Assuming you start from a multi-dimensional global utility maximum, which Lancastrian characteristics—with non-trivial shadow prices—would you like more of in a corresponding unconstrained equilibrium?"
posted by monju_bosatsu
on Jun 23, 2006 -
How valuable is your favorite sports star to his or her team? Sports economics
take center stage as the NBA finals are underway in the United States and World Cup fever has gripped the rest of the world. Malcolm Gladwell
reviews the Wages of Wins
, where “Freakonomics meets ESPN”
posted by msali
on Jun 13, 2006 -
A collection of links to videos about economics for those who want to learn more about the dismal science.
posted by srboisvert
on May 29, 2006 -
Economist Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics
, has long posited
a controversial thesis that legalized abortion help reduced crime, by reducing unwanted children, prone to crime. However, a new paper argues
that Levitt (& Donohue) made serious errors in their research. Properly analysed, abortion has no significant effect on crime. Levitt disagrees
, of course.
posted by daksya
on Dec 4, 2005 -
The Million Dollar Homepage.
Sure, you could buy gigabytes of online storage for a year with $100, but wouldn't you much rather have 10x10 pixels here? Is it stupid? Yes, but havn't you always wanted to make hundreds of thousands of dolars without doing anything?
posted by delmoi
on Oct 1, 2005 -
The Utopian Nightmare
: "What is utopianism? It is promising more than you can deliver. It is seeing an easy and sudden answer to long-standing, complex problems. It is trying to solve everything at once through an administrative apparatus headed by “world leaders.” It places too much faith in altruistic cooperation and underestimates self-seeking behavior and conflict. It is expecting great things from schemes designed at the top, but doing nothing to solve the bigger problems at the bottom."
Also, be sure to check out the the 16 ideas, values and institutions that may not be with us 35 years from now written by a variety of interesting people and compiled as part of Foreign Policy's 35th anniversary (although not all are free or available without registration).
posted by loquax
on Aug 31, 2005 -
What if we can't afford to save the world?
An interesting debate between Sierra Club’s Carl Pope and the outspoken Bjørn Lomborg. (The “saving the world” bit might seem like hyperbole, but the really interesting question this debate sparks for me is this: Hypothetically, if it really came down to it, would anyone be willing to save the world for free? And if not, what does that imply about our values system and personal priorities? What does it say about the practical utility and limitations of monetary-based economic systems?
posted by all-seeing eye dog
on Jul 28, 2005 -
How Powerful Is Productivity?
TCS interviews Former Carter Staffer (and Democrat) William Lewis, who makes some interesting remarks about worker productivity: There were many disparaging comments made in the US and maybe even stronger abroad, (and especially in Japan) about how the US labor force was getting what it deserved because it was lazy, uneducated and maybe even dumb. And of course, the Japanese then showed -- the really capable, competent Japanese manufacturing companies -- showed that was wrong by coming here, building their own factories, managing American labor and taking a lot of other local inputs and coming within five percent of reproducing their home country productivity.
posted by Kwantsar
on Jun 20, 2005 -
The "ransom" model. "It works like this: They described the basic gist of the game on their web site, and set a ransom of $600 for it. If they received $600 in donations by September 2005, they would finish creating the game -- and then release it on their site, for anyone to download for free. (If they didn't get the full $600 in time, they would donate whatever money they'd received to a homeless shelter.)"
And it worked! Here's some additional links described in the comments: The Street Performer Protocol
posted by gsb
on Jun 7, 2005 -
Something else happened during that chaotic scene, something that convinced Chen of the monkeys' true grasp of money. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of money, after all, is its fungibility, the fact that it can be used to buy not just food but anything. During the chaos in the monkey cage, Chen saw something out of the corner of his eye that he would later try to play down but in his heart of hearts he knew to be true. What he witnessed was probably the first observed exchange of money for sex in the history of monkeykind. (Further proof that the monkeys truly understood money: the monkey who was paid for sex immediately traded the token in for a grape.)
posted by raaka
on Jun 5, 2005 -