Technology in the Classroom

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Will History Judge Marx to Have Been Right About the Effects of Technological Progress on Income Distribution?

‘The instrument of labour, when it takes the form of a machine, immediately becomes a competitor of the workman himself. … That portion of the working-class, thus by machinery rendered superfluous, i.e., no longer immediately necessary for the self-expansion of capital, either goes to the wall in the unequal contest of the old handicrafts . . . → Read More: Will History Judge Marx to Have Been Right About the Effects of Technological Progress on Income Distribution?

Increasing Complexity And Violence

The transition from the Industrial Age to the Information Age is resulting in a sea change between protection and extortion. As the world gets increasingly complex the result is a diminishing ability to extort while at the same time tools of protection are getting cheaper and more powerful. The arbitrary walls are coming down.

. . . → Read More: Increasing Complexity And Violence

Banking, Coffee, Movies, and Chips: Another Spate of Positive Earnings

Q1 2010 earnings season is in full swing and businesses continue their flurry of better than expected reports to start the new year.

Bank sector earnings continued strong with Morgan Stanley reporting strong profits.  The New York-based  investment firm posted a first-quarter profit of $1.78 billion compared with a loss of $177 million a . . . → Read More: Banking, Coffee, Movies, and Chips: Another Spate of Positive Earnings

What is Progress?

In my last post I gave several reasons why I think the ‘good society’ is a useful concept. There is another reason. The concept of a ‘good society’ may help us to think more clearly about progress.

What is the problem with progress? I am just about old enough to remember the 1950s when . . . → Read More: What is Progress?

Mobile phones and economic development

The CMIE Consumer Pyramids data shows that in all their income categories, more than 50% of households have a mobile phone. It is only in their bottom category `Lower Middle Income – II’ that only 37.5% of households have mobile phones. From `Higher Middle Income – III’ upwards, the incidence is above 80%. If . . . → Read More: Mobile phones and economic development

Interesting Readings for November 2, 2009

Sanjeev Sanyal in Business Standard : Building cities for 21st century India, Delhi (which leads you to delhinullahs.org), and Calcutta. Also see: The Sustainable Planet Institute. Why investment banks were fated to be roadkill, in Financial Express by Viral Acharya. On Mumbai’s Streets, Cabbies Fight To Keep Passengers Uncomfortable by Eric Bellman in . . . → Read More: Interesting Readings for November 2, 2009

The Remarkable Century and the Future

I recently came to a rather obvious, yet remarkable insight. The 20th century was a truly unique and remarkable moment in human history. There is not a single aspect of human civilization that changed less during the 20th than in any of the centuries that came before. Population, economic output, life expectancies, oil consumption, . . . → Read More: The Remarkable Century and the Future

You Will

In 1993, before the World Wide Web and before the commercial Internet, AT&T ran a set of television advertisements. They are visible on Youtube. At first blush, a lot of it sounded wide eyed and futuristic. But to people who were in the field then, everything in the ad was reasonable and incremental; merely . . . → Read More: You Will

The economics of advancing alternative energy in the United States

President Obama has made the advancement of renewable energy sources (RES-e in greenspeak) an integral part of both his environmental and economic policies, and Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens has enough belief in its potential to invest heavily in wind power. But as thirty plus years of research spending and ineffective regulations have proven, . . . → Read More: The economics of advancing alternative energy in the United States