Economists like to say that there are no free lunches. How does that attitude apply to free software and services? It is no secret that many prominent platforms give away services, and so do many widely used open-source projects. The answer should help us understand our world.
Articles from Digitopoly
I should have gone straight to Wikipedia. Instead I put the Latin words “In Situ” into Google. The dermatologist had spelled it for me, and the Wikipedia entry appeared at the top. It said the following, “In archaeology, in situ refers to an artifact that has not been moved from its original place of deposition.
This year’s Nobel Prize in Economics has been shared by Bill Nordhaus and Paul Romer for “integrating innovation and climate with economic growth.” That is one way to thread the needle to link these fine recipients and I applaud the Nobel Committee for finding a way to do it.
Numerai is a blockchain startup. with a cryptocurrency boldly named Numeraire. They have just proposed a marketplace for predictions called Erasure. The premise is that there are lots of people out there with some ability — it may be divine or it may be that they have data and a good statistical model — to predict things.
One of the themes in The Disruption Dilemma, is that when a firm faces disruption, it is unlikely that the Clay Christensen promoted solution of setting up an independent business unit to compete with startups and itself in that new space will work. There are many reasons for this including, most importantly, that the last thing an incumbent wants is to speed up competitive pressures against itself.
Most technology nerds know “tel” as a prefix meaning “transmission over a distance,” as in telecommunications, television, or telemarketing. Most are unfamiliar with an altogether different meaning as found in the phrase “technology tel,” which is the modern and digital equivalent to an archaeologist’s tel.
At Chicago Booth, there is a panel of famous economists who are posed various economics forecasting and policy questions and you can see which way the economic winds are blowing. The IGM Panel has been running successfully for a few years now.
Vitalik Buterin posted a set of slides from a recent talk he apparently gave on “Transaction Cost Economics.” I didn’t see the talk but inferred some interesting take-a-ways from the slides that were worth noting.
Blockchain is one of several technologies du jour. It combines clever methods from peer-to-peer decentralized computing to provide an online tracing function for virtual transactions, and, once someone sets it up, it requires minimal intervention from a central auditor. While Bitcoin is the most well-known application of this innovative computer science, verification of authenticity and identity are key functions for many transactions.