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economics posts

Book Review: Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital

This book develops a theory of a cyclical pattern in the economy. The pattern describes how certain new technologies spread to become a whole new way of structuring society. The author Carlota Perez calls this a technological revolution and it’s associated “techno-economic paradigm”. In this review I want to summarize her theory using less jargon. Even though the book reads like an academic text, and the jargon is used consistently, I want to dig into the idea in more common language.

Book Review: Working in Public

The story of open source software most of us believe is wrong. The production of open source software isn’t like some egalitarian commune, it’s driven mostly by a few individuals. Through analyzing git commit frequency distributions and interviewing prominent open source contributors and maintainers, Nadia Eghbal captures the living history of open source software. In addition, she also analyses the main problems of maintenance that threaten the long term sustainability of open source software.

Wildfire West

The West Coast is on fire This post is addressing the question of causality. When reading social media, I noticed three patterns: arguing about climate change and causality (e.g. climate change caused this and no-it-didn’t back and forth) rumors about the whole thing being caused by Antifa or Boog arsonists (multiple police departments have debunked this) dismissals based on ‘fires being natural’ The real cause of the fires is not a single cause.

Compound Growth 📈

There are some ideas that are obvious to a few mathematicians, scientists and economists, but which are not widely understood or appreciated. One of the big important ones is compound growth. “Once you start thinking about growth, it’s hard to think about anything else.” – Robert Lucas, Nobel prize-winning economist Before launching into an explanation, I want to start with a question: “Would you rather be 1000 times richer today, or become 2% richer each day for a whole year?

Ads, Subscriptions, and the Missing Middle

Publishers need to make a living. Journalists, video producers, musicians, and bloggers all have to pay their bills. The two common ways of making money from online content are: Free content with ads Subscription content without ads Sometimes publishers use both, but with a reduced number of ads for subscribers, magazine-style. The trouble with subscriptions is that people can quickly feel saturated. Once you subscribe to WaPo, NYTimes, WSJ, you might want to read that LATimes article, but don’t want to sign up for yet another monthly subscription.