Transaction costs

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Noah seems to argue that taking property rights to extremes and privatizing everything is the libertarian dream, will increase efficiency, but will also introduce onerous monetary and psychological transaction costs and lead to a feeling of less freedom, rather than 

What do tigers dream of

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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/31/books/review/perplexities-of-consciousness-by-eric-schwitzgebel-book-review.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all He begins with the curious case of color in dreams. When people today are asked whether they regularly dream in color, most say they do. But it was not always so. Back in the 1950s most said they dreamed 

Econofail

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Modern economic practice appears to be doomed due to our artificially high discount rates on the future. Simply put, people that aren’t alive yet can’t participate in pricing at the present. This primarily effects depletion rates of things that take 

Causes of War

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This kind of stuff makes me think the next (last?) world war will surely be triggered by a tragedy of the commons scenario — most likely environmental, or possibly resource scarcity. People thought another “great war” was unthinkable after WW1, 

Econ question

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How does every grass farmer in Norway and Sweden afford two new BMWs?

Population, technology and growth

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I have been spending a fair amount of time thinking about the costs and benefits of population changes and Tyler Cowen’s examination into the effect of population on technology is an interesting one. I like his immediate focus on the 

Long term impact of technology

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Bookstaber is on point as usual in his post about the impact of technology on our lives. His conclusion is obvious to most technologists and futurists, I would bet, and its refreshing to see a policy maker having this in 

Self

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I definitely agree with Justin on sense of self. There is no real self. We think and act as a function of our past experiences and current real-time stimulus. We are constantly in a state of change, and present a 

Habits Pt. 2

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The only thing better than conditioning a response using a reward is to randomize the delivery of the reward. Anyone who has played an RPG or a slot machine can confirm this. Monkey studies show dopamine spike is maximized when 

Beware experts in everything

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Laziness accounts for most of the reason why I don’t read many books, especially not old non-fiction ones by famous smart people. A lot of really intelligent people have really wrong beliefs (Nobelists promote homeopathy, Newton was first and foremost an Alchemist). 

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