This probably isn't the best use of my time right now, but maybe there's a teaching moment here. In the face of the COVID19 pandemic, folks in the US (and apparently most developed nations) have gone on a toilet paper buying spree. One result besides the appearance of empty shelves, has been a lot nasty … Continue reading Toilet Paper in a Pandemic
All blog posts related to economics.
What’s the LMS Worth?
Herein, against my better judgement, I wade into the Great Instructure social media wars of 2019. ... The announcement triggered a great deal of, let's call it discussion, on social media, particularly Twitter. A lot of has gotten nasty and heated. On the surface, the discussion seems to be about questions regarding what Instructure (or Canvas, or the data Instructure has collected) is "worth". Specifically, is it worth the $2billion Thoma Bravo has valued it at and why would TB pay that? Underlying the valuation question though, is the real concern. Can we discern the plans and future for Canvas (and thereby schools, instructors, students, the higher ed system, pedagogy, etc) from this transaction? There's roughly two camps. ...
Scale and Scope
Note: A couple of friends have asked why I say "A commons doesn't scale, it scopes". This is a relatively quick note to explain some thinking on why. It's a topic I'm deep into researching now and developing my thinking as it applies to higher education as a commons, so with the caveat that I … Continue reading Scale and Scope
Response to Mike Caulfield Question
Mike Caulfield on Twitter asks a question today: https://twitter.com/holden/status/1071194090165886976 There's more to it. It's a whole thread. Rather than respond in what would inevitably be a long thread myself, I'll just post my reactions & poorly formed thoughts here. Disclaimer: I haven't read Simons in decade(s) and all economic "facts" I mention here are really … Continue reading Response to Mike Caulfield Question
An Economics of Polarization
This post is a response to yesterday's discussion in Davidson Now’s pop-up MOOC, “Engagement in a Time of Polarization”. The key provocation for the discussion was Chris Gilliard's great essay Power, Polarization, and Tech. The video of the hangout discussion is embedded at the end of this post for you. In his discussion of … Continue reading An Economics of Polarization
Innumeracy and Generosity – Don’t be deceived by big numbers
Just a quick note here. Lots of people today, especially the media, are making a big deal out of Jeff Bezos and his wife's donation of $33 million for a scholarship fund for DACA Dreamers. For example there's this CNN article. Lots of tweets. It's a nice gesture. It's definitely a worthy cause - although … Continue reading Innumeracy and Generosity – Don’t be deceived by big numbers
Big Food, Big Gov, Little People
Note: These are my notes from my presentation/discussion at the LCC Centre for Engaged Inclusion today and also for use in my Comparative Systems class. If embedded slides don't display, use this link to download or open in new tab: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1mBMlzdxBwCIqJ7hPlQ-P-Co59AyYJ55eol53Avj40JM/edit?usp=sharing
Micro, Macro, and the Minimum Wage
Economists disagree. It's so common that there are jokes about. For example, If all of the economists in the world were laid end-to-end they would scarcely reach a conclusion. and Economics is the only field in which two people can get a Nobel Prize for saying the opposite thing. Why? I can't explain all of … Continue reading Micro, Macro, and the Minimum Wage
There’s No “Skills Shortage”
There are plenty of reasons why higher education in the US needs to change. There are plenty of good reasons why community colleges in particular deserve greater investment. But the idea of a "skills shortage" is not one of them. It's a zombie idea that's wrong, wrong, wrong.
Healthcare Comes to America – The ACA Is Working
Last night was the cutoff for signing up for health insurance on the new Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") healthcare exchanges. Despite a very rocky start and despite an incredible blitz of lies and propaganda against it by opponents, the program has met its first year target. Charles Gaba at ACASignups tracks the numbers so we … Continue reading Healthcare Comes to America – The ACA Is Working