My Conversation with Michael Kremer

Self-recommending, here is the transcript, audio, and video.  Here is part of the summary: Michael joined Tyler to discuss the intellectual challenge of founding organizations, applying methods from behavioral economics to design better programs, how advanced market commitments could lower pharmaceutical costs for consumers while still incentivizing R&D, the ongoing cycle of experimentation every innovator […]

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My Conversation with Audrey Tang

For me one of the most fun episodes, here is the audio, video, and transcript.  And here is the longer than ever before summary, befitting the chat itself: Audrey Tang began reading classical works like the Shūjīng and Tao Te Ching at the age of 5 and learned the programming language Perl at the age […]

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Now is an interesting time to visit New York City

And yes, you can find a parking spot in most parts of Manhattan these days, another novelty. Did I mention that my hotel room cost less than a third of what I’ve normally paid? I visited the Museum of Modern Art, operating under stringent visitor restrictions and with its tourist clientele mostly gone. I had […]

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Jimmy Butler markets in everything

You’ve heard of Bubble Tea?  Well, this is Bubble Coffee: In a recent interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Butler said coffee was hard to find on the NBA’s Orlando campus. He and his French press are keeping his teammates caffeinated, one extremely overpriced cup at a time. “You can’t get coffee nowhere here,” [Jimmy] Butler […]

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Diminished choice in your neighborhood supermarket

Contactless shopping and the elimination of free samples. Less browsing and “product discovery” and more focus on the expediency of repurchasing. These are ways the novel coronavirus has changed how Americans buy groceries. The pandemic has altered what products people purchase, when and where, who is buying them, and how much time is devoted to the […]

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Forthcoming markets in everything, squirrel nut bar edition

“An Ohio man built a backyard squirrel bar with seven varieties of nuts on tap.”  And yes this will be monetized: Dutko’s favorite part of the bar is its quirky bathroom sign: “Nuts” and “No Nuts.” The project, which measures about 25 inches wide and 16 inches tall, took him eight hours to design and […]

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The polity that is San Francisco

If you were hoping to cure your cabin fever with a quick jaunt to San Francisco to eat a $200 dinner in a geodesic dome next to a homeless encampment, it looks like you’ve missed your chance. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that after a surprise inspection, the city’s health department has ordered Japanese fine dining […]

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The farmer-influencer and the economics of streaming

Though Mr. Gold sells poultry and eggs from his duck farm in Vermont’s northeast corner, most of what he produces as a farmer is, well, entertainment. Mr. Gold, who is short and stocky, with the good-natured ease of a standup comedian, does his chores while carrying a digital camera in one hand and murmuring into a microphone. […]

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The Great Psychometric test continues (U.K. fact of the day)

And the results ain’t always pretty: The number of high-risk drinkers nearly doubled in lockdown and was worst in groups of higher social class, a government report shows. Here is the (gated) Telegraph article.  Part of the mechanism of course may be that the “groups of higher social class” have not experienced the most severe […]

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What are fungi?

I don’t view this as a formal answer, but it is interesting nonetheless: Mycelium is how fungi feed.  Some organisms — such as plants that photosynthesize — make their own food.  Some organisms — like most animals — find food in the world and put it inside their bodies, where it is digested and absorbed.  […]

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