Assorted links

by on April 5, 2014 at 12:45 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. What is the marginal rate of substitution between dogs and sloths?

2. A robot doctor for space travel?

3. Why higher education will have to change (by the way GMU does quite well by this ROI metric).  And universities and retirement communities: are those the real economies of scope?

4. The anternet.

5. Are the makers of 3-D printers getting a reality check?

Sam April 5, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I am accepted to a GMU Masters of Economics program for the fall, but I am a Canadian student and may end up having to pay the ~$30,000/yr tuition out of pocket. How does will my ROI stack up if that ends up being the case? Obviously, GMU would have a much better ROI if I could get the instate tuition.

prior_approval April 5, 2014 at 11:57 pm

Just make the right connections – people like Manne and Fink are probably out of your orbit, but there is a fair amount of money floating around the GMU econ nexus for people who know what is expected in terms of outlook and performance.

Experience as a scab is likely a plus, too.

ummm April 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm

3. buyer beware . don’t blame the colleges or employers.

5. plan to buy covered puts 3d printing company on Monday along with others

Abe Froman April 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm

5. I was going to buy a 3D printer… But I decided to wait till one of my friends got one and then have him print me a 3D printer

Marie April 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm

+1

AndrewL April 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm

then what you’re looking for is a reprap: http://reprap.org/wiki/RepRap

So Much For Subtlety April 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm

1. That was rather sweet. It is nice to see someone finding a niche that suits them and doing some good.

2. A robot doctor for space travel? Come on people, haven’t you seen 2001 A Space Odyssey? Who wants to go for a check up and be greeted by HAL?

3. The problem with a lot of commentary these days is that it is written by borderline Aspergers. I guess it is a result of really smart people ending up at the top of the cognitive tree. Which is fine. But the reasons why someone with Aspergers goes to college may not be the reason why someone else does. Actually getting a degree in engineering may be a smart thing to do. But so is doing a lesser degree so that you can meet the right people and marry them. Or at least do business with them later. Remember that for every Mark Zuckerberg there is also a Priscilla Chan.

It is unlikely that any of the value of a liberal arts degree, even at a good university like Berkeley, has anything to do with anything taught in the class room.

(Although, obviously, none of this applies to Women’s Studies degrees at Duke which seem a bad investment from every angle.)

4. The anternet simply suggests these people don’t know what the real thing does. It is such a dumbed down version of how the internet works, it is hard to take seriously. If there is a lot of food, they send out more ants? You don’t say.

Marie April 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm

I think what the deal is about the ants is how they let the ants back home *know* that there’s more food. Without a language, how is that info communicated? It’s kind of bee dance stuff, I knew they did the little wiggle but I had no idea they communicate direction and distance to food, not just presence.

I guess I’d have been better without the internet comparison, feels a little strained and funny, in a “hey, look at that animal over there on the sidewalk, it looks just like the dog I saw a film of on TV the other day” way. But the dumbing down was lost on me, being, well, kind of dumb about that stuff!

Adrian Ratnapala April 5, 2014 at 5:33 pm

#3. Who is Priscilla Chan?

#2. But, I quite like HAL.

So Much for Subtlety April 5, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Marie, ants come back with lots of food. Surely other ants don’t have to be very bright to realize that they should go look too?

AR – I think for full SWPL Brownie Points you should have said “Who is Mark Zuckerberg?”

I like HAL too. But I don’t want the last words I hear before I go under to be “I can’t let you do that Dave”

Marie April 5, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Dogs wouldn’t, though, would they? If one of my dogs grabs a scrap and runs into the room the other dog is in, dog #2 doesn’t go to the room dog #`1 came from.

It’s interesting to me, I’ll own to being easily impressed.

Although this paragraph pretty well contradicts itself, so I guess the point was lamer than I thought.

“A forager won’t return to the nest until it finds food. If seeds are plentiful, foragers return faster, and more ants leave the nest to forage. If, however, ants begin returning empty handed, the search is slowed, and perhaps called off.”

dearieme April 5, 2014 at 4:51 pm

My sloth has fleas.

Claude Emer April 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm

#3. How in the world did we get conned into believing it makes sense to spend $60,000 on a college education? How does Canada educate their people? How does Europe do it? How can tuition rise up to 5X the rate of inflation and no one bats an eye? How?
And if only said education was even worth anything. We even criminally high grade inflation, we consitently score poorly on critical thinking against our OECD peers. How did we get here? How do we get out?

Marie April 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm

I think if you have an education system that creates Americans with poor critical thinking skills, that makes it more possible to charge $60,000 (to $200,000) for a college education, eh?

A great mom I knew once berated her grown son, he had a full ride scholarship to a small local college but she wanted him to go to a prestigious private university. She couldn’t help him at all financially, so he’d have come out in debt for the whole pricey thing. But she was convinced he was throwing away his future, really being short-sighted, by accepting a degree from a nothing college instead of fancy U.

John Smith April 6, 2014 at 7:12 am

He might be. Depends on the relative merits of the two. If you were talking about MIT or Harvard being the other college, I would say he chose wrong.

Marie April 6, 2014 at 9:20 am

Yes, but it was Regis. And I think he chose Regis. I don’t know if I should have used “prestigious”, but it definitely was fancier than the small state alternative.

Although I see the tuition is not as high as I thought, it’s only about $15 a year. Still, that could be leaving with $100 in debt and a BA.

If my kid gets into Harvard she’ll be going for free, so phwew I don’t have to worry about that choice! ;)

Marie April 6, 2014 at 9:31 am
Brian Donohue April 6, 2014 at 10:30 am

I gotta tell you Chuck, at flagship U. In the Midwest, plenty of Asians are more than happy to pay out of state full boat tuition. I’m sure it’s just status-signaling or some such.

Brian Donohue April 6, 2014 at 10:30 am

I mean Claude…

My apologies.

Marie April 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Sloths are the greatest animals that have ever existed.

Hoover April 5, 2014 at 6:01 pm

#4 is the anternet, and the internet, a model for the economy?

So Much for Subtlety April 5, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Sure. Except when people go out and get a job, they don’t bring back kernels of grain. They bring back BMWs. Younger ants^H^H I mean students, observe and become stock market traders too.

Ronald Brak April 6, 2014 at 4:54 am

2. If you have a robot that’s capable of operating on people, why do you need people on your spacecraft for it to operate on? With robots that capable around obviously humans are kind of superfluous. It seems to me far simpler to just eliminate the weakest link. Preferably before HAL decides to do it on its own accord.

Ronald Brak April 6, 2014 at 6:13 am

5. I didn’t know there were 3D printer stocks, so I guess I am getting a reality check that things have advanced futher than I thought.

Prokhor Zakharov April 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Answer to #1: On the Coinano exchange, 1 Dogecoin is worth 88 Slothcoin. Which is quite close to the rate of substitution in the story.

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