MRU and the Coronavirus

Many universities are moving rapidly to teach online. Tyler and I and the entire team at MRU want to do everything we can to help make the process as successful as possible not just to improve education but to help to reduce the threat from COVID-19.

First, we have created a Resources Page on Teaching Online at that page you can also find a Facebook Community Page where educators are providing lots of tips and resources not just on videos but on how to use Zoom and other tools. Here, for example, is an excellent twitter thread on teaching online from Luke Stein that covers hardware, software, and techniques.

Second, If you are using Modern Principles, our textbook, and want to move online, Macmillan will do that for you for free, very rapidly, and including online tests, homework etc. If you want to move online from a different book, send Tyler or myself an email and we can discuss the best ways to do that.

Third, MRU has hundreds of videos which are free for anyone to use. Most notably our courses on Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics but a lot more as well. You can search for MRU videos here. Here is a “greatest hits” list.

MRU is, of course, not the only source of excellent teaching material. Here are some others:

One place to begin might be to explain to your students the mathematics of why universities and schools are closing despite relatively few deaths to date in the United States. As always, this 3Blue1Brown video is excellent.

Addendum: See also Tyler’s important announcement on EV Prizes.


Excellent work, guys. 👍👍

Team Cowen/Tabarokk

-- Creating online courses since 1987, before anyone knew what online was.


The video spent the 1st 5 minutes talking about exponentials and only then brought up the logistics curve. That is clear fear mongering. Further, it brushed past past K ("the population"), that is complete fear mongering.

Your textbook is used in a number of colleges and you should be commended for your video supplements and enhancements for texts.

Missing from the list above, however, is and both of which have econ courses from many colleges. Also MITx has a number of online courses, and, MITx also publishes professor course notes.

Haven't you noticed how leery some are of competition?

Claudia Sahm used to be a commenter here, and here recent writing concerning the economic impact of corona virus is quite good. And unmentioned here.

This is more than a week old -

This is from March 11, with a greater sense of urgency -

After a week of scaremongering, it's now time to promote your zero-efficacy online courses.


60 Trillion of lost wealth in a week. $100k per person. Really necessary pain!

Our school left a phone message that any students who need a laptop to work from home should pick one up today. I think the strong implication is that school closed Monday. The local private schools all closed already. That might be a bit of private sector responsiveness.

I feel like we're pretty much in lockdown in California. Good wishes to anyone feeling ill, or facing economic hardship as a result.

Many use exponential to mean "a lot" regardless of whether the data follow an exponential function.

Much like newswriters like to call everything "massive," and guys try to sound macho by overusing "sh*t-ton"

... a big move to online-education may be a silver lining in this coronavirus panic.

gonna take a major social upheavel to finally eliminate the silly, ineffiicient, medieval classroom/lecture education model that still totally dominates our formal education system

Wouldn't it be wild to reimagine a high school where you don't have to show up, as long as you stay ahead on assignments.

...And you could purchase the answers on the internet and not worry about that pop quiz or being called on in class

There would have to be some safeguards, but I think I would have loved it.

(Presumably there is a rich literature on such safeguards.)

My son is in college (like many colleges, they just switched to online) - he said there's software called Proctorio that actually tracks your eyeballs (and maybe hands?) and flags suspicious behavior. There's a video that you can appeal to. He just took a quiz with it, and he said it's a little unsettling...

I'm for damn sure not using any app that watches what my hands are up to

Does anyone know of any good video courses for children - age 3rd grade or so?

Depends on what you are interested in, but Khan Academy can be quite good.

I didn't realize that Khan Academy went to those grades. Thanks!

Can someone please show the president this video. That was one of the better put together math lesson I have ever seen. Well done. Thanks for posting and for MRU.

Fundamental Principle of Passing Selection Tests: Processing complex relationship information with sufficient Reach Speed Accuracy Power & Creativity.
Think of your immune system. If it doesn’t process novel pathogen relationship information with sufficient Reach Speed Accuracy Power and Creativity, you’re dead — you fail your selection test.

World's Dominant Information Processing Mechanism or App: Humans Deploying Monetary Code.

App lacks sufficient Reach Speed Accuracy Power & Creativity.

Economists don't understand code, including monetary code, in a physics, evolution & complexity context.
"The story of human intelligence starts with a universe that's capable of encoding information." Ray Kurzweil — How To Create A Mind
“The rule of thumb is that the complexity of the organism has to match the complexity of the environment at all scales in order to increase the likelihood of survival.” Yaneer Bar-Yam — Making Things Work
Code & Complexity — A Fundamental Consequence
Complexity increases weaken the efficacy of code, whether the code is genetic—language—moral—religious—legal—monetary—software, etc.

Monetary Code — Dominant App Fail
As the dominant, short-term drivers of evolution on Earth, humans have been creating vast global relationship structures — essentially doing multi-scale selection in-&-across Geo Eco Bio Cultural & Tech networks for centuries — with the world's dominant information processing mechanism or app — humans deploying monetary code.
Humans using monetary code for encoding the computation and weighting of complex relationship-value information has always been a heuristic.
It worked.
Now, it doesn’t.

Exponentially accelerating complexity has crushed the information-processing efficacy of humans using monetary code — doesn’t even work as a heuristic.

Exhibits A & B: Sky & Ocean being armed with weapons of mass extinction.

1970: "The oceans are in danger of dying." Jacques Cousteau
2020: They're dying.

Economists: Lethally Wrong for Decades.
I will do a written debate with nearly any GMU economist.

President of our local uni - 50,000 plus - announced its first case. None other than his wife. It's almost like they're trolling us.

By what extraordinary fluke was his wife one of the Exalted Ones who gets tested?

I am choosing to look at it as a positive indicator (not that she's ill, of course, but you know what I mean).

How does the growth projection change if 1% die, 70% become immune after two or three weeks of infection, and 20% (Schools, etc) minimize contacts.

I assume the goal is to prevent a tsunami of cases that overwhelms the health care system. So what is the projection of health care worker infections with the same assumptions? And what is required to keep the system from being swamped?

The assumption is that deaths are maximized when the system is submerged.

Hello this is Leo Harry. Physical education is the education that helps us to grow physically fit for work.It is very important.We receive education for the development of body,mind and soul together.

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