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December 4, 2022

Regan Boychuk Author’s note: At the end of the First Cold War, Canada tried to make the polluter pay. This resulted in the United States launching an unknown, but successful coup in Alberta over the …

December 2, 2022

Regan Boychuk Author’s note: At the end of the First Cold War, Canada tried to make the polluter pay. This resulted in the United States launching an unknown, but successful coup in Alberta over the …

November 24, 2022

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow Neoclassical economics is a hell of a drug. It has no theory of prices, no account of inflation, and its models all presume the existence of a perfectly rational …

October 24, 2022

Originally published at Fresh Economic Thinking Cameron Murray Do you believe this headline? I don’t. The many problems with measuring a country’s wealth are on full display in this Credit Suisse report. But let’s start …

October 21, 2022

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon Rotten Tomatoes (RT) found a way to get every last drop from the well of convenience. Film criticism is already pressured, tacitly by convention, or explicitly by …

October 3, 2022

Chris Mouré Note: this is the manuscript version of an article now featured in The Mint Magazine. Few will argue with the claim that shortages are socially harmful. Shortages, by definition, imply a lack of …

September 19, 2022

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Ryan Kyger1 and Blair Fix Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds. — attributed to Richard Feynman2 Most scientists don’t …

September 9, 2022

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow The starting gun on Big Tech trustbusting was fired in 2017, when Lina Khan, then a law student (now an FTC trustbuster!) published “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” a law-review article …

September 6, 2022

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like …

September 1, 2022

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon Like other streaming services, Netflix does not make its user data public. To date, there are two exceptions to this privacy. Netflix released a large dataset of …

July 21, 2022

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix Today I’m trying a different type of post — one that’s not a deep dive, but instead, a rapid-fire summary of an important topic. My …

July 15, 2022

Tim Di Muzio Any student of capitalism knows it is a distinct economic system prone to periodic crises. These crises come in many forms and are typically studied after the fact, as the work of …

July 13, 2022

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow Two quotes to ponder as you read “Purdue’s Poison Pill,” Adam Levitin’s forthcoming Texas Law Review paper: “Some will rob you with a six-gun, And some with a fountain …

June 16, 2022

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix There’s something mysterious about finance. The symbols are arcane. The math is complex. The practitioners are impressively educated. And the stakes are high. All of …

June 7, 2022

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow I was 12 years into my Locus Magazine column when I published the piece I’m most proud of, “IP,” from September 2020. It came after an epiphany, one that …

May 13, 2022

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix They say that Americans love two things: freedom … and guns. The trouble with guns is obvious. The trouble with freedom is more subtle, and …

May 10, 2022

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon On the question of who judges the quality of a film, it is easy to start with a notion that the ultimate judge of a film’s quality …

May 4, 2022

Blair Fix The Review of Capital as Power is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Capital as Power Essay Prize: First Prize: ‘Costly Efficiencies: Healthcare Spending, COVID-19, and the Public/Private Healthcare Debate’, by …

April 29, 2022

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow Two of the most astute IP scholars I know also happen to be two of the best legal writers I know, and also happen to work at one of …

April 5, 2022

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains. — Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762 In his epic 18th-century treatise Discourse on Inequality, Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued …

April 1, 2022

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow In my 2017 novel WALKAWAY, there’s a scene where the protagonists get into a self-driving car owned by a ruthless plutocrat, only to discover that it moves faster than …

March 30, 2022

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix A few months ago, I went down a rabbit hole analyzing word frequency in economics textbooks. Henry Leveson-Gower, editor of The Mint Magazine, thought the …

March 22, 2022

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow The quest to bring antitrust law to bear against tech companies is finally paying off, but it’s been a long, hard slog. At the vanguard have been two legal …

March 10, 2022

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix Today a rant about textbooks. Every year governments spend billions of dollars on public education, teaching students knowledge that was itself created by publicly funded …

March 9, 2022

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon We ended the last post with a scenario of someone dreaming of their film going all the way to the Academy Awards. But I also waved away …

March 3, 2022

Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler Originally published on Twitter During the twilight of feudalism, wars, whose cost soared in tandem with their material scope and unit price, were the most financially demanding expenses. Changing military …

March 2, 2022

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis In a new working paper I outline how slavery contributed to the development of the United States before the Civil War. The paper is called ‘King Cotton, the Munificent’ …

February 28, 2022

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow If you visit Amazon’s Prime Video homepage, you’ll see that the title of that page is “Rent or Buy: Prime Video.” There’s a plain-language meaning of “buy” that most …

February 24, 2022

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix Let’s talk econophysics. If you’re not familiar, ‘econophysics’ is an attempt to understand economic phenomena (like the distribution of income) using the tools of statistical …

February 23, 2022

Originally published at sbhager.com Sandy Brian Hager Joseph Baines and I have a new briefing with Common Wealth examining the financial performance of UK oil and gas producers and energy suppliers. Some of the key …

February 18, 2022

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis The dominant view among economic historians is that American slavery was an unnecessary evil: nothing good came of it for the development of the United States after independence. Even …

February 16, 2022

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow Don’t let the sweater-vests and the (dilettantish) “education reform” work fool you: Bill Gates made his fortune through sheer robber-baronry, presiding over a vicious monopolist that shattered the law …

February 15, 2022

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix Pity the billionaires. High in the towers on Billionaires’ Row, life is hard. The pencil-thin buildings groan as they sway in the wind, keeping penthouse …

February 14, 2022

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon Sitting through the Academy Awards ceremony can be frustrating if you watch a lot of films. The breadth of your viewings has given you the perspective to …

February 9, 2022

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis Unless you are Mexican, it is easy to forget that California was not always in the United States, having been a part of Mexico until the Mexican-American War of …

February 7, 2022

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow Our societal narratives are invisible by dint of their ubiquity, but they are far more important in stabilizing the status quo that all the cops and jails and domestic …

February 4, 2022

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix If there was an award for the most pernicious scientific idea ever, what theory should get first prize? I would vote for eugenics, a theory …

February 2, 2022

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis One of my favourite graphs in recent writing on economic history might seem obscure. Reproduced below, it is found on page 28 of the working paper underlying the latest …

January 28, 2022

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power is David Dayen’s new book about the concentration of industry in America and around the world; one interesting implication of monopolies …

January 22, 2022

Originally published at dtcochrane.com DT Cochrane Commissioned and originally published by The Blackwood Art Gallery at the University of Toronto Mississauga. As I write this, disability justice advocates are rallying in opposition to Bill C-7, …

January 19, 2022

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix It was a bet heard around the world. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. It was a bet heard mostly by academics and sustainability buffs. But still, …

January 15, 2022

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis Following the Second World War, there was a worldwide dollar shortage due to the United States’ high level of self-sufficiency as an agro-industrial behemoth. Governments therefore imposed quantitative controls …

January 10, 2022

Originally published at ownlynch.org Owen Lynch Part A: Overview 1. A Need for Better Theory If you are a well-educated person in the 21st century, you probably have conflicted views. On the one hand, the …

January 7, 2022

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow In his 2019 book Dignity, Chris Arnade left his Wall Street job and traveled America, talking to poor, marginalized people, mostly at McDonald’s restaurants. Now, in a new essay …

December 16, 2021

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon A survey of academic writing on the business of culture will show that authors seldomly restrain themselves from making predictions or giving recommendations to the hypothetical economic …

December 13, 2021

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix Do you remember peak oil? It was all the rage a decade ago. Now, almost no one is talking about it. The funny thing is, …

December 8, 2021

Originally published at joefrancis.info Joe Francis Giovanni Federico and Antonio Tena-Junguito (2016) have produced a data set of world trade that includes exports and imports, in both current and constant prices, going back to the …

December 6, 2021

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow A YouGov poll found 80% of Britons “would prefer the government to prioritise health and wellbeing over economic growth during the crisis, and 6 in 10 would still want …