Browser Daily Newsletter 1222


Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Ricardo Hausmann | Project Syndicate | 29th January 2014

The case for a more pragmatic approach to development economics. "Take massive amounts of data and ask what is likely to succeed next in a country or a city at a given point in time, given what is already present and in light of the experience there and everywhere else. It would be like Amazon’s recommendation system, proposing books you may like based on your and everybody else’s experience"

Growth And Reform In China

Michael Pettis | China Financial Markets | 29th January 2014

GDP growth will slow, but productivity will improve. How so? Because China's new government is ready to tackle the bad debts piled up on bank balance sheets by unproductive investment which overstated growth in the past. While these debts are being "implicitly" written off, GDP will be depressed; but the outcome should be more efficient allocation of capital and more sustainable growth

The Goldilocks Price

Atlantic | Derek Thompson | 27th January 2014

Netflix introduces a three-tier pricing struct. Not because it really has three levels of service to sell, but because that's the easiest way to charge more. "Look for Netflix to introduce a pricing scheme that offers three options: (a) a cheapo discount with inferior access; (b) a 'premium' product that costs more than the current $7.99; and (c) a 'super-premium product' whose higher price will make the premium product seem tolerable"

What If Preferences Are Unstable?

Noah Smith | Noahpinion | 29th January 2014

Bad news for rational choice theory. New experiments show that "choices can be re-framed to obtain the dreaded negative time preferences, where people care more about the future than the present. Negative time preferences would cause most of our economic models to explode, and if these preferences can be created with simple re-framing, then it bodes ill for the entire project of trying to model individuals' choices over time"

How To Start An Anonymous Blog

Untraceable | 26th January 2014

You will need a USB Drive, Tails OS, Tor Network, Bitcoins bought for cash, outlook.com email, and a GitHub Page. "Of course, the rabbit hole can go much deeper than this. I could have hosted this blog on a VPS that I rented with Bitcoins, and set up the server as a Tor hidden service. I could have also done all my activities from a coffee shop, just in case Tor was compromised, but I couldn’t be fked"

Video of the day:  Sapeurs

Thought for the day:

"Those pages that say 'This page intentionally left blank' are, thereby, not, in fact, left blank" — Mark Liberman

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