2019-09

Why Economics Must Go Digital

Summary

  • Mainstream economics has largely failed to keep up with the rapid pace of digital transformation, and it is struggling to find practical ways to address the growing power of dominant tech companies. If economists want to remain relevant, they must rethink of their discipline's basic assumptions.

  • Digital markets often become highly concentrated, with one dominant firm, because larger players enjoy significant returns to scale.

  • Data generation plays a self-reinforing role: more data improves the service, which generates more data.

Sweden: Europe's Historic, Current, And Future Innovation Hub

Summary

  • Over the last decade, Sweden has established itself as an innovation center, becoming well known across traditional tech circles as a hub of entrepreneurial activity.

  • There are several objective reasons why Sweden fosters successful entrepreneurship: strong technical training in universities, school systems that encourage independent thinking and creativity, and substantial investments in infrastructure like super-fast broadband.

  • In addition to those catalysts, we've noticed a unique set of circumstances in Sweden that affect the way Swedish entrepreneurs view the world and seize opportunities.

    • Social safety nets that exist in Sweden don't just benefit the poor, they also empower anyone who wants to take risks and build a business from the ground up.

    • Sweden is a small country with a population of only 10.2 million. Bacause the home market is not sizable, ambitious entrepreneurs who create companies in Sweden are forced to think globally from the onset.

    • Because of Sweden's small population, the country is often overlooked, and underserved, by large outside companies.

Banking Services: Tech's Raid On The Banks

Summary

  • Over the past two decades people across the world have seen digital services transform the economy and their lives. Digital disruption is coming to banking at last.

  • The implications are profound because banks are not ordinary firms.

  • Several new business models are emerging.

    • In Asia payment apps are bundled with e-commerce, chat and ride-hailing services.

    • In America and Europe big banks are still more or less in control and are rushing to offer digital products.

  • Yet change also poses risks. Because the finacial system is embedded in the economy, innovation tends to create turbulence.

    • The credit card's arrival in 1950 revolutionised shopping but alsp sparked America's consumer-debt culture.

    • Securitisation lubricated capital markets in the 1980s but fuelled the subprime crisis.

  • To tap the benefits of technology safely, governments should give consumers control over their data, protecting privacy and preventing firms hoarding information.

Words

  • lender-of-last-resort: 最后贷款人

    • If new entrants are properly capitalised, central banks could extend to them the lender-of-last-resort facilities that provide shelter in a storm.

Backgroud

  • Grab, is a Singaporean ridesharing company. In addition to transportation, the company offers food delivery and digital payments services via mobile app.

Antibiotic Resistance Is Not New - It Existed Long Before People Used Drugs To Kill Bacteria

Summary

  • Yet, contrary to popular belief, antibiotic resistance did not evolve recently, or in response to our use and misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals. Antibiotics resistance first evolved millions of years age, and in the most mundane of places.

  • Most antibiotics are naturally produced by bacteria living in soil. They produce these deadly chemical compounds to fend off competing species.

  • Any mutant capable of tolerating a minimal quantity of the antibiotic will have a survival advantage and will be selected for -- over generations this will produce organisms that are highly resistant.

  • If resistance is already out there, drug development can offer only temporary relief. The challenge then is not to quell resistance, but to avoid its spread. Not feeding wonder drugs to pigs would do nicely, for starters.

Words

  • odds: possibility, chance

    • Imagine a world where your odd's of surviving minor surgery were one to three.

Calling Bullshit: The College Class On How Not To Be Duped By The News

Summary

  • There has been considerable debate over what exactly qualifies as bullshit.

  • The reason for the class's existence comes down to a simple and somewhat alarming reality: even the most educated and savvy consumer of information is easily misled in today's complex information ecosystem.

Backgroud

  • National Enquirer - The National Enquirer is an American tabloid newspaper published by American Media, Inc..