Category: Economics

  • Pretty Mapping of Australia using R

    I’ve recently been experimenting with Data Visualisation in R. As part of that I’ve put together a little bit of (probably error ridden and redundant) code to help mapping of Australia. First, my code is built on a foundation from [Luke’s guide to building maps of Australia in R](, and [this guide to making pretty […]

  • The exchange rate according to today’s Apple announcements

    [Apple]( announced some shiny new things today. Given that the Australian dollar is around 92 cents, we’d hope for a good exchange rate. What has Apple actually done? * iMac 22-inch: US $1,199, AUS $1,599 * iMac 27-inch: US $1,699, AUS $2,199 * Mac Mini Base: US $549, AUS $849 * MacBook: US $999, AUS […]

  • Hands up if you can see the problem

    [Net Neutrality]( is one of the biggest hot button issues among the nerd illuminati of the Internet right now. The simple question is whether all internet bits are equal, or should ISPs be allowed to privilege some bits (from their customers or people who pay them) over others. There are some side issues here, but […]

  • Why isn’t the computer game business more like films?

    Just last week [Electronic Arts offered $US 2 billion to purchase another publisher, Take-Two]( This is part of a continuing trend in the computer video game business, with the really big publishers consolidating. In some sense, this is a lot like the film business – the big studios make up a very substantial proportion of […]

  • Incentives

    [Valleywag](, [before per-view incentives were provided to staff]( * [24-Hour Diners of San Francisco]( * [Wozniak donates car to charity]( * [Your online friends aren’t real]( [Valleywag], after (links are *not* safe for work…): * [How do I get a Stanford girl to *** me]( * [Viagra ruined everything for Valley’s mistresses]( * [Become her […]

  • Rational economics

    I was listening this morning to a [recent episode]( of the great podcast [Skepticality](, and I was very struck by a question host Swoopy asked of interview-ee Michael Shermer, talking about his [new book]( on economics and psychology: > What do we do […] to make better rational choices and fewer emotional ones. Dr Shermer […]

  • Have you looked behind the couch?

    A particularly annoying species of headline writer has been out and about lately. That’s the one who likes to write headlines like: > Stock market loses $10 billion. Grrr! It’s silly, lazy journalism. The economy hasn’t ‘lost’ any money. Any losses are either purely theoretical (gains that were never realised), or are offset by the […]

  • Why can’t we all just get along.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the TV and film writers in the US are [on strike](–08_Writers_Guild_of_America_strike). It’s been about 9 weeks now since they went on strike in November. The economics side of this is the question of ‘why’? The standard theory suggests that you should never see strikes, because the simple threat of one […]

  • The scariest thing in economics

    You know what phrase is most likely to scare an economist? “I’m an engineer, and have some thoughts about economics”. Something in the training of engineers seems to make them think that they can apply their knowledge to a completely different field. A prime example from [the National Review talking about the falling dollar]( After […]

  • To Index or not to Index

    As the new financial year rolls around, I’m giving some thought as to how invest my money. I’ve got a mortgage, which means that my investment portfolio (such as it is) is pretty heavily weighted towards property. So I’d ideally like to put some money into the stock market. As I see it, I’ve got […]