Tyler Cowen

Thoughtful economist from George Mason University, author, blogger, and podcast host.

See also:

  • Marginal Revolution, blog that Tyler runs and often publishes to which combines current events and economic thinking.
  • Conversations with Tyler, a podcast where Tyler interviews different academics, experts, and intellectuals about a wide range of topics.
  • Melissa Dell

    Economist and professor at Harvard, winner of the John Bates Clark Medal. Has researched and written about the significance of persistence in predicting economic outcomes and the interaction of government and economic development.

  • The Significance of Persistence in Predicting Economic Outcomes

    Melissa Dell’s research on the significance of persistence in predicting economic outcomes looked at Vietnam pre-colonization (by France) and after the Vietnam war. Histories of a strong state and centralized government ended up being a good predictor of success.

  • Wokeism Will Americanize the Global Progressive Class

    Wokeism is a cultural export. Nearly every country now has a woke movement that seeks to right a wrong, argues that people should be sensitive to it, and purge wrongdoers. While some (like the French) see wokeism as a means to spread American influence, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If the world ends up caring more about women’s rights and black lives that’s a good thing.

  • You Can Always Do More With More, Innovation Is More With Less

    In a conversation about innovation with Tyler Cowen, Peter Thiel made the point that we can always do more with more and conversely, less with less. Innovation is when we can do more with less. For example, finding more oil in the ground and extracting it is not innovation, producing more energy per barrel is.

  • The Internet Has American Values Encoded

    The internet as a system contains values such as freedom and privacy that are deeply embedded in the implementation and it’s evolution. For example, by default the system is open, anyone can share their work by publishing (hosting a website) and anyone can access everything.

  • Straussian Reading

    Refers to the Leo Strauss notion that serious writers communicate ideas through many layers of meaning and abstraction which simultaneously protects the author from the ruling regime and attracts the right readers. A ‘Straussian reading’ or interpretation is extracting the hidden subtext and stating it openly.

  • Fermi Paradox and Pessimism of Energy Economics

    A possible explanation to the Fermi Paradox can be found in energy economics. As a civilization progresses the cost of producing energy decreases which also reduces the cost of a world-ending event such as nuclear war. The pessimistic view is that civilizations eventually reach a point where they destroy themselves and therefore never make it to the point where they can achieve interplanetary communication or contact.

  • It Only Takes Two to Make an Auction

    When it comes to selling an asset, it’s helpful to remember that it only takes two people to make an auction. Auctions result in higher sales prices as it’s not just the value of the thing being purchased, but the dynamics of winning. In the sale of a company for example, it’s not just about buying the company but preventing the other party from getting it.

  • Humor over Rumor

    Combating misinformation and disinformation campaigns using humor. Taiwanese hacker and Digital Minister Audrey Tang talks about how, for example, hours after a post containing misinformation is detected, Audrey’s team will publish a joke that contains the real information in it. Since meme’s and jokes get shared very quickly, this helps to rapidly inoculate the public and dispel the negative effects from misinformation.