Tag Archives: Economics

My Story at The New Yorker: Unseen Hands and The Prices of Things

For The New Yorker‘s business blog, I interview Kate Kelly, a reporter for CNBC, and author of the new book “The Secret Club That Rules the World.”

Why is it important that the public pay more attention to the commodities markets?

The contract market in commodities is analogous to the stock market for public corporations, essentially this unseen hand playing a role in setting the price for actual commodities: corn, copper, oil, gasoline, wheat, and so on. I think the connections between the trading community and the actual cash prices are not fully understood, and I think it’s something we all need to be concerned and upset about.

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LinkedIn’s New Network for Teens Is a Wasted Opportunity

My essay at The New Republic

As scholars of education Sandy Baum and Michael McPherson have argued, the kind of behavior LinkedIn asks students to engage in—demonstrating their employability and admissions worthiness in contrast to their peers—exacerbates the inequality faced by students in low income households. The admissions process clearly favors students with the most polished, presentable resumes. LinkedIn mimics the admissions logic compelling students to look good on paper—the same logic that often confuses privilege with accomplishment and rewards achievements that only financial privilege can bring.

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Facebook’s New News Feed

In the world according to Facebook we are bits expressing ostentatious enthusiasm or we do not exist. So argues Rob Horning at The New Inquiry.

Facebook is like a television that monitors to see how much you are laughing and changes the channel if it decides you aren’t laughing hard enough. It hopes to engrain in users the idea that if your response to something isn’t recordable, it doesn’t exist, because for Facebook, that is true. Your pleasure is its product, what it wants to sell to marketers, so if you don’t evince it, you are a worthless user wasting Facebook’s server space. In the world according to Facebook, emotional interiority doesn’t exist. Introspection doesn’t exist, and neither does ambivalence. There is only ostentatious enthusiasm or null dormancy.

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