“For most of the past two centuries, economic thinking has been dominated by the concept of Homo economicus. The hypothetical Economic Man knows what he wants; his preferences can be expressed mathematically in terms of a ‘utility function.’ And his choices are driven by rational calculations about how to maximize that function: whether consumers are deciding between corn flakes or shredded wheat, or investors are deciding between stocks and bonds, those decisions are assumed to be based on comparisons of the ‘marginal utility’, or the added benefit the buyer would get from acquiring a small amount of the alternatives available.” – Paul Krugman on the rational-agent model
With recent technological innovation opening doorways to new methods of social interaction, the world’s ocean is radically becoming larger and larger. And I do not use ‘ocean’ in the literal sense, but rather metaphorically, to classify the pool of potential mates for any particular individual. Access to a larger pool of candidates comes with it a greater difficulty and added pressure on finding “the one”.
On Thursday the 19th of September the University of Melbourne hosted the inaugural John Freebairn lecture titled ‘Governing the ungovernable: the market, technology and you’, presented by Professor Stephen King from Monash University. I had the opportunity to attend what was an insightful lecture about how the growing complexity, pace of change and use of technology has brought about a conundrum for market regulators. Stephen King’s speech was broken up into three parts: how regulation has adapted in the context of new technology, how some of the old rules will need remaking as technology has changed many business models, and finally regulating big data and the information revolution. This article will provide a recap of the lecture for those who could not attend the event.
In his recent piece in The Conversation, Mike Pottenger discusses the complexities of organised crime in Australia, and contends that such “organised” criminal activity is being driven by the market.
From the earliest forms of technology such as spears and knives which led to more efficient hunting, to the advent of manufacturing during the industrial revolution, followed by various inventions such as light bulbs, computers and even cars over the 20th century, technological progress has vastly contributed to the development of our economies and subsequently our material and non-material living standards. Fast forward to today, we continue to see improvements in existing technology, from the latest computers to new inventions previously not even dreamed of, like solar panels and online shopping. In short technology is the result of expanding innovative ideas that build on existing ideas. We see this in cars, which were modelled off of steam engine mechanics, which themselves were built from pre-existing technologies (from basic metals to even the wheel). Given the increasing speed at which technology is progressing, one of the major concerns people have is how technological progress will impact jobs in the future.
Hailed by ‘The Economist’ as catalyst of ‘the third industrial revolution’, 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, looks set to have a significant impact on manufacturing in the near future. What exactly is this technology, touted as the ‘next revolution in manufacturing’?