Tagged: regulation

The autonomous state - Ariadne

Robert Hickson May 01, 2017

The biggest fear of artificial intelligence is usually it getting smart enough to get rid of humans. But what if one of the biggest threats is regulating us to death, or at least to subservience? “Efficiency and effectiveness” is a common refrain from those advocating the use of artificial intelligence in government. There is certainly plenty of … Read More

Uber ignorant - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Nov 25, 2016

Parliament’s transport select committee is considering how to modernise transport regulations… A lot of people who should have failed intermediate microeconomics like to make the following argument. The theory of perfect competition has perfect information as an underlying assumption Nobody has perfect information Therefore, government must regulate to protect people from bad choices because market failure. It’s wrong on a … Read More

AI, why? - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Oct 14, 2016

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere these days, especially in opinion pieces and reports to or from governments. It’s almost like you need IBM Watson Analytics to keep up with it all. Here’s a sampling from the last week or so. Venture Capitalist Marc Andreessen notes that it’s a new architecture not just a new feature. Andrew Ng, chief … Read More

Pharmacy only access for e-cigarette nicotine - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Sep 09, 2016

The folks over at the public health blog argue that access to nicotine for vaping should only be through pharmacies, or maybe through some licensed registered shops. One thing is obviously missing from their tallying of the relative costs and benefits of pharmacy-only access. I’ll copy their table below. A brief summary table Attribute/issue Pharmacies Vape stores Product array … Read More

Food, culture, regulation - The Dismal Science

Michael Reddell Apr 29, 2016

The Herald reports that new Auckland university research shows –  shock, horror – that: “Sixty-nine per cent of urban schools have a convenience store within 800m and sixty-two per cent have a fast-food or takeaway shop in that distance” I was surprised the number was that low, but then in Wellington one finds small schools in all sorts of odd … Read More

29th is not good enough – neither is 27th - The Dismal Science

Donal Curtin Aug 07, 2015

I'd no sooner posted a piece on our relatively poor infrastructure than I discovered that Ireland's National Competitiveness Council had come out with its latest annual assessment (pdf) of Ireland's competitiveness.It picked up on exactly the same point: as it happens, Ireland scores almost exactly the same as us (a global 27th for them, a global 29th for us) … Read More

LVRs and the Very Serious People - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Jul 23, 2015

The Very Serious People understand the political constraints under which policy operates. They often overestimate the bindingness of those constraints, but the rest of us underestimate them. Here's Tyler:I think of it this way: the People are Very Serious if they realize that common sense morality must, to a considerable extent, rule politics. At least if voters are … Read More