Friday, 12 October 2012

Friday afternoon reading

I'm stuck at the office on a Friday afternoon, trapped by a light hail storm and thought to do a quick round-up of links for the week.

In the geographical economics vein The Economist's Free Exchange blog has a nice post on how cities matter for growth. It also quotes research about the importance of research even for academic work: 
when a prominent researcher moves from one city to another, his peers in the origin city are less likely to cite his patents. Innovation today requires an ever-larger crowd of experts, preferably working in the same garage.  
This nicely resonated with Johan Fourie's post on the agglomeration of top restaurants in Stellenbosch.

The New Enquiry had an interesting essay about the rise of the celebrity Economist. They are not to keen on the idea and concludes:
In the online marketplace of ideas, the influence of a few celebrity economists creates an illusion of scarcity of new, heterodox voices. Yet now more than ever, to prevent costly and irreparable policy errors, economics needs its crowded-out Cassandras.
Noah Smith Asked whether econ blogging can hurt your career? He doubts it and I agree. Blogs and working papers are ever more relevant and there are many more voices out there than just the few celebrities.

Finally, I also read a good post at Inside HigherEd on technology and education. These days terms like MOOCs, BYOD, flipping the classroom are everywhere, but in fact, the ideas about technology and education have a long history:
The sort of tools that we have needed to help students learn have been around for 100 years, albeit continuously improved. It is our job to - finally - use those tools.
Finally, finally, congrats to Economist colleagues who have new NRF ratings: Andrea Saayman (NWU), Stan du Plessis (US), Servaas vd Berg (US), Steve Koch (UP) and James Blignaut (UP). These are the ones that I have heard of, but please add a comment if there is more good news to share.

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