Bellerbys Economics - Mr Stephenson

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Those of you now about to embark on Module 3 - either for the first time or as part of your revision for January exams, would do well to see the Al Gore's (former Vice-President of the USA) movie, 'An Inconvenient Truth'

This explores in ninety minutes all the issues relevant to global warming in a very accessible way. As this is the topic that occurs most often in Module 3 papers, it would be a very sensible investment to have a look at the film at a cinema near you - or perhaps get it on DVD from Amazon or eBay. It's not released in the UK until Dec. 26th - but it's possible to buy it from the States over the net already.

The department will of course get a copy in due course but that may be too late for January.

Amazon and eBay, by the way, are an interesting example of what we were talking about in some classes recently about Choice Theory. Despite the fact the barriers to entry to creating at least a functional auction site are low (or at least low for a business with some money like Virgin or Tesco), nearly everyone gravitates towards eBay and Amazon - in a free market too much choice can lead to loss of efficiency - people seem to know that instinctively - except my wife when she goes shopping for shoes, of course.

You can find the top list of auction sites here:

http://auctions.nettop20.com/

And here's some more information on Choice Theory - rapidly becoming a big topic in universities, not just because of the way it applies to humans, but also to the way it applies to corporations and governments. One of the most interesting areas is where the best interests of corporations and governments may conflict with the best interests of the consumer and producer - and what we should do about that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_choice_theory

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