👓 Instacart and DoorDash’s Tip Policies Are Delivering Outrage | The New York Times

Read After Uproar, Instacart Backs Off Controversial Tipping Policy (New York Times)
The delivery app’s practice of counting tips toward guaranteed minimum payments for its contract workers drew accusations of wage theft.

👓 OER as an Institutional Survival Strategy | Inside Higher Ed

Read OER as an Institutional Survival Strategy by Matt Reed (Inside Higher Ed)
The difference between “tuition and fees” and “total cost of attendance.”

A nice highlighting of why administrators should be pushing for OER. Unfortunately lost here is the actual cost of the remainder of the enterprise. Where do these OER resources come from? Who creates them? Who gets paid to create and maintain them? Or quite often, whose resources, time, and effort are being exploited to use them? Additionally, who on the institutional level is being paid to talk about OER, push it, educate educators about it, and help professors adopt it?

While it’s readily transparent how his accounting works in this limited example, there’s a lot more accounting and transparency that needs to be taken into account.

Let’s not take the cost and just shift it to others who are also ill-equipped to handle it.

👓 Wardley map | Wikipedia

Read Wardley map (Wikipedia)
A Wardley map is a map of the structure of a business or service, mapping the components needed to serve the customer or user. Wardley maps are named after Simon Wardley who claims to have created them in 2005.

👓 Nobody Is Moving Our Cheese: American Surplus Reaches Record High | NPR

Read Nobody Is Moving Our Cheese: American Surplus Reaches Record High by Samantha Raphelson (NPR)

It's a stinky time for the American cheese industry.

While Americans consumed nearly 37 pounds per capita in 2017, it was not enough to reduce the country's 1.4 billion-pound cheese surplus, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The glut, which at 900,000 cubic yards is the largest in U.S. history, means that there is enough cheese sitting in cold storage to wrap around the U.S. Capitol.

The stockpile started to build several years ago, in large part because the pace of milk production began to exceed the rates of consumption, says Andrew Novakovic, professor of agricultural economics at Cornell University.

👓 Wednesday, January 2, 2019 | Scripting News

Read Wednesday, January 2, 2019 by Dave Winer (Scripting News)
Facebook really is dying
You know I hate the word "dead" applied to things that were never alive, but in this case I can't think of a better way to say it. Facebook is turning into a ghost town. Here's how I know.

I kind of like the idea of a death penalty for corporations…

🎧 “The Daily”: What the West Got Wrong About China, Part 2 | New York Times

Listened to "The Daily": What the West Got Wrong About China, Part 2 by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

The U.S. misunderstood not only how China would respond to economic growth, but how the U.S. would respond to China.

🎧 “The Daily”: What the West Got Wrong About China, Part 1 | New York Times

Listened to "The Daily": What the West Got Wrong About China, Part 1 by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

Many in the United States believed that capitalism would never work without political freedom. Then China began to rise.

I listen to this and it reminds me of the wealth and growth in America in the early 1900’s in part because of the fact that the U.S. had a mixed-economy. Sadly it seems like we’ve moved away from that towards a more capitalistic economy. Perhaps it’s time to swing back?

Sadly, China may be taking advantage of their mixed economy, but they don’t seem to have the level of freedom we’ve got.

📺 The Pension Gamble | Watch S37 E3 | FRONTLINE | PBS

Watched The Pension Gamble from FRONTLINE
SEASON 37: EPISODE 3
FRONTLINE investigates the role of state governments and Wall Street in driving America’s public pensions into a multi-trillion-dollar hole. Marcela Gaviria, Martin Smith, and Nick Verbitsky go inside the volatile fight over pensions playing out in Kentucky, and examine the broader consequences for teachers, police, firefighters and other public employees everywhere.

📺 Left Behind America | Watch S36 E16 | FRONTLINE | PBS

Watched Left Behind America from FRONTLINE
SEASON 36: EPISODE 16
Intimate stories of one Rust Belt city’s struggle to recover in the post-recession economy. FRONTLINE and ProPublica report on the economic and social forces shaping Dayton, Ohio, a once-booming city where nearly 35 percent of people now live in poverty.
Quoted Address at the Religious Leaders Conference on 11 May 1959 by Martin Luther King, Jr. (The Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project (okra.stanford.edu) )
Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them, is a spiritually moribund religion in need of new blood.  

I read this quote on Nov 29, 2018 12:04pm through @dswanson's post and it has stuck with me. I thought I’d dig up some additional detail on it. It turns out Swanson’s version was a slight misquote/variation and even at that MLK may have been modifying a quote from somewhere else.

King may have adopted this passage from Harry Emerson Fosdick’s The Hope of the World [New York: Harper & Brothers, 1933], p. 25:

“Any church that pretends to care for the souls of people but is not interested in the slums that damn them, the city government that corrupts them, the economic order that cripples them . . . that kind of church, I think, would hear again the Master’s withering words: ‘Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”’

—annotation in The Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project (okra.stanford.edu) “Address at the Religious Leaders Conference on 11 May 1959” on page 200

👓 India’s Tighter E-Commerce Rules Frustrate Amazon and Walmart Plans | WSJ

Read India’s Tighter E-Commerce Rules Frustrate Amazon and Walmart Plans by Newley Purnell and Corinne Abrams

Foreign companies will no longer be allowed to sell products from their own affiliated companies in India

NEW DELHI—India is tightening restrictions on foreign e-commerce companies operating in the country, a new challenge to Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. as they bet billions on the nascent market.

Current rules forbid non-Indian online sellers from holding their own inventory and shipping it out to consumers, as is typically done in other countries. Instead, they have found a work-around by operating as online marketplaces and selling what are effectively their own products held by their affiliated local companies.

They will no longer be allowed to sell such goods, a division of India’s Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement Wednesday, an apparent attempt to close that loophole.

The new rules, which take effect Feb. 1, also bar foreign companies from entering into exclusive agreements with sellers. Amazon, for example, has in the past been the exclusive third-party online retailer to sell smartphones from the popular Chinese smartphone brand OnePlus.

Abneesh Roy, an analyst at Edelweiss Securities, noted that ahead of elections set for early next year, the government could be moving to appease owners of smaller shops that have been hit as customers buy more goods online.
“Shopkeepers have been unhappy,” he said. “In an election year, the government will definitely listen more to voters.”  

It’s nice to see foreign countries looking at what has happened to coutries like America with the rise of things like e-commerce, actually thinking about them and the longer term implications, and making rules to effect the potential outcomes.

Now the bigger follow up question is: is this a good thing? Perhaps there won’t be the community interruption we’ve seen in the US, but what do the overall effects look like decades hence? From a community perspective, from a competitive perspective?

December 27, 2018 at 12:26PM

👓 I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon. | The Atlantic

Read I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon. (The Atlantic)
There’s a certain novelty, after decades at a legacy media company, in playing for the team that’s winning big.

👓 How different types of knowledge impact the growth of new firms | MIT News

Read How different types of knowledge impact the growth of new firms (MIT News)
Study explores the micromechanisms underlying regional economic diversification.

👓 The Rise of Knowledge Economics | Scientific American

Read The Rise of Knowledge Economics by César A. HidalgoCésar A. Hidalgo (Scientific American Blog Network)
What is knowledge? How does it disseminate? And what’s its value?

A great article outlining several related papers in Dr. Hidalgo’s opus. I like how he pulls together prior research as well as his own in an accessible way.