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Big Ideas

These stories are conceptual--food for thought.
Big Data: Here to Stay, but with Caveats Edward Tenner 07/30/2014
Criticism of big data is due to three paradoxes. For starters, it's ubiquitous but hard to define.
The Genetics Revolution Challenge and How to Incentivize Biomedical Research Arnold Kling 06/30/2014
The genetics revolution poses challenges to the way that the FDA and patent system influence medical research. Prize-grants could be better suited to providing incentives for the sort of research becoming valuable.
Aereo Decision a Boon, Not a Bane for Innovation Mark F. Shultz 06/26/2014
Aereo’s system was a case of legal engineering rather than technical ingenuity.
Attorney Fees in Patent Cases: There is a Middle Ground Michael M. Rosen 06/18/2014
Automatically awarding attorney fees to the prevailing party, at least in patent cases, would be a grave mistake and wreak havoc on our legal system.
Are the U.S. Dollar’s Days Really Numbered? Desmond Lachman 05/19/2014
The U.S. dollar will remain the world's reserve currency because no other major currency offers such liquidity, depth of financial markets, and store of value.
Time for a New Contract with America John Steele Gordon 05/16/2014
One way to turn probable pick-ups into a 1994-style rout this midterm would be for the Republicans to, once again, nationalize the election with a new Contract with America, positioning themselves credibly as the party of real reform.
Bernard Mandeville, Psychiatrist in the Marketplace Edward Tenner 05/10/2014
Published 300 years ago, what made The Fable of the Bees radical wasn’t the idea that the passions could serve the public good. It was that the burgeoning consumer society should follow the free play of human desires rather than Christian or classical ethics.
Lost, in Theory Robert McHenry 05/01/2014
A new book holds that full and faithful translation from one language to another is not possible, hence World Literature cannot be.
Job Security for Poor Performers Andrew G. Biggs 04/30/2014
Job security for public employees comes at a cost to government and the public. Firing the poorest-performing teachers may be the biggest free lunch available in education policy.
Congress Should Promote Charter Schools Arnold Kling 04/06/2014
States are inhibiting educational entrepreneurship; Congress should step in and provide funding to states to facilitate further charter school growth.
 
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