Why is Economics Relevant?
Sure, economics is about making money. But it's really about human behavior in general. In his Great Big Ideas lecture, University of Chicago professor Saul Levmore looks at the origins and tools of economics.
Sure, economics is about making money. But it's really about human behavior in general.
In his lecture entitled "Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200: Monopolies as an Introduction to Economics," part of Floating University's Great Big Ideas course, University of Chicago professor Saul Levmore looks at the origins and tools of economics, using examples like "Why do we download from iTunes?" "Why does a house costs more than a cookie?" and "Why would a King behead his subjects for saving coins?"
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One of the puzzles Levmore examines in his lecture is the housing bubble.
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- What distinguishes humans is social learning — and teaching.
- Crucial to learning and teaching is the value of free expression.
- And we need political leaders who support environments of social peace and cooperation.
From time-traveling billiard balls to information-destroying black holes, the world's got plenty of puzzles that are hard to wrap your head around.
- While it's one of the best on Earth, the human brain has a lot of trouble accounting for certain problems.
- We've evolved to think of reality in a very specific way, but there are plenty of paradoxes out there to suggest that reality doesn't work quite the way we think it does.
- Considering these paradoxes is a great way to come to grips with how incomplete our understanding of the universe really is.
Tragedy in art, from Ancient Greece to Breaking Bad, resists all our efforts to tie reality up in a neat bow, to draw some edifying lesson from it. Instead it confronts us with our own limitations, leaving us scrabbling in the rubble of certainty to figure out what's next.
- Why democracy has been unpopular with philosophers
- Tragedy's reminder that the past isn't finished with us
- …and why we need art in the first place
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