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Links 1 through 10 of 28 by Tom Armitage tagged economics

Bookmarked because I'm fed up of watery allusions to this (last seen: Malcolm Gladwell, Freakonomics (which is annoying because it's watery despite Levitt having *worked on the paper*)). $5 for the *actual information* seems far more interesting than any volume of popular economics books.

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"In 1986, Williams High Speed changed the economics of pinball forever... Pre-1986, the replay score was hard wired into the game unless the operator manually re-programmed the software. High Speed changed all that. It was pre-loaded with an algorithm that adjusted the replay score according to the distribution of scores on the specified machine over a specific time interval." Good article on how the economics of pinball are wired into the machine.

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"You'll need several thousand gold to launch the business, and then keep it up for many weeks before you make a steady good profit every week. And you'll need to log on every day and spend several hours per week just to keep your glyph business up and running. In the end, getting rich in World of Warcraft works exactly like getting rich in the real world: You need a venture capital to start up a business, hard work, and perseverance. And this is exactly why getting rich with inscription works so reliably in World of Warcraft: It is hard work, there isn't all that much you can actually do with an income of thousands of gold per week, and thus the large majority of players simply can't be bothered doing it."

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The last keffiyeh factory in Palestine is going out of business; they're all made in China now. Well done, hipsters!

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"...once we return to the sun, late on in our economic history, are we still innocent enough to view it this way? The sun isn't so very different from the Beatles back catalogue - there's a lot of it around, you can't control it, we value it highly, it's a 'public good problem' - but the Beatles are subject to various legal and political protections, most recently retrospective copyright extension. If EMI are allowed to profit from music that they didn't create, might not North Africa have some right to profit from energy that it didn't create?" Some brilliant stuff from Will Davies

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"For the past three decades, Popovich has been one of a secret tribe of big game hunters who specialize in stealing jets from the jungle hideouts of corrupt landowners in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil and swiping go-fast boats from Wall Street titans in Miami and East Hampton. Super repos have been known to hire swat teams, hijack supertankers and fly off with eastern bloc military helicopters. For a cut of the overall value, they'll repossess anything." As jobs go, this one is pretty extreme; it's a great article.

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Castronova's paper on whether the Law of Demand, as it works in the real world, also works in the virtual.

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"Maybe [games publishers] think there could never be enough competition, excitement, betrayal, surprise, defeat, skull-daggery, and general griefer-worthy assholeishness in a game without direct conflict. But the last year’s worth of news out of Wall Street tells a different story. It’s a tale of a system corrupted from the inside by the scheming, cheating, gaming of a few powerful and greedy individuals. If this is not prime material for a videogame, I don’t know what is."

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"I have this idea in the back of my head -- a fool idea of course -- that one day, people with the power to do something about it might stumble across the notion of "a stable business ecosystem," and conclude that actually, to sustain industry growth and survival, you might conceivably, you know, want to let developers potentially make a buck from time to time, even if publishers and retailers have the power to strangle them. That rewarding development success breeds more development success, and gives heart to those who want to create good games." I knew about 3D Realms (which is a shame), but not about Gamelab (which is also a shame). Also: Greg speaks Truth.

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"...these various numbers are tossed around like so many doggie treats, so I thought I'd take Google Sketchup out for a test drive and try to get a sense of what exactly a trillion dollars looks like." A nice, simple piece of amateur informatics that is a good wake-up call.

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