Economics

Economics (X) - Technology (X)

Will Minecraft and Makerbot Usher in the Post-Scarcity Economy? | PBS Idea Channel

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From the Jetsons to Cory Doctorow, science fiction writers of all stripes have imagined a world where any object could be instantly created. Modern economics on the other hand, is built on the principle of competition for scarce resources. And while it may not seem like a video game and printer could alter this economic reality, we beg to differ. Minecraft's creative mode is the perfect vehicle for understanding a Post-Scarcity world: a place where resources are permanently available and constantly regenerated. It shows that with unlimited resources, people end up creating amazing digital structures! Of course, a world of infinitely available resources seems pretty fantastical until you consider the Makerbot and the future of 3D printing. The Makerbot is an at home device that allow you to print real, three dimensional objects, meaning a Minecraftian future where you can print anything you want at anytime might not be that far away. Watch the episode, and tell us what you think!

Are Bitcoins and Unusual Hats the Future of Currency? | PBS Idea Channel

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If a community agrees on the value of something, then that thing can become a currency to exchange for other goods. Just like American dollar bills (or euros, yen, or any other currency), or... bitcoins. Bitcoins are an online currency worth over $200,000,000, and though they are just 1s and 0s, some think that this is the future of money. Watch the episode and tell us what you think!

What do MP3s and Magic Spells Have in Common? | PBS Idea Channel

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The MP3 seems to be everyone's favorite musical file format. But, there's something you might not know about the Mp3 - it has a lot in common with the magic spell! Both spells and music were born from a freely available folk culture but are now sold as commercial goods. There are thousands of artists and witches trying to figure out how to make a living in an age where their products can be infinitely copied. And with commercialization, the morality and legality of sharing these once open cultural products has become quite complicated. How should we, as responsible consumers, handle this new digital age? 

Be Kind Online

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How do we act when we are on the Internet? Here are some good manners for when we are on the Internet. Use good words, not rude or bad words. Be patient with others. Sometimes others are beginners and are just learning how to use the Internet.

What Is Personal Information?

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Personal information identifies who we are, where we live, and how family, friends and others can find us to talk to us or come over and visit us. Personal information can help us communicate with others, but we have to be careful with that information when on the computer.

Generation Like: You Are What You "Like"

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Learn about the evolution of digital media from an industry that sought out teens to one in which teens seek out content to “like” in this video from FRONTLINE: Generation Like. As school-aged children spend more time in digital spaces, companies are able to use information that they gather from their activities. This is different from how it once was. In 2001, corporations chased kids down and tried to sell cool teen culture back to them. Today, teens tell the world what they think is cool using the social currency of their generation: likes, follows, friends, and retweets. When kids like something online, it becomes part of the identity that they broadcast to the world. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Generation Like: Promoting Movies

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Discover how marketing firms of movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire inspire social media users to promote products for them in this video from FRONTLINE: Generation Like. When promotion agency TVGla markets a movie, it employs social media to help build trust with consumers. In this way, TVGla gets kids to work for free, promoting films to their friends and followers. While marketing used to be a one-way conversation from the marketer to the consumer, today, the consumer does as much as the marketer to broadcast the message. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Commercial Space Exploration

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In this the.News segment, Antonio Neves reports on the Phezu Space Company, a privately-held outer space repair shop, to address the pros and cons of commercialized space exploration. He addresses what space exploration stands to gain, as well as the possible dangers of the privatization of space exploration.

Great States | Iowa Economy

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Iowa’s natural resources gave rise to its early industries like lumber and coal mining. Discover how the real key to Iowa’s growth as a modern economy was transportation. Stagecoaches, freight wagons, steamboats, and trains were crucial to Iowa’s commercial development. 

Port Canaveral | Central Florida Roadtrip

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In addition to the space industry at Cape Canaveral, is the now growing cruise and cargo industry at Port Canaveral. To many it may seem like the Port has only been around for a few years, but in fact it is now over 60 years old.

Great States | Montana Economy

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European fur-trappers, and later silver and gold prospectors, disrupted the lives of Montana’s Cheyenne, Crow, and Blackfeet Indian Nations. Learn how Montana’s economy has evolved since those early times to include timber, banking, high-tech industry, and tourism.

Money Drives | Steamboats on the Red

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Find out why businessmen considered the Red River of the North a water highway in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. The Red River of the North isn’t the first river that comes to mind when a person thinks of a water highway. So what could have possibly driven businessmen to think of it as such? Money. Money drove companies, like the Hudson’s Bay Company, to find a shorter and more economical route from New York to St. Paul, Minnesota. But as these businessmen would find out, nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

Titans of Idaho Industry | Idaho Experience

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In 1949, Joe Albertson decided to break away from Safeway and start his own grocery store. It became one of the nations largest chain stores.  J.R. Simplot left home at age 14, and dropped out of school. After a string of calculated risks, Simplot managed to build a multi-billion dollar company. Idaho Experience "Titans" looks at the lives of Joe Albertson, and J.R. Simplot to see ways they helped change the state of Idaho. 

The Rise of Videogame Economies | Off Book

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The growth and complexity of online economies surprises many outsiders to the world of gaming. With millions of players around the world, in-game economies generate massive amounts of real dollars. Real-world economic theories can even be applied to these worlds. Many are now so big that game developers have hired real-world economists to help them manage these complex systems. But, with exploitative practices such as gold farming, are these systems in need of more regulation?

Montana Mosaic: Montana Industry - The Tourism Years

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A booming national post-WWII economy created a large American middle class with the means and desire to travel. With Montana’s wide open spaces, clean air, lovely mountains, camping, hunting and skiing, tourism became increasingly important to the state’s economy. Federal government investments in highways and in defense (particularly Cold War era missile silos) also dramatically impacted the state’s economy….and brought more visitors.

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