An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change

Author: Richard R. Nelson
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674041431
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book contains the most sustained and serious attack on mainstream, neoclassical economics in more than forty years. Nelson and Winter focus their critique on the basic question of how firms and industries change overtime. They marshal significant objections to the fundamental neoclassical assumptions of profit maximization and market equilibrium, which they find ineffective in the analysis of technological innovation and the dynamics of competition among firms. To replace these assumptions, they borrow from biology the concept of natural selection to construct a precise and detailed evolutionary theory of business behavior. They grant that films are motivated by profit and engage in search for ways of improving profits, but they do not consider them to be profit maximizing. Likewise, they emphasize the tendency for the more profitable firms to drive the less profitable ones out of business, but they do not focus their analysis on hypothetical states of industry equilibrium. The results of their new paradigm and analytical framework are impressive. Not only have they been able to develop more coherent and powerful models of competitive firm dynamics under conditions of growth and technological change, but their approach is compatible with findings in psychology and other social sciences. Finally, their work has important implications for welfare economics and for government policy toward industry.

The Scientific Estate

Author: Don Krasher Price
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674794856
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The faith in science as an ally of political and economic progress, which Franklin and Jefferson made so firm a part of the American tradition, has been undermined by the very success of the scientific revolution. Has science become so powerful that it cannot be controlled by democratic processes? Is the scientific community acquiring a privileged role in government something like that of the ecclesiastical estate in the medieval world? Writing from first-hand experience in government administration and his service on three presidential advisory panels, as well as from extensive research, Mr. Price describes how science and technology have weakened the independence of private corporations and broken down some of the checks and balances on which we have relied for the protection of freedom. In this connection he recounts the recent attempts to set up a notional program of oceanographic research, showing that the more advanced the scientific and technological programs ore, the more difficult it is to contain them within the normal departmental structure and the more likely they ore to bypass the regular lines of responsibility. He then faces the question whether science is leading us toward some new type of centralized power in which its own processes, rather than those of representative democracy, will determine our policies. He argues, on the contrary, that the more scientific the sciences become, and the more competent to help in the understanding of public issues, the more freedom of choice they provide for responsible politicians. Science can be translated into political decisions only if its knowledge can be mixed with political purpose. This is done through a chain of responsibility that runs from the scientists to the professionals (like engineers and physicians), and on to administrators and politicians. Within this set of relations, Mr. Price suggests, we are developing a new system of checks and balances. For whether science leads toward tyranny or freedom depends not on a nation's state of technological progress, but on what it believes. The freedom of science owes less to the nineteenth-century ideas of laissez faire and parliamentary sovereignty than to the older tradition on which the American revolution based its separation of church and state and its federal system. Mr. Price examines the ways in which the President and Congress make use of scientific advice. He sees less reason to fear that authority will be unduly centralized in either the legislative or executive branch, under the American system, than that executive agencies and Congressional committees with common interests in technological programs may acquire power and influence without adequate responsibility.

Ordinary Vices

Author: Judith N. Shklar
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674641754
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A look at political ethics covers cruelty, hypocrisy, snobbery, betrayal and misanthropy, and is accompanied by a description of modern public opinion about these vices

Forgotten Wars

Author: Christopher Alan Bayly
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674021532
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This is a panoramic account of the bitter wars of the end of empire, seen not only through the eyes of the fighters, but also through the personal stories of ordinary people.

Darker Than Blue

Author: Paul Gilroy
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674035706
Format: PDF
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Paul Gilroy seeks to awaken a new understanding of W. E. B. Du Boisâe(tm) intellectual and political legacy. At a time of economic crisis, environmental degradation, ongoing warfare, and heated debate over human rights, how should we reassess the changing place of black culture? Gilroy considers the ways that consumerism has diverted African Americansâe(tm) political and social aspirations. Luxury goods and branded items, especially the automobileâe"rich in symbolic value and the promise of individual freedomâe"have restratified society, weakened citizenship, and diminished the collective spirit. Jazz, blues, soul, reggae, and hip hop are now seen as generically American, yet artists like Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, and Bob Marley, who questioned the allure of mobility and speed, are not understood by people who have drained their music of its moral power. Gilroy explores the way in which objects and technologies can become dynamic social forces, ensuring black cultureâe(tm)s global reach while undermining the drive for equality and justice. Drawing on the work of a number of thinkers, including Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi, and Frantz Fanon, he examines the ethical dimensions of living in a society that celebrates the object. What are the implications for our notions of freedom? With his brilliant, provocative analysis and astonishing range of reference, Gilroy revitalizes the study of African American culture. He traces the shifting character of black intellectual and social movements, and shows how we can construct an account of moral progress that reflects todayâe(tm)s complex realities.

Saving Schools

Author: Paul E. Peterson
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674056760
Format: PDF, ePub
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In this book Peterson interprets the history of American schools by placing major educational reformers in the context of their times and relates their thinking to our own era by scrutinizing the often unanticipated consequences of their commitments and ideas. These extraordinary individuals provided the critical ideas and articulated the ideals that motivated many others to search for ways to save the schools from the limitations in which they were embedded: Horace Mann, John Dewey, Martin Luther King, Al Shanker, William Bennett, and James S. Coleman. The drive to centralize was pervasive despite repeatedly expressed reform desire to customize education. Peterson argues that education has become an increasingly labor intensive industry that must reverse direction and become more capital intensive or it will descend in quality. Fortunately, technological change is making it possible radically alter the way in which education services are delivered, providing a new chance to save our schools.

The Informal Media Economy

Author: Ramon Lobato
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745694853
Format: PDF, Docs
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How are “grey market” imports changing media industries? What is the role of piracy in developing new markets for movies and TV shows? How do jailbroken iPhones drive innovation? The Informal Media Economy provides a vivid, original, and genuinely transnational account of contemporary media, by showing how the interactions between formal and informal media systems are a feature of all nations – rich and poor, large and small. Shifting the focus away from the formal businesses and public enterprises that have long occupied media researchers, this book charts a parallel world of cultural intermediaries driving global media production and circulation. It shows how unlicensed, untaxed, or unregulated networks, which operate across the boundaries of established media markets, have been a driving force of media industry transformation. The book opens up new insights on a range of topical issues in media studies, from the creative disruptions of digitisation to amateur production, piracy and cybercrime.

Indie Inc

Author: Alisa Perren
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 029272912X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Indie, Inc. surveys Miramax's evolution from independent producer-distributor to studio subsidiary, chronicling how one company transformed not just the independent film world but the film and media industries more broadly. Miramax's activities had an impact on everything from film festival practices to marketing strategies, talent development to awards campaigning. Case studies of key films, including The Piano, Kids, Scream, The English Patient, and Life is Beautiful, reveal how Miramax went beyond influencing Hollywood business practices and motion picture aesthetics to shaping popular and critical discourses about cinema during the 1990s ... [and] looks at the range of Miramax-released genre films, foreign-language films, and English-language imports released over the course of the decade.

Saving the Media

Author: Julia Cagé
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674968719
Format: PDF, ePub
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Julia Cagé explains the economics and history of the media crisis and offers a solution: a nonprofit media organization, midway between a foundation and a joint stock company, supported by readers, employees, and innovative financing such as crowdfunding. Her business model is inspired by a central idea: that news, like education, is a public good.