- The first is a great series on TechDirt by Mike Masnick about the economics of free. (the link is the concluding article with all the other articles linked at the end.) I couldn't help thinking about how to better apply the economics of scarcity/abundance to the industries I care about. More on that later.
- The second is a pretty interesting series on the LSVP blog by Jeremy Liew: 1, 2, 3, 4.
I recommend listening to the podcast if you have the time, but here's the summary. Stephen Dubner describes the Cambridge Sommerville Youth Study. The impact of social intervention programs in general is hard to measure and so they seldom are. This was the first attempt at measuring the impact over a long period of time.
It's a great story and there are a few good take-aways, but here's the main one: troubled or at-risk youth that received mentoring (good mentoring!) had worse life outcomes across every dimension than the kids that were left alone. Despite the recipients saying that the mentoring was incredibl…