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Green Economics

How can your cell phone protect you from air pollution?

A California nonprofit now lets any camera-equipped cell phone measure your exposure to black soot.

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If the Internet is the global nervous system, and you have companies like Google pushing forward its evolution, part of what we're trying to do is create the equivalent of the global immune system.
One thing I'm excited about is mobile phones. How are we going to work with populations that are in geographically distant spots and link them together, to know when they're sick?
I'm fascinated by revolutions that come from adapting technologies like text messaging. For example, people can text message surveillance information, and we can respond and put credit on their phone, which means even populations that are very poor, if they have proximity to cell phones, can have access to healthcare."

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Here is the New Yorker profile when I first heard of this guy. The New Yorker rejects my cartoon captions and thus I respect them.

Now, if you really want to learn something about the power of cell phones -- read the work of my man Robert Jensen. Most academics just sit around and recall how witty and charming they are but not this young man. He functions!

The Digital Provide: Information (Technology), Market Performance, and Welfare in the South Indian Fisheries Sector

"When information is limited or costly, agents are unable to engage in optimal arbitrage. Excess price dispersion across markets can arise, and goods may not be allocated efficiently. In this setting, information technologies may improve market performance and increase welfare. Between 1997 and 2001, mobile phone service was introduced throughout Kerala, a state in India with a large fishing industry. Using microlevel survey data, we show that the adoption of mobile phones by fishermen and wholesalers was associated with a dramatic reduction in price dispersion, the complete elimination of waste, and near-perfect adherence to the Law of One Price. Both consumer and producer welfare increased."

The popularity of Zagat's ratings highlights that we have a thirst for making "good decisions" and we know when we do not know the full consequences of our choices. Technologists are figuring out ways to provide us with the high frequency information we need to better handle an increasingly risky future. Are these technologies substitutes or complements of an individual's own cognitive skills?


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