The problem with personalization

The challenge of personalizing the news is the heterogeneity of our personal interests and the weakness of the signal we expose to the recommendation engine. As an example, below are four stories from around the country I was interested in today, for reasons ranging from ‘possibly obvious’ to ‘unknowable’ by an algorithm. And by ‘unknowable’ I mean how likely would […]

Newspapers are still steam powered

Yesterday, the BBC podcast “50 Things That Made The Modern Economy” covered the invention of the electric dynamo. The episode was partly based on a 1990 academic paper by economist Paul A. David who studies “scientific progress and technical change.” His thesis is that the initial lack of productivity gains related to the introduction of […]