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Showing posts from June, 2018

Real programmers understand that...

"Computers are dumb." -- Bjarne Stroustrup

Animated Algorithms

This summer, we're working on, among other things, animating algorithms on web pages using the HTML5 canvas. Here is an example.

Kirzner review almost complete

Here.

Let me know how I can improve it!

Does profit equal "social improvement"?

Back to Kirzner, after knocking off two other reviews and an essay.

He writes:

"Since individuals obviously differ in their entrepreneurial alertness, it is clear that opportunities for social improvement will tend to be exploited most fruitfully if institutional arrangements can be patterned so as to translate such opportunities into opportunities that will be encountered by those whose entrepreneurial alertness is the most acute, the most sensitive, and the most accurate." ("Knowing about Knowledge," Competition, Economic Planning, and the Knowledge Problem, p. 216)

But what entrepreneurial alertness is alert to, per Kirzner, is profit opportunities, not "opportunities for social improvement." Now, one could protest that those opportunities are the same thing, but then what about an entrepreneur who is alert to the fact that the Internet offers a "better" way to deliver rape-fantasy videos to those who are titillated by the idea of raping wom…