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Does Talking About The Future Make It Less Likely?

A manuscript has been floating around the interweb which describes an experimental test of the hypothesis that languages which grammatically distinguish between present and future events (what linguists call strong future-tense reference languages) lead their speakers to take fewer future-oriented actions. 


Economics: Ecoscience in the Marketplace

Science and commerce have long been intertwined. From the 17th century, when Isaac Newton was pioneering mathematics and physics while serving as Master of the Mint, to today, when academics-turned-entrepreneurs are familiar figures in high-tech regions, science has been a resource ad influence on economies and industry.

Over the next few decades, ecoscience will help make the business case for saving the planet.

Interesting question

One of the things that can powerfully affect the future is the radical decline in price of a currently expensive good or service. The invention of the printing press made books (and later newspapers) exceptionally cheap; the Industrial Revolution did the same for a whole host of manufactured goods; and more recently the same thing happened with information technologies.

Why Place Matters: The Connection Between Cities and Innovation

Ed Glaeser of Harvard University, who has written much over the last decade on the economics of cities and knowledge industries, has a good op-ed on the New York Times website today explaining why the city is likely to weather the recession well:

Those people who are continuing to pay high prices for Manhattan real estate are implicitly betting that New York’s human capital will continue to come up with new ways of reinventing the city.

I could hardly say it more succinctly.

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