Should we let tech companies run the world?

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Yes, like, even more than they do today. This is Tyler Cowen’s question and here are two views: 

Under one view, the major tech companies lucked into some pieces of rapidly scalable software.  They are phenomenal at producing and distributing such software, but otherwise they put on their pants one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.  They are not especially productive at marginal activities beyond their core competencies.

Under the second view, the major tech companies have developed new managerial technologies for hiring, handling, and motivating super-smart employees.  That is the reason why the tech companies have become phenomenal at producing and distributing rapidly scalable software.  But if tech companies turn their attention to other productive activities, they would do very very well.  Alex for instance thinks that Apple ought to buy a university. Or you might expect that Google’s “scallion fried fish” dish would be especially tasty.  After all, do not smarter people make for better cooks?

[Source: Marginal Revolution]

What if we turned prisons into universities?

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Imagine if prisons looked like the grounds of universities. Instead of languishing in cells, incarcerated people sat in classrooms and learned about climate science or poetry — just like college students. Or even with them.

This would be a boon to prisoners across the country, a vast majority of whom do not have a high school diploma. And it could help shrink our prison population. While racial disparities in arrests and convictions are alarming, education level is a far stronger predictor of future incarceration than race.

Elizabeth Hinton for The New York Times has an interesting point to make.

[Source: The New York Times]