3 Ways to Master Time Management and Productivity

March 9, 2015

clockSchool is a very demanding thing to commit to. Throw a job and an attempt at a social life into the mix and you may begin to wonder how you manage to find time to eat and sleep! However, throughout all the madness, I’ve found three helpful tips that help with time management and productivity. This is key to making the school-work-life balancing act run a little more smoothly.

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Greetings from Chicago!

December 18, 2014

CelineMy name is Celine and I am independently studying for a BSc in Economics. I’d like to take this time to properly introduce myself and try to give you an inkling of who I am, where my love for economics stems from and why I am excited about this blog.

I vividly remember being wide-eyed, young and confused as to why there were people homeless, hungry and in such obvious need of help. I turned to my father as I always did when searching for answers and asked why the elusive ‘they’ didn’t adequately address this issue. Why didn’t the men seated in the most powerful positions on earth simply print more money for these deprived people? Couldn’t they see that there were portions of their populations suffering? Shouldn’t ensuring that all persons are properly fed, clothed, and sheltered be the most pressing issue for every nation?
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Ronald Coase: An Original

September 3, 2013

Economist Ronald Coase

Ronald Coase 1910-2013

Ronald Coase passed away on Monday. I first became interested in attending the University of London after hearing him in a podcast with him. Coase was a Nobel Prize winner in Economics.  He was also a University of London International Programmes Old Boy, or as we yanks would say, an alumni. He took the London Intermediate exam as an External student in 1929, then went on to study on campus at LSE.

I am too busy with work to highlight all of his achievements, but I will say from what I know of his work, he was one of the most unique minds in the field.

Wikipedia has a quick rundown of some of his most influential work. The Lighthouse in Economics is a famous paper of his; it refutes the idea that lighthouses are public goods, and talks about them instead as club goods. His most recent work was on China.

He lived a full life, and apparently kept working late in life, he was 102 when he passed away. He was a giant in Economics, it will be a hard climb to stand on his shoulders.

Jay is studying the Diploma for Graduates in Economics by distance learning with the University of London International Programmes. He lives in Florida, USA.

Read more about Mr Coase’s recent work on China in London Connection.

Back to School

August 19, 2013

I have been extremely busy lately, not only a University of London student, I was recently hired as a science teacher at a school on the other side of Florida at Manatee School For the Arts (MSA). So I packed up my life and moved. School is starting tomorrow and I am a bit nervous, I have a science background, and am not so concerned about the material. I am very excited to teach for a number of reasons, but I will cover the economics aspect here.  Manatee School For the Arts is a charter school: a school that receives public funds based on number of students, but otherwise has wide discretion in classes, staffing, and student acceptance. A charter school is one of many types of school reforms advocated by a well known economist, Milton Friedman. The video below does a better job summarizing his position than I would:

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The French

July 19, 2013

The Anglo-French relationship has quite a rich history, from a century of war, to the current rugby rivalry. As an American, I am too glad France came to our aid against our colonial oppressors. Unfortunately, the French crown was not quite as good at accounting as sticking it to their rival. The debt incurred supporting the American revolution was one of the causes of French one.

It seems this aptitude for accounting continues to present day. A French leader recently opposed Amazon’s discount and free shipping policies. Assuming Amazon still has the right to set its prices, I pose a question. What is the difference between a ₤10 book with free shipping, and an ₤8 book with ₤2 shipping? What is the difference between a ₤10 book with a 5% discount, and a ₤9.50 book?

In the US some bookstores have closed because of competition from online retailers; however others have adapted. Barnes & Noble, a large US chain bookstore has added a coffee shop, comfortable chairs, and social events to keep business. Even B&N may be experiencing a slowdown. There may be less consumer demand for bookstores in the digital world, and I for one miss even the bookstore of my childhood that is no longer in business, I even remember the quaint smell of the place. However, there has also been decrease in demand for farriers, cobblers, and candlestick makers in response to technological change. The world seems better off for it.

Perhaps this protectionism is a product of French political system; and perhaps the best answer to it comes from a Frenchman.

Jay is studying the Diploma for Graduates in Economics by distance learning with the University of London International Programmes. He lives in Florida, USA.

A New Start For Arrested Development

June 20, 2013

Recently Netflix, an American service that streams movies, resurrected a TV show called Arrested Development. During its original run, Arrested developed a die-hard fan base among college students (and won several Emmy’s), but had a lukewarm reaction from the American viewing public. The show was cancelled, but it’s hard to describe the fierce loyalty a small cadre of viewers have. I knew friends in college that would quote lines to each other, and watch the show religiously. When my cousin who lives in the Middle East heard there were new episodes coming out, but they would be unavailable in her country, she practically begged me to find a way to get her the episodes. I read on Facebook of friends who viewed all 15 episodes of the new season at once.

The show was not for everyone. If I were to compare the style to a British sitcom, it would be The Office, but Arrested relies more on word play, double entendre, interweaving plots, references to politics, and television culture.  However somehow years after its cancellation, despite the show’s limited appeal, a company thought they could make a profit by creating new episodes. Read the rest of this entry »

An Economics student’s take on Eurovision

May 23, 2013

In elementary and middle school social studies/history was my best subject. It was there that I learned Europe was an ancient place full of high culture. Europe was Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, Shakespeare’s plays, Michelangelo’s David, and Eiffel’s tower. Then I moved there for a year, and realized all of the history books could not prepare me for the pinnacle, the consummation, the true summit of culture… The Eurovision Song Contest!

Congratulations to this year’s winner, Denmark.

Eurovision 2013 winner Emmelie de Forest of Denmark on stage. Picture: Sander Hesterman (EBU)

Eurovision 2013 winner Emmelie de Forest of Denmark on stage.
Picture: Sander Hesterman (EBU)

The Eurovision song contest is something so European, it just can’t be understood by non-Europeans; however it doesn’t matter they seem to understand it. Where does the kitschy melodramatic pop music come from, and why would a country want to win an award for it? Please note, if this insults you, I come from the state that foisted the likes of both N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys on the world. However, the Eurovision does have some important aspects. It was created after the second world war to bring Europeans together.

Another important aspect, of particular interest to students of Economics (as well as political science, and game theory) is the voting system for Eurovision. This gentleman explains some of the statistical nuances. I am no expert on voting systems, but my first impression. The Eurovision Song contest’s voting system isn’t “fair.”

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