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charlesijones

charlesijones 's Public Library

Dec 08, 15

"Here we have a paradox. The breakthroughs made at the N.C.I. in the nineteen-sixties and seventies were the product of a freewheeling intellectual climate. But that same freewheeling climate is what made it possible for the stubborn doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering to concoct their non-cure. The social conditions that birthed a new idea in one place impeded the spread of that same idea in another. People who push for greater innovation in the marketplace often naïvely assume that what is good for the innovator is also, down the line, good for the diffusion of their ideas. And people worried about diffusion often position themselves as the friends of innovation, as if a system that does well at spreading good ideas necessarily makes it easier to come up with good ideas. The implication of “The Death of Cancer” is, on the contrary, that innovation and diffusion can sometimes conflict."

  • ere we have a paradox. The breakthroughs made at the N.C.I. in the nineteen-sixties and seventies were the product of a freewheeling intellectual climate. But that same freewheeling climate is what made it possible for the stubborn doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering to concoct their non-cure. The social conditions that birthed a new idea in one place impeded the spread of that same idea in another. People who push for greater innovation in the marketplace often naïvely assume that what is good for the innovator is also, down the line, good for the diffusion of their ideas. And people worried about diffusion often position themselves as the friends of innovation, as if a system that does well at spreading good ideas necessarily makes it easier to come up with good ideas. The implication of “The Death of Cancer” is, on the contrary, that innovation and diffusion can sometimes conflict

  • [C]onsider the way de Beers sells wholesale diamonds. They place the diamonds in packets that buyers are forbidden to explore. The packets are sold on their gross attributes on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. If buyers were allowed to look into the packets first to a get a better estimate of their value, packets left behind would become tainted.  Inspection would slow down trade and might even prevent trading entirely. Placing diamonds in packets eliminates adverse selection among buyers. Similar problems between de Beers and the buyers are, in turn, eliminated by de Beers’ concern for its reputation, supported by its monopoly rents and by repeat buying. …[F]ar from being a problem, lack of transparency enhances market liquidity.
  • Today’s repo markets, which play such a prominent role in shadow banking and also in the crisis, are close cousins of pawn brokering with similar risks for the parties involved.
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