Don Marti

Sun 09 Sep 2012 07:44:39 AM PDT

Sunday essay links, you built that edition

James Tuttle: Big Business and the Rise of American Statism. How did today's large regulatory bureaucracy arise in the USA? Tuttle makes the case that incumbent corporations asked for it...

...which makes for an interesting point of view on Robert Epstein's arguments for regulating Google. (But imagine that the company was filing huge amounts of paperwork with the US Department of Google. How would anyone ever displace them?)

Jason Hreha asks, When did addiction become a good thing? As members of the tech industry, we need to ask serious questions about the behaviors that we are promoting. Are we really helping people live better lives? Or, are we promoting suboptimal habits and aptitudes? At best, many of the products we’re building are time wasters. At worst, they’re the addictive equivalents of cigarettes — irresistible cheap thrills that feel good in the moment, but are destructive in the long run. (via naked capitalism)

Laura Noren reviews “Addiction by Design”, by Natasha Dow Schüll. Addiction by Design is as compelling as a horror story—a sad, smart horror story that calls off the Luddite witch hunt (Down with the machines!) in favor of an approach that examines the role of gaming designers within existing social systems of gender and class disparity.

Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw: Has Household Deleveraging Continued? [M]uch of the debt reduction seen at the overall level was attributable to deleveraging: households actively borrowing less and paying down existing liabilities. (And the Dave Ramsey media empire is doing well, too. Coincidence?)

“Intervention” Is Inevitable When The Government Has A Monopoly One of the most important inputs to the production of broadband networks is rights of way—permission to dig up public streets and attach cables to public utility poles—which in most cases are under the control of local governments. That means that “don’t intervene in the market” is a non-sensical position when it comes to broadband. (See also: <a="">Property rights and net neutrality.)