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What Would Micropayments Do for Journalism? A Freakonomics Quorum

The notion of micropayments — a pay-per-click/download web model — is hardly a new one. But as a business model it hasn’t exactly caught fire, or even generated more than an occasional spark. Lately, however, the journalism community has become obsessed with the idea. This is what happens when an existing business model begins to […] Read More »

A Freakonomics Quorum: How Will the Recession Affect Clean Technology?

Way back when in 2006, here’s what venture-capital legend John Doerr had to say about clean technology: “This field of greentech could be the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century.” As recently as early 2008, plenty of investors and technology companies were still predicting a clean-tech boom. But now? With a recession that has […] Read More »

What Would You Do in the Worst Case? A Freakonomics Quorum

Photo: Jamesfischer These are the economic times that try men’s souls, and women’s too. In the past few months, a lot of people have seen their net worth fall substantially, and I’m sure more than a few have contemplated what would happen if they lost everything. So we asked a group of people — Nick […] Read More »

Who Are the Outlaws? A Freakonomics Quorum

Photo: soundfromwayout By now it’s a common phrase: “When X are outlawed, only outlaws will have X.” The X has been filled in by, among others: guns, perfume bottles, and Wonderbras. But who are the modern-day outlaws? Do we still have outlaws or did they die off with the last of the frontier towns — […] Read More »

How to Think About Sex? A Freakonomics Quorum

Photo: Mai Le When it comes to sex, some things change (internet pornography and contraception) while others stay the same (political scandals and teen pregnancy). The externalities of sex, positive and negative, are so strong that some people even have wondered if a sex tax is a good idea, or wished at the very least […] Read More »

What's Your Best Idea to Cut Gun Deaths? A Freakonomics Quorum

Photo: Secretly Ironic Are there more guns in the U.S. or more opinions about guns? Hard to say. This blog has featured a variety of posts about guns in the past; today we present a quorum with a very narrow focus: what are some good ideas to cut gun deaths? Let’s put aside for a […] Read More »

What Is the Future of Suburbia? A Freakonomics Quorum

Photo: Peter Katz On a forum at the Chicago outpost of City-Data.com, a certain JohnDoe2008 asked suburbanites: Why do you like suburbs over [the] city? Be honest please, I never understood it, still don’t. I might have serious problems, because I hate even looking at pictures of suburbs. Respondents cited backyards, quiet and cheap living, […] Read More »

What Happened To Boxing’s Golden Age? A Freakonomics Quorum

Bruce Silverglade at Gleason’s Gym, Brooklyn, NY Sports fan or not, chances are you’ve heard of Sugar Ray Robinson, George Foreman, and Rocky Marciano. But unless you follow boxing, you probably haven’t heard of Antonio Margarito, who recently beat Miguel Cotto to become a three-time welterweight champion. This disparity may explain why boxing isn’t as […] Read More »