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Books, books, books... Please.


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4 replies to this topic

#1 John B..

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:24 AM

Hi, In the sixth and last class of secondary school, in Holland, we have to do a big project. We can choose the subject ourselves but it has to do with the classes that we follow, logically. Now I decided to find out more about the use of power in an economy, mostly concentrating on monopoly (where instead of much producers you have only one who has all the power). Here I woudld like to know how much of a disadvantage it would be for the general wealth to have monopoly in a certain market and not multiple producers. Another subject that I would like to do, if the first is not possible, is out of what equations and formulas I nations economy can be built of and what makes the difference. If you do not know what I mean: Y=C+B+S is an easy exampe. The letters are probably different in your country but I hope you get what I mean. The big problem in choosing a subject is that I need to find at least two written sources. Written here means from a book or anything other that does not come from the internet. That is why I was wondering if anybody of you know some titles of books or magazines that contain pretty detailed and professional information of one of either subjects. One book I have already found is 'Economics In Two Volumes: Volume I. Economic Principles' by Frank A. Fetter. It is about monopoly. If anybody of you know such a book or have it, please let me know the titel at least so that I can make up my mind about what topic I should take. Thanks in advance! John.

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#2 Doug

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:25 AM

Hi John,

One tool of monopoly activity in the marketplace/economy is Patent Protection.

Traditional thought is that it is worthy to allow an inventor to exclusively exploit the advantage of his invention in the marketplace for a period of time. Otherwise, inventors would have little incentive to make their innovations known and used by the general public.

Secondary thought, is that protecting inventions for "extensive" periods of time, actually creates a "dis-incentive" to develop new ideas, since the holder of a patented procedure, intellectual property, formula, product, or device, can comfortably exploit their product without any further development work and without fear of others intruding on that market, thereby stagnating innovation and reducing benefit to the market public.

There has always been an argument between those two points of view.
Patented drugs vs. generic knock-off drugs is a prime example that really gets the politicians, the industry moguls, and the general public roused up for debate.
Similar "high spirited" debate surrounds various computer related hardware and software innovation and related "protections".

In the past few years, the US Congress has been debating and proposing various changes to US Patent Law.
Certainly this "monopoly in action" source called the US Congressional Record is a potentially worthy source of information that you can cite in your study. Further, the international community to nations that "respect" copyright/patent vs. those that "don't" ie: China, raises serious questions about innovation, and benefit to the public.

Here's just one CNET link that will "get you started" in the topic area.
http://news.cnet.com..._3-6197776.html

Then you can go to "original source" documents in the US Patent Office and in the Congressional Record, for instance:
http://thomas.loc.go...z?d110:s.01145:


I like going to "original" original sources, such as actual law and/or actual reports of current market.

"Books" are great for learning principles and getting a general understanding and point of view.
Problem with "books" is that the author has a "point of view" (read: bias) that is probably opposed by other "books".
Reading or citing from one or two "books" risks conveying the "bias" and missing out on the actual information in action.

Microsoft, Novel, Cisco, Apple, Intel, AMD, and even the various flavors of Linux/open-source (to name only a very few) are currently engaged in ferocious debates and maneuvers to bring their products to market, with various benefit / loss consequences to the using public and market economy in general. Reuters, BBC, PBS, UPI, Associated Press, Fortune Magazine, Bloomberg.com (and of course Fox News B) ) are good original sources. (but not necessarily free of their own "biases", just fresher off the press :) )

Hope you have success with your project.
Doug
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#3 John B..

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 01:39 PM

Hi Doug,

Have you studied economics or something related to that? Sounds as if you know pretty much about it. Thanks for the reply!

I will look into your suggestions and I am sure they will be of value to the project.

"Books" are great for learning principles and getting a general understanding and point of view.
Problem with "books" is that the author has a "point of view" (read: bias) that is probably opposed by other "books".
Reading or citing from one or two "books" risks conveying the "bias" and missing out on the actual information in action.

That is true, but I think the teachers are really aiming for theoretical books here. Thing is that teachers still think the internet is mostly biased (which I cannot completely disagree with).

(and of course Fox News)

You are being ironical here, aren't you?

Thanks again!

Regards,
John.

#4 Doug

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 03:34 PM

(and of course Fox News)


You are being ironical here, aren't you?


Many who do not share a conservative perspective would say I was being "flippant". :D
And that was my intent.... to inject a little pun into an otherwise tedious topic.
Foxnews vs. PBS can even be an entertaining display of Theatre of the Absurd.

In actual practice, I like to "sample" across all points of view, including the extremes.
That way I get an idea of what "the loyal opposition" is thinking and believing. :P
____________________________________

I'm no scholar in this area of study.
Rather, my experience is practical.
In one business, I deal with new product development and market development.
Since the outcome is immediate and "cut-throat", becoming familiar with the rules and history of how they actually get applied is useful.
A horrendous example:
In commercial "sales" our "paper work is one page each of the following: product price quote, purchase order, shipping authorization, invoice. -- done deal. Customer has the product installed and Company has their money. :)
In "government sales" the "solicitation for purchase is generally 15 pages in length, and the eventual awarded "contract" is between 20 and 30 pages in length. And that doesn't put anything into motion yet. Next, the vendor (that's me) must register with WAWF (Wide Area Work Flow) and EDA (Electronic Data Access). In both instances I must already be certified via CCR and DUNS (I won't go into that). I will mention that the goal of WAWF and EDA is to improve and simplify the way that private sector contractors can do business with government agencies. If you want "irony", then I will say that there is a "WAWF TrainingCourse" that vendors must complete prior to entering WAWF or EDA contracts. The "table of contents" for WAWF trainingCourse is 33 pages (online screens) long.
How's that for improvement and simplification? (Note: that's only the Table of Contents) Ironic? But somebody somewhere thinks its the right way to do things and of course it is "paperless" so the tree-huggers are happy while I sweat away at my keyboard. :lol:
_______________________________

Of course, being active in Help Forums gives additional perspective on different examples of the same issues as we watch giants battle it out with not always predictable result. Take any venue: Operating Systems, Data Base Management, Media Display, AntiVirus/AntiSpyware, support Utilities, etc. etc. and all the related hardware contenders too.

I do appreciate that your mentors want citations from respected texts. That's just fine.
The sources I mentioned in the news industry are not considered "authoritative", even though such enterprises as the New York Times was once treated as a "document of record".

Depending upon your actual topic, news can add the current "outcome" information that the "theories" predict.
For instance:
Look at the differences in how Microsoft is treated in the US v the EU.
Look at how operating systems are being developed in Russia in a way perhaps totally removed from MS.
Look at how operating systems are developed in China with use of MS platform but without regard to patent law.
Then ask yourself why Linux hasn't gotten its political act together to be an even stronger contender at the PC level while it still dominates at the networking level.
An interplay of law and marketing forces can be seen demonstrated behind the outcome of each of the above.
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#5 John B..

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 02:44 AM

Hi Doug,

Many who do not share a conservative perspective would say I was being "flippant".

Yes, I was just checking with you because I know Fox News is not too 'Fair and Balanced' after all...

How's that for improvement and simplification? (Note: that's only the Table of Contents) Ironic? But somebody somewhere thinks its the right way to do things and of course it is "paperless" so the tree-huggers are happy while I sweat away at my keyboard.

Don't they have a word for this? Bureaucracy! Probably not an easier way for them to make things more paperless than by adding more papers to the work...

Depending upon your actual topic, news can add the current "outcome" information that the "theories" predict.
For instance:
Look at the differences in how Microsoft is treated in the US v the EU.
Look at how operating systems are being developed in Russia in a way perhaps totally removed from MS.
Look at how operating systems are developed in China with use of MS platform but without regard to patent law.
Then ask yourself why Linux hasn't gotten its political act together to be an even stronger contender at the PC level while it still dominates at the networking level.
An interplay of law and marketing forces can be seen demonstrated behind the outcome of each of the above.

That is interesting. One of the things I need to do is make one research question with multiple smaller research questions to come to an answer to the biggest research question. These may very well help.

Regards,
John.

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