From David Friedman's Blog

David often has interesting discussions on his blog. Here are a few recent questions that he has raised.

Why don't we see automated systems in old houses that open windows at night when the outside temperature is lower than inside the house and close windows when the reverse is true?

My presumption is that the reason we don't see this is because it isn't efficient. It is costly to set up a mechanism that would raise and lower enough windows in a house to really effect the temperature. Even if we eventually see something like this in new houses, that wouldn't mean that it was efficient to put the system in older ones.

Is there a moral problem in giving students points for simply participating in class discussions? David worries about this because it may be done simply to reduce the effort that the professor makes in teaching.

I personally give credit for just students who get the answers right. But I do think that students learn from thinking on their feet so it doesn't bother me to call on students in the class who haven't raised their hands.

Finally, David asks about why low cost hotels include internet access in their price for the room, but more expensive hotels have it as an extra fee.

I could be wrong, but I guess that I am dubious that this has much to do with price discrimination. It would be interesting to get some numbers on the share of customers in the two types of hotels that use the internet.



Anonymous Daniel J. D'Amico said...

I've had a similar thought as the first idea about automatic windows on houses. Shopping is made significantly easier by keyless entry car devices. Just click your alarm or automatic door clicky thing (not a technical term) and in you go; much faster than wrestling the key in the slot and fumbling your packages Why not the house?

I'm not talking about elaborate automatic mechanisms to detect temperatures and open windows automatically. All I'm suggesting is a simple key- chain-sized automatic lock device that works on your front door and your house alarm system.

A lot of people use their garage doors more than their front doors. My guess is specifically because of this convenience.

9/02/2007 5:33 PM  

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