When you create a system that makes it costly to do things ‘by the book’ – common examples are drugs, guns and more recently, building houses – you alter the incentives that individuals face in their day-to-day lives. In the case of housing, strict planning and zoning laws create positive transaction costs, raise the price of houses, and increase the payoffs for criminality.
Denmark has a housing problem. Not Denmark the country, but Denmark Western Australia – population 2,375 – which happens to be the least affordable town in the state and ‘one of the most inefficient communities in WA when it comes to the balance between large family homes and smaller dwellings, with a ratio of 1.22 bedrooms per resident’.
US President Joe Biden recently passed an executive order regulating artificial intelligence (AI) that risks stifling innovation in a misguided attempt to safeguard humanity. I just hope that at least a few governments remain sensible enough, for long enough, for the good guys to win in the end.
Picture this. It’s 2020, the pandemic has arrived with a bang and Big Tech companies' share prices are soaring while the opposite is true for newspapers and TV. Australia’s then-Treasurer Josh Frydenberg settles in for his regular tennis and beer session with good mate Ryan Stokes – Josh was best man at his wedding – when he is told how big foreign social media companies were crowding out local companies such as his billionaire dad Kerry Stokes' Seven West Media.
An internal Google document leaked at the start of this month claimed that “We have no moat and neither does OpenAI”. The document was, of course, referring to the fact that in the arms race of AI, there are no barriers to slow down potential competitors. The technology itself is not new, and every day people are coming up with new ways to do “with $100 and 13B params that we struggle with at $10M and 540B”.
Hot on the heels of the UK regulator’s decision to block the merger between Microsoft and gaming giant Activision Blizzard on dubious grounds, the European Union gave the deal the green light: “The European Commission said the transaction was pro-competitive due to Microsoft’s agreement to licence popular Activision games such as ‘Call of Duty’ to rival game streaming platforms, confirming a Reuters report in March.
Anyone who has dabbled in the wide world of video games will probably know of Activision Blizzard, or at the very least will have heard of its games. Think Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, StarCraft. Yes, even Candy Crush! If you happened to produce a top gaming console, it sure would be nice to have all of those games in-house.