Sunday, November 27, 2016

Love to read that "Minneapolis math teachers trade calculators for smartphone app". I've been appalled and disgusted[1] at the ability of Texas Instruments to leverage switching costs and the fact that decision makers don't bear the costs, in order to keep selling a fabulously overpriced $100+ graphing calculator, that is all-but-mandatory for the last couple of years of high school math classes. I believe it is a moral imperative for educators and educational institutions to do everything possible to hold down costs.[2] This is a very easy target, delighted to see it happening.

[1] Just to be clear, I wouldn't call for this practice to be regulated out of existence. I don't really blame TI for their "rent-seeking" behavior--corporations are amoral. But that doesn't change the fact that I deplore the practice, and I expect and hope to see educators, institutions, and parents to rise up and overthrow an economically wasteful situation. And, ideally, for this kind of rent-seeking behavior to be recognized and called-out, so that in the future, it has a high enough reputation cost that companies shy away from it. I know, that's dreaming. :(

[2] College textbooks are another appalling example. Shout-out to UWRF for renting textbooks to students, for a reasonable cost.

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