If we’re going to get science policy right, it’s really important for us to study the economic benefit of open access and not accept the arguments of incumbents. Existing media companies claim that they need ever stronger and longer copyright protection and new, draconian laws to protect them, and meanwhile, new free ecosystems, like the Web, have actually led to enormous wealth creation and enormous new opportunities for social value. And yes, they did in fact lead in some cases to the destruction of incumbents, but that’s the kind of creative destruction that we should celebrate in the economy. We have to accept that, particularly in the area of science, there’s an incredible opportunity for open access to enable new business models.

Tim O’Reilly on "the Clothesline Paradox", timely and enormously important. (via explore-blog)


Earning a four-year college degree remains a worthwhile investment for the average student. Data from U.S. workers show that the benefits of college in terms of higher earnings far outweigh the costs of a degree, measured as tuition plus wages lost while attending school. The average college graduate paying annual tuition of about $20,000 can recoup the costs of schooling by age 40. After that, the difference between earnings continues such that the average college graduate earns over $800,000 more than the average high school graduate by retirement age. 

Today in unintentionally incredibly bleak studies: going to college is still “worth it” in the sense that you recoup the costs by age forty. And that’s assuming interest-free student loans. A degree still leaves you better off by retirement (in the US, anyway - less clear in Canada, because the degree premium is lower here) but wow it takes a long time to get out of the hole.