mercoledì 10 maggio 2017

THE RESPITE OF THE WELL-ORDERED MATCH: LOVE, MUSIC, AND EVEN YOUR DOG - The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen

5. THE RESPITE OF THE WELL-ORDERED MATCH: LOVE, MUSIC, AND EVEN YOUR DOGRead more at location 1634
Note: 5@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Edit
individuals can become happier without many of the core economic indicators, such as sales, revenue, or GDP, necessarily registering big improvements.Read more at location 1638
Note: FELICI AL DI LÀ DEGLI INDICATORI Edit
Revenue is down for the music companies and for some artists, but the listening experience has never been better. Consumers are spending less for music and yet getting more in terms of aesthetic delight. To cite one example, an advanced Spotify subscription for unlimited music streaming costs only $10 a month, sometimes less with discounts. And yet, circa 2016, the listener has access to about 35 million songs.Read more at location 1640
Note: IL PARALLELO CON LA MUSICA Edit
One measure counted 1,369 different kinds of music on Spotify, and growing. These categories include “black sludge,” a combination of black metal and sludge, “unblack metal” (explicitly opposed to Satanism), “crustpunk,” “deep filthstep,” “mallet” (with mallets), “new weird America” (perhaps appropriate for this book), “vegan straight edge” (hardcore punk but vegan and antidrug), and “abstract” (it’s like complextro, but more abstract than rhythmic).Read more at location 1652
Note: c Edit
YouTube offers many millions of musical cuts for free, and it is no accident that it is owned by Google, which means its search function is run by Google; YouTube is fundamentally about matching. There are also other venues—Amazon streaming, millions of artist websites, iTunes (still), and illegal download sites.Read more at location 1659
Note: c Edit
I can hear pretty much what I want, when I want, and in whatever version I want it. On the side, I still can buy CDs and LPs, but I use modern matching and search techniques, such as googling reviews, to decide what to buy.Read more at location 1661
Note: c Edit
In the so-called good old days, people bought albums without always knowing much about the music.Read more at location 1664
Note: c Edit
Even the successful purchases often had no more than two or three good songs, or maybe just one; not every long-playing record was as consistent as Sgt. Pepper’s or Led Zeppelin IV.Read more at location 1666
Note: c Edit
Classical music enthusiasts put great effort into finding exactly the right performance, knowing that sometimes pianist Artur Schnabel’s fingers went off the rails, or Horowitz had a bad day, or, on the brighter side, Nelson Freire really was an underrated Chopin player.Read more at location 1669
Note: IDEM X LA CLASSICA Edit
You could buy thick guides to the best classical CDs, but keeping up with all this stuff wasn’t that easy—was the mono or stereo Otto Klemperer Beethoven recording thought to be best? (P.S.: It was the mono. Today you can use Google to confirm.) All that has changed. You can listen for free, read web reviews until you are tired of staring at your screen, or text a friend for quick musical advice. Every few days I receive an email from a total stranger (typically a blog reader) giving me free music tips, requesting them, or most likely both at the same time. Usually I give it a try on YouTube or Spotify and follow up accordingly, or not. That’s how I found out I like the jazz trumpeter Kamasi Washington. These days, it is hardly ever the case that people are buying music they don’t like.Read more at location 1672
Note: c Edit
before streaming and YouTube became so popular, the idea of a mistaken or unsatisfactory music purchase was on the way out.Read more at location 1678
Note: L ACQ SBAGLIATO. UN IDEA DEL PASSATO Edit
In my new Hyundai automobile, I just speak to the satellite radio system and it changes the channel by itself, using voice-recognition software. I do that every time there is a song I don’t like or, for that matter, a song I consider less than excellent. Music hardly ever disappoints,Read more at location 1681
Note: LO SCARTO E LA SELEZIONE Edit
We live in a setting where one part of GDP has gone down—GDP for recorded music—while consumer satisfaction with music almost certainly has gone up.Read more at location 1684
Note: PIL GIÙ FELICITÀ SU Edit
revenue from recorded music worldwide was about $60 billion, but now it is only about $15 billion. Domestically, revenue from recorded music has fallen by about 70 percent since 1999, even though the American population has grown by about 46 million.Read more at location 1685
Note: c Edit
And yet this new world is not so bad for the earnings of artists, especially for the ones who are willing to go out and tour. In 2014, over 60,000 Americans reported their primary occupation as musician, music director, or composer, up from 53,000 in 1999; in percentage terms, that’s a bigger rise than for the American job market as a whole. The number of self-employed musicians rose even more, going up 45 percent from 2001 to 2014.Read more at location 1691
Note: c Edit
The key point is this: By using better matching, the American economy is in some fundamental ways doing better than the numbers indicate. Our preferences are better satisfied, above and beyond how this might be reflected in GDP and other economic measures,Read more at location 1701
Note: IL PUNTO CHIAVE. STIAMO MEGLIO DI QUANTO MISURI IL PIL Edit
MATCHING CONTINUES TO SPREAD ITS INFLUENCERead more at location 1707
Note: t Edit
in the 1930s, one study showed that over a third of urban Americans married people who lived within five blocks. But for couples who married between 2005 and 2012, more than one-third of them met online; that number rose to nearly 70 percent for same-sex couples.Read more at location 1709
Note: OGGI LO SPOSO È SCELTO. UN BEL VANTAGGIO CHE SFUGGE AL PIL Edit
For same-sex couples, the benefits of online connections appear to be much stronger, because their search and discovery problems are usually tougher.Read more at location 1714
Note: UN VANTAGGIO SPECIE X GLI OMO Edit
Oscar Mayer, the food products company, is marketing Sizzl, a dating app that tries to pair people on the basis of whether they share a common taste for a preferred kind of bacon.Read more at location 1721
Note: ACCOPPIARE GRAZIE AL CIBO. STRANO MA RENDE L IDEA Edit
The very latest I have heard about is the app called “Once.” It connects to your Fitbit or Android Wear device and tracks your heart rate while you look at someone else’s profile.Read more at location 1729
Note: MISURARSI IL BATTICUORE Edit
There is experimental evidence that if you enter a speed dating room and just try to be nice and welcoming to everyone, rather than looking for “the right match,” the other participants discriminate against you, and it is hard to come away from such events satisfied. It seems to work better to present some version of “who you really are” and then look for the person who will appreciate that, or in other words, it is better to try to match.Read more at location 1734
Note: UN MONDO CHE SPINGE AD ESSERE SE STESSI Edit
“Assortative mating”—that is, the marriage of people of similar educational and socioeconomic backgrounds—has become more widespread than in the past. That phrase refers to matching generally, but it also refers more specifically to men of high education and income marrying women of high education and income. More concretely, lawyers marry other law partners, or perhaps investment bankers, rather than their secretaries. This in turn propagates inequality across the generations,Read more at location 1743
Note: MATRIMONIO TRA SIMILI E SEGREGAZIONE Edit
The influence of matching spreads far and wide, so maybe sex is better too for many Americans. It’s certainly easier to find, and if you have unusual tastes, or maybe just religious- or culturally based tastes, you are no longer confined to the circle of people you know from ordinary daily life.Read more at location 1752
Note: FACILITATE LE SCELTE SESSUALI Edit
Some of this choice may encourage a narrowing of horizons, or too much choice may be alienating, or maybe the surfeit of choice makes it harder to settle down and be content.Read more at location 1760
Note: I PROBLEMI DI UNA VASTA SCELTA Edit
Still, we need to seriously entertain the hypothesis that, on average, our sex lives and love lives are considerably better than they were a few decades ago.Read more at location 1764
Note: c Edit
EBay is another IT company that facilitates the well-ordered match, though here we are back to the more benevolent side of the practice. Some people own collectibles and others want to buy them. Before internet auctions, the garage sale, the flea market, and the antique shop coordinated the market, but usually you had to visit them in person.Read more at location 1792
Note: LE VENDITE SU EBAY. GRANDE SEMPLIF Edit
EBay and other contemporary institutions have so attuned us to favorable and most favorable matches that the Millennial Generation has rebelled against the idea of taking on parental possessions. Parents often want to hand down their leather sofas, their music collections, and their photo albums, if only to downsize. But American kids are not accepting these items from their parents as they used to.Read more at location 1797
Note: FINE DEGLI OGGETTI TRASMESSI IN EREDITÁ. UN OGGETTO NN SCELTO NN HA PIÙ SENSO Edit
Scott Roewer, who works as a “professional organizer,” put it this way: “They [Millennials] are living their life digitally through Instagram and Facebook and YouTube, and that’s how they are capturing their moments. Their whole life is on a computer; they don’t need a shoebox full of greeting cards.” And the very fact that we now have “professional organizers” says at least as much as that quotation.Read more at location 1802
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With respect to matching, I would say contemporary society has a lot more “happiness capital” than the available numbers indicate.Read more at location 1811
Note: ANCHE QUI: PIÙ RICCHEZZA DI QUANTO APPAIA Edit
Or consider the used books for sale on Amazon. These days you can buy Tolstoy’s War and Peace, or many other classic works, for only a penny, plus $3.99 for shipping. And it’s not just classics; Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Visit from the Goon Squad also sells for a penny plus shipping.Read more at location 1818
Note: LA BIBLIOTECA INFINITA A COSTO QUASI ZERO Edit
That the price is so low is an indication of how many books are being matched to buyers rather than being pulped or sitting in a used book store barn somewhere in rural Pennsylvania, waiting three or four years for someone to come along and pay the $8 price inscribed in pencil on the inside title page.Read more at location 1824
Note: c Edit
matching gains are improving the world,Read more at location 1828
There is one other statistic that I find indicative of the new trend toward better and more powerful matching, and that has to do with how we treat our pets. When I was a kid, I remember that most dogs given away to shelters or to the dog pound ended up being put to sleep. That is no longer the case. In New York City, the adoption rate for shelter dogs and cats now stands at 87 percent, compared to a much lower 26 percent in 2003. In San Francisco, the placement rate for shelter animals stands at 91 percent. The number of dogs and cats put to sleep has gone down by about 80 percent since the 1970s.17 And why is that? Well, shelters have become much better at matching pets to owners, albeit at the cost of some extra bureaucracy.Read more at location 1834
Note: SCEGLIERSI IL CUCCIOLO. BOOM DI ADOZIONI DAI CANILI Edit
And by the way, don’t think that these days you have to own a dog to get the benefits. Just use the app Bark‘N’Borrow, an Uber-like sharing economy service to help you spend some time with a dog—and then, when you are done, send it back to its owner. The dog’s owner feels less guilty about keeping the pet in her apartment all day while she is working, the dog gets to go for a walk, your seven-year-old is delighted by the experience, and at the end of the day, everyone’s carpet remains fully unsoiled. Don’t forget to specify which breed you want.Read more at location 1845
Note: CANI A NOLEGGIO Edit
WHERE ELSE ARE BETTER MATCHES IMPROVING OUR LIVING STANDARDS?Read more at location 1850
Note: t Edit
If we look at the budget of a typical middle-class American, commonly the major items include rent (or mortgage payment), health care (if only indirectly through employer provision of insurance and thus lower wages), higher education, transportation, and food.Read more at location 1859
Note: NEI SETTORI CHIAVE IL MATCHING OPERA? Edit
Unfortunately, not all of these areas are seeing big gains in the quality of matching, and that is one way to understand why some big parts of the American economy remain somewhat stuck.Read more at location 1860
Note: POCO Edit
The decline in residential mobility also makes the American economy less dynamic and less able to adjust to recessions, again, as discussed earlier.Read more at location 1865
Note: CI SI MUOVE MENO ANCHE SE DOVREBBE ESSERE PIÙ FACILE FARLO Edit
It is much easier than before to discover who are the best doctors, or which are the best hospitals and colleges, mostly because of the internet and superior techniques of performance measurement. That said, these are not fully open markets for matching. Knowing that Harvard may be the best university doesn’t mean you can go there, even if you are willing to pay full price.Read more at location 1867
Note: SANITÀ ED EDUCAZ. IL PREZZO ANCORA VARIABILE CHIAVE Edit
That’s different from music, where everyone can listen to Bach and the Beatles—orRead more at location 1871
Alvin Roth, an experimental economist now at Stanford University, won a Nobel Prize in part for using economic theory to come up with better algorithms for matching, and these methods are supposed to be robust across many realms in a quite general sense. His Nobel Prize was an especially deserved one, as it reflects the spirit of our times more than was recognized in 2012, the year he won.Read more at location 1879
Note: ALVIN ROTH E LA SCELTA NELLA SANOTÁ E NELLA SCUOLA Edit
OUR JOBS ARE ALSO ABOUT MATCHINGRead more at location 1897
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Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides, who won the Nobel in 2010, were obsessed with the question of why unemployment persisted for so long after an economic recession. In their minds, the problem of finding the right job was fundamentally one of matching;Read more at location 1901
Note: ANCORA DISOCCUPAZ NELL ERA DELLA SCELTA? Edit
Earlier economists, notably John Maynard Keynes and his successors, framed the question in terms of whether there was enough spending in the economy to sustain job creation. That factor remains relevant, but Mortensen and Pissarides asked some deeper and more fundamental questions about why it takes so long to reemploy workers laid off during a downturn.Read more at location 1903
Note: FACILITARE L ACCOPPIAMENTO CONTA QUANTO CREARE LAVORO Edit
People are often laid off because they are locked into a wage agreement that the employer no longer deems profitable.Read more at location 1906
Note: LICENZIAMENTI INUTILI Edit
During a recession, employers, seeking to cut costs, which often starts with laying people off, are understandably less focused on finding new workers. Workers, for their part, take a long time to accept the proposition that they may have to take lower-quality/lower-paying work. After all, once they do this, they fear, they’ll be branded as lower-quality workers for the future.Read more at location 1909
Note: IL PROB IN RECESSIONE Edit
One thing economists have learned about matching from Mortensen and Pissarides is that small changes in the ease of a match—as measured by, say, the returns to search in labor markets—can have a big impact on the final number and quality of matches.Read more at location 1916
Note: PICCOLI VANTAGGI NELLA RICETCA ENORMI BENEFICI SOST Edit
One recent economics research paper found that the “standard deviation” of the quality of a labor market match was worth about $9.75 an hour. That’s statistical lingo, but basically it means that it is pretty common for one job match to be much better than another by that amount, if we translate the value of the different jobs’ perks into dollar terms.Read more at location 1930
Note: QUANTO VALE UNA BUONA SCELTA Edit
THE WINNERS AND LOSERS FROM ALL THIS MATCHINGRead more at location 1936
Note: t Edit
That all said, the gains from matching are distributed very unevenly, and they accrue mainly to people who are better at using and handling information, a group whom elsewhere I labeled infovores. If you are completely wired, with a smartphone and good digital skills, and you’re great at using Google, various apps, and knowing how to search for information, you’ll improve the quality of the matches that you find on the internet a lot.Read more at location 1937
Note: VINCITORI: I MACINATORI DI INFO Edit
Note: GOOGLER Edit
Some people are simply not so good at manipulating and interpreting digital information, so they don’t gain nearly as much from the internet and the matching capabilities it gives us.Read more at location 1942
Note: PERDENTI Edit
Another group that misses out from all these matching gains is those on the losing side of the digital divide. They are not well connected either at home or with smartphones, even if in a more just and less poverty-ridden world they might be superb at using the internet to improve their lives.Read more at location 1944
Note: I POCO TECNO Edit
Most of the matching I’ve outlined truly is beneficial, but still, it has helped to cement in a lot of segregation, stasis, and complacency of the successful. In economic terminology, it might be said that the world of good matches is a world of stocks, not flows.Read more at location 1947
Note: MONDO DELLA SCELTA MONDO BLOCCATO Edit
As both the conservative/libertarian Charles A. Murray and the liberal Robert D. Putnam have pointed out, America seems to be evolving two sets of social norms: a high-stability set of norms for the higher earners and upper socioeconomic classes and less-stable social and marriage norms for many of the less-educated lower earners. Our pro-matching technologies are mostly evolving to serve the needs of the former, wealthier group, and it remains to be seen just how much they will help individuals in the less-stable situations.Read more at location 1953
Note: LA SCELTA AL SERVIZIO DELKA CLASSE PIÙ ELEVATA CON LE IDEE PIÙ CHIARE Edit
those in the better situations have improved their abilities to match into what they want.Read more at location 1958
Note: COSA VOGLIO Edit
In chapter 4, I discussed how more and more of the top talent is being clustered in the largest and most successful firms. America’s productivity problem is coming from small and medium-size enterprises, not the market leaders. Probably not all of Google’s ideas will work out, but still, the company isn’t just search. Gmail is pretty useful, YouTube is running and has been significantly upgraded, driverless cars and trucks seem to be on the horizon, and someday a version of Google Glass may even change our lives, even if Google Glass as we know it remains stillborn. What is happening is that technology has made it easier for better corporations to identify those workers with stronger skills, more demanding work ethics, and higher intelligence, and vice versa.Read more at location 1962
Note: LA SCELTA PORTA I MIGLIORI A STARE CON I MIGLIORI Edit
new segregationRead more at location 1973
As I think you already can sense, the downside is never far away. All the talk of “business morale” is very often code for a kind of profiling, that nasty cousin of segregation.Read more at location 1983
Note: BUSINESS MORAL Edit
That’s the other downside to all of this. For all the benefits produced by the elite tech firms, in the longer run, a lot of businesses will end up less innovative, as the best workers get pulled into a relatively small number of companies and sectors.Read more at location 1990
Note: ECONOMIA DIVERSIFICATA E SEGREGAZ Edit
If anything, top companies will be eager to parade their diversity and tolerance in full public view, as their customers and potential customers are probably no less diverse. Credit Suisse, in addition to its tolerant hiring and promotion policies, has promoted an LGBT Equality Index, an investment product that focuses on companies with superior performance in supporting LGBT rights.Read more at location 2001
Note: OSTENTARE UNA MORALW SUPERIORE GRAZIE ALLA SUP PRODUTTIVITÀ. MORALISMO FRUTTO DI SEGREG Edit
WHAT ARE SOME OTHER DOWNSIDES OF ALL THIS MATCHING?Read more at location 2009
Note: t Edit
When I first heard Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, I didn’t like the album. It sounded discordant and too jazzy for my taste. At fifteen years old, I put it aside. Still, I had bought the damned thing, and some guy in a book wrote that it was important, so a while later I returned to the purchase. Besides, at that time in the 1970s, I didn’t have a free universal jukebox at my immediate disposal, so that was the music in the house and I didn’t have the money to go out and buy all the albums I wanted. But a funny thing happened—after five or so listens, I liked the album. Soon enough, I grew to love it.Read more at location 2014
Note: LA PARABOLA DEI VECCHI DISCHI E L IMPORTANZA DI TORNARE SULLE COSE. UNA COSA IMPORTANTE OGGI PERDUTA Edit
I’ve heard and read some related complaints about internet dating. The eternal possibility of finding a better match yet makes it harder for many people to settle down and make any match at all. Aziz Ansari relates the story of a middle-age guy, not rich or gorgeous or famous, who went through a list of ads from women and rejected them for one arbitrary reason after another. He didn’t pursue one of the ads because the woman was a Boston Red Sox fan. He didn’t hate sports or baseball; rather, it was the attachment to the Red Sox that turned him off. The prospect of the perfect match has become, for this person, the enemy of the good match.Read more at location 2025
Note: IMPARARE AD AMARE I DIFETTI Edit
There is now an extensive literature in behavioral economics about how, under some circumstances, having more choice can make it harder for us to be content with our final selections.Read more at location 2031
Note: COSTO OPPORT Edit
MATCHERS GAIN, STRIVERS LOSERead more at location 2040
Note: t Edit
The enthusiasts have niche tastes, and some of their happiness comes from finding other people who share those passions, whatever they may be. They might seek friends with comparable collections of Motown 45s, or people who play the same computer games.Read more at location 2047
Note: I CURIOSI. GLI AMANTI DELLA NICCHIA. ECCO I FAVOROTI Edit
On the other side of this spectrum, the competitive strivers are driven less by their interests than by their drive to win in whatever context they find themselves. These are the people who strive to have the biggest office, bed the most mates, earn the most money, or climb whatever else the relevant status ladder may be.Read more at location 2052
Note: I PERDENTI SONO I COMPETITIVE A PRESCINDERE. POCO INTERESSATI AL MERITO DELLE COSE Edit
Unlike the enthusiasts, the competitive strivers often face more intense competition for what they want because everyone else also can pursue it through online means. The strivers are trying to win rather than to match,Read more at location 2055
Note: NELL ABBONDANZA STA BENE CHI VUOL STAR MEGLIO STA MALE CHI VUOLE TUTTO O PIÙ DI TUTTI Edit
The competitive strivers face yet another problem: The internet makes it harder for them to feel they have reached the top of the heap. Maybe two generations ago it was about marrying the most beautiful girl in town, but these days the standards for beauty are global.Read more at location 2058
Note: c Edit
The internet puts a stiff implicit tax or penalty on competitive status seeking, and it rewards those who are content with something niche and unusual.Read more at location 2063
Note: INTERNET TASSA LA COMPETIZIONE E PREMIA NEL MERITO Edit
This may be one reason for the oft-reported diffidence that characterizes many of the Millennial Generation. They are not actually indifferent or lazy or lacking in enthusiasm—quite the contrary—but more and more of their passions take forms other than those of the old climb-the-social-ladder variety.Read more at location 2064
Note: FORSE QS SPIEGA LA SCARSA AMBIZ DEI MILLENNIALS? Edit