Monday, April 22, 2013


Ross Selvidge sent me this delightful photo.  Economists love to talk about "signaling."  Trouble is that almost everything we do can be said to be part of our signaling routine. 

There is considerable debate about how much of the value of our college degrees is due to learning and how much is due to the signal the degree sends that we got into (and graduated from) a good place.  So signaling is easy to spot (the brassy guys pictured may be at the extreme), but how can we know it when we are engaged in behavior that is not signaling? Are there situations when there is no one around to impress?

Surveillance from mounted cameras (put there by private or public security people) as well as from an uncountable number of smart phones are here to stay.  Forget about figuring out a way not to signal.