Industrial organization is a field of economics that expands the traditional model of a perfectly competitive marketplace to include such real-world factors as price discrimination, barriers to entry into the market, and the effects of new technologies. When it first emerged as a field in the 1930s, industrial organization made use of empirical studies to describe numerous variables but it could not define causal relationships between them. A second wave of scholarship in the 1970s resulted in noncooperative game theory being adopted as the unified methodology of the field and a theory of industrial organization emerged. Jean Tirole set out to write the first primary text to present the new form of industrial organization to advanced undergraduates and grad students. The Theory of Industrial Organization was first published in 1988 and is still one of the top texts assigned on the subject today.
Our 50 influential journal articles are listed here. The articles are in chronological order and will be freely available through the end of 2012.
The recent Open Ed conference in Vancouver, with its theme of Beyond Content and an agenda that included diverse topics such as Transformation in Arts, Languages and Math, Open Assessment and Credentialing, as well as the profile of attendees, vividly demonstrated that the open education movement has
far outgrown the original set of initiatives and card-carrying evangelists. The discourse is increasingly toward implications of openness in all aspects of the educational value chain, including its potential as a sustainable force for change. This is welcome and gratifying: the recommendations presented in Opening Up Education, while pointing to the initial success of open education’s gathering storm, also made a plea for considering systemic implications so that its transformative potential could be realized.
Overall, open education has engendered an educational ecology characterized not only by abundant resources, but greater agency to learners and communities. These characteristics position us to better address significant challenges such as educational cost, college completion, quality, persistence and performance. A good example is the Kaleidoscope Project, where seven community colleges collaboratively created courses using existing OERs. Kaeidoscope has demonstrated a significant reduction in cost/course/student (~ 98.%), however it also focuses on improving course design and learning results.
The latest entrant to the open education suite are MOOCS such as edX, which not only provide learning experiences at an unprecedented scale but usher in new opportunities for innovation—in how learning experiences are produced, where learning happens, how it is assessed and credentialed. They allow us to envision more profound structural changes in the relationship between individuals, institutions and learning and ultimately in the economics of education.
There are still significant challenges of readiness related to content and culture to be addressed in order to render this gathering movement a perfect storm of transformation, but the signs suggest that it is ripe for the opportunity.
“It appears impossible for anyone seriously interested in our civilization to ignore this book. It is a ‘must’ book for those in every branch of science—engineers (all kinds), mathematicians, physiologists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, philosophers, psychiatrists, chemists (all kinds), psychopathologists, neuroanatomists, neurophysiologists, etc. In addition, economists, politicians, statesmen, and businessmen cannot afford to overlook cybernetics and its tremendous, even terrifying, implications…
Professor Wiener calls this ‘a preliminary book’ on the subject of cybernetics. It is a beautifully written book, lucid, direct, and, despite its complexity, as readable by the layman as the trained scientist, if the former is willing to forego attempts to understand mathematical formulas.”
I am glad to see that open source software continues to be of significant interest to researchers and practitioners. I believe it truly is a disruptive technology which has had a massive effect on fields and methods of organizing outside of software development, e.g., open innovation, crowdsourcing, and open data. This extends the idea of knowledge transfer, permeation, and exploitation across the boundaries of organizations and communities, with implications well beyond the software domain as it suggests new models of work organization and innovation. I was quite excited about the recent NASA announcement that they were to collaborate with Karim Lakhani at Harvard University on crowdsourcing software development initiative. Basically, developers will compete to solve software development problems in the mode of "optimistic concurrency" that has served the open source software phenomenon so well. This could lead to very exciting software development possibilities.
One issue that surprises me, however, is that for all the great awareness and understanding of open source software and its complexities, there seems to be no corresponding general awareness or interest in open standards. The latter are key to ensuring the future of open source software. They ensure that open source solutions can always be available to match proprietary ones. Open standards are also critical to underpin open data, which is a really exciting frontier for the future.
"I first encountered it as a young bookseller in 1975, building the stock of a technical bookstore. In 1979, I began architecture school at the University of Maryland. I was inspired by the book to think about buildings in the city. I went back to the book again, this time as a student. I did not become an architect, taking another route. The book and its image has stayed with me as a later graduate student, and has informed my thinking ever since as an urban resident. I still have the copy I purchased in the 1970's and I just pulled it off a bookshelf in my apartment. I have put aside many books that have been a part of my life, not this one."
"TheImage of the City has hit 35 printings. A cover PO from 1964 to Farnsworth Press specifies that we would like the covers printed offset rather than letterpress. At the 7th printing in 1971, we did 10,000 copies. The 14th printing was in 1977."
Our 50 influential journal articles are listed here. The articles are in chronological order and will be freely available through the end of 2012.
For today's 50th anniversary post, Production Coordinator Kate Elwell dug up some Production facts about Steen Eiler Rasmussen's Experiencing
"We just reprinted Rasmussen's Experiencing Architecture for the
35th time. Our production folder only goes back to the 14th printing, which was done in 1977. It was for 15,000 copies and we asked to
see “a salt for approval.” We printed an additional 15,000 in 1978! It’s fun to track the list of buyers who have worked on reprints and the
history of the printing industry. This title printed at Halliday, then
Halliday got bought by Arcata, and then somewhere between the 23rd (in 1992) and the 24th (in 1993) printings, Arcata-Halliday must have
closed because it went to Vail."
We're posting this week's Election Tuesday piece a bit early because it directly relates to the final presidential debate. David L. Phillips, author of Liberating Kosovo: Coercive Diplomacy and U. S. Intervention, discusses the candidates' stances on foreign policy and urges them to consider important lessons from America’s recent experiences.
Obama and Romney clashed during
the presidential debate on foreign policy. Romney accused Obama of being weak
and apologizing for American values. He accused Obama of failing to support
Iran’s pro-democracy movement, thereby empowering the mullahs. He also blasted
the Obama administration for failing to provide adequate security at U.S.
diplomatic facilities, lamenting the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and insinuating
a cover-up of Al Qaeda’s role in the Benghazi attack.
Obama adamantly defended his conduct
of foreign policy. Noting that his primary responsibility is keeping the
country safe, Obama discussed the killing of Osama bin Laden and drone attacks
against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. He highlighted the
withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, as promised.
Despite sharp rhetoric, the
debate revealed striking areas of agreement between the candidates. Both
pledged to prevent Iran from gaining the capabilities to develop a nuclear
weapon. Both promised support to Israel and a two-state solution. Both
committed to withdraw forces from Afghanistan by 2014.
On Syria, differences were
nuanced. Obama and Romney took turns beating up on Bashar al-Assad, pledging
support for secular opposition groups that share America’s values. Romney
criticized Obama’s minimal and indirect intervention, pledging to arm the
Syrian opposition through Arab allies (e.g. Saudi Arabia and Qatar). Obama was
more circumspect about transferring sophisticated weapons, lest they fall into
the hands of Jihadis, who would use them against U.S. interests.
Short on specifics, neither candidate
discussed intervention criteria or the responsibility that accompanies military
action. As the prospective future
leaders of the United States weigh options for U.S. intervention, they should
consider important lessons from America’s recent experience.
Liberating Kosovo: Coercive Diplomacy and U.S. Intervention examines
such lessons through the case of Kosovo, which can be applied to challenges
faced by the United States today in Syria, Libya and Afghanistan. It offers guidelines on intervention: why,
when, how and with whom? It emphasizes cajoling and coercion, so confrontation
is the last resort. It also addresses winning the peace through reconstruction,
which focus on jobs and sustainable development. A successful exit strategy requires
a credible local partner with the capacity to stand-up as the United States
stands-down. When facing these
challenges, the next U.S. president will be judged by his actions, not but his
Open Access Week (Oct 22-28, 2012) provides
an excellent time for a little reflection on the state of our access to
research and scholarship. While some of us had been hoping for a digital
revolution in access to research and scholarship that would suddenly and fully turn
this entire realm of learning into a vast public asset, we are coming to accept
that, instead, a series of evolutionary
forces are underway, at least when you look at things as a matter of a
decade or two, rather than over eons of time.
markers, well worth celebrating this year, are found in the growing acceptance
of open access as a guiding principle for scholarly communication. The markers
include the gradual increases this year, to over 8,000 journals, in the Directory of Open Access Journals, and the 250 open
access mandates among universities, departments and institutes included in ROARMAP. Also notable, perhaps as more
of a moment of punctuated equilibrium in this evolution, is the first open
access journal from the American Psychological Association, with a lovely retro
title, Archives of Scientific Psychology,
which will also feature, according to its editors,
open data sharing and open reviews. MIT Press has also been among the
publishers experimenting with open access approaches to journals and books.
recent source of open-access innovation comes from the rise of mega-journals,
following in the footsteps of PLoS
One, (with roughly 14,000 articles annually), including the Nature Publishing
Group, with Scientific Reports, the Royal
Society, with Open Biology, and from the British
Medical Association, BMJ Open. The
mega-journal, tapping the article-processing-fees model, forms a notable
instance of where this move toward open access has led to a new publishing
principle affecting scholarly communication. By publishing on the principle that
the peer-reviewed competence and contribution of a paper should be sufficient
to warrant immediate publication in the digital age, given no real restrictions
on journal size (compared to print) and the sheer epistemological
inefficiencies of a highly discriminatory journal hierarchy.
Davis points out, the mega-journal model raises equity issues for authors
and may disrupt non-profit society publishing. The cautions are well-noted, but
still it is hard to resist, having wished and worked for this increased access,
concluding that an irrevocable evolution toward this opening of research and
scholarship is underway. But then a moment’s reflection reminds one that the
Royal Society of London was behind such an opening from the very beginning of
journal publishing, if perhaps without the business acumen that it may now be showing.
A note from Ellen Faran, Director of the MIT Press
This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the MIT
Press, a milestone that has us reflecting on the significance of our work. I
hasten to add that “our work” refers to the efforts of a very large community
of authors, book and journal editors, peer reviewers, researchers, freelancers,
publishing partners, as well as current and former MIT Press staff. We are
arguably most proud that so many of our publications are influential. From a
publishing perspective, there are some quantitative measures that provide a
view of a title’s lasting influence: lifetime sales and citations or the number
of printings or editions. More broadly, scholars assess influence through the
recognition of the impact of the work on their fields: pointing the way for
subsequent research, offering a new pedagogical approach, sparking a new area
for inquiry. We will be highlighting some of the influential publications of
the MIT Press over the past five decades in the next 50 blog posts. Join us in
50 days of celebration of scholarly publishing that matters.
1956: Language, Thought, and Reality: Selected Writings of
Benjamin Lee Whorf by Benjamin Lee Whorf, edited by John B. Carroll
Philip Laughlin, Senior Acquisitions Editor in Philosophy
and Cognitive Science, writes, “Before I came to The MIT Press, the name
“Benjamin Lee Whorf” and his book Language, Thought, and Reality were a mere abstractions
to me. I knew that Whorf’s name was forever linked to Edward Sapir in the form
of the “Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis.” And I
knew that said hypothesis radically proposed that language shaped— not simply
reflected—reality. But it wasn’t until after I was hired as the philosophy and
cognitive science editor at MIT Press that I actually saw and touched the book
responsible for disseminating Whorf’s ideas. The fact that it had been
originally published by Technology Press—MIT Press’ forerunner—lent it the aura
of a sacred text in the field of cognitive science. Being able to republish a
beautiful new edition of such an influential book with an introduction by
Stephen Levinson, the world’s foremost authority on language and culture, will
count as one of my proudest achievements at MIT Press.”
It’s difficult to quantify the impact of Quine’s Word and
Object on the field of philosophy; I think most would agree that its cumulative
effect is enormous. Here, the author of Two Dogmas of Empiricism (or “Two
Dogs,” as it is affectionately known) gives us an extended example of his
naturalistic approach to philosophy as a field that is continuous with science
and constrained to the scientific method. I’m quite excited to be involved in
the second edition of this legendary book.
According to Patricia Churchland’s foreword to our
forthcoming new edition, when the book first came out, the Philosophy Department
at the University of Pittsburgh devoted seminars to it—seminars that were quite
lively, and, from the sound of it, came close to dissolving into fisticuffs.
Thirty (or so) years later, when I was a graduate student, seminars on Quine’s
Word and Object were still being held. I took one myself at Tufts University.
No fisticuffs were involved, but I do remember a lot of jokes involving
‘Gavagai’, undetached rabbit parts, and manifestations of rabbithood. “Point to
a rabbit and you have pointed to a stage of a rabbit, to an integral part of a
rabbit, to the rabbit fusion, and to where rabbithood is manifested.”
Maddening, nigh inscrutable stuff! Just the thing for philosophers to chew on
for decades and centuries to come.