Sunday, February 18, 2007

An Economics Fermi-Style Problem

The guy who invented the remote control has died, leading me to wonder, between 1956 and now, can we roughly estimate the dollar-valued surplus created by that invention? Surely it's unspeakably large. Of course, the articles about are relentlessly if playfully critical:
"People ask me all the time — 'Don't you feel guilty for it?' And I say that's ridiculous," he said. "It seems reasonable and rational to control the TV from where you normally sit and watch television."
Rational indeed. You might even say it's awesome.

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