Saturday, July 30, 2011

Markets in Everything: iPhone Dermatoscope -- "Among the ever-growing number of iPhone accessories, we’ve spotted a new one which may pave the way to revolutionize the health care as we know it. It’s called Handyscope and by sticking it on the back of the device, it effectively turns an iPhone into a digital dermatoscope allowing for mobile skin examination.

The accessory works in conjunction with an app that enables users to take a sample of their skin, which once a photo is taken, can be beamed directly to the physician to get his or her expert opinion."

HT: Norman Berger


At 7/30/2011 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was also some software called MelaFind which was supposed to diagnose any irregularities itself, but it was banned by the FDA, after applying ridiculous criteria. The obvious conclusion is that the doctors on the panel were scared of the competition and rather than lose work to software, acted like any other guild and banned it.

At 7/31/2011 9:27 AM, Blogger Fishsticks said...

Sad to see the FDA getting in the mix. Great example of how the government "creates" jobs.

At 7/31/2011 9:43 AM, Blogger Jon said...

But if we had markets in everything there would be no i-phone. Computer development was funded entirely by the government for decades.

At 7/31/2011 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jon, I hate to break it to you, but the free market invented the wheel, so without the free market, there would be no iphone and no govt. XD

At 7/31/2011 5:30 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Yeah, but I didn't say we should have government in everything. Perry on the other hand wants markets in everything. OK, so no computers, no internet, no commercial aviation, no lasers, no interstate highways. No iPhone Dermatoscope.

At 7/31/2011 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jon, if you think the govt gets even a small part of the credit for those products, you have been painfully misled. To say that the govt "invented" the internet because they paid a private contractor to design the trivial TCP/IP protocols, ignoring that far better protocols like DECnet and AppleTalk were invented in the private sector and only lost because they weren't free, while it was only tons of commercial innovation, like optical fibers from Corning and semiconductor scaling from tons of private companies like Intel or IBM, that made any kind of networking practically feasible, is to show yourself to be a credulous dum dum who believes the idiot politicians every time they say something moronic like "I invented the internet." ;)

Further, even if we grant that the govt lucked out and did fund some innovation, as even a broken clock is right twice a day, once we look at the gigantic cost of that "innovation," we can safely say that if the same money had been kept in the private sector, we'd have had tons more innovation by now. So you want to look at the few successes the govt stumbled upon while wasting billions in taxpayer money, I look at all the waste and how much more successful we'd be if we had managed to keep them away from our money.

Oh, and btw, while I'm sure Perry wants to have markets in all the stuff you mention, I don't think he really wants it in everything, as he's a libertarian, to the best of my knowledge. I, however, do want everything to be a market, as I'm an anarcho-capitalist. For example, I see no reason why we shouldn't have private markets in defense also, putting the cops and armies out of business. :)

At 7/31/2011 8:51 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Yeah, I do think the government gets at least a small amount of credit. The internet that we have and use every day was developed because the government provided the funding.

Well, if only the government hadn't wasted that money and instead it was put to other uses in the private sector, we'd all have been so much better off you say. But don't you find it strange that all the key components in the present economy were developed by the government? I've already mentioned some. Travel is a huge part of the economy. As I mentioned, commercial aviation was created by the government. Those planes are just modified bombers. Shipping technology was developed for the war. Key telecommunications developments came about via the government.

It's just amazing to me that a person can sit on his computer and post over the internet "Markets in Everything." He probably went to church today using the interstate highways with his GPS before posting this. Maybe he's on vacation doing internet via satellite. Telling the world that the government never does anything right. We need the government out of the way. As in Haiti, Africa, and Latin America. Those places with all that government intervention may be leading the world (the US, Western Europe, Japan, South Korea). But they'd have been even better if they hadn't been so wasteful. Like Haiti? Up is down for the anarcho capitalists. Makes sense in your mind I'm sure. I'm suggesting you take a look at the world.

At 7/31/2011 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jon, it is true that the government funded some things here and there- largely only because they were trying to stay ahead in war, I suppose you support greatly increased defense spending?- but the fact remains that the vast majority of innovation and development, including all the stuff you list, came from the private sector, as I showed you with the internet. To then take that small amount of govt contribution and say that none of it would be around if it weren't for the govt is an idiotic argument, as I showed I could do the same by saying that nothing would exist today without the wheel, invented in the free market. ;)

It is amazing to me that you are so ignorant about these issues, yet have no compunction about posting on the internet some nonsense that some idiot politician fed you. If you think Haiti, Africa, and Latin America are anywhere close to anarcho-capitalistic or even have less govt than we do, no wonder you are clueless about these issues. Let me guess, you attended a public school? ;) I suggest you actually look up some facts, instead of mouthing leftie propaganda, then telling us to look up whatever crap you read.

At 7/31/2011 10:12 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Sprewell, you showed that the internet came from the private sector? I think you're wrong on that.

Is it your belief that Haiti has big government as compared to the US?

Mark, your link didn't work, but I googled it and got it. If you just mean that markets are good in a variety of things, I agree. I think your readers take you to be saying something else, namely that markets should be in EVERYTHING, like Sprewell says here. He seems to object to government funding of R&D that lead to the development of computers (correct me if I'm wrong Sprewell) on the grounds that those resources should have been left in the hands of the private sector, which would have found more efficient uses for it. Exclusively free markets for everything. If you disagree then we are in agreement against Sprewell and Sprewell is misreading you.

At 7/31/2011 10:26 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

The frequent posts in the series "Markets in Everything" is not meant to advance or advocate a position that there SHOULD be markets for everything imaginable, but instead more of an appreciation of how diverse and creative markets are at responding to consumer demand. It's not even original to this blog, but started at Marginal Revolution years ago, and I have simply copied them. There is a comprehensive list of the posts on Marginal Revolution in the "Markets in Everything" series at

At 7/31/2011 10:30 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Marginal Revolution has featured "Markets in Everything" back to 2003, and I have posted "Markets in Everything" starting in 2006, so I think regular readers of economics blogs like MR and CD understand the idea behind the series by now.

At 8/01/2011 12:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jon, some of us can actually back up our claims, as I did about the internet's provenance by listing specific details, while you simply flatly assert the opposite and can't even give a reason why, clearly because your opinion makes no sense. Haiti may not have lots of govt spending but most of the countries in Africa and Latin America do, with many being dictatorships. Haiti is a strange mishmash of problems, but it certainly isn't economically free.

As for what Mark thinks, who cares? I was an anarcho-capitalist before I ever read this blog, I could care less what Mark thinks. The only reason I said that he's a libertarian is because that's the label I would give him from reading this blog for years, but I don't know that he has ever even claimed that label himself. As for whether I would be for govt funding of R&D, it is very hard to be confused about the anarcho-capitalist position, as we advocate no government, ie no armies, no police, nothing. The fact that you have to ask indicates your confusion about these matters.

At 8/01/2011 10:50 AM, Blogger Jon said...

So your claim is that it makes no sense to believe that the internet was developed with government funding? You made certain claims about how there were better alternatives. Even if true how does this show that the internet didn't come about with government funding? Here's some background info. Seems to me your claim is flatly false.

The Freedom Index from the right wing Heritage Foundation is bogus. It is necessary to pretend that Haiti isn't free because obviously Haiti is very poor. It's also necessary to pretend that socialist Europe is free because it is prosperous. Heritage is just spinning.

I'm not asking if you as an anarcho capitalist oppose government funding. I was just being polite as I put words in your mouth and offered the reasons for why you object to government funding of R&D.

You say who cares what Mark thinks. We're talking about what Mark thinks because if I've misunderstood Mark then my objections are misplaced. That matters in the context of this blog post.

At 8/01/2011 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jon, as I said before, the internet is a collection of many interlocking technologies, everything from optical fiber to semiconductors. I pointed out that saying the govt paid a private contractor to design one small piece of that, the TCP/IP protocol, means that they "developed" the internet is idiotic. Haha, where in the long Wikipedia article that you linked to does it contradict anything I said? You can't say because you are clearly ignorant about all these innovation issues and are simply regurgitating lies and propaganda that the lefties have fed you, which you clearly don't have the ability to critically examine.

Haha, I like how your link to how the Index is "bogus" is a dumb blog post that you yourself wrote. :) "Inefficient state run administration at the sea ports" means their govt is fucking things up as usual: why the hell would you think that requires bigger govt to fix? Typical leftie, the govt fucked up royally, what's the solution? More govt. The real solution is obvious, get the govt the fuck out of the ports. Why would anyone say you need more govt regulation to stop corruption? Why would corruption be a big problem if the govt weren't putting its hands into everything?

At 8/01/2011 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see, so you "think" that europe is the paradigm of socialism, so therefore they are the baseline for what can be done with socialism. Great argument there, :) I wonder why Sweden has school vouchers then. I have been very clear that we would be much better off without govt funding of R&D and exactly why, which is perfectly in keeping with the anarcho-capitalist position of getting rid of all govt, not sure why you had to ask anything.

I was the one who first pointed out that you likely misunderstand what Mark thinks, because he is probably a libertarian and libertarians don't go far enough, ie they don't actually believe in markets in everything. He has since pointed out that he's not even advocating anything, just pointing out what actually happens and following a trend that another blog pioneered. I'm not sure why you ever cared what he thought.

At 8/02/2011 11:04 AM, Blogger Jon said...

But of course the government involvement was not limited to developing the TCP/IP protocol. If you read the Wiki article you can see where it contradicts what you said, because there was a lot more to it than that.

Reminds me of Homer who said "So they have the internet on computers now?" I've already talked about computer development. That's kind of an important part of the internet, wouldn't you say?

Let's also talk about another component that's so important you say. Semiconductors. These came about largely due to the demand for higher frequency receivers pushed by radar, which was needed for (guess what) WWII. Bell Laboratories (government sanctioned monopoly that can afford to spend R&D money since they are protected by the government from the ravages of the market) helped this process along as did publicly funded universities, which lead to transistors. Semiconductors are here because of crucial government backed R&D. Markets in everything (in the anarcho capitalist sense)? OK. No computers. Hence no internet.

But if only the government hadn't taken that money and been so wasteful with it it would have been used for other things that were even better. That's why we see so much technological advancement out of Haiti, Latin America, and Africa I suppose. The owners keep their money, and we can see how much good that has done.

Yeah, I linked to my own blog on the Heritage Freedom Index. While I linked to my blog you linked to Heritage. You wouldn't expect me to accept that, would you? I don't expect you to accept what I say at my word, but rather than just type out the full argument I've already made about why I don't accept Heritage I linked to it. This is a blog comment section. I don't know why that's a problem.

So Sweden is small government and Haiti is big. Seriously? Too much government meddling is what's screwing up Haitian ports? Is that why our government deposed Aristide, the leftist? Because they wanted big government? So they installed a world bank official in his place? And the result is just so much government? I don't know what else to say except to say learn some history.

To repeat what I said before, I care what Mark thinks because I replied to his post. If I reply to someone I want to try and understand what they mean to be saying. For me that's normal. It seems for you it is surprising.

At 8/02/2011 11:59 AM, Blogger Jon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8/02/2011 12:07 PM, Blogger Jon said...

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At 8/02/2011 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jon, if the govt wasn't simply limited to paying a private contractor to develop a trivial networking protocol for them, by all means list something else they did. You can't, so you don't. Yes, the govt got into computers early, but almost all the innovation that made the computer came from the private sector. You acknowledge that the transistor was first created in a private company, Bell labs, though unfortunately it was a monopoly. Imagine how much more innovation we'd have had if they had some competition. Monopolies often don't invest in research, because they don't have anyone to compete with, so the "ravages" are actually good.

I have already pointed out to you repeatedly that it is beyond idiotic to say that we would have no computers or internet simply if one of the early pioneers, public or private, hadn't existed. By that moronic rationale, we would have no innovation today without the wheel, invented in the free market. Rather, the real question is how much innovation came out of the public vs private sector and what were the costs. Do the analysis and you find that the public sector is abysmal compared to the private sector. Of course, that requires an actual understanding of innovation and costs, something I don't expect from someone dumb enough to say things like, "no abacus, no civilization." :D

At 8/02/2011 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I already pointed out to you how the govts of Haiti, Latin America, and Africa intervene all over their economies, including the Heritage data that details it, yet you keep repeating your fantasy about how they have less govt. Clearly you won't let facts stand in the way of your faith. I have no problem with you linking to your blog, just with the dumb arguments you make there. ;) Haiti may have a low level of spending, but that's not the only measure of overreaching govt, as the Index clearly shows. Over-regulation and corruption are significant factors also, which is why Haiti still sucks. For example, China's govt may "only" spend 21% of GDP, but their Communist govt has its fingers in all aspects of their economy, causing problems through their central control. I don't know what to make of your nonsensical claim that the US govt deposed Arisitide because they wanted big govt. I think you have a lot more to learn than just history. :) It is both surprising that you think someone simply pointing out how various markets exist is somehow advocating killing govt, and that Mark bothered to respond to your silliness in the first place.

On that note, I'm out. Your arguments are beyond idiotic and you clearly know nothing about the subjects you feel entitled to spout off about. Worse, you then just ignore all data in pursuit of your faith, so have fun praying to your god of big govt.

At 8/03/2011 10:10 AM, Blogger Jon said...

You like Sweden's voucher system? It's even better in Haiti, where 90% of the schooling is non-public. Most receive no state support at all. See here:

Vouchers are from the government. So in Haiti, instead of the government confiscating money and redistributing it to families to go to school, as in Sweden, families keep the money they earn and send their children to school with their own money. A premier anarcho-capitalist society. There's your free markets. This is even more free market than Sweden.

The leaders in growth today are the government meddlers. China, India. The richest countries in the world were the government meddlers in the past and largely still are today. The US, Britain, Japan, South Korea, Germany, France. China's growth is impressive. About 9%/year over the last 30 years. Imagine how good they'd have been if they'd gone with a Haitian privately funded schooling system. Actually we don't have to imagine. We can see Haiti for what it is, the spin from Heritage notwithstanding.


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