Sunday, December 15, 2013

Policy Fallacy 013: Badge of Dishonor

In this episode, Joe and Rex (or someone paid to pretend to be Rex) investigate the unintended consequences of honor codes and the enforcement thereof. While academic integrity is no game, academics themselves kind of are now, thanks to a gamification strategy known as badging. The good guesser badge goes to the listener who can identify what the unintended consequences of that will be.


Links of the week
Read about the U of Maryland honor code
Conditions needed for honor codes to work (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
Honor (honour) codes in England (Guardian)
Learn about the badging movement (Mozilla)
Challenges posed by badging (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
Bonus: online virtual keyboard

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Policy Fallacy 012: Trick or Teeth

In this episode, Joe and zombie Rex explore the unintended consequences of raising the dead, or are they the unintended consequences of cable networks needed to fill a 24-hour time slot? They then go trick-or-treating only to find that the treats on tap for kids this Halloween are free samples of toothpaste. What the spell is the deal with that? Also, any wild mischaracterizations of the offspring of Mary Shelley are purely intended but entirely incorrect.


Links of the week
The lazy student's guide to Frankenstein (Wikipedia)
Healthy alternatives to trick-or-treating (Chicago Tribune)
Learn about the Spooky Zoo Spectacular

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Policy Fallacy 011: Calorie Slimdown

In this episode, Joe and Rex count their calories, and it's super easy to do now that McDonald's posts calorie counts on its menus. Starbucks, too, though that doesn't seem to matter mocha. Oh, and the government shut down, so while Rex and Joe are on furlough their unpaid intern audio doubles talk about that some.


Links of the week

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Policy Fallacy 010: Credit, Cabs, and Petty Crime

In this episode, Joe flies in on a bicycle because DC cabs don't take credit cards (yet) and Rex sings like a cockatoo. Together they examine the unintended consequences of the NYC taxicab medallion system and enter into a random aside about poop.

Listen to the episode

Photo of the week
Rehobath, DE

Links of the week
Credit cards to be required for DC cabs (Washington Post)
Poll: Majority back changes coming to DC taxis (Washington Post)
Why it's so complicated to put credit card readers in DC taxis (WAMU)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Policy Fallacy 009: Driven to Distraction

In this episode, Rex and Joe cross the street. Will they wait for the signal? That may depend on how it counts down. In the future, this paradox will be irrelevant because robots will do all our driving for us. Imagine the consequences! Or, you can listen and hear them imagined for you.

Listen to the episode

Links of the week
Countdown to Red vs. Countdown to Green (Nudge)
Traffic Light Timers Have an Effect on Accidents (Taipei Times)
Countdown Traffic Lights May Cause Accidents (CBC)
How Driverless Cars Could Reshape Cities (NYT)
Driverless Vehicle Pose New Challenges (Roll Call)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Policy Fallacy 008: Land Sakes Alive!

In this episode, Joe and Rex explore the unintended consequences of land grabs. And there are plenty, because, really, any time grabbing is involved it tends to not go well for at least one of the parties involved. They explore old time Georgia and newfangled .georgia. More alike than you might think? Unless you already thought they were alike, in which case maybe not.

Listen to the episode

Links of the week
New Internet domain names a .fail (Politico)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Policy Fallacy 007: Eponymous Anonymous

In this episode, Rex (returned from sequester!) and Joe vote on what happens when you switch to a secret ballot. Then they imagine a world where the government makes you use your real name when you do stuff like post snarky comments about a podcast on the internet.

Listen to the episode

Links of the week
What is a secret ballot? (Wikipedia)
Spagnoli article on secret ballot vs. open vote
Negative Vote Buying and the Secret Ballot (IMF)
China's new internet registration rules (China Digital Times)
Story about all that stolen Korean data (Naked Security)
Article about real name internet registration (Atlantic)
Unintended consequences of real name cell phone registration (Tech in Asia)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Policy Fallacy 006: China Dream

In this episode, Joe is joined by China vice-expert Tobias Results for an all China extravaganza. Listen to learn how property taxes are driving up the divorce rate and how opening up your economy can make for a choppy waterbed.

Listen to the episode

Links of the week

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Policy Fallacy 005: Ketching Up On Patents

In this episode, Joe and Rex hit the drive thru. Oh no! Did ketchup just spill all over? No it did not, thanks to the dip & squeeze container. One guy thinks Heinz stole the idea from him, so they talk about that some. And somewhere in there is a discussion of the unintended consequences of patents. And then there's a new law in Vermont that aspires to address some of those unintended consequences. And, new theme music!

Listen to the episode

Links of the week

Random bonus articles

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Policy Fallacy 004: Disability and Food Trucks

In this episode, Rex and Joe examine why the soda ban was banned, what the unintended consequence-ability of disability insurance is, and how the proposed DC food truck regulations could lead to more IRS audits.

Listen to the episode (download)

Links of the week
NYC soda ban overturned (WSJ)
Article on disability insurance in America (NPR)
Critique of part of the NPR article (Center for Economic and Policy Research)
Summary of proposed DC food truck regulations (Washington Post)
Angry food truck vendors vent about proposed regulations (Food Truck Fiesta)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Policy Fallacy 002: A Coin of Consequence

On this week's podcast, Joe and Rex discuss the unintended consequences of collecting coins and of playing baseball with hand grenades.

Listen to the podcast (download)

Links of the week
The trillion dollar coin law (see Section K):
The article about the hole in the debt ceiling law (NPR):
The article about Wal-Mart's zero tolerance policy:
Very similar article about Wal-Mart that's not behind a pay wall:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Welcome to Policy Fallacy 001

Welcome, webwonks, to Policy Fallacy: The Podcast of Unintended Consequences. In their inaugural podcast, Regulator Joe and Wonkasaurus Rex discuss the side effects of selective treatment of tuberculosis and the potential unintended consequences of the pending soda ban in New York City.

Listen to the podcast (mp3 download).

WSJ article on TB:
Soda ban explained (NYT):