Friday, September 30, 2016

175. Exam 2016

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174. Exam Economics 1A

Here is some stuff to help you prepare for the ECONOMICS 1A Exam:

Thursday, September 29, 2016

173. Exams Economics 1B

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

172. Laws against stupidity.

Should there be laws to protect people against their own stupidity?

Many people would answer "yes" to such a question.

The purpose of this article is to offer some arguments to the contrary.

I think it was around 1965 that the seat belt laws were introduced into South Africa - for the "protection" of the wearer. More or less at the same time the speeding limit of 120 km per hour was also introduced. This too was seen as good. 

The same Government introduced the Group Areas Act, the Mixed Marriages Act and other Apartheid legislation - all laws to protect people from themselves. Laws preventing them to take decisions in relation to how they saw the world and to act in ways that would produce a better society.

The current Government is on the same path - through the Consumer Protection Act, the Usury Act and other legislation they are removing individual discretion from the decision making process for the "protection" of the consumer.

I believe in a society where anything that is consensual should also be legal and that it is not the role of the state to protect me against my own stupidity. I believe in a society where everybody should be free to do as they want as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others to do the same -  and therein lies the rub. Before the general speed limit was introduced it was expected that a person would drive in a way that he would not hurt other road users and the he would take into account road and weather conditions in order to go around safely. Driving at 60 in heavy fog conditions can be irresponsible. After the introduction of the speed limit this responsibility towards others has been diminished.

A distinction should also be made between harming oneself and possibly hurting others through an action - smoking is such an example. In this case property rights come to the rescue (when we are talking about consenting adults). Your freedom to smoke ends at the tip of my nose in a free society. Your freedom to do what you want on your property is virtually limitless as long as the neighbour is not affected by your actions.

So the use of potentially harmful drugs, Ponzi schemes, and other dangerous pastimes are victimless crimes and should not be illegal. I do admit that the fraudulent behaviour of some does make the job of the buyer more difficult, but I also believe that one will develop a much wiser and sophisticated consumer. Such a free society will be in a position to experiment more and develop ways to solve problems much better that one that is strangled by a web ob laws that prevent different experiments in acting because some law may be transgressed.

Say "no" to force and fraud and "yes" to liberty.

If people are stupid enough to do things that harm themselves, I say leave them alone. We don't have to have to pass a law on stupidity.  Or is it our responsibility to protect people who do things that could be potentially dangerous to themselves? 

I think riding a bicycle and especially doing so without a helmet is an incredibility stupid thing to do – and even more so in Johannesburg where drivers are not used to two wheel traffic.  Why do I ride one? Well, I love it and I love the freedom of being out there, unencumbered in touch with the world around me. It brings me happiness, regardless of the lurking dangers.  So, should a law be passed against my stupidity?  No, it's my risk - leave me alone. Too often I believe we try to legislate ourselves into stupidity with all the laws trying to manage risk. Risk is unavoidable, and a part of being alive.
Authorities believe that they know better than you which risks you should or shouldn’t take. I believe they, through those controlling actions, take the fun out of life.

When you go for a swim you are at risk.
When you cross a road you are at risk.
One is at risk when we get into a car, airplane, or bus.
Everything we do in life is taking a risk
When you are alive you are at risk.
Even not doing something creates risk!

C.M. Heydenrych
18 September 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

171. Use of graphics from the Internet and using Google to find stuff.

There are a number of ways of getting graphics into an assignment:

Find a graphic on the internet and adapt it using the appropriate software – if you need help talk to me. (Remember to reference ANY sorUce that you may have used - Adapted from ...

Normally it is not very productive to create it from scratch using exel – though one could do it if one inputs the correct data.

One can draw it and take a photo.

One can take a photo or scan it from a textbook.

Why don’t you send me your best attempt, then I will give you feedback.


Google is a search engine that finds sources – one can use ANY resource that they have found – with certain provisos: Use them -

a)      If they talk sense
b)      Are credible
c)       It is better if they have an identifiable author
d)      Use good grammar
e)      Are ‘academic” as opposed to popular – i.e. they identify their sources
f)       So, avoid sites that “do the work” for you, avoid extensive copying, avoid plagiarism, using other people’s words an ideas without appropriate referencing.
g)      Use Harvard referencing in your own work (in-line and bibliography.
So yes one would NEVER reference GOOGLE as such. If there is anything else that I did not make clear – talk to me.

With regards to Assignments were diagrams are requested, is it acceptable for me to download diagrams from the internet or should I draw my own ?


1.       The use of diagrams off the internet is the same as quoting text. Therefore one may use them without alteration provided proper referencing is done.
2.       You may however want to alter diagrams (using MS paint or similar) – again with proper referencing – “Adapted from…
3.       You can create your own based on some source – you still HAVE to reference the original source used. “Based on…” or “Adapted from…”
4.       You can draw your own using software or if you have done it on paper, you can scan or take a photograph – you still have to reference the source – unless it is totally original and is your own work.
I hope this answers you question.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Thursday, September 8, 2016

168. Absolute and Comparative Advantage

Absolute and Comparative Advantage


Monday, September 5, 2016

167 Plagiarism

PLAGIARISM (early draft) C.M. Heydenrych In this article an attempt will be made to define what plagiarism is, why it should be avoided and what a learner should do to ensure that his/her work is authentic and reflects his/her own thinking on a particular subject. So, what is plagiarism and how does one avoid falling into the trap? It is “the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.” Where did I get those words from? I copied it from the Google research results – they, I assume, lifted it from the Wikipedia page and the contributor of that page sourced it from elsewhere – either from a referenced source or not. This is where the problem starts – it is not easy to determine the source and give due credit – but the last thing that should be done is to make as if you have dreamt up that particular concept and even more important, have used that particular sequence of words to convey the idea. Let us take the following as a further example of how to deal with information taken from sources such as the Wikipedia article on plagiarism: Plagiarism is the "wrongful appropriation" and "stealing and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions" and the representation of them as one's own original work.[1][2]. The key in using the information is by referencing the definition in a similar way that the person that placed the definition there in the first place - the two numbers after the quote ensures that no accusation of plagiarism can be made. Some students deem it sufficient to use Wikipedia as the reference. This however would be wrong because Wikipedia is not regarded as a credible peer referenced source and though the information appearing there is of a high quality, it is really an aggregator of information (that is available elsewhere); and it is these original sources that need to be referenced. Rogeting "if you did not write it yourself, you must give credit" Gabriel, Trip (1 August 2010). "Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age". The New York Times. (accessed 6 Sept 2016).