Professor Harberger’s Midterm and Final Examinations (and ChatGPT)

A book that hardly anybody reads these days (but really should) is The Theory of Price, by George Stigler.

Take, for example, Stigler’s “A Note on Block Booking.” Block booking of movies was the offer of a fixed package of movies to an exhibitor; the exhibitor could not pick and choose among the movies in the package. The Supreme Court banned the practice on the grounds that the movie companies were compounding a monopoly by using the popularity of the winning movies to compel exhibitors to purchase the losers.
Stigler disagreed and presented a simple alternative argument. If Gone with the Wind is worth $10,000 to the exhibitor and Getting Gertie’s Garter is worth nothing, wrote Stigler, the distributor could get the whole $10,000 by selling Gone with the Wind. Throwing in a worthless movie would not cause the exhibitor to pay any more than $10,000. Therefore, reasoned Stigler, the Supreme Court’s explanation seemed wrong.
But why did block booking exist? Stigler’s explanation was that if exhibitors valued films differently from one another, the distributor could collect more by “bundling” the movies. Stigler gave an example in which exhibitor A is willing to pay $8,000 for movie X and $2,500 for Y, and B is willing to pay $7,000 for X and $3,000 for Y. If the distributor charges a single price for each movie, his profit-maximizing price is $7,000 for X and $2,500 for Y. The distributor will then collect $9,500 each from A and B, for a total of $19,000. But with block booking the seller can charge $10,000 (A and B each value the two movies combined at $10,000 or more) for the bundle and make $20,000. Stigler then went on to suggest some empirical tests of his argument and actually did one, showing that customers’ relative tastes for movies, as measured by box office receipts, did differ from city to city.

If you want a more “modern” take, you could read this lovely essay, by Chris Dixon.

But to come back to Stigler, one reason to read his book is because “a typical Stigler article laid out a new proposition with clear reasoning and then presented simple but persuasive data to back up his argument”. Which, if you ask me, is a better way to teach microeconomics than via real analysis.

If you aren’t yet subscribed to Irwin Collier’s blog, please do so. His blog is a delightful treasure trove of question papers from the past, and some of these papers really and truly make you think. Here, for example is just one question from November 5, 1957. This particular question paper was set by Professor Harberger (and the examination took place a year before Stigler joined the University of Chicago), but nonetheless, it is a great way to check how well you know price theory microeconomics.

The price elasticity of demand for a good will be higher, the higher is the income elasticity of demand for that good.

For a question like this (and before you run it through ChatGPT), think about whether the statement makes intuitive sense. If the income elasticity of demand for a good is high, that means that small changes in income will lead to large changes in demand for that good. Eating out at expensive restaurants will go down if you lose your job, for example.

Well, then, yes, you might think – the price elasticity also ought to be high then, no?

So it would seem that this is true then.

Ah, but is it? Do you know of folks who buy the latest iPhone regardless of how much (and whether) they earn? Can you, in other words, think of a single counter-example to your own argument? Does your answer change? If yes, why? If not, why not?

(My own take is that this is false, by the way. Do you agree?)

Now that you have thought a little about this yourself, ask ChatGPT what it thinks (or Bard, etc.). See if your answers match. If they don’t, have a conversation with it. Tell it why you thought your answer was whatever it was, and ask it to critique your answer.

Rinse and repeat for all the other questions in the examination, and I envy you your journey of learning price theory. Oh, and by the way, if you don’t like your current (ahem) price theory Prof, feel free to call upon the knowledge and abilities of Professor Stigler himself:

“What book should I read to learn economics?”

“The Internet, and ChatGPT!”

Underrated Ideas in Economics

I and Anupam Manur had a lot of fun in a session we conducted for the Takshashila Institute yesterday. Credit to Anupam, it was his idea. And what an idea it was:

Come up with five weird/underrated ideas in economics each, and get the other person to respond to each. Have a bit of a discussion, and then have the participants take the discussion forward.

Here’s the list of ideas that we ran past each other (you may have to open the image in a new tab):

These notes were taken as we spoke, but they cover only a small part of the entire conversation, naturally. Alas, it was not a recorded session, and I cannot share it with you. But it was so much fun!

  1. Discussions work better than lectures. Anytime you want to host a session for students of any age, getting two people to argue in front of an audience is always better than getting one person to deliver a monologue.
  2. For at least me (and I suspect for Anupam as well), coming up with our five ideas was a lot of fun. It forced me to step back and think about economics and what I’ve been working on related to economic theory in a much more introspective fashion, and when is that ever a bad thing?
  3. We ended up agreeing with each other, alas! Why do I say “alas”, you ask?
    • Your arguments become far sharper when you have to defend them, particularly against a worthy “opponent”. If you want to learn better, find someone awesome to argue with.
    • The space for civil disagreement shrinks daily in front of our eyes, and I was hoping to get lots of it from Anupam. The noun (disagreement) is in plentiful supply everywhere we look, the adjective (civil) not so much, and the combination not at all.
    • Given what you know about a field, optimize for being surprised in conversations. Which means you should hear something counterintuitive in a discussion. Unfortunately for me (and for Anupam), both of us ended up picking points that may have been counterintuitive to others on the call, but not for the two of us. My personal lesson: think harder the next time around!
  4. More of these conversations need to happen, and more people need to see them. Not, to be perfectly clear, conversations necessarily involving me or Anupam in particular, but involving people who have some amount of expertise in a particular field (and said people are willing to talk, debate and discuss underrated ideas from said field). This is my favorite example.
  5. Let’s make more of these “debates” happen!

Learn at Twitter Speed, Get Tested at AOL Speed

The title of today’s post is directly lifted from an MR Post from yesterday, which you should read in its entirety.

Instead of hearing a rumor at the coffee shop and running down to the bank branch to wait on line to withdraw your money, now you can hear a rumor on Twitter or the group chat and use an app to withdraw money instantly. A tech-friendly bank with a highly digitally connected set of depositors can lose 25% of its deposits in hours, which did not seem conceivable in previous eras of bank runs.
But the other part of the problem is that, while depositors can panic faster and banks can give them their money faster, the lender-of-last-resort system on which all of this relies is still stuck in a slower, more leisurely era. “When the user interface improves faster than the core system, it means customers can act faster than the bank can react,” wrote Byrne Hobart. You can panic in an instant and withdraw your money with an app, but the bank can’t get more money without a series of phone calls and test trades that can only happen during regular business hours.

Try this variant on for size:

Instead of hearing about a concept in a classroom, and running to the library to get access to the book that explains it in greater detail, now you can hear about a concept on Twitter, or the group chat, and use ChatGPT to learn all about it instantly. A tech-friendly classroom with a highly digitally connected group of learners can learn much more about a topic in a couple of hours, which did not seem conceivable in previous learning environments.
But the other part of the problem is that, while learners can learn faster and LLM’s can give them additional nuance and context much better, the exam system on which all of this ultimately relies for certifications is still stuck in a slower, more traditional era. “When the learning environment improves faster than the testing environment, it means learners can learn better than colleges can meaningfully test them,” wrote a grumpy old blogger. You can learn much more about a topic in a semester than you ever could before, but the college will still insist on making you memorize stuff so that you can choose five questions out of six to answer in a closed-book-pen-and-paper examination.

It’s not an exact analogy, of course. But there are two points to this blogpost:

  1. Where colleges and universities are concerned, this is a useful framework to deploy. And sure I had fun tweaking that excerpt in order to maximize my snarkiness – but I’m not joking about the point being made. When students are able to learn far better, far more effectively and far faster, but the testing environment doesn’t keep up with either the learning or its applications, it is a problem. Simply put, if teaching and learning with LLM’s is best, but the college thinks that testing without access to LLM’s is best, there’s a disconnect.
  2. The broader point, of course, is that you should be applying this framework to everything. Banks and colleges, sure. What about government (at all levels)? What about software companies? What about delivery apps? What about <insert the place you work at here>? Which parts of your organization are already using LLM’s in their workflows, or will sooner rather than later? Which parts will be the most reluctant, and therefore the last to adopt to this brave new world? What imbalances might result? How should we incentivize the rate of adoption such that we optimize appropriately?

Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean incentivizing those reluctant to adopt! You might want to incentivize a slower adoption of ChatGPT, if that’s what you think is best (and yes, that goes for colleges too). But if that’s the route you’re going to go down, think first about the competition. And note that in the age of LLM’s, defining who your competition is isn’t as easy as it used to be.

Thinking Aloud on Teaching with ChatGPT

Say I have to teach an introductory course on the Principles of Economics to students who are just starting off on their formal study of the subject. How do I go about teaching it now that ChatGPT is widely available?

  1. Ignore the existence of ChatGPT and teach as if it does not exist.
    • I am not, and this is putting it mildly, in favor of this proposal. ChatGPT knows more about this subject (and many others) than I do now, and ever will. It may not be able to judge how to best convey this information to the students, and it may (so far) struggle to understand whether its explanations make sense to its audience, about whether they are enthused about what is being taught to them, and whether it should change tack or not. But when it comes to knowledge about the subject, it’s way better than I am. I would be doing a disservice to the students if I did not tell them how to use ChatGPT to learn the subject better than they could learn it only from me.
      So this is a no-go for me – but if you disagree with me, please let me know why!

  2. Embrace the existence of ChatGPT, and ask it to teach the whole course
    • I do not mean this in a defeatist, I’m-out-of-a-job sense. Far from it. What I mean is that I might walk into class, give the prompt for the day, ask the students to read ChatGPT’s output, and then base the discussion on both ChatGPT’s output and the student’s understanding. (Yes, they could do the ChatGPT bit at home too, but you’d be surprised at the number of students who will not. Better to have all of them do it in class instead.) Over time, I’ll hope to not give the prompt for the day too! But it will be ChatGPT that is teaching – my job is to work as a facilitator, a moderator and a person who challenges students to think harder, argue better – and ask better.

  3. Alternate between the two (roughly speaking)
    • The approach that I am most excited to try. In effect, ChatGPT and I will teach the course together. I end up teaching Principles of Economics, where ChatGPT adds in information/examples/references/points of view that I am not able to. But I also end up helping students understand how to use ChatGPT as a learning tool, both for Principles of Economics, but for everything else that they will learn, both within college and outside of it. This is very much part of the complements-vs-substitutes argument that I have been speaking about this week, of course, but it will also help me (and the students) better understand where ChatGPT is better than me, and (hopefully) vice-versa.

Whether from the perspective of a student (past or present) or that of a teacher (ditto), I would be very interested to hear your thoughts. But as a member of the learning community, how to use ChatGPT inside of classrooms (if at all), is a question I hope to think more about in the coming weeks.

Prompts To Get You Going on Learning With AI

I’m assuming, in today’s post, that you have some knowledge of both economics and of economists, and that you are a student from India.

Feel free to copy these prompts word for word, but the major reason for doing this is to give you ideas about how you might go about constructing prompts yourself. Try modifying these prompts by choosing a different economist, specifying different time periods, or tweaking it however you like. Feel free to go meta too, as one of the prompts below does. But the idea behind this post, which itself is a continuation of yesterday’s post, is to help you learn how to use ChatGPT as your own personal tutor.

What if Paul Krugman could be asked to give you ten introductory lectures in economics?

See what kind of answer you get, and feel free to ask follow-up questions before asking ChatGPT (in this case, aka Paul Krugman) to move on to the next lecture. Note that the “Yes, I do.” in the prompt below is in response to ChatGPT asking me if I had any questions. Also note that these aren’t necessarily the questions I would ask of ChatGPT myself – I’m trying to think of myself as a first year undergraduate student, and am framing my questions accordingly. If you would like to ask slightly more advanced questions, please do so, by all means. And of course, that cuts both ways – feel free to ask simpler questions!

I followed up with another question:

And then on to the second lecture:

Again, if you like, begin with these exact prompts and see where they take you. But I would encourage you to make changes to these prompts to suit your own learning style better (“recommend only podcasts or YouTube videos”, for example).

If only I could have used this next prompt about twenty years ago. Pah.

And if all else fails, go meta:

I know that you’ll be able to come up with better prompts, more suited to your learning style. The idea behind this post is just to get you started. The more you converse with AI, the better your prompts will get, and the better a conversation you will end up having.

The ability to have a personal tutor who can customize learning pathways suited to your interests is what makes this such an exciting time to be a student. For example:

What a great time to be a student!

Our Job Is To Help Them Make Something Of It

Now, after more than a year out of the classroom, Wataru, 16, has returned to school, though not a normal one. He and around two dozen teenagers like him are part of the inaugural class of Japan’s first e-sports high school, a private institution in Tokyo that opened last year.
The academy, which mixes traditional class work with hours of intensive video game training, was founded with the intention of feeding the growing global demand for professional gamers. But educators believe they have stumbled onto something more valuable: a model for getting students like Wataru back in school.

I came across this article in the New York Times, and found it to be fascinating. Wataru, the sixteen year old mentioned in the article, had dropped out of school after the pandemic, because “he was getting nothing from school”. He preferred to stay at home and play video games the whole day.

This school though, the one featured in the article, is a school in which you’re taught competition strategies for games such as Fortnite and Valorant. Or you might be given – and this was my favorite sentence in the article – “a scientific lecture about the relative merits of Street Fighter characters”. And it’s not just theory, of course – post this lecture, the students then formed groups to put the lesson into action.

This is what a classroom looks like:

If you’re curious, and are able to speak and understand the language, here’s what the infrastructure of the school looks like – it has forty Galleria XA7C-R37 gaming PC’s. The curriculum includes the following genres of video games: FPS, third-person shooter, RTS and MOBA. I don’t know what these genres are, for I don’t play video games all that much.

But I applaud the initiative, and hope it scales, both within Japan and in other parts of the world.

You may ask why I applaud a school that teaches students how to play video games. And my answer is that I’m actually quite agnostic about how an educational institute is weird. All I ask is that it be sufficiently weird in at least one way. This particular school is weird about video games, but what about schools that are weird in other ways? What about a school that teaches you about dancing, for example?

Lynne’s gift for dancing was discovered by a doctor. She had been underperforming at school, so her mother took her to the doctor and explained about her fidgeting and lack of focus. After hearing everything her mother said, the doctor told Lynne that he needed to talk to her mother privately for a moment. He turned on the radio and walked out. He then encouraged her mother to look at Lynne, who was dancing to the radio. The doctor noted that she was a dancer, and encouraged Lynne’s mother to take her to dance school

And if you’ve been tempted to sneer while reading about these newfangled ideas about alternate education – “video games and dancing in schools! Hmph, whatever next?!” – note that the first story is from December 2022, while the other story is from sometime in the 1930’s. Everything with Sir Ken Robinson in it is always worth watching, but this video is a particularly fascinating one. Gillian Lynne’s story comes on at around the 15 minute mark, if you’d rather not watch the whole thing, but I hope you do.

But whether it is video games today or dancing a century ago – or whatever else might be around a hundred years from now, for that matter – the point isn’t about how young people learn best. Well, it is, but the first point that all of us would do well to internalize is that everybody learns differently.

And the idea that everybody learns best by sitting in a classroom and listening to a person drone on for hours on end is one that has been rejected by students year after year after year. But because it is cheap, scalable and easy to endlessly replicate, it is now a part of our culture. To the extent that we will think of students who are unable to be a part of this dreary ritual as being not normal.

Of course they’re not normal, none of them are. They’re special, in their own way, as all of us are. That was the message in the brilliant talk given by Sir Ken Robinson. That everybody is talented in their own way.

And his call to action at the end of the talk is the title of today’s blogpost.

Our job isn’t to browbeat our students into downcast and sullen obedience and compliance. Our job is to figure out what motivates them to learn, by figuring out their special talent.

And then to help them make something of it.

The Times, They’re A-Changing Part II

“The putting-out system is a means of subcontracting work. Historically, it was also known as the workshop system and the domestic system. In putting-out, work is contracted by a central agent to subcontractors who complete the project via remote work. It was used in the English and American textile industries, in shoemaking, lock-making trades, and making parts for small firearms from the Industrial Revolution until the mid-19th century. After the invention of the sewing machine in 1846, the system lingered on for the making of ready-made men’s clothing.
The domestic system was suited to pre-urban times because workers did not have to travel from home to work, which was quite infeasible due to the state of roads and footpaths, and members of the household spent many hours in farm or household tasks.”

So begins the Wikipedia article on the putting-out system, a system that is about sub-contracting work.

This system isn’t just suited to pre-urban times, of course, it is also especially suited to pandemic times. The question to ask, of course, is whether it is also suited to post-pandemic times. And an article in the Economist seems to suggest that this may well be the case:

The Industrial Revolution ended the “putting-out system”, in which companies obtained raw materials but outsourced manufacturing to self-employed craftsmen who worked at home and were paid by output. Factories strengthened the tie between workers, now employed directly and paid by the hour, and workplace. The telegraph, telephone and, in the last century, containerised shipping and better information technology (IT), have allowed multinational companies to subcontract ever more tasks to ever more places. China became the world’s factory; India became its back office. Nearly three years after the pandemic began, it is clear that technology is once again profoundly redrawing the boundaries of the firm.

If you are a person embarking upon a new career today, not only is it possible for you to earn a fairly comfortable living working out of your home, wherever it may be located in the world, it is actually desirable to do so. Not for all people of course, but the pandemic, and the acceleration of technologies associated with the consequences of the pandemic, has made it possible for you to easily do so.

Part of the reason is, as the Economist article puts it, because of the fact that ‘measuring workers’ performance based on their actual output rather than time spent producing it’ has become progressively easier. That’s not a light sentence to write, by the way, because it hides at least two Nobel Prizes’ worth of work, if not more. And because it has become easier to specify what you want, and how to measure whether it is being done or not, the ‘putting-out’ system seems to be making a comeback of sorts.

A survey of nearly 500 American firms by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta last year found that 18% were using more independent contractors than in previous years; 2% said they used fewer. On top of that, 13% relied more on leased workers, compared with 1% who reduced this reliance.

Which, to my mind, means that we need to think about five big-picture questions as a consequence of this trend:

  1. How will this impact patterns of urbanization? This is not an easy question to think about!
  2. How will this impact education? Will there be the evolution of the putting out model in academia also? Why or why not, and what will the equilibrium look like? Also not an easy question to think about, and I now have a better appreciation for inertia.
  3. How will the certification of both learning and working evolve? Will freelancing now carry more weightage on a CV? Or less, as before? How should we think about what to look for on a fresher’s CV?
  4. How far away is ubiquitous VR? How will that impact the dynamics of working/learning from home?
  5. How will this impact work culture and college culture in the years to come, and how should we think about this from a normative perspective?

Duolingo, Gamification and Habit Formation

I got “promoted” on Duolingo recently, and today’s blogpost is about how weirdly happy I feel about it.

I am an incredibly lazy person. We all are to varying degrees, I suppose, but I’m convinced that I do putting off and procrastrination better than most. There are a few things that I do with enthusiasm and something approaching regularity (writing here being one of them) but with most things in life, tomorrow is a better day for me than today.

There is a very short list of things I am compulsively addicted to doing on a daily basis, There’s Wordle, for example. Reading blogs, for another. The NYT mini crossword, and some other stuff. But there is a clear winner on this list: Duolingo.

On Duolingo I have a 753 day streak, and counting. That is, I have practised on the Duolingo app for 753 days and counting. And it’s not because I am awesome at showing up regularly – it is because Duolingo has incentivized me to show up regularly, and here’s how they do it.

First, peer pressure. Duolingo allows you to follow people in your contact list who are also on Duolingo, and it’s a two way street. That is, they can follow you too:

AshishKulk is my user ID on Duolingo, and please feel free to “add” me to your network if you are so inclined. I can always do with more peer pressure! Knowing that my friends are practising more than I am is a great incentive to try and keep up – which, of course, is what peer pressure is all about.

The score-keeping mechanism in Duolingo is XP. The app tells you how much XP you “acquired” on a daily, weekly, monthly and all-time basis.

Each of these frequencies is gamed differently. For the all time streak, you can check where you rank among your friends (I’m third, if you’re wondering). For the monthly score, Duolingo hands out “badges” if you earn a certain number of XP in a month:

For weekly streaks, you get promoted to different “leagues” based on how many points you score on a weekly basis. It is a double edged sword: you also get “demoted” if you don’t practise enough in a week. The leagues start and finish every Sunday afternoon India time, and I’m typing this out on a Sunday morning – wish me luck!

And the daily basis is perhaps the best gamification of them all, because you end up in a contest with yourself. How long can you keep your daily streak going? Like I said, mine is at 750 odd days, and I got “promoted” for it:

There are also daily quests, friend quests, stories involving characters that build a more personalized, relatable learning experience, and recently, learning paths that use spaced repetition to make sure that weaker concepts are revised and firmed up over time. You can “buy” streak freezes to “protect” your streak in the Duolingo store. These artefacts can be “purchased” using “gems”, and that’s yet another gamificaiton story.

Long story short, the Duolingo team goes out of its way to try and keep you hooked on to learning, and I’m here to tell you that it has definitely worked in my case.

And that’s the point of this post, really. I think Duolingo to be an exemplar when it comes to gamification, but the meta-point here is an obvious one: how do we all go about gamifying activities in our life that we wish would turn into habits? How about a Duolingo experience for exercise? Meditation? Learning cooking? Financial habits?

There are those among us who can build out habits in their lives without gamification, of course, and I envy them for it. But for those of us who are paashas of procrastination, such a tool can help us get better at showing up more regularly.

I speak from personal experience when I say this, though: Duolingo has done it better, and been more effective, than any other habit forming app that I have tried.

Now, excuse me while I go and try to stay in the Diamond League!

Argue, Why Don’t You?

We had an excellent class recently (my students and I) on how to define markets.

That’s a whole other blogpost in itself, and I have a friend to thank for helping me discover that the legal world’s definition of markets is very different from the one that economics textbooks supply us with (if at all they do so in the first place).

But the students and I had a lot of fun talking about how to define a market, and at one point of time, the class turned into a very passionate debate about a particular case. The debate lasted for about an hour, a lot of fun was had, and all was well with the world.

After the class, one of the students came up to me to apologize. They wanted to apologize because they had argued with me, and had ended up debating about an issue.

Which, as you might guess, was just too horrible a thought for me to contemplate. What a world to live in – one in which we have a culture where students come up to apologize for having debated an issue in class.

I’d much rather live in a world where students come up to apologize for not having participated in a debate in class – that ought to be the default, dammit. A student who has the enthusiasm, the passion, the willingness and the desire to go up against the prof in a spirited debate, dishing out as good as they get is a great example of an awesome participant in a class discussion! Why apologize for it – that’s your job as a student!

And the reason this needs to be said is because if you are a student reading this, you need to know that arguing in class is A Very, Very Good Thing.

And you don’t have to take my word for it: listen to Adam Grant make the point very persuasively.

  1. Argue as much as possible in class, but always respectfully.
  2. Disagreement is fine (it’s great!), disrespect is not.
  3. That cuts both ways – it is equally fine for the prof to disagree with you, but always respectfully.
  4. Don’t argue to prove that you are right, argue to learn the truth. (Adam makes the same point early on in that podcast)
  5. I don’t always succeed at this, and I probably fail more often than I succeed.
  6. But I work at this, and try and get better at it, and I invite you to do the same.
  7. Arguing with somebody forces you to make your arguments and line of thinking clearer, and that alone is worth the debate. Ditto for writing.
  8. Adam makes the point that growing up in a household where your parents are arguing respectfully is good for you, and I’m happy to report that my wife and I have unknowingly been great parents in this regard.
  9. Adam has a great line in the podcast: the pen might not be mightier than the sword, but it lasts for longer. Whatay.

But bottom-line: please, pretty please. Argue more!

Explain Stuff To People

I played a game in one of the classes I taught the other day, which happens pretty much every semester. By the way, if you haven’t used the website yet, please do give it a whirl. And the more the merrier – the last class, there were more than a hundred participants, and I can’t begin to tell you how much fun it was.

My assignment was based on the game too: the students had to go back home and play the game with friends and/or family, and then write up what they learned by helping other people play the game.

And the reason I bring this up is that I think learning happens best when you help other people learn. It’s one of the most famous quotes ever, and I’m certainly not claiming originality, but I am definitely re-emphasizing its importance and relevance: you learn best when you teach.

So if you really want to get a handle on a topic or a concept, get somebody to listen/read/see your explanation of a particular topic.

And speaking of which, learn a bit about Jack Corbett:

Mr. Corbett is an assistant producer of the NPR show “Planet Money,” who creates chaotic, studiously unpolished videos about economics for TikTok. Using pixelated graphics and low-fi editing, he produces skit-like primers on such arcane economic topics as Korean jeonse loans, how the NFT bubble can be explained by the greater fool theory, and time theft for low-wage workers.
“I try not to learn how to do things right,” said Mr. Corbett, who records his videos on a refurbished iPhone X. “For a while I used green screens as my drapes.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: so long as you have an internet enabled smartphone (no matter how basic), you can help others learn, and I would argue that you should. For your own sake as much as that of others.

It’s almost like life is a non-zero sum game or something.