Links for February 24, 2012

Cognitive inequality [The Economist Free Exchange].

is this an iron rule of innovation in information technology—that the cheaper information becomes and the easier it becomes to manipulate it the greater will be the gap, productive and otherwise, between the informationally capable and the rest? …

We might well be in an intial phase of the information age in which technology amplifies cognitive gaps which gives way to a period in which technology mutes those gaps.

Our greedy colleges 2.0 [Andrew Gillen/Inside Higher Ed]. The Bennett Hypothesis says that increases in federal financial aid subsidies enable colleges to raise their tuition without concern for what students can actually afford. Study described here found that aid directed to low-income students is less likely to lead to tuition increases compared to aid directed at relatively affluent students.

A modeled student [Cathy O’Neil/mathbabe]. Do systems that recommend courses and majors for students reinforce discrimination?

Economics of the cold start problem in talent discovery [John Horton/Online Labor]. Novices can’t get hired if their talent won’t be revealed until after they get hired. Some empirical evidence. One possible help: “talent revealing sites like StackOverflow and Github as replacements for traditional resumes.”