The Anti-Store

Finally! The NPR Planet Money episode on Price Club / Costco. Why they purposely make shopping harder and why people love it. The quotes in this podcast are priceless; from the founder himself “I was adamant that we would not have signs telling people where things were because that would make it likely that they would wander through all the aisles and find other things to buy.”

Here’s something I don’t understand about people shopping at Costco. Clearly Costco is not a “quick stop” experience. There are no express cashiers! So why do people still insist on going to Costco to buy a single item???

Image of Costco patron buying only two items (that’s my stuff on the left) on Oct 30, 2015 – bananas and bread?:


Planet Money Podcasts for the Canadian Federal Election (#elxn41)

Can politicians “create jobs”? How do they balance the interests of so many stakeholders in a trade deal? What could a “carbon tax” look like? What if politicians only did “what is right” instead of promising things to buy votes? (No-Brainer Economic platform)

Some podcasts from Planet Money that help educate voters and are appropriate for the Canadian federal election.

How Do You Create A Job?

Trade Deal Confidential – Behind the scenes of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The One-Page Plan To Fix Global Warming

The No-Brainer Economic Platform

UofC Alumni Speaking Engagement – Calgary Oct 22, 2015

I am honored to be speaking to my Alumni association, Computer Science Chapter, on October 22, 2015 from 6-8:30pm (6pm food, 7pm I start talking).

If anyone is interested in coming and is not an Alumni, please let me know and I’ll check if it is open to non-Alumni.


Trevor Textor thinks a lot about broadband internet and sometimes cell phone plans. You know, it hurts, but sometimes you have to. He has pivot tabled these subjects to death and has come to some conclusions. For instance, he discovered why cell phone plans are so expensive in Canada and why that’s unlikely to change much without Canada having an Open Access Network business model for telecommunications. While trying to convince businesses to use broadband internet services that actually work, and pay the corresponding price, he stumbled over some other really interesting things. These things brought him to the conclusion that broadband is the “railroad” of our era and how it critically impacts democracy.


Why are cell phone plans so expensive in Canada?
The cost of service has little to do with the radio services themselves, it’s all about infrastructure. In Canada the big 3 telecommunications companies maintain a monopoly on this infrastructure and this monopoly is regulated via the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). But even with regulation, it is not encouraging the right behaviour with respect to infrastructure so that savings can trickle down to consumers. Trevor will explain how an “Open Access Network” (OAN) business model benefits Canadians and how an infrastructure marketplace could scale it.

Broadband is the “railroad” of our era and is critical to democracy.
The United Nations says it best: “… [A]ffordable broadband connectivity to the Internet is a foundation stone of modern society…Broadband does not just comprise infrastructure; today, widespread broadband connectivity offers the prospects of new services and an information revolution to change – and challenge – our very approach to development.” Trevor will walk through the socioeconomics of broadband and the future technologies that will drive broadband growth.