Friday, April 14, 2006

The beauty of knowledge

A long time ago, internet information and services were for free. I remember a time when permanent e-mail accounts, sending sms, newspaper articles, archives etc. were all for free. Then a few years ago companies realized they weren't making any money and cannibalizing their offline business, and it has been sad for me to watch how little by little access to knowledge has become more and more restricted.

Today I have discovered a great site awash with knowledge though and it has made me remember lots of websites that I used to use for information purposes as a student. Well, here's my list of favourites that I would like to share with you. These organizations and companies deserve praise for sharing their insights with the world. Here's my list of favourites.

MIT OpenCourseWare
This is a site I discovered today including contents, lecture notes, exam papers and assignments from a wide variety of courses offered at MIT. If you click on the Sloan School of Management, you can download lecture notes on investment, macroeconomics, behavioural finance, game theory... you name it. It's a great way to get an overview of the business school curriculum.

I have a very bad attitude towards Wharton since they launched their stupid advertising campaign in the Economist a few months ago (the slogan goes something like "There are lots of interesting things to do in Philadelphia - not that you'll have time to do any of them" - sorry guys, I want to have a good time at business school!!!!). But they do have an excellent site discussing relevant issues in finance, management, real estate etc.. The approach is to discuss current business issues and citing faculty opinions about them, it's a good way to know what's going on.

Moving from business to international politics, my favourite sources of information are the International Herald Tribune (since the New York Times charges for access to its articles, it's great its international equivalent grants free access to everyone). For more in-depth analyses of emerging markets and countries in crises, I like browsing the free country reports offered by the International Crisis Group. This is a group I would have loved to join upon graduation, but since paid jobs in the field of political risk analysis are scarce, I ended up working in management consulting.

Finally, though many areas of the site are restricted, there is enough free content offered by The Economist to include it in my list of favourites. I especially enjoy the Business Education section (though I find their ranking of business schools very peculiar). An interesting story in this week's edition is a Guide to Womenomics that I plan to read now, the title looks promising!

By the way, I took the picture above at a visit to Oxford two years ago and I want to use this opportunity to congratulate Rusgirl on her admission to Oxford University!

Happy Easter everyone!


Patxi said...

Great compilation!

I too think that there is a myriad of useful content online. On a diferent register, Wikipedia is the resource for me to explore new concepts.

Oh! And Wharton ads in the economist really suck. The marketing people (or the institution or both) do have a problem of workaholism.

Thanks for the MIT lectures. I will certainly check them out for subjects I want to work on before August.

sghama said...

Thanks AA - the weird thing is I have come full circle wrt career goals and I have this feeling I'm going back to consulting, which is why I'm totally cool with Tuck. All the best to you at LBS!

angie said...

Patxi, I'm glad you had the same impression about the Wharton ads. It worries me because I think even if at the moment it only reflects an error of judgment from the marketing people, I guess it does attract the wrong people and deter the right people so it will influence the culture of the overall school.

Looking at the LBS website talking about the cultural advantage of London, imagine they wrote something like this (first part taken from the LBS website):

"London is the most incredible backdrop for business studies at London Business School. The city is world-renowned for the arts, media and sport. Take advantage of our extraordinary city!

By day, there are so many postcard-perfect moments from which to sample: the throngs of people rushing up and down Oxford Street; a stroll through the stately grandeur of Notting Hill and its columned row houses; soaking in the assortment of hawkers and buskers that collects in Covent Garden; or the serene splendour of Hyde Park on a sunny Sunday afternoon. By night the community revels in the open air between interludes spent in the city's cosmopolitan collection of clubs, pubs, theatres, cinemas and restaurants." - BUT YOU WON'T ENJOY ANY OF THIS BECAUSE YOU'LL BE SITTING IN THE LIBRARY AND COMPUTER LAB ALL DAY FOR TWO YEARS NON-STOP!!!

Creative Fisher said...

Great post.

Patxi said...

I love the new idea for the brochure!...

However, maybe there is a Machiavellian mind behind the Wharton ads: Everyone knows that, opposite to what is said in the ad, Philly sucks and there is not much to do, other than living in the B-School community bubble (ask any candid W student). The best attraction is NY at a 2h drive.

Therefore, if you attract workaholics with your ads, they will NOT feel frustrated by the lack of opportunities to have fun at Philly. Next thing you know, satisfaction surveys go up (there are no more frustrated fun-seekers at the school) and rankings as well.

It makes sense, doesn't it?

RusGirl said...

Angie, thanks for the congratulations and for the picture of Oxford. Is this the famous Radcliffe Camera? :)
And even more thanks for the link to MIT (I've found some interesting RE Computer Science there) - it is sooo good! :)