I consider myself super lucky to work at the Energy Institute at Haas. There are many perks to my job (non? energy benefits), but one of them is that we have lunch together every day and talk about energy- and economics-related topics.
One thing we've touched on at lunch a lot recently has been self-driving cars, especially following some great recent coverage in Planet Money and 99% Invisible (we're big podcast fans). In particular, will self-driving cars increase or decrease VMT? Emissions? I'm not sure that I have a concrete answer to that question, but after watching the driver behind me pull out a newspaper while we were stopped behind someone making an unprotected left today (not even at a stop sign or a light!), in my opinion, the self-driving car can't get here fast enough. Yikes.
We also had a fun discussion today about whether blogging can/should help advance economists' careers (cue my advisor's stop-getting-distracted-from-your-lack-of-a-job-market-paper-stink-eye in my direction...let me tell you, it's well-practiced at this point). So far, the profession's answer seems to be a pretty resounding no. I'll be interested to see if that changes as more and more economists take to the blogosphere (including the EI crew!). Regardless, I'm enjoying my blogging debut so far - as one professor-who-I-won't name-but-will-call-out-with-a-link-anyway-because-I-can pointed out today, people do lots of things for fun: some people go for hikes, some people ride bikes, others...blog about economics?
(And yes, I do realize that I've just blogged about economists talking about blogging about economics. Both meta and aggressively increasing the nerd-dom.)
PS: My name is Fiona and I have a parentheses and dashes problem.