A Dad-or-Daughter Songwriting Contest

My daughter, Anna, spent a bunch of time this past summer writing songs. One thing led to another and we ended up coauthoring a song together. I have more than 50 academic coauthors, but this is the first time I’ve ever tried writing music with someone.

Is it easy for people to tell the difference between songs she wrote by herself and a song where I wrote most of the lyrics? Is it possible for a 52-year-old lawyer/economist to emulate the lyrics of a 14-year-old Gleek? I think a lot of people would have a surprisingly hard time. But the question is testable.

So today I’m announcing a contest where you could earn a chance of winning an iTunes gift card worth somewhere between $50-$500. To play, just click through and listen to these three songs – Friend Zone, Longer, & Your Way, and then leave a comment to this post or as a YouTube comment to one of the three songs saying: i) which of the three songs you think I coauthored; ii) identifying a line in that song you believe I wrote; and iii) identifying a line in that song you believe Anna wrote. Here they are:

From MTV to the Stanky Legg

YouTube may become the digital generation's replacement for MTV, reports NPR's All Things Considered, as musical artists use it as a cheaper way to be discovered, promote their albums, and post music videos that would never have made the cut at MTV. Getting a video noticed on YouTube, meanwhile, requires a different set of "tricks" than MTV, which may produce a new generation of videos that forgo bling and fancy production for dance crazes and badly shot paparazzi videos.

The CEO of Hulu Will Now Take Your Questions

There are three TV shows I have come to love even though I've never watched them on TV. Or on DVD. Or via iTunes. They are: Arrested Development, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Rescue Me. And they are all available -- the complete catalog, whenever you want, in high-quality video, with a beautiful user interface -- on my computer, for free, thanks to Hulu.com.

And Sarah

My family is somewhat obsessed with all things Sarah Dooley. We were first won over by her oddly moving songs. Check out this love song, “Watching Goonies at My House.” But she is also writing and staring in her own comedies. As an undergraduate at Barnard College, she has started posting to YouTube a series […]

Was It Something We Posted?

| Google doesn’t know why, but China blocked the entire YouTube site on Monday, cutting off access for all Chinese citizens. Maybe, posits Wired‘s Eliot Van Buskirk, one of China’s censorship workers mistakenly blocked the entire site (instead of just select URL’s, as had been done in the past); maybe a single video really offended […]

Hey, Paul Krugman

As noted here earlier, this recession (depression? repression?) is inspiring some pretty decent pop music. I think the apex has been reached. Listen for yourself to “Hey, Paul Krugman,” by Jonathan Mann: It’s a pretty great song, and not just because of the lyrics:

The FREAK-est Links

What happens when Monty Python puts its videos on YouTube for free? It increases DVD sales by 23,000 percent. (Earlier) How much are your friends worth? (Earlier) It’s like online dating, except you’re seeking cities. (Earlier) Will Wilkinson asks: are economists clueless? (HT: Jarrod Hunt) (Earlier)

Freddie Mac and Cheese

It’s not an entire film (and it’s not in French), but two more readers, Talya and Pavle, have sent in a video of their song “Fannie Mae Eat Freddie Mac and Cheese,” which uses “freakonomics” as a sort of mantra. We like.

Is JungleSmash the New Madison Avenue?

I love social experiments, and I love how the internet is a force for disintermediation, and I love Mad Men too, so I am really prepared to love JungleSmash as well. JungleSmash is a little experiment from my friend James Altucher, whom I’ve written about here and here. From JungleSmash James also started Stockpickr.com, the […]

Ballerinas and Information Asymmetry

We’ve written quite a bit about various information asymmetries — i.e., when one party in a transaction has a lot more information than another — and how the Internet is very good at correcting that asymmetry. Among the examples we used were the cost of term-life insurance, the price of coffins, and real-estate listings. The […]