116: Brian O’Roark on The Economics of Superheroes and The Hunger Games
Brian O’Roark is University Professor of Economics at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh. He is the Co-Director of the Robert Morris Center for Economics Education and has a Ph.D. from George Mason University.
In 2014, Brian was given the Undergraduate Teaching Innovation Award by the Middle Atlantic Association of Colleges of Business Administration. He teaches the Survey of Economics course, and Principles of Micro and Macro Economics.
Brian is the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Essentials of Economics where hundreds of teaching tips is compiled into one essential, thoughtfully designed teaching resource making it easy for new instructors to incorporate best teaching practices into their courses and for veteran teachers to find inspiration to enliven their lectures.
Professor O’Roark has integrated economic content in songs with many topics being covered in the music videos available at http://www.criticalcommons.org/author/oroark.
To me Brian has become synonymous with superheroes and I could be forgiven for calling him Super Econ Man.
In this episode, Brian discusses and mentions: comparative advantage, institutions, production possibility frontier, inequality, opportunity costs and choices.
In this episode, Brian discusses and mentions: Jeff Cleveland, Kim Holder, Matt Rousu, Deirdre McClosky, Andrew Heaton, Beatrice Cherrier, Manu Saadia, Peter Leeson, Steve Horwitz, James Tierney, Dirk Mateer, James Buchanan and Walter Williams.
Movies for Economics:
- The Flash
- The Green Arrow
- Super Girl
- Batman (DC)
- Superman (DC)
- Deadpool (Marvel)
- Wonder Woman (DC)
- Super Girl (DC)
- Nate Grey (Marvel)
- Doctor Manhattan (Marvel)
- Scarlett Witch (Marvel)
- Black Bull (Marvel)
- Write on things that you’re interested in. Once you lose that interest, it makes writing so much more difficult. For me right now, I’m writing on dystopian literature and writing about superheroes and hopefully writing more on information security. Those are things that I’m really really interested in and that makes the job of writing so much easier.
- Do the writing and get your ideas down on paper first. Don’t worry about what other people have said on the topic before you start writing yourself. When I was at Mason, James Buchanan was still there. And he made this comment that stuck with me more so than anything that I have learned in any of the classes that I had there. He would write the paper first and then do the literature review later. Because he didn’t want anybody else’s opinion’s to affect what he was writing. He wanted all of the ideas that he put down on paper to be his own. And if other people had written about it he could weave what they said into what he said. But he didn’t want to work it the other way around. He didn’t want to have his ideas be the offspring of somebody else’s work.
- Make sure you carve out time to write. If you carve out time to get your writing done it doesn’t become the last thing on your to-do list. When it becomes the last thing on your to-do list it tends to keep getting pushed back and pushed back and then it doesn’t get done at all.
- Matewan by Rebecca J. Bailey
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
- Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics by Joshua Hall
- We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson