We’re seeing a mania for wacky tech ideas. But tech bubbles aren’t necessarily the worst thing.
Unlike the housing market bubble, technology bubbles aren’t typically inflated by borrowed money that can cause cascading effects. Speculative technologies are also often somewhat disconnected from the rest of the economy.
And, Quinn said, when tech bubbles burst, they can leave behind something positive. Enter the bicycle bubble.
It also kicked off a mania of British bicycle manufacturers that went public, posted soaring stock prices and then collapsed. What was left behind, Quinn says, were people and companies that, in some cases, helped usher in new innovations in cars, motorcycles and road tires. Some of the bicycle pioneers are still around.
Like the bicycle bubble, good things happened in the wake of the late 1990s dot-com bubble in the United States. Companies including Amazon survived and thrived. Bankrupt telecommunications companies left behind cheap and useful internet pipelines that enabled an online explosion.
“The bubble mania can be distracting,” Griffith said, but she added: “The perspective of a lot of people in tech and finance is that a mania or a frenzy drives attention, excitement, enthusiasm and talent to something new.”
I don’t want to ignore the harm of tech busts. When bubbles burst, people lose their jobs and, in some cases, all of their savings. Quinn said that he believes regulators should do more to prevent hucksters from cheating people and walking away with millions. Griffith said she’s worried that people who go broke on tech fads might become embittered.
Quinn said he believes that bubbles, which were relatively rare between the 1920s and the 1980s, are now happening more frequently. Money and information travel quickly around the world, which helps fuel manias. Bubbles may be a fixture of modern life — with all the potential harms and benefits that come with them.
There are nifty apps that use algorithms to predict when airfares will dip. I’ve scored some remarkable deals, saving hundreds of dollars on flights to Hawaii, New York and Taiwan. These algorithms might be a bit less dependable during such an unpredictable year, but it’s still worth checking them out.
Tap the Flight button and enter the airport you’re departing from and the airport at your destination.
Select your preferred travel dates. Hopper will show you a color-coded calendar, with green dates showing the least expensive days to fly and red for the highest prices. You can choose to view ticket prices only for nonstop flights.
Sit back and wait for advice: Once you select the travel days, Hopper will send notifications to suggest whether to buy tickets now or wait for the price to drop. I tend to look at the Hopper flight alerts and then purchase tickets directly through the airline.
Source: New York Times