Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WHY? Birthday Party and IPPL Fundraiser -- This Sunday (March 4th)

The most recent episode of WHY? marked our third anniversary. If you are in the Grand Forks region, please join us to celebrate this milestone and to kick-off IPPL's first fundraising campaign. Help support the radio show, PQED, WHY? Digital Magazine, and The Art & Documentary Film Series.

Sunday, March 4
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Babylon Restaurant, 108 North 3rd Street.

If you can't come or would like to donate, please visit the donation page on our website. We can't continue without your help! Click on the button for more information.

Thank you for your support of PQED and of the Institute for Philosophy in Public Life.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is there such a thing as too much profit?

In my last post, I used the price increase of Whitney Houston’s music on iTunes to ask whether it was wrong to profit from someone’s death. One particular response caught my attention. A reader commented that making money off the dead was not inherently immoral, but that raising the price of her music was because “they would've made a lot of money on her death already, but they just wanted more.”

Monday, February 13, 2012

Is it wrong to profit from someone’s death?

Shortly after Whitney Houston died, Sony significantly raised the price of some of her MP3s on iTunes. There was a strong demand for her work – lots of mourners wanted to buy her Greatest Hits album – and Sony figured they would make some extra money from the surge of interest. There has been widespread outrage (see here and here), with lots of people claiming that it was a lousy thing to do. Is this reaction justified?

The basic rules of the market say “no.” Price is regulated by supply and demand. If demand goes up, then price goes up, and as long as demand continues, the price won’t go down again. This is exactly what happened, so it seem hard to argue that Sony did anything wrong.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

An article about WHY?'s third anniversary and great syndication news!

Tomorrow’s episode marks WHY’s third anniversary on the air, a tenure longer than most sitcoms! The Grand Forks Herald has a nice article about the show, IPPL’s vision of it, and how it fits into the culture of North Dakota. We thought supporters might be interested in reading it:

We are also pleased to announce that WHY? is now being broadcast twice a month on Public Reality Radio – a public radio station in Grand Rapids, Michigan! Check them out on the air or on the web, at and if you do, please let them know you’re a WHY? listener.  (Public Reality only broadcasts pre-recorded episodes; they are not simulcasting us live. To listen live and comment during the show, you still need to listen via Prairie Public or

Friday, February 10, 2012

Next Episode of WHY? - Feb 12 - "Should the Government Care About You?" with guest Virginia Held.

For a free high-definition poster of this episode, go to:

Maybe it’s time to think about our relationship with government
and not just its size.

RSVP for this on Facebook at: