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The Time Price of Watching Baseball Has Fallen to Seconds

Blog Post | Leisure

The Time Price of Watching Baseball Has Fallen to Seconds

Thanks to innovation, baseball games are almost free for billions of people.

A ticket to a Yankees game in 1923 cost $1.10. Unskilled workers back then were earning 22 cents an hour so it took them five hours of work to earn the money to buy a ticket. Blue-collar workers were earning 44 cents an hour so it only took them 2.5 hours.

Today you can buy a live stream package for every Major League Baseball game for $64.99. The season schedule generally consists of 162 games for each of the 30 teams for a total of 2,430 games, plus the postseason. The streaming package makes it less than 2.7 cents a game. That’s around 3 to 6 seconds of work depending on your skills.

Unskilled workers are earning $14.53 an hour today while blue-collar earn $33.39. That would make the season streaming package time price 4.48 hours and 1.95 hours respectively.

For less than the time price of one game in 1923 you get over 2,430 today. Enjoying baseball has become 242,000 percent more abundant. In the last 100 years, baseball innovation has grown at 8.1 percent compounded annually, doubling abundance every nine years.

Some have suggested that watching Major League Baseball has gotten more expensive over the years. The premium seat in the stadium is a status symbol of conspicuous consumption as Thorstein Veblen would say. It’s like a Rolex versus a Timex. You are not there to watch the game, you’re there to be watched. Vanity is always expensive.

Innovation in radio and then TV and now the internet has made watching baseball almost free for billions of people.

Pitcher Max Scherzer is the highest paid baseball player today with a $130 million 3-year contract. Babe Ruth was earning $52,000 a year in 1923. That was about 52 times greater than the typical blue-collar worker at the time. Max Scherzer’s $43 million a year puts him 643 times higher. Is Max really 10.9 times better than the Bambino?

Innovation allows Scherzer’s team to sell and resell his performance to everyone on the planet with advertisers paying much of the costs. TV also gives you close-up views and replays and stats you don’t really get at the stadium.

If you have the extra money and time to enjoy the status of attending a major league baseball game in person, you still have that choice today. But if you cannot afford to travel to Yankee Stadium, then enjoy what millions of entrepreneurs have created to help you watch the game in what many consider to be a much better experience.

Wall Street Journal | Conservation & Biodiversity

Florida’s Coral Reef Supports Fishing, Tourism, and Beaches

“Scientists like Enochs are working overtime to engineer more climate-resistant corals. They are creating booster shots to keep them alive, deploying in vitro fertilization to make larvae grow faster, and importing coral species from around the Caribbean to breed with those in Florida.”

From Wall Street Journal.

Bloomberg | Cost of Material Goods

AI Will Cut Cost of Animated Films by 90%, Jeff Katzenberg Says

“Artificial intelligence will lower the cost of creating blockbuster animated movies drastically, according to longtime industry executive Jeffrey Katzenberg. ‘I don’t know of an industry that will be more impacted than any aspect of media, entertainment, and creation,’ Katzenberg said in a panel discussion at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum on Thursday. ‘In the good old days, you might need 500 artists and years to make a world-class animated movie. I don’t think it will take 10% of that three years from now.'”

From Bloomberg.

Blog Post | Cost of Technology

Atari to Xbox

Get two Xbox Series X consoles for the time price of one Atari 2600.

The Atari 2600 was introduced in 1977 and was priced at $199. Unskilled wages at the time were $3.15 an hour, so the time price was around 63 hours. Today you can pick up an Xbox Series X for $499. With unskilled wages today being around $16.50 an hour, the time price is just over 30 hours. You can buy two Xbox Series X consoles today for the time price of one Atari 2600 in 1977.

Atari 2600 home video console system next to an Xbox series X

The Atari had a chip running at 1.19 megahertz (or 1,190,000 cycles per second) and had 128 bytes of random access memory. The maximum resolution was 160×192 with 128 colors.

Combat (video game) for the Atari system, and Gears 5 (video game) for the Xbox series x

The Xbox Series X graphics chip runs at 12 teraflops, or 12 trillion floating-point operations per second. It has 16 gigabits of memory and 1 terabyte of storage and can display billions of colors on an 8K display.

The Series X can display 1,080 times more pixels in millions of more colors 10 million times faster with 125 million times more memory. In the past 46 years, computer creativity has grown exponentially abundant—just as Gordon Moore and George Gilder predicted.

A version of this article was published at Gale Winds on 10/24/2023.

Bloomberg | Science & Technology

Video Game Uses AI to Replace Deceased Voice Actor

“The voice of the late Miłogost Reczek, a popular Polish voice actor who died in 2021, was reproduced by an AI algorithm for the Polish-language release of Phantom Liberty, the new expansion to CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077. In a statement to Bloomberg, the company said it received permission from Reczek’s family to do this and that it had considered replacing him in the expansion and rerecording his lines in the original game but decided against it.”

From Bloomberg.