I Pencil -The actual essay starts on page 4 within the document (actually page 8 in the pdf) This discusses the role that prices play in conveying knowledge and directing and organizing behavior in society- often described as a ‘spontaneous order.’
Economics has many applications outside of what you may stereotypically have in mind. Besides giving insight into how to run a business, economic principles apply to other areas of human behavior, like for instance, disaster response:
The Use of Knowledge in Disaster Relief Management
Government’s Response to Hurricane Katrina: A public choice analysis
Again, these are really upper level applications of basic principles of economics. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the material. Just scan through and try to get a general idea. What we will cover in class will be much more basic. However, these are great examples of applications of the principles we will talk about in class.