informal economy

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pages: 678 words: 216,204

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler

affirmative action, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, clean water, commoditize, dark matter, desegregation, East Village, fear of failure, Firefox, game design, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information asymmetry, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kenneth Arrow, longitudinal study, market bubble, market clearing, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, random walk, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software patent, spectrum auction, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto

It promises to enable social production and exchange to play a much larger role, alongside property- and marketbased production, than they ever have in modern democracies. 16 The first part of this book is dedicated to establishing a number of basic economic observations. Its overarching claim is that we are seeing the emergence of a new stage in the information economy, which I call the "networked information economy." It is displacing the industrial information economy that typified information production from about the second half of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century. What characterizes the networked information economy is that decentralized individual action--specifically, new and important cooperative and coordinate action carried out through radically distributed, nonmarket mechanisms that do not depend on proprietary strategies--plays a much greater role than it did, or could have, in the industrial information economy. The catalyst for this change is the happenstance of the fabrication technology of computation, and its ripple effects throughout the technologies of communication and storage.

Because of its focus around capital-intensive production and distribution techniques, this first stage might best be thought of as the "industrial information economy." 72 Radical decentralization of intelligence in our communications network and the centrality of information, knowledge, culture, and ideas to advanced economic activity are leading to a new stage of the information economy-- the networked information economy. In this new stage, we can harness many more of the diverse paths and mechanisms for cultural transmission that were muted by the economies of scale that led to the rise of the concentrated, controlled form of mass media, whether commercial or state-run. The most important aspect of the networked information economy is the possibility it opens for reversing the control focus of the industrial information economy. In particular, it holds out the possibility of reversing two trends in cultural production central to the project of control: concentration and commercialization. 73 Two fundamental facts have changed in the economic ecology in which the industrial information enterprises have arisen.

Index Attribution Acknowledgments Chapter 1 - Introduction: A Moment of Opportunity and Challenge The Emergence of the Networked Information Economy Networked Information Economy and Liberal, Democratic Societies Enhanced Autonomy Democracy: The Networked Public Sphere Justice and Human Development A Critical Culture and Networked Social Relations Four Methodological Comments The Role of Technology in Human Affairs The Role of Economic Analysis and Methodological Individualism Economic Structure in Liberal Political Theory Whither the State? The Stakes of It All: the Battle over the Institutional Ecology of the Digital Environment Part One - The Networked Information Economy Introduction Chapter 2 - Some Basic Economics of Information Production and Innovation The Diversity of Strategies in Our Current Information Production System The Effects of Exclusive Rights When Information Production Meets the Computer Network Strong Exclusive Rights in the Digital Environment Chapter 3 - Peer Production and Sharing Free/Open-Source Software Peer Production of Information, Knowledge, and Culture Generally Uttering Content Relevance/Accreditation Value-Added Distribution Sharing of Processing, Storage, and Communications Platforms Chapter 4 - The Economics of Social Production Motivation Social Production: Feasibility Conditions and Organizational Form Transaction Costs and Efficiency The Emergence of Social Production in the Digitally Networked Environment The Interface of Social Production and Market-Based Businesses Part Two - The Political Economy of Property and Commons Introduction Chapter 5 - Individual Freedom: Autonomy, Information, and Law Freedom to Do More for Oneself, by Oneself, and With Others Autonomy, Property, and Commons Autonomy and the Information Environment Autonomy, Mass Media, and Nonmarket Information Producers Chapter 6 - Political Freedom Part 1: The Trouble with Mass Media Design Characteristics of a Communications Platform for a Liberal Public Platform or a Liberal Public Sphere The Emergence of the Commercial Mass-Media Platform for the Public Sphere Basic Critiques of Mass Media Mass Media as a Platform for the Public Sphere Media Concentration: The Power of Ownership and Money Commercialism, Journalism, and Political Inertness Chapter 7 - Political Freedom Part 2: Emergence of the Networked Public Sphere Basic Tools of Networked Communication Networked Information Economy Meets the Public Sphere Critiques of the Claims That the Internet Has Democratizing Effects Is the Internet Too Chaotic, Too Concentrated, or Neither?


pages: 289 words: 99,936

Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age by Virginia Eubanks

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, call centre, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of work, game design, global village, index card, informal economy, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, microcredit, new economy, post-industrial society, race to the bottom, rent control, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, telemarketer, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban planning, web application, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor

As a corrective to the oversights described in chapters 2 and 3, I offer the stories and analysis of women living in the YWCA community. In chapter 4, I discuss their experiences of the information economy as our hometown of Troy, New York, seeks a place in a regional economic development initiative called Tech Valley. I also provide evidence that lowincome women in Troy participate in the information economy in huge numbers, and I describe their experiences in both low-wage, high-tech jobs and in the service and caregiving industries that make high-tech growth possible. In chapter 5, I explore the interaction of women in the YWCA community with IT in the social service office and investigate the political lessons they learn when dealing with technologies of state administration. The experiences of women in the YWCA community with the information economy and technologies of state administration directly contradict the widespread belief that poor and working-class women lack access to technology.

Public housing was allowed to deteriorate, rents skyrocketed, and social supports were harder to get and keep. From the standpoint of the YWCA, these policies seemed unmoored from reality. It was Silicon Valley all over again: the information economy was going to lift some boats, but it was a comfortable ride only if you could ignore the screams of the people drowning all around you. In this chapter, I use an intersectional approach to explore claims made by high-tech economic development boosters that the information economy is a force for equity. Intersectional feminist analysis of the information economy demands that we ask more difficult questions than “How do we fill the pipeline?” It should question taken-for-granted assumptions, center itself in explorations of power, oppression, and domination, and uncover features of social life that have been made invisible by dominant economic models (Barker and Feiner 2004, 9).

Volatility, risk, and flexibility are indeed signature features of the information economy. But they are not nearly as idiosyncratic as these writers assume. The new economy, digital technology, and laissez-faire governance do not, in fact, annihilate existing configurations of power, sweeping away the wreckage of the old, leaving a playing field that is clean, smooth, and level. Rather than magically clearing away old structures of inequality in a tide of creative destruction, the information economy is the product of two equally significant forces: increasing macroeconomic instability and comparatively stable, preexisting topographies of social and economic inequality. Rather than being unpredictable or idiosyncratic, the vulnerabilities and risk produced by the information economy display a great deal of continuity with what came before.15 I call this phenomenon volatile continuity.


pages: 209 words: 63,649

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, Elon Musk, Firefox, glass ceiling, greed is good, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, longitudinal study, means of production, Mitch Kapor, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, QR code, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

The portion of the economy connected to purpose will continue to grow as companies dedicate more of their business to creating purpose, and as more innovative organizations, such as hybrid non- and for-profit companies, are created. That was true also for the Information Economy. Leaders of that economy, like HP and IBM, started with a foot still in manufacturing, creating hardware to store and manage information. Today, we see the early Purpose Economy stars anchored in Information Economy platforms; Facebook, which enables self-expression and community on a massive scale, is a great example. Kickstarter, which now provides more funding for the arts than the National Endowment for the Arts, is another. With the rise of the Information Economy, most companies eventually adopted information-driven systems and tools into their operations and products, such as GPS in cars and robotics in manufacturing. It wasn’t until the auto industry in Detroit really embraced the Information Economy that they were able to turn their fortunes around.

In his 1977 thesis, he coined the term “Information Economy,” and he proved that information had surpassed industry as the leading driver of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). In reading the summary of his dissertation, I found something surprisingly similar about what he had described and what I was witnessing both through my work at Taproot and in the economy at large. Specifically, the economy was going through another major restructuring, and that just as the Information Economy supplanted the Industrial Economy, and as the Industrial Economy supplanted the Agrarian Economy before it, a new economy had begun to emerge. Like most people, I had come to see technology as synonymous with innovation, jobs, growth, and our future. And while the Information Economy was clearly still the dominant driver of our economic engine, it had become clear to me that a new economy was emerging, one centered on the need for individuals to find purpose in their work and lives.

But what did this mean? What changes could we expect to see? How could we help nudge the economy in the direction that would be most beneficial to people and the planet? The Information Economy changed organizations and the labor market as well as demanding a new, enabling environment. Could we expect the same types of changes in the emerging Purpose Economy? The impact of the Information Economy cannot be overstated. Its rise led to radical changes in government, policy, education, community dynamics, non-market human interactions, and the role and design of nonprofit organizations. Within organizations, the Information Economy not only created technology departments, it also catalyzed the widespread introduction of strategic planning, marketing, and human resources. Additionally, it completely altered the flow of capital and investments, accelerating both but also creating a culture that focused on debt, scale, and short-term investment horizons.


pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

So with that in mind, let’s consider the hard question stated above: How might a humanistic economic system support information access for those who find themselves persistently in the bottom ranks of the information economy, meaning that they have to pay more for cloud services than they earn from cloud services? We might first ask how many people will be in this situation. If the overall economy is growing, the answer is less than half. If the economy is absolutely stagnant, then the answer is half. If the economy doesn’t grow or shrink at all, then a market system is just churn, or worse, plutocracy. But there’s no reason to think that innovation and creativity will suddenly run out in the information space, so we should expect a humanistic information economy to grow in the long term. Beyond that, just because someone is on the bum side of the information economy doesn’t mean that person will be poor. There ought to be plenty of people who do very well in physicality.

At some point, you might decide you want to cash in all that’s due to you, even if the price is that you can no longer get free stuff online thereafter. The Price of Antenimbosia A trickier question is how to design the initial state of a new information economy to reflect all that had been done by people before the new accounting was initiated. Wikipedia has procedures in place to incorporate material from the 1911 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which has fallen into the public domain. When we build on the past in that way, how will we acknowledge it in a monetized information economy? Earlier it was pointed out that the seeming magic of cloud-based “automatic” translation between languages is actually based on the use of a corpus of translations performed by real people originally. Had a better-crafted information economy been in play when the original human translators provided their examples to the cloud, then they would be remembered and we could send royalties to those still living.

But the dominant principle of the new economy, the information economy, has lately been to conceal the value of information, of all things. We’ve decided not to pay most people for performing the new roles that are valuable in relation to the latest technologies. Ordinary people “share,” while elite network presences generate unprecedented fortunes. Whether these elite new presences are consumer-facing services like Google, or more hidden operations like high-frequency-trading firms, is mostly a matter of semantics. In either case, the biggest and best-connected computers provide the settings in which information turns into money. Meanwhile, trinkets tossed into the crowd spread illusions and false hopes that the emerging information economy is benefiting the majority of those who provide the information that drives it.


pages: 189 words: 57,632

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future by Cory Doctorow

AltaVista, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, en.wikipedia.org, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Law of Accelerating Returns, Metcalfe's law, Mitch Kapor, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, optical character recognition, patent troll, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Skype, slashdot, social software, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

This is why I give away digital copies of my books and make money on the printed editions: I'm not going to stop people from copying the electronic editions, so I might as well treat them as an enticement to buy the printed objects. But there is an information economy. You don't even need a computer to participate. My barber, an avowed technophobe who rebuilds antique motorcycles and doesn't own a PC, benefited from the information economy when I found him by googling for barbershops in my neighborhood. Teachers benefit from the information economy when they share lesson plans with their colleagues around the world by email. Doctors benefit from the information economy when they move their patient files to efficient digital formats. Insurance companies benefit from the information economy through better access to fresh data used in the preparation of actuarial tables. Marinas benefit from the information economy when office-slaves look up the weekend's weather online and decide to skip out on Friday for a weekend's sailing.

The Internet-era musicians who use the net to pack venues all over the world by giving away their recordings on social services like MySpace. Hell, look at my last barber, in Los Angeles: the man doesn't use a PC, but I found him by googling for "barbers" with my postcode — the information economy is driving his cost of customer acquisition to zero, and he doesn't even have to actively participate in it. Better access to more information is the hallmark of the information economy. The more IT we have, the more skill we have, the faster our networks get and the better our search tools get, the more economic activity the information economy generates. Many of us sell information in the information economy — I sell my printed books by giving away electronic books, lawyers and architects and consultants are in the information business and they drum up trade with Google ads, and Google is nothing but an info-broker — but none of us rely on curtailing access to information.

But not anymore: today, the US Trade Rep using America's political clout to force Russia to institute police inspections of its CD presses (savor the irony: post-Soviet Russia forgoes its hard-won freedom of the press to protect Disney and Universal!). How did entertainment go from trenchcoat pervert to top trade priority? I blame the "Information Economy." No one really knows what "Information Economy" means, but by the early 90s, we knew it was coming. America deployed her least reliable strategic resource to puzzle out what an "information economy" was and to figure out how to ensure America stayed atop the "new economy" — America sent in the futurists. We make the future in much the same way as we make the past. We don't remember everything that happened to us, just selective details. We weave our memories together on demand, filling in any empty spaces with the present, which is lying around in great abundance.


pages: 843 words: 223,858

The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells

"Robert Solow", Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, borderless world, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Leonard Kleinrock, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, popular capitalism, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

Lessons from the Industrial Revolution The Historical Sequence of the Information Technology Revolution Models, Actors, and Sites of the Information Technology Revolution The Information Technology Paradigm 2 The New Economy: Informationalism, Globalization, Networking Productivity, Competitiveness, and the Informational Economy The Global Economy: Structure, Dynamics, and Genesis The New Economy 3 The Network Enterprise: the Culture, Institutions, and Organizations of the Informational Economy Organizational Trajectories in the Restructuring of Capitalism and in the Transition from Industrialism to Informationalism Information Technology and the Network Enterprise Culture, Institutions, and Economic Organization: East Asian Business Networks Multinational Enterprises, Transnational Corporations, and International Networks The Spirit of Informationalism 4 The Transformation of Work and Employment: Networkers, Jobless, and Flex-timers1 The Historical Evolution of Employment and Occupational Structure in Advanced Capitalist Countries: the G-7, 1920–2005 Is There a Global Labor Force?

Such a virtuous circle should lead to greater productivity and efficiency, given the right conditions of equally dramatic organizational and institutional changes.3 In this chapter I shall try to assess the historical specificity of the new economy, outline its main features, and explore the structure and dynamics of a worldwide economic system emerging as a transitional form toward the informational mode of development that is likely to characterize the coming decades. Productivity, Competitiveness, and the Informational Economy The productivity enigma Productivity drives economic progress. It is by increasing the yields of output per unit of input over time that humankind eventually mastered the forces of nature and, in the process, shaped itself as culture. No wonder that the debate over the sources of productivity is the cornerstone of classical political economy, from the Physiocrats to Marx, via Ricardo, and remains at the forefront of that dwindling stream of economic theory still concerned with the real economy.4 Indeed, the specific ways of increasing productivity define the structure and dynamics of a given economic system. If there is a new, informational economy, we should be able to pinpoint the historically novel sources of productivity that make such an economy a distinctive one.

Therefore, to argue that productivity creates economic growth, and that productivity is a function of technological change, is tantamount to stating that the characteristics of society are the crucial factors underlying economic growth, by their impact on technological innovation. This Schumpeterian approach to economic growth12 raises an even more fundamental question concerning the structure and dynamics of the informational economy. Namely, what is historically new about our economy? What is its specificity vis-à-vis other economic systems, and particularly vis-à-vis the industrial economy? Is knowledge-based productivity specific to the informational economy? Economic historians have shown the fundamental role played by technology in economic growth, via productivity increase, throughout history and especially in the industrial era.13 The hypothesis of the critical role of technology as a source of productivity in advanced economies seems also able to comprehend much of the past experience of economic growth, cutting across different intellectual traditions in economic theory.


pages: 340 words: 91,387

Stealth of Nations by Robert Neuwirth

accounting loophole / creative accounting, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, full employment, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Johannes Kepler, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, Pepto Bismol, pirate software, profit motive, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, yellow journalism

Perhaps the only people who had the good sense to ignore the term “informal” were the very ones whose lives it purported to describe. Few of the merchants who operate on the roadsides or in the chaotic marketplaces of the developing world have any idea what the informal economy is. I found this out the hard way. My first foray into the world of unlicensed trade was a trip to Lagos, Nigeria. I spent my first few days in the African megacity walking up to merchants in the city’s street markets, introducing myself, and telling them I was writing a book on the informal economy. Without exception, they gawked at me and refused to talk. My words seemed to fill them with terror. Na so trouble plenty. Fortunately, I was working with two locals who were helping me navigate the chaotic and cramped markets of the city. Olayemi Adesanya and his younger brother Taye simply translated my words into English the people in the market would understand.

“It says what people are not doing—not wearing conventional dress, not being regulated by the state—but it does not point to any active principles they may have for doing it. It is a passive and conservative concept that acknowledges a world outside the bureaucracy, but endows it with no positive identity.” That’s why I propose to jettison the phrase “informal economy” and to adopt, instead, the moniker “System D.” Of course, changing the name is cosmetic surgery. But language does encapsulate some of the deeper values inherent in a society. Rebranding the informal economy as System D provides an opportunity to strip away layers of preconceptions and judgments, to reduce the association with criminality, and to give this economic arena a chance to prove the naysayers wrong. The growth of System D presents a series of challenges to the norms of economics, business, and governance—for it has traditionally existed outside the framework of trade agreements, labor laws, copyright protections, product safety regulations, antipollution legislation, and a host of other political, social, and environmental policies.

For these merchants, the answer lies not in groveling at the altar of formalization but in creating a middle ground in which the flea market is a fine model for productive economic activity. “We need to come up with models that allow the street trader to coexist along with retail shops and along with large malls,” Chen told me. “The informal economy is not the problem. It’s part of the solution. Street traders, waste pickers, market women: these people really do contribute to the economy and to their cities. How can we manage our cities in a way that has space for them? What we need to do with the informal economy is to figure out how to help it become more productive, more efficient, and more effective.” Freedom to Trade Political œconomy … proposes to enrich both the people and the sovereign. —The Wealth of Nations John Ebeyenoku stepped outside the shed that housed his grinder.


pages: 159 words: 45,073

GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History by Diane Coyle

"Robert Solow", Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, clean water, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial intermediation, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, mutually assured destruction, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, new economy, Occupy movement, purchasing power parity, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, University of East Anglia, working-age population

This “no growth” advocacy is linked to concern about the environment, both in recent years and a generation ago.23 Let’s take these in turn. THE INFORMAL ECONOMY In 1987, Italy announced an overnight increase in its level of GDP. Its official statisticians decided to start including an estimate of the unofficial economy in their figures. It increased the size of the economy by about a fifth, taking Italy past the United Kingdom to become the fifth biggest in the world, just behind France at number four. It was labeled il sorpasso, the overtaking. “A wave of euphoria swept over Italians after economists recalibrated their statistics, taking into account for the first time the country’s formidable underground economy of tax evaders and illegal workers,” reported the New York Times.24 The observation and labeling of the informal economy originated with the work of the anthropologist Keith Hart, based on his fieldwork in Ghana in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In developing countries, the proportion of GDP accounted for by economic activity that stays outside the official net for taxes and scrutiny is high: the “informal” economy will be large in a poor country where many people work as self-employed entrepreneurs, farmers, or day laborers. In developed countries, the proportion is variable, ranging from around 7 percent of GDP in the United States and 8 percent of GDP in Switzerland to 20 percent in Italy and 25 percent in Greece (all 2012 estimates). The average is about 15 percent of GDP. In the formerly communist “transition” economies, the typical share of the shadow economy is 21–30 percent, and in poorer developing economies 35–44 percent of GDP. The informal economy has been growing in size around the world. Friedrich Schneider writes, “Studies based on data for several countries suggest that the major driving forces behind the size and growth of the shadow economy are an increasing burden of tax and social security payments, combined with rising restrictions in the official labor market.”25 After a bit of controversy about Italy’s decision to adjust GDP for the unofficial economy, the fuss died down quickly.

Abramowitz, Moses, 113 Africa, 31–33, 72, 93, 138 Anders, William, 68 art, 127–28, 132 assets, contributing to sustainability, 134–35, 137 austerity measures, 23 Australia, 73, 109, 118 automation, 128–29 Bangladesh, 53 base year, in GDP calculations, 31, 33–34 Baumol, William, 127 Benford’s Law, 3, 143n3 Berners-Lee, Tim, 81 Bhalla, Surjit, 53 Bhutan, 112 Bos, Frits, 47–48 Boskin Commission, 35, 88 Brazil, 94, 125 Bretton Woods system, 48 BRIC economies, 94, 96 Brynjolfsson, Erik, 128–30 Burundi, 73 business, purpose of, 95 Campaign for Happiness, 112 Canada, 73, 89, 109 capabilities, 72–73, 134 capital consumption, 131 capitalism: 1970s crisis of, 59–75; 2008 crisis of, 93–118; achievements of, 5–6; innovation as hallmark of, 91; investment and depreciation, 131–33 capital widening, 132 Carson, Rachel, Silent Spring, 69 centrally planned economies, 46–47, 56, 60, 66–68 Central Statistical Office (United Kingdom), 18 Chad, 73 chain-weighted price indexes, 33–34 China: economic growth of, 94, 96–97; economic limitations of, 96–97; GDP of, 51–53, 96, 97; living standards in, 51, 57, 96; manufacturing and exporting in, 82, 97, 125; U.S. relations with, 97 Christophers, Brett, 104, 105 circular flow, 26–27, 27f, 57, 63 Clark, Colin, 12, 13, 17, 50, 84 Clean Water Act (1972), 69 Clegg, Nick, 110 Cobb, John, 116 Cold War, 46–47, 60, 66 communications technology, 81–82 communism, 46–47, 60, 66–68, 96 compound arithmetic, 64, 83, 130–31 comprehensive wealth, 133, 135 computers, 80–82, 87–88 conspicuous consumption, 112 consumerism, 45, 112 consumer spending (C), 27–28, 45 consumer surplus, 130 customization, of goods and services, 123–25 Cuyahoga River, 69 Daly, Herman, 116 Darling, Alastair, 102 dashboard approach, 118, 136 data collection, 33, 37, 51–53, 137–38 Data Resources, Incorporated (DRI), 21 Davenant, Charles, 8 David, Paul, 79 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 81 defense spending, 14–16 deferred stock options, 37 deflators, 31 Defoe, Daniel, 9 DeLong, Brad, 86, 117 Democratic Republic of Congo, 54, 73 Deng Xiao Ping, 96 depreciation, 25, 30, 131–33 developed/high-income countries: GDP of, 72, 93; informal economy in, 107 developing/low-income countries: economic growth/stagnation in, 61, 71–72; GDP of, 32–33, 51, 71–72; informal economy in, 107, 109; and PPP, 50–53 development aid, 72, 74 digital products and services, 129–31 disasters, GDP growth after, 43 Domar, Evsey, 55 double-entry bookkeeping, 8 Easterlin, Richard, 111 Eckstein, Otto, 21 econometric models, 20–21, 23 economic growth: critiques of, 60; in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, 12; lack of, in developing countries, 61; meanings and measures of, 15; meanings of, 123; potential rate of, 82–83; problems arising from, 63–64; real, 30–31; significance of, 135–36; sustainable, 71, 116, 137; theories/models of, 55–57, 78–81; virtuous circle of, 57, 59, 64, 73, 79; well-being and welfare aided by, 135 economics, challenges to conventional, 59–61 economic welfare.


pages: 412 words: 128,042

Extreme Economies: Survival, Failure, Future – Lessons From the World’s Limits by Richard Davies

agricultural Revolution, air freight, Anton Chekhov, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big-box store, cashless society, clean water, complexity theory, deindustrialization, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial innovation, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, large denomination, Livingstone, I presume, Malacca Straits, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, school choice, school vouchers, Scramble for Africa, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, the payments system, trade route, Travis Kalanick, uranium enrichment, urban planning, wealth creators, white picket fence, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Source: World Resources Institute THE TRAGEDY OF THE JUNGLE THE PROBLEM WITH FREE EXCHANGE In their own ways the resilience of the communities in the first part of the book showed the best of economics. These are places where people start with nothing but build an informal economy in which they innovate, often inventing an unofficial currency, creating markets from scratch and trading to each other’s mutual benefit. This reaction to economic devastation whether due to disaster, war or incarceration seems innate, and it shows how an informal or underground marketplace can allocate scarce resources, help people define roles and identities, and give meaning to life. Places like Darien show that informal economies are not always benign. Absent of rules and regulations, markets can arise that destroy resources, reduce the value of a human settlement and undermine its long-term prospects.

As with people hit by a natural disaster or fleeing war, the basic needs for food and shelter are at risk in Kinshasa; here the cause is poverty, and the Congolese use illegal pirate markets as a kind of natural defence. The difference is that the malign government has been so long-lasting that a kind of privatization of the state has occurred, with direct, micro-level deals done between citizens and state employees. In Kinshasa the organic and informal economy delves into areas of life, such as policing, that even the most market-orientated countries regard as public or state functions. In its span and depth, the informal economy is greater than we appreciate. But this city, like the Darien Gap, offers a warning about the limits of all this. The culture of débrouillez-vous – to look after yourself, trade informally, and avoid the corrupt and voracious tax collector – is completely rational when public officials like police and teachers demand payment directly.

So many people were arriving that they were forced to rationalize their operation, focusing on just a few essentials: health and vaccinations, food and water, and security. They ceded control of much that is rigorously enforced in other camps: details such as how houses should be laid out, and the number of shops and traders that are permitted. Without close administration, Zaatari became a lawless place, with fights breaking out. At the same time an informal economy flowered as Syrians, determined to re-create a little of the economic life they had left behind, set up mini versions of the companies they had run at home. Source: UNHCR, see notes At first the shopkeepers operated from tents. Then, when the UNHCR provided wooden caravans for the refugees to live in, the entrepreneurs got hold of these, cut the sides out and created small kiosks. Soon there were outlets everywhere: grocers, a tobacconist, wedding-dress rentals, shops selling pet birds and others selling bicycles; there was even a billiard hall that catered to teenagers.


pages: 501 words: 145,943

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities by Benjamin R. Barber

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, clean water, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, digital Maoism, disintermediation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global pandemic, global village, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, London Interbank Offered Rate, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, megacity, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, Tony Hsieh, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, unpaid internship, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

As Katherine Boo poignantly shows, the reality in third-world megacities in Africa, Latin America, and Asia is an informal economy that offers employment to the technically “jobless,” lodging to the technically “homeless,” and hope, however wan and perverse, to the actually “hopeless.” The question is how to unlock the informal economy and liberate the “dead capital” trapped inside. De Soto has observed wryly that if the formal Egyptian economy was really the only recourse for twenty million educated young men without jobs, the country would have been swallowed up in permanent revolutionary struggle decades prior to the Arab Spring or suffered mass starvation on a Malthusian scale. As things stand, the informal economy prevents the poor from falling into the abyss without necessarily lifting them out of poverty. Advocates of microfinance, of legalizing squatters’ rights, of giving title to property users who are not owners, and of other policies aimed at formalizing the informal economy and bringing practices outside the law within the circle of legitimacy, have placed a bet, however.

Making Capitalism Work: Formalizing the Informal Economy The renewal of the alliance between citizens and their local government, rooted in the government’s capacity to provide jobs, regulations, and private-public cooperation and in the citizen’s inclination to participate in local decision making and neighborhood affairs, is the urban key to ameliorating inequality. Social observers and civic advocates like Hernando de Soto, the director of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Peru, have long recognized, however, that urban economics is as much about informal power as about city government, as much about the invisible economy as about public jobs or formal corporate institutions. As Katherine Boo poignantly shows, the reality in third-world megacities in Africa, Latin America, and Asia is an informal economy that offers employment to the technically “jobless,” lodging to the technically “homeless,” and hope, however wan and perverse, to the actually “hopeless.”

The dramatic story related by Jesse Katz of trying to sanction and support street vending by establishing an “Art-Gricultural Open Air Market” on Little Street cannot be retold here, but the effort nearly destroyed the neighborhood’s traditional unlicensed but thriving vending economy, which, Katz writes, was a “hodgepodge that sustained an ecosystem, an entry-level marketplace in which anyone could afford to participate, as buyer or seller.”37 This is the very definition of the informal economy’s potential for creative entrepreneurship, which, if harnessed, can impact inequality significantly. But in Los Angeles, Katz shows, city efforts echoed other well-intended urban policies like those that lead to the construction of dysfunctional high-rise projects. Formalizing what had been working informally can then undercut the informal economy’s core spirit without facilitating its incorporation into conventional business practices. Trying to order and legalize what vendors on their own were doing, creating a system for “allocating space and resolving disputes” that duplicated the informal system was simply not a recipe for success.


pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters

Albert Einstein, American ideology, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Davies, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technoutopianism, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine

What was the uncanny valley in this analytical zone? For those who think about the information economy, differences between the East and West are indiscernible. Cristiano Antonelli’s (1992) seminal insights into the nature of the information economy, in which cooperation and coordination are as important as—or more important than—competition for long-term economic success were inductively developed from detailed studies of the practices and activities of transnational corporations on both sides of the iron curtain (many funded by the unfortunately short-lived United Nations Center on Transnational Corporations). What Peters presents as counterintuitive actually provides further evidence of the transition to a global information economy in which ideological differences may still provide motivations but not explanations.

The reality of the latter half of Soviet economic history reveals that private life increasingly depended on the resilience and robustness of people’s connections to the informal economy. The command economy operated on hidden networks of tolkachy (literally “pushers”) or “go-to-guys” or “fixers” who got the job done outside of the formal economic plan. Without the support of tolkachy, thousands of official economic quotas over decades never would have been met.42 Recent economic studies based on previously unconsulted archival data have estimated that a stunning average of 24 percent of annual expenditures per household in the Soviet Union went to the informal economy between 1968 and 1990.43 The estimated percentage of GNP not accounted for by the informal economy over the same period ranges between 17 and 40 percent.44 Despite both official claims and its enemies’ fears otherwise, Soviet economic life drew its vitality not from the strictures of top-down command and control but from the fitful hustling and the scrambling that came about because of those commands.

For a basic review of tolkachy and other informal mechanisms in the economy, see Mark Beissinger, Scientific Management, Socialist Discipline, and Soviet Power (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988); Ledeneva, Russia’s Economy of Favors; and Alena V. Ledeneva, Can Russia Modernize? Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013). 43. Byung-Yeon Kim, “Informal Economy Activities of Soviet Households: Size and Dynamics,” Journal of Comparative Economics 31 (3) ( 2003): 532–551. 44. Kim, “Informal Economy Activities of Soviet Households,” 532–535; Simon Johnson, Daniel Kaufmann, and Andrei Shleifer, “The Unofficial Economy in Transition,” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 2 (1997): 159–221. 45. Ledeneva, Russia’s Economy of Favors, 12. 46. Zbigniew K. Brzezinski, The Soviet Block: Unity and Conflict, rev. ed. (New York: Praeger, 1960), 116, see also 115–124. 47.


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The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State by James Dale Davidson, Rees Mogg

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, compound rate of return, creative destruction, Danny Hillis, debt deflation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Gilder, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Kevin Kelly, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Macrae, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, phenotype, price mechanism, profit maximization, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Sam Peltzman, school vouchers, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, spice trade, statistical model, telepresence, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto

It is remarkable not only for its pervasiveness, but also for the common misunderstanding it betrays about the cybereconomy. A highway, after all, is an industrial version of a footpath, a network for the physical transit of people and goods. The information economy is not like a highway, a railroad, or a pipeline. It does not haul or transport information from point to point the way the Trans-Canada Highway carries heavy trucks from Alberta to New Brunswick. What the world calls the "Information Superhighway" is not merely a transit link. It is the destination. Cyberspace transcends locality It involves nothing less than the instantaneous sharing of data everywhere and nowhere at once. The emerging information economy is based in the interconnections linking and relinking millions of users of millions of computers. Its essence lies in the new possibilities that arise from these connections.

Still other governments may adapt to the opportunities created by the information economy, and facilitate local transactions in cybermoney. Those jurisdictions that first recognize the validity of digital signatures and provide local court enforcement of repossession for nonpayment of cyberdebts will stand to benefit from a disproportionate surge in long-term capital lending. Obviously, no cybermoney would be available for long-term credits in territories where local courts imposed penalties or permitted debtors to default without recourse. Yield Gap The combination of credit crises, competitive adjustments by national monetary authorities, and early transitional obstacles to lending cybercurrency will lead to a yield gap in the early stages of the information economy. Cybermoney will pay lower interest rates than national currencies and will probably also carry explicit transaction costs.

High taxes, burdensome regulatory costs, and ambitious commitments to income redistribution will make territories under their control uninviting settings in which to do business. Those who live in jurisdictions that remained poor or underdeveloped during the industrial period have the most to gain by the liberation of economies from the confines of geography. This is contrary to what you will hear. The main controversy surrounding the advent of the information economy and the rise of the Sovereign Individual will focus on the allegedly adverse effects on "fairness" arising from the death of politics. It is certainly true that the advent of the global information economy will deal a mortal blow to large-scale income redistribution. The main beneficiaries of income redistribution in the Industrial Age have been inhabitants of wealthy jurisdictions whose level of consumption is twenty times higher than the world average. Only within the OECD countries has income redistribution had noticeable effects in raising incomes of unskilled persons.


Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity by Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore, Elizabeth Truss

Airbnb, banking crisis, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clockwatching, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, glass ceiling, informal economy, James Dyson, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, long peace, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Neil Kinnock, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, pension reform, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

The survey used for the Global Competitiveness Report 2011/12 ranks Britain’s scientific research institutions behind only Israel and Switzerland for quality.24 We also score very highly on the collaboration between universities and industry in research and development. It is clear from this that much of the necessary infrastructure is in place. What is lacking is the willingness to take risks. Black Market Buccaneers An interesting side note on the question of risk and innovation is the so-called ‘informal economy’. This is estimated to have a collective Buccaneers 89 value of $10 trillion.25 Robert Neuwirth’s Stealth of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Economy makes the bold claim that this motley collection of enterprises have a great deal to teach the rest of us.26 Neuwirth estimates that half of the workers in the world are part of this shadow economy. The black market operates at the purest level of entrepreneurialism, untouched by law, regulation or tax. Predominantly a feature of the developing world, the business model of creating low-quality, low-cost products and selling them to equally poor people might not seem to be something that we would want to emulate.

We have seen in the past the effects of a centralised, over-regulated state – the Soviet Union. It had little capacity to properly supply the needs of its people. With the informal economy we see the other side, a lawless place where demand can be instantly met by supply, in its rawest, most elemental form. For example, Neuwirth tells us that it was underground Chinese manufacturers that first offered a dual-sim-card mobile phone. It was sold through street vendors in countries where mobile phone provision works on a patchwork basis.27 This is something that can now be bought in a perfectly legal way, but it was the informal economy that got there first. The market abhors a vacuum, and it is the smaller, more nimble enterprises that can fill them, long before a multinational leviathan like, for example, Nokia, can even begin to contemplate developing a product.

Economist Le Dang Doanh estimates that in Vietnam the private sector currently constitutes 40 per cent of GDP, on top of which exists a further 20 per cent which can be considered the ‘underground’ economy.28 Clearly, law and order, intellectual property rights and consumer law exist for a reason, and are on the whole beneficial. But as a sheer experiment in what the poorest entrepreneur can achieve, when nearly all society’s strictures are relaxed, the informal economy is pretty hard to beat. The tradeoff between risk and reward is more visible here than anywhere else. As Steve Jobs once famously said, ‘It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.’ 90 Britannia Unchained Frontier Spirit The conceit that Britain ought to play the wise cultured Athenian to the boorish new Romans of the US is an old one, and not without its charms for those still nostalgic for empire.


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Brave New World of Work by Ulrich Beck

affirmative action, anti-globalists, Asian financial crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, full employment, future of work, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, job automation, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, McJob, means of production, mini-job, post-work, postnationalism / post nation state, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

For a long time now, any policy that intentionally eliminates low-cost jobs has not thereby removed the need in the economy or among the population for work of that kind. Criminalization is thus tantamount to a self-fulfilling prophecy. It hastens the movement into irregular work in the informal economy, which it then brands as criminal. Cheaper services for groups with declining incomes Formal services (because of high taxes and charges, among other things) are becoming prohibitively expensive for sections of the population with declining incomes who still want to maintain their standard of living. The informal economy is thus seen as a boon by these groups. Informalization as a strategy of corporate rationalization The spread of casual labour, spurious self-employment and ‘permanently temporary’ work offers many advantages for a strategy of corporate rationalization.

They might almost be compared to thirsty people who have to promise not to drink one drop of extra water, because they are officially given one glass a day to moisten their parched throat. Otherwise they are ‘social cheats’, whose transgression is harmful to the public good. This vicious circle – contradictory regulations, paradoxical coalitions, high-cost services, income loss, informality as a rationalization strategy, surplus time and deep financial insecurity of the unemployed – encourages the further spread of grey work and the informal economy. Unless the informal economy is decriminalized, the problems of the labour market can hardly be successfully tackled. But then the dykes may possibly break. The Either-Or policy – either work and a wage or no work at all – means that the new risks of informality are heaped on to the shoulders of people in work. On the other hand, of course, the state cannot simply withdraw from the fray or even embrace the erosion of normal work and of the associated systems of social security.

The statement that there is relatively little ‘open unemployment’ in Latin American countries is ambiguous in a quite fundamental sense. On the one hand, it points to the huge potential of the informal economy to integrate people willing to work and to offer them some chance of making a living. Truly these countries have a remarkable capacity to absorb people amid soaring population growth and flight from the land. On the other hand, the label ‘not unemployed’ can only be described as cynical in a region of the world where most of the excluded underclass does not show up in the ‘unemployment’ statistics. With regard to the Western view of unemployment as a scandal, this cynicism may even be turned to political use. For decriminalization and recognition of the informal economy might appear to some – at least as far as the statistical construction of reality is concerned – as precisely the royal road out of unemployment.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, megacity, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

From Airbnb (a rental website that has gone from 120,000 listings in early 2012 to over 300,000 at the time of this writing) to Zipcar (the car-sharing service that was sold to Avis for $500 million in January 2013), people the world over are moving away from the fixed, formal “own it” model to a more fluid “exchange it” approach. The importance of the informal economy is starting to become more apparent in other European countries. In the United Kingdom, a September 2012 study6 by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and Community Links found that the informal economy was flourishing, and that its existence was, in fact, important to the health of entrepreneurship. A nod to the need for hustle, this study underscored that in order for entrepreneurs to formalize their activities (as in, legally become a taxpaying registered business), they often have to trade one skill for another—exchange a website design for a marketing strategy, for example, or pay a supplier off the books.

., 71–72 Griffel, Mattan, 23 Groupon, 83 Guangdong, China, 81 guayusa, 182–83 Guerilla Open Access Manifesto, 113 Guerrilla Girls, 151 gun use, 133 Hacker Ethic, 37–38, 110, 125, 126 hacker movement, 110–14, 123 hackers, hacking, 19–20, 107–37, 149 access to information and, 110, 112–14 characteristics and mentality of, 122, 136–37 of culture, 205 of electronics, 108–9, 110–14 of establishments, 123–25 manipulation and, 108 mistrust of authority and, 110, 112 motivation for, 112 perception of violence and, 129–36 physical, 125–27 pirates as, 116–22 rules and principles of, 37–38 as small players, 123–24 as term, 111, 115 “white hat,” 108–9 see also specific people and organizations Hackers (Levy), 110 Hadid, Zaha, 81 Hafun, Somalia, 13 H&M, 85 Hargeisa Prison, 26 Harrelson, Woody, 190 Harvard Business Review, 124 Harvard Medical School, 187, 190 Harvard University, 199–200 Hasan, Abdi, 16, 26–27 health care industry, 23–24 see also pharmaceutical industry Hearts of Darkness, 32 Hemingway, Ernest, 211–13 Hendrix College, 140 HERO, 71 High Court of Admiralty, 117 HI-SEAS, 144 HIV/AIDS, 95, 129 Hofstra University, 63 Hoke, Catherine (“Cat”), 58–60, 62, 63–64, 207–9 Hong Kong, China, 82 Hostetler, Corlene, 3 Hostetler, Sam, 3–4, 6–7, 8, 10, 11 hotel industry, hacking of, 124 “How the Weak Win Wars” (Arreguín-Toft), 123 Hulu, 96, 97 Hulu Plus, 97 Humpback Dairies, 6–7 hustling, 51–75 community building and, 68–72 for ex-criminals, 55–56, 59–64 in informal economy, 65 while in prison, 51–54, 55, 57, 59 as term, 57–58 hypnotic regressions, 187, 189 IBM, 92 IKEA, 115 “In Cannes, Women Show Their Reels, Men, Their Films,” 152 incarceration, 51–54, 55, 57, 58–59, 173–74 entrepreneurship programs and, see Defy Ventures; Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP); Venturing Out hustling and, 51–54, 55, 57, 59 India, 15, 78, 94–95 indigenous tribes, 180–84, 200 Industrial Revolution, 38 informal economy, see misfits, misfit economy information, access to, 110, 112–14 Infor-Nation, 55, 56, 58 innovation, 18, 24–25, 35, 37, 85, 86, 92, 94, 96–98, 102 copying and, see copying in large corporations, 167 patents as threat to, 92 pivoting and, 169 “In Praise of Misfits,” 35 intellectual property, 92 laws for, 79 sharing of, 89 theft of, 77, 85, 93, 105 see also copying International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, 81 International Women’s Day, 151 Internet censorship, 113 Invisible Hook, The: The Hidden Economics of Pirates (Leeson), 118 iPhone, 169 Iraq, 133 iTunes, 96 Jackson, Jesse, 176 Jamaica, N.Y., 49, 50 Jargon File, The, 111 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 148 Jobs, Steve, 30–31, 34, 169 Johns, Adrian, 93 Johnson, Charles, 118, 119 Johnson, Steven, 98 Jolly Roger: The Story of the Great Age of Piracy (Pringle), 120 Joyce, James, 213 Kenning, Tom, 156 khat drug trade, 15 Kickstarter, 102 King, Martin Luther, Jr., 115 King Blood (Latin King leader), 171, 173, 174, 175 Knockoff Economy, The (Raustiala and Sprigman), 85 Kunstmann, Lazar, 19–20, 126, 127 La Barbe, 151–53, 154, 155, 204, 214, 216 Lackman, Jon, 19–20, 126 Lady Gaga, 90 Last Broadcast, The, 32 Latin Kings, 170–79 Latinos, 170–71 Lawrence, T.

Yet across the globe, in small towns and large cities, there are misfits operating more creatively than some of the world’s biggest companies, developing solutions to challenges that traditional businesses can’t touch. The characters you will read about in this book are found on pirate ships. They’re found in gangs and within hacker collectives. They’re in the crowded streets of Shenzhen, the prisons of Somalia, the flooded coastal towns of Thailand. Resourceful and creative, loyal and wily, they are slum dwellers, dissidents, and outlaws. Call it the gray market, the black market, the informal economy. Or shadow markets or the makeshift economy. We call it the Misfit Economy. Whatever the term, misfit innovators inhabit a different world—a world that, by conventional wisdom, should have nothing to do with traditional businesses and mainstream markets. However, far from being deviants who pose a threat to our social and economic stability, these entrepreneurial misfits are pioneering new ways of thinking and operating, establishing new best practices that we all can learn from and apply to formal markets.


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The Scandal of Money by George Gilder

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, Donald Trump, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, secular stagnation, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, yield curve, zero-sum game

It is the dream that brings the American future into our minds and motives today. It is a belief in a world where work and thrift today are rewarded by prosperity and progress tomorrow, where savings promise comfort in retirement, and where our children enjoy glowing prospects on new frontiers of opportunity. The way monopoly money has savaged these hopes is a great untold story of our time. In an information economy, governed by wealth achieved through learning, money is a messenger from the future—a bearer of information and a signal of opportunity. If the money no longer conveys a reliable message—a way of thinking coherently about our priorities and our values—how can we harbor intelligible dreams? Today we fear the dream is failing—that something has corrupted the links between our history and our horizons, that some insidious force is stealing our future.

Federal Express launched its overnight deliveries, Walmart its retailing revolution, Southwest Airlines its democratization of the air. Containerization vastly facilitated international shipping and trade. Annual productivity growth, as the advance of GDP over hours of labor, did not plummet from 3 percent to .5 percent because of any putative 1970s exhaustion of intrinsic technological gains. In an information economy, growth springs not from power but from knowledge. Crucial to the growth of knowledge is learning, conducted across an economy through the falsifiable testing of entrepreneurial ideas in companies that can fail. The economy is a test and measurement system, and it requires reliable learning guided by an accurate meter of monetary value. The elephant in the room ignored by most of the economists and the productivity experts was the sudden eclipse of money as a meter, as a measuring stick, as a scale of value, and as a signal of opportunity.

In the quest for increased nominal demand, central banks can always create deposits at will and over the course of time can provide any needed amount. Inflation seems a remote threat in an epoch of near-zero interest rates and collapsing commodity prices. Nonetheless, Turner correctly warns that real estate by its very nature is scarce. If the private banking system were permitted to generate credit at will, it would flow toward urban land, the price of which would be bid up vertiginously in the overflow of wealth from the new information economy. He shares the skepticism of Austrian economists about fractional reserve banking, whereby financial institutions can multiply deposits into cataracts of money and debt. Thus he prefers high reserve requirements and restrictions on international capital flows. What insight does our new information theory of money give us into these prescriptions? In the new theory, the Turner-Piketty thesis rests on the triad of infinite time, finite space, and infinite information.


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Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, lateral thinking, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, working-age population, Y2K

They pay no attention to government-approved exchange rates. And yet they thrive economically, charging each other rent for space in buildings with no legal ownership, employing each other in unlicensed businesses, and selling each other all manner of services and goods—some of the goods pirated, some of the services criminal. This is what is called the “informal economy.” It is to economic theory what dark energy is to astro-physical theory. It’s not supposed to exist, but there it is, and it’s huge. While the informal economy specializes in being invisible to the formal world, of course it is highly visible to itself. This is where the social capital of a dense community pays off. Without formal property title, everyone knows who effectively owns a building and may charge rent for a room in it. If you have a skill as a language teacher or identity card forger or whatever, there’s no need to advertise: Your customers will find you, and the officials won’t.

The poor have time but no money, and the rich have money but no time; and so they deal. I find what needy people do with surplus time more interesting than what un-needy people do with surplus money. Ingenuity is the norm in the informal economy. For instance, there is a whole urban-farming subeconomy in the slums: Families save money and improve nutrition by growing their own food, and they can sell the produce a short distance from where it’s grown. In the Medellín slums in Colombia, “people raise pigs on the third-floor roofs and grow vegetables in cut-open bleach bottles they hang from their window sills,” according to blogger Ethan Zuckerman. At the entry level, the informal economy is organized around pittances. Robert Kaplan wrote in 2008 thatFor the many rural newcomers to Bangladesh’s cities, there is the rickshaw economy, as much an animating force in urban areas as the search for usable soil is in villages.

On the whole, dime-a-day for-profit schools are doing a better job of teaching the poorest children than the far more expensive state schools.” This book was finished before the full effects of the world financial crisis of 2009 could be studied. Did the informal economy in the world’s slums offer a refuge from it, or did people there suffer more than anybody? (A 2009 report in the Wall Street Journal said that in the developing world, “people are landing in the informal sector, which has become a critical safety net as the economic crisis spreads.”) Were some people driven further into the crime economy? For that matter, how did global crime do? Did the rate of urbanization slow down or speed up? Here’s my prediction from March 2009: significant growth in the informal economy from more people retreating into it; significant growth in the crime economy, because it’s always ready to exploit chaos; no change in the rate of urbanization.


pages: 219 words: 62,816

"They Take Our Jobs!": And 20 Other Myths About Immigration by Aviva Chomsky

affirmative action, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, call centre, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, European colonialism, full employment, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, informal economy, invisible hand, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, mass immigration, mass incarceration, new economy, out of africa, postindustrial economy, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, thinkpad, trickle-down economics, union organizing, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

Consumers receive access to cheap products and services provided by these low-wage, untaxed workers. But workers in the informal economy don’t fare so well. They don’t have access to any of the worker protections that come with formal employment, like minimum wage or health and safety regulations. Workers in the informal economy can’t get unemployment insurance or workers’ compensation and generally get no benefits from their employer (like health insurance or sick leave or vacation time). It’s hard to calculate exact numbers for the informal economy because, by definition, it’s unregulated. One recent study in Los Angeles estimated that immigrants made up 40 percent of the city’s population, and one-fourth of these were undocumented. The informal economy accounted for some 15 percent of the city’s workforce, and undocumented workers were concentrated there: 60 percent of workers in the informal economy were undocumented.2 Many immigrants work in the formal economy, in which case they have all of the same tax deductions from their paychecks as citizens do.

Rather than focusing on immigrants as the problem, it proposed “increasing the minimum wage, adopting universal health care, and enacting labor law reform as the remedies for the widening income disparity in the nation.”18 MYTH 4 IMMIGRANTS DON’T PAY TAXES Immigrants, no matter what their status, pay the same taxes that citizens do—sales taxes, real estate taxes (if they rent or own a home), gasoline taxes. Some immigrants work in the informal economy and are paid under the table in cash, so they don’t have federal and state income taxes, or social security taxes, deducted from their paychecks. So do some citizens. In fact every time the kid next door babysits, or shovels the snow, he or she is working in the informal economy. Much of the service sector operates in the informal sphere. Nanny jobs and housecleaning jobs—which tend to be held primarily by women—generally use informal arrangements whether the workers are citizen or immigrant, documented or undocumented. But increasingly, jobs that used to be in the formal sector—like factory jobs—have sunk into the informal sector through elaborate systems of subcontracting.

The informal economy accounted for some 15 percent of the city’s workforce, and undocumented workers were concentrated there: 60 percent of workers in the informal economy were undocumented.2 Many immigrants work in the formal economy, in which case they have all of the same tax deductions from their paychecks as citizens do. Undocumented immigrants who work in the formal economy generally do so by presenting false social security numbers. The Social Security Administration estimates that about three-fourth of undocumented workers do this.3 Public commentary about this practice is often quite angry. In fact, though, the only ones who lose anything when workers use a false social security number are the workers themselves. Taxes are deducted from their paychecks—but if they are undocumented, they still have no access to the benefits they are paying for, like social security or unemployment benefits.


pages: 418 words: 128,965

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, corporate raider, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, sexual politics, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, zero-sum game

For history shows that in seeking to prevent the exercise of abusive power in the information industries, government is among those actors whose power must be restrained. Government may function as a check on abusive power, but government itself is a power that must be checked. What I propose is not a regulatory approach but rather a constitutional approach to the information economy. By that I mean a regime whose goal is to constrain and divide all power that derives from the control of information. Specifically, what we need is something I would call a Separations Principle for the information economy. A Separations Principle would mean the creation of a salutary distance between each of the major functions or layers in the information economy. It would mean that those who develop information, those who own the network infrastructure on which it travels, and those who control the tools or venues of access must be kept apart from one another. At the same time, the Separations Principle stipulates one other necessity: that the government also keep its distance and not intervene in the market to favor any technology, network monopoly, or integration of the major functions of an information industry.

The one great exception to this dominion of big business was the Internet, its users, and the industry that had grown on the network. Amid the consolidation, the 1990s also saw the so-called Internet revolution. Would it lead to the downfall of those consolidating superpowers? Some certainly thought so. “We are seeing the emergence of a new stage in the information economy,” prophesied Yochai Benkler. “It is displacing the industrial information economy that typified information production from about the second half of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century.” Unfortunately, the media and communications conglomerates didn’t consult Benkler as their soothsayer. With aggregate audiences in the billions and combined revenues in the trillions, they had—in fact, have—a very different vision of the future: the Internet either remade in their likeness, or at the very least rendered harmless to their core business interests.

(The degree to which the long lines had been subsidizing loss-leading markets throughout the country was greater than even Bell itself knew!) It would be some years before these inconveniences were offset by the fruits of innovation. On the other hand, when the innovation pent up by the Bell system came out, it was not a trickle but a tidal wave, in computing, telephony, networking, and everything else that has defined the information economy of the last thirty years. It is always to be preferred that the Cycle proceed of its own accord. The examples of the Paramount decree and the Bell divestiture are both tales of much that is bad and ugly arising before the eventual good of an open industry. There is an undeniable efficiency that attends a monopoly’s doing what it has been perfected to do, whether that be to turn out a certain kind of film or provide a universal phone service.


pages: 791 words: 85,159

Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid

business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, cross-subsidies, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, Frank Gehry, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Gilder, George Santayana, global village, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Productivity paradox, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Y2K

So, while the modern world often appears increasingly impersonal, in those areas where knowledge really counts, people count more than ever. In this way, a true knowledge economy should distinguish itself not only from the industrial economy but also from an information economy. For though its champions like to present these two as distinct, the information economy, like the industrial economy, shows a marked indifference to people. The industrial economy, for example, treated them en masse as interchangeable partsthe factory "hands" of the nineteenth century. The information economy threatens to treat them as more or less interchangeable consumers and processors of information. Attending to knowledge, by contrast, returns attention to people, what they know, how they come to know it, and how they differ. The importance of people as creators and carriers of knowledge is forcing organizations to realize that knowledge lies less in its databases than in its people.

Rather, it feels more as if, as the economist Paul Krugman puts it, "We've gone from an economy where most people worked in manufacturingin fairly large companies that were producing manufactured goods and engaged in things like transportationto an economy where most people work for fairly large companies producing services." 28 The resilience of the large organization is not all that surprising. Given that information technologies are particularly good at taking advantage of large networks, the information economy in certain circumstances actually favors the aggregated, massified firm.29 These are firms that can or have knit diverse networks together, as AOL hopes to do with its purchase of Netscape or as Microsoft hopes to do with the insertion of Windows into television set-top boxes. Consequently, the small, agile firm with big ideas and little money is less likely to be the viable start-up of legend.

The great classical economist Adam Smith used the image of the invisible hand to describe forces that reconcile the pursuit of private interests through markets with the public good and with what we have called the social fabric. If not actually producing good, at least the invisible hand prevents the pursuit of private interests from doing harm. "Assumptions which underlie the microeconomics of the Invisible Hand," de Long and Froomkin conclude, "fray badly when transported to the information economy."26 Better bots, then, will require a better understanding of human negotiation, the contribution of the social fabric, and the role of human restraint in the functioning of the invisible hand. Development will be ill served by people who merely redefine elaborate social processes in terms of the things that bots do well. Page 53 How Autonomous? If human negotiation is a delicate and complex art, it is inevitably more delicate and more complicated when conducted by proxies.


Off the Books by Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh

business climate, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, new economy, refrigerator car, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban renewal, working poor, Y2K

The study of underground economic activity in American inner cities was not well established until the seventies, when Louis Ferman published a pathbreaking paper on "informal economies." (See L. Ferman and P. Ferman, "The Structural Underpinning of the Irregular Economy," Poverty and Human Resources Abstracts 8 [1978]: 3-17.) Until that time, studies of unreported income could be found in histories of early twentieth-century prohibition, biographies of mafia leaders, anthropological studies of vice and hustling, and sociological inquiries into family life and public behavior generally. 3. The variation in definitions of the underground may be found in L. Ferman, S. Henry, and M. Hoyman, "Issues and Prospects for the Study of Informal Economies: Concepts, Research Strategies, and Policy," Annals of the Academy of Political Science 493 (1987): 154-172. 4. See Alejandro Portes, Manuel Castells, and Lauren A. Benton, eds., The Informal Economy: Studies in Advanced and Less Developed Countries (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989).

Nanneke Redclift and Enzo Mingione [New York: Basil Blackwell, 1985]). Using such figures, Hoyman argues that women are driven into the underground economy by their need to attend to these household duties, which are themselves not paid and which often require labor arrangements (e.g., day care, barter) that are not integrated into mainstream institutions. See M. Hoyman, "Female Participation in the Informal Economy: A Neglected Issue," in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science: The Informal Economy, ed. L. Ferman, S. Henry, and M. Hoyman (Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage, 1987), esp. 72. 8. The men in Liebow's study wove various myths, such as being "too manly" for marriage, which not only helped them cope with their inability to be a reliable husband but also provided them with an alternate source of meaning and identity—what Liebow would call a "value stretch."

.: Brookings Institution Press, 1999), 473-520, quote at 274. 11. For essays on informalization and immigration, see Alejandro Portes, Manuel Castells, and Lauren Benton, eds., The Informal Economy: Studies in Advanced and Less Developed Countries (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004). 12. About half of startup businesses in general close after four years, so the short tenure rates are not specific to ghetto-based businesses. Also, closure does not necessarily mean failure: businesses may merge, proprietors may find new and better economic opportunities, and so on. See Portes, Castells, and Benton, The Informal Economy, Brian Head, Business Success: Factors Leading to Surviving and Closing Successfully, Working Paper #CES-WP-01-01 (Washington, D.C.: Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Jan. 2001); Jim Everett and John Watson, "Small Business Failure and External Risk Factors," Small Business Economics 11, no. 4 (1998): 1-7. 13.


Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

In an industrial economy, there was a small skilled labor and professional class for which deep work was crucial, but most workers could do just fine without ever cultivating an ability to concentrate without distraction. They were paid to crank widgets—and not much about their job would change in the decades they kept it. But as we shift to an information economy, more and more of our population are knowledge workers, and deep work is becoming a key currency—even if most haven’t yet recognized this reality. Deep work is not, in other words, an old-fashioned skill falling into irrelevance. It’s instead a crucial ability for anyone looking to move ahead in a globally competitive information economy that tends to chew up and spit out those who aren’t earning their keep. The real rewards are reserved not for those who are comfortable using Facebook (a shallow task, easily replicated), but instead for those who are comfortable building the innovative distributed systems that run the service (a decidedly deep task, hard to replicate).

For someone who admitted to sometimes spending up to 98 percent of his day in his old job surfing the Web, Jason Benn’s transformation is nothing short of astonishing. Jason Benn’s story highlights a crucial lesson: Deep work is not some nostalgic affectation of writers and early-twentieth-century philosophers. It’s instead a skill that has great value today. There are two reasons for this value. The first has to do with learning. We have an information economy that’s dependent on complex systems that change rapidly. Some of the computer languages Benn learned, for example, didn’t exist ten years ago and will likely be outdated ten years from now. Similarly, someone coming up in the field of marketing in the 1990s probably had no idea that today they’d need to master digital analytics. To remain valuable in our economy, therefore, you must master the art of quickly learning complicated things.

No one would fault Ric Furrer for not using Facebook, but if a knowledge worker makes this same decision, then he’s labeled an eccentric (as I’ve learned from personal experience). Just because this connection between depth and meaning is less clear in knowledge work, however, doesn’t mean that it’s nonexistent. The goal of this chapter is to convince you that deep work can generate as much satisfaction in an information economy as it so clearly does in a craft economy. In the sections ahead, I’ll make three arguments to support this claim. These arguments roughly follow a trajectory from the conceptually narrow to broad: starting with a neurological perspective, moving to the psychological, and ending with the philosophical. I’ll show that regardless of the angle from which you attack the issue of depth and knowledge work, it’s clear that by embracing depth over shallowness you can tap the same veins of meaning that drive craftsmen like Ric Furrer.


pages: 232

Planet of Slums by Mike Davis

barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, centre right, clean water, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, edge city, European colonialism, failed state, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, jitney, jobless men, Kibera, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, liberation theology, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, megacity, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, Pearl River Delta, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rent control, structural adjustment programs, surplus humans, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor

Whereas traditional formal industries such as textiles in India or oil in the Middle East tended to foster interethnic solidarity through unions and radical political parties, the rise of the unprotected informal sector has too frequently gone hand in hand with exacerbated ethnoregious differentiation and sectarian violence.40 38 Breman, The Labouring Poor, pp. 5, 201. 39 Philip Amis, "Making Sense of Urban Poverty," Environment and Urbanisation 7:1 (April 1995), p. 151. 40 I think Manuel Castells and Alejandro Portes, however, went too f a r i n a 1989 essay that suggests that the proletariat is "fading away" in the face of the "increasing heterogeneity of work situations and, thus, of social conditions." (Castells and Portes, "World Underneath: The Origins, Dynamics and Effects of the Informal Economy," in Portes, Castells, and Lauren Benton (eds), The Informal Economy: Studies in Advanced a id Less Developed Countiies, Baltimore 1989, p. 31.) Informal workers, in fact, tend to be massively crowded into a few major niches where effective organization and "class consciousness" might become possible if authentic labor rights and regulations existed. It is the lack of economic citizenship, rather than livelihood heterogeneity per se, that makes informal labor so prone to clientalist subordination and ethnic fragmentation.

Although conditions improved in projects built later, Hong Kong maintained the highest formal residential densities in the world: the price for freeing up the maximum surface area for highrise offices and expensive market-price apartments.39 38 Berner, "Learning from Informal Markets," p. 244. 39 Smart, Making Room, pp. 1, 33, 36, 52, 55. In their restructuring of Hong Kong's spatial economy, planners seldom paid attention to actual livelihood strategies of the urban poor, including their frequent use of their homes as workshops or their need to be located close to central markets or factories. The incompatibility of peripheral, highrise housing with the social structures and informal economies of poor communities is, of course, ancient history: it's an original sin repeated over decades by urban reformers and city czars everywhere. Indeed, back in the 1850s Baron Haussmann's Second Empire showcase of workers' housing, the Cite Napoleon in Paris, was rejected by its intended residents because of its uniformity and "barracks-like" quality. According to historian AnnLouise Shapiro: "They complained that philanthropists and building societies were beginning to relegate the labouring population to special quarters as in the Middle Ages, and urged instead that the government tax vacant apartments to force down the rental price and make available a greater number of lodgings in the mixed housing of the city centre."

Some Brazilian sociologists call this process — analogous to the semi-proletarianization of landless peasants — passive proletarianisation, involving the "dissolving of traditional forms of (re)production, which for the great majority of direct producers does not translate into a salaried position in the formal labor market."3 This informal working class, without legal recognition or rights, has important historical antecedents. In modern European history, Naples, even more than Dublin or London's East End, was the exemplar of an urban informal economy. In this "most shocking city of the nineteenth century," as Frank Snowden calls it in his brilliant study, a "chronic super-abundance of labour" survived by miracles of economic improvisation and the constant subdivision of subsistence niches. A structural dearth of formal jobs — permanent unemployment was estimated at 40 percent —was transformed into an overwhelming spectacle of informal competition.


Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System by Alexander Betts, Paul Collier

Alvin Roth, anti-communist, centre right, charter city, corporate social responsibility, Donald Trump, failed state, Filter Bubble, global supply chain, informal economy, Kibera, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, open borders, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, rising living standards, risk/return, school choice, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, trade route, urban planning, zero-sum game

UNHCR might be most urgently needed in Lebanon given that it hosted over 1 million refugees against the backdrop of a total population of just over 4 million. But weak governance and Lebanon’s reluctance to open camps given its past experience of hosting Palestinians since 1948 and its complex relationship with Syria meant that, in practice, the overwhelming majority of Syrians were tolerated and de facto integrated, particularly in the informal economy and impoverished urban areas. Lebanon was therefore a poor fit for UNHCR’s standard emergency-driven approach of delivering humanitarian assistance in camps. To all intents and purposes, civil society provided the bulk of the response. In Turkey, UNHCR’s role has also been limited. Less than 10 per cent of the country’s Syrian refugees have been in several government-run camps, with UNHCR’s role being limited to the delivery of core relief items and support during the winter months.

Since the Syrian refugee situation was just one of many, the approach was completely unfeasible. Financially, the only reason it did not break down earlier was itself a devastating critique: refugees overwhelmingly bypassed the camps. In Jordan around 85 per cent of refugees went to live in cities. Even in the cities, Syrian refugees were not officially permitted to work. But, like many developing countries, Jordan had a large informal economy. In practice, if people were sufficiently desperate, they could work illegally, either as an employee at a wage below the official minimum, or scratching a living in informal self-employment. The same pattern emerged in Turkey: some refugees went to the camps, but most entered the informal urban economy, which abounded with opportunities. In Lebanon, the pattern was yet more dramatic: camps were not established and so the entire refugee influx was absorbed informally.

Many refugee households must consequently have experienced a substantial fall in their income as a result of their flight. Often, living standards could be cushioned for a while by depleting assets, but as the conflict persisted this gradually became unsustainable, and many refugees understandably faced mounting anxiety. In effect, in this phase by far the most useful mechanisms for meeting the needs of the refugee exodus from Syria were the informal economies of the neighbouring countries. They provided the income-earning opportunities which refugees, using their own initiative, grasped: the informal private economy was the lifeboat. In contrast, official policies were constraining. The haven governments prevented all but a handful of refugees from working legally, whereas UNHCR camps were located far away from possible job opportunities. Necessity is the mother of invention: the next phase built on the ingenuity of refugees.


pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, microservices, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wages for housework, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

Instead of moving from thought to action once – as the nineteenth- and twentieth-century radicals did – repression forces radicalized young people to oscillate between the two: you can jail, torture and harass people but you cannot prevent their mental resistance. In the past, radicalism of the mind would have been pointless without power. How many generations of rebels wasted their lives in garrets writing angry poetry, cursing the injustice of the world and their own paralysis? But in an information economy, the relationship of thought to action changes. In hi-tech engineering, before a single piece of metal is shaped, objects are designed virtually, tested virtually and even ‘manufactured’ virtually – the whole process modelled from start to finish – on computers. The mistakes are discovered and rectified at the design stage, in a way that was impossible before 3D simulations came about. By analogy, the same goes for the design of a postcapitalist.

The most vital component of neoliberalism – the individualized worker and consumer, creating themselves anew as ‘human capital’ every morning and competing ferociously with each other – would have been impossible without network technology. Sociologist Michel Foucault’s prediction of what it would make us – ‘entrepreneurs of the self’ – looks all the more visionary because it was made when the only thing resembling the internet was a green-screen network, owned by the French state, called Minitel.37 The promise was that new technology would produce an information economy and a knowledge society. These have emerged but not in the form envisaged. In the old dystopias – as with the rogue computer Hal, in 2001: A Space Odyssey – it is the technology that rebels. In reality, the network has allowed humans to rebel. It enabled them first of all to produce and consume knowledge independently of the channels formed in the era of industrial capitalism. That’s why we noticed the disruptions first in the news industry, in music and the sudden loss of the state’s monopoly over political propaganda and ideology.

But in the space of less than thirty years, network technologies have opened whole areas of economic life to the possibility of collaboration and production beyond the market. On 15 September 2008, the Nokias and Motorolas pointed at Lehman Brothers HQ, and the free wifi signal in the Starbucks opposite, were in their own way just as significant as the bank that had collapsed. They were conveying the ultimate market signal from the future to the present: that an information economy may not be compatible with a market economy – or at least not one dominated and regulated by market forces primarily. That, I will argue, is the root cause of the collapse, fibrillation and zombie state of neoliberalism. All the money created, all the velocity and momentum of finance built up during the last twenty-five years have to be set against the possibility that capitalism – a system based on markets, property ownership and exchange – cannot capture the ‘value’ generated by the new technology.


pages: 322 words: 84,752

Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up by Philip N. Howard

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, Brian Krebs, British Empire, butter production in bangladesh, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, digital map, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, obamacare, Occupy movement, packet switching, pension reform, prediction markets, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Stuxnet, trade route, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

The ways of measuring a country’s value have changed once again. We now have all sorts of indicators about the size of the information economy, and we often evaluate a country by how much technical innovation we find there. The World Bank now counts patents and Ph.D.s in its country-wealth indicators. We continually worry about the supply of engineers in the economy. Bytes of traffic are a good proxy for a country’s importance in the global-information infrastructure. The financial services sector expects government investment in the internet, and when countries invest in information infrastructure, many industries benefit. The perception of technical innovation, the size of the information economy, and the reach of high-tech industries are all important to the evaluation of modern economic wealth. This new sense of valuation is what drives the startling rise of virtual currencies, mobile money, and other digital exchanges.

If our current political order doesn’t seem like a Westphalian collection of distinct internet states, perhaps the right metaphor can be found in feudalism.43 After all, we are increasingly beholden to a small number of big companies for our data, connectivity, and privacy. Some of us commit to Google, others to Apple, still others to Microsoft, or sometimes our employers make that commitment for us. We commit to buying their products and services, and they commit to making new technologies available (within their information ecologies). These feudal lords try to keep our data safe. If we want to participate in the modern information economy, or we want employment in a modern workplace, or we want to use digital media to maintain social ties with families and friends, we have to pledge allegiance to at least one of these lords. As data serfs it is difficult to pick up and move between kingdoms. However, this perspective doesn’t work because social elites are hardly using the internet to usher in a new era of feudalism. There are important civil-society actors that lead successful campaigns against the absolute dominance of technology firms.

As the internet and mobile phones arrived in many corners of the world, people began to realize that they could make connections that their government couldn’t or wouldn’t make. They started communicating with their neighbors. Young people who had never known a political alternative to authoritarianism started exploring their options. People began using social media to turn political problems into opportunities. The internet and mobile phones provided a new structure for political life. Mubarak’s Choice In the late 1990s, the global information economy was booming. Egypt was also doing well, at least compared with some of her neighbors, but was coming under pressure to modernize. Since so much economic growth seemed to be tied to the internet, Egypt’s strongman, Hosni Mubarak, faced a dilemma. Giving the country’s major businesses access to fast telecommunications services seemed like a good economic strategy. Cairo is an important financial center in the region, and many of the country’s state-owned businesses would benefit from a strong communications infrastructure.


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Elsewhere, U.S.A: How We Got From the Company Man, Family Dinners, and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms,and Economic Anxiety by Dalton Conley

assortative mating, call centre, clean water, commoditize, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, feminist movement, financial independence, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, off grid, oil shock, PageRank, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, post-industrial society, post-materialism, principal–agent problem, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

That is, in the Amway Church or Reverend Creflo A. Dollar’s 25,000-member Atlanta congregation, parishioners pray for salvation so that they can get rich. But resolving the conflicts of midcentury America has exacted its own terrible price: the fragmentation of the self, not to mention alienation and anxiety among today’s professional classes—those Americans who earn lots of money but who need to work for it. The 24/7, dual-sex information economy in which they work—riddled with inequality between the rich and the very rich—has changed the way we do business, advance our careers, and navigate our personal lives. This socioeconomic restructuring has generated wide reverberations perhaps best illustrated by three discrete (if interrelated) phenomena: the economic red shift; the portable workshop; and the price culture. These three phenomena combine to create the Elsewhere Ethic that haunt Mr. and Mrs. 2009, giving rise to a sense of alienation among them and many of their professional colleagues.

And what we are doing during our weisure time is accumulating social capital and developing our networks. Seen as a shortcut to the top that flew in the face of meritocratic ideals back during the social ethic of the 1950s, networking through weisure is now a skill that Americans pay millions of dollars to book publishers and network trainers to cultivate. This is not false consciousness, either. Social capital is real capital in the information economy. Those who control social valves—connections between individuals—are the ones who are able to profit through information arbitrage. That’s why Mr. Elsewhere is constantly having “meetings” that are ambiguous in nature. Part of each workday is spent drinking lattes with folks who may be potential clients, or investors, or just interesting people from whom the newest hot idea for private equity may arise.

Glaeser, and Bruce Sacerdote, “Work and Leisure in the U.S. and Europe: Why So Different?” Working Paper no. 11278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Mass., 2005. One Plus a Hundred Zeros Welcome to Your (N)Office If there is any “center” or “downtown” to our new economy (and to Elsewhere, U.S.A., for that matter) it is just off the 101 Freeway in Mountain View, California. The headquarters of the information economy, so to speak, is Google.com, whose mission, elegantly stated, is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Started as a Ph.D. research project, and incorporated in a friend’s Silicon Valley garage, Google epitomizes the Elsewhere Ethic better than any other company. The very service itself could not be more representative of the networked or Elsewhere Society: the search engine deploys an algorithm that ranks Web pages’ appropriateness not so much by their own content as by the number of other pages that refer (“link”) to them.


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The Open Revolution: New Rules for a New World by Rufus Pollock

Airbnb, discovery of penicillin, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, double helix, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, Live Aid, openstreetmap, packet switching, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, software patent, speech recognition

They do not understand that it is the rules we have made that create and sustain them, that it is “intellectual property” monopolies that are allowing these extraordinary concentrations of power and wealth. We must go on spreading awareness and challenging mistaken conceptions of the workings of the digital information economy. We need a world where every policy-maker, every expert, every educated citizen understands that bits are different from bread – and what that implies. We need to spell out the dangers of a Closed world built on proprietary information. We need research bodies dedicated to understanding our information economy and society, as well as think-tanks to track progress and develop policies. We need mass membership organizations to campaign for an Open world, in the way that Green organizations campaign on behalf of the physical environment, because membership provides the resources to engage long term and a clear constituency supporting change.

Even if subsequent copies are cheap, the initial creation of a new movie, a new app or a medicine can be hugely expensive. Intellectual property is one way to pay for this first instance. But, as we shall see, there are other ways to fund innovation, ways to replace patents and copyrights with remuneration rights, preserving the incentives to innovate but without creating monopolies. Old Rules in a New World And the result of running the information economy by the old rules of intellectual monopoly rights is spiralling inequality. In 2016, the eight richest people in the world had as much money as the bottom 50 per cent of humanity – that’s three-and-a-half billion people. And of those eight, six were tech billionaires. This is a political timebomb. It is essential we understand the true causes of this unsustainable concentration of wealth and power: the exclusive ownership of digital information in combination with platform effects and costless copying.

Taking the old rules of the physical economy and applying them in this new digital one makes no sense. Old property worked, but transplanted into this new world as intellectual property it does not. In this new world, intellectual property is intellectual monopoly. Monopolies that are unjustified and unjust, dangerous both to our economies and our societies. We need new rules suited to our new information economy; rules that provide ways to reward innovators and creators whilst preserving fairness and freedom, and which give everyone a stake in our digital future. Most simply, we need an Open world. A world where all digital information is open, free for everyone to use, build on and share; and where innovators and creators are recognized and rewarded. Here’s how. An Open World Today, in a digital age, who owns information owns the future.


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Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day by Craig Lambert

airline deregulation, Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, big-box store, business cycle, carbon footprint, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, financial independence, Galaxy Zoo, ghettoisation, gig economy, global village, helicopter parent, IKEA effect, industrial robot, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, pattern recognition, plutocrats, Plutocrats, recommendation engine, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, statistical model, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The quest for that data has let loose a surge of shadow work. THE GRASS ROOTS OF BILLIONAIRES Though the term “information economy” has become a cliché, few have traced this stream of data to its headwaters. The torrent of information that washes through daily life does have a source. You can see it in the mirror. It is you. The data that institutions seek, accumulate, analyze, and constantly refresh comes largely from their clients. Organizations recognize that people are willing, free of charge, to provide data on themselves. Time spent doing so is shadow work. Data has emerged as another natural resource, like water, oil, and iron. We are living through the early decades of the information economy, comparable to the first decades of the petroleum boom in the nineteenth century. Underground pools of oil were a naturally occurring resource, just waiting in Mother Earth to be drilled and pumped out—and the oil companies weren’t paying her for the petroleum.

The average person can now retrieve knowledge once monopolized by experts—and thus do shadow work such as downloading a legal template from the Internet to write a contract without a lawyer. Third, the skyrocketing value of data has given rise to an information dragnet: institutions constantly trawling to collect data in whatever way possible. The dragnet foists on consumers a whole array of shadow tasks that involve both supplying personal information and managing the reams of data that the information economy pushes into their computers and smartphones. Fourth, constantly evolving social norms affect behavior. An emergent norm like parental overengagement in children’s lives can fertilize an entire meadow of shadow work with previously nonexistent tasks. IT IS QUIXOTIC to oppose the winds of change. We cannot outlaw shadow work. No government regulation will hold back a social current that the economy continues to reward.

Similarly, while Orbitz and Kayak.com reduce travel agencies’ business by transferring shadow work to customers, such websites also produce jobs for web designers, software engineers, online marketers, and advertising executives. Skilled jobs of this kind require education and technical training. Their salaries are a distinct upgrade over pump-jockey pay. But to cash in on the opportunities, we must renew our educational establishment, gearing it to the kinds of expertise the emerging workplace rewards. Traditional education has not yet caught up with the information economy; nor has it taken into account the incoming surge of shadow work. Online learning and teaching innovations can help connect students with windows that are being opened—sometimes by shadow work. SHADOW WORK SAGA: The Don Quixote of the Oil Industry In the late 1940s, a maverick filling station owner named Bill Henderson lived in Winnipeg, the capital and largest city of the Canadian province of Manitoba.


pages: 289

Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy by Alexandrea J. Ravenelle

"side hustle", active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, East Village, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Howard Zinn, income inequality, informal economy, job automation, low skilled workers, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, precariat, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, very high income, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

And capital is less equitably distributed than labor. Everyone is born with some labor, but not everyone is born with capital.”61 In the gig economy, the workers who are most likely to succeed are those who have social and financial capital. This work also has implications for the informal economy, defined as “those actions of economic agents that fail to adhere to the established institutional rules or are denied their protection.”62 Most informal-economy research is focused on illegal markets or examines developing or emerging economies.63 The concept of the informal economy originates with Keith Hart’s study of urban markets in Africa.64 Other researchers have studied informal work among the middle class, but with a focus on removing activities from economic exchange—for instance, individuals choosing to repair their own machines or mow their own grass in an effort to “maximize the efficient allocation of time.”65 Just like participants in the underground economy, workers in the gig economy—especially when paid as 1099 workers—are engaged in “informal economic activities [that] bypass the existing laws and regulatory agencies of the state.”66 Workers must trust that they will be paid and won’t be harassed or get injured on the job.

Farley, Lin. 1978. Sexual Shakedown: The Sexual Harassment of Women on the Job. New York: McGraw-Hill. ———. 2017. “I Coined the Term ‘Sexual Harassment.’ Corporations Stole It.” New York Times, October 18. Farrell, Diana, and Fiona Greig. 2016. The Online Platform Economy: Has Growth Peaked? New York: JP Morgan Chase Institute. Feige, Edgar L. 1990. “Defining and Estimating Underground and Informal Economies: The New Institutional Economics Approach.” World Development 18(7):989–1002. Fermino, Jennifer. 2015. “Airbnb Taking Up 1 out of 5 Vacant Apartments in Popular New York City Zip Codes: Study.” New York Daily News, July 15. Fiegerman, Seth. 2014. “Kitchensurfing Raises $15 Million to Bring Private Chefs to Your Home.” Mashable, March 31. Fleck, Susan E. 2009. “International Comparisons of Hours Worked: An Assessment of the Statistics.”

Geerts, Achilles, Borris A. Kornblith, and W. John Urmson. 1977. Compensation for Bodily Harm. Brussels: Fernand Nathan. Geron, Tomio. 2013. “Airbnb and the Unstoppable Rise of the Share Economy.” Forbes, January 23. Gershon, Ilana. 2017. Down and Out in the New Economy: How People Find (or Don’t Find) Work Today. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Kindle edition. Gershuny, Jonathan. 1979. “The Informal Economy.” Futures 11(1):3–15. ———. 1985. “Economic Development and Change in the Mode of Provision of Services.” In Beyond Employment: Household, Gender and Subsistence, ed. N. Redclif and E. Mingione. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Ghoshal, Raj, and S. Michael Gaddis. 2015. “Finding a Roommate on Craigslist: Racial Discrimination and Residential Segregation.” May 8. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2605853.


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The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

The structure of this economy is the reverse of the technological open architecture created by the Internet’s pioneers. Instead, it’s a top-down system that is concentrating wealth instead of spreading it. Unfortunately, the supposed “new rules” for this new economy aren’t very new. Rather than producing more jobs or prosperity, the Internet is dominated by winner-take-all companies like Amazon and Google that are now monopolizing vast swaths of our information economy. But why has this happened? How has a network designed to have neither a heart, a hierarchy, nor a central dot created such a top-down, winner-take-all economy run by a plutocracy of new lords and masters? Monetization In The Everything Store, his definitive 2013 biography of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Brad Stone recounts a conversation he had with Bezos about the writing of his book.

They agreed with Tom Perkins about the enormous power and influence of this new elite. But in contrast with Perkins, Frank, and Cook—whose observations about this emerging plutocracy are supported by the later research of many distinguished economists, including Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Robert Reich, and Thomas Piketty—didn’t celebrate this one percent, trickle-down economy. Frank and Cook argued that the new information economy was central in the creation of the new inequality. “Perhaps the most profound changes in the underlying forces that give rise to winner-take-all effects have stemmed from technological developments in two areas—telecommunications and electronic computing,” they argued.30 Scale is critical in an instantly global market like the Internet. But the bigger the Internet became, they predicted, the fewer dominant online companies there would be.

AdWords and AdSense together represented what Levy calls a “cash cow” to fund the next decade’s worth of Web projects, which included the acquisition of YouTube and the creation of the Android mobile operating system, Gmail, Google+, Blogger, the Chrome browser, Google self-driving cars, Google Glass, Waze, and its most recent roll-up of artificial intelligence companies including DeepMind, Boston Dynamics, and Nest Labs.70 More than just cracking the code on Internet profits, Google had discovered the holy grail of the information economy. In 2001, revenues were just $86 million. They rose to $347 million in 2002, then to just under a billion dollars in 2003 and to almost $2 billion in 2004, when the six-year-old company went public in a $1.67 billion offering that valued it at $23 billion. By 2014, Google had become the world’s second most valuable company, after Apple, with a market cap of over $400 billion, and Brin and Page were the two wealthiest young men in the world, with fortunes of around $30 billion apiece.


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The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized markets, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, Satyajit Das, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

We don’t want terrorists to be able to evade detection because they know exactly what Homeland Security agents are looking out for.12 But when every move we make is subject to inspection by entities whose procedures and personnel are exempt from even remotely similar treatment, the promise of democracy and free markets rings hollow. Secrecy is approaching critical mass, and we are in the dark about crucial decisions. Greater openness is imperative. Reputation, Search, Finance At the core of the information economy are Internet and finance companies that accumulate vast amounts of digital data, and with it intimate details of their customers’— our—lives. They use it to make important decisions about us and to influence the decisions we make for ourselves. But what do we know about them? A bad credit score may cost a borrower hundreds of thousands of dollars, but he will never understand exactly how it was calculated.

Walmart grew to be the largest retailer in the United States by attracting consumers and squeezing suppliers. As its customer base expanded, it forced its suppliers to accept ever smaller margins. Consumers had little loyalty to the sources of their shampoo, socks, and dog food; they were pleased to accept Walmart as the place to find ultracheap everything.155 Firms like Google and Apple are the Walmarts of the information economy.156 They aggressively scheme to restrict their own workers’ wages.157 They squeeze content producers (for whom making it on a big platform may mean everything), and habituate users to value the finding ser vice itself over the sources of the things found. The content contributors—the writers, musicians, fi lmmakers, artists, 86 THE BLACK BOX SOCIETY historians, scholars, photographers, programmers, journalists, activists, cooks, sailors, manufacturers, yoga teachers, knitting gurus, auto mechanics, dog trainers, fi nancial advisers, Lego architects, and muckrakers in quest of whose output people use major internet platforms—may receive no share at all of the revenues that that vast user base occasions.

This brings us back to our equestrienne presenter, to the lords of the cloud, and to the question that is really the theme of this chapter. Who are these people and these companies that wield so much power in our lives? What do we owe them? Are they really the Gandalfs of the digital world, wizards selflessly guiding us through digital brambles? Or is it time to reconsider some conventional views about technology, labor, and value in the information economy?161 Silicon Valley’s top managers are well educated and technically skilled, but they are not great sages. They hide behind corporate THE HIDDEN LOGICS OF SEARCH 87 operations so covert that their actual contributions are hard to assess, and it’s hard not to wonder whether other firms or other individuals might make more constructive use of their data than they do. If not, why all the secrecy?


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Empire by Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri

Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, colonial rule, conceptual framework, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global pandemic, global village, Haight Ashbury, informal economy, invisible hand, late capitalism, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, open borders, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Scramble for Africa, social intelligence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, urban planning

Services cover a wide range ofactivities from health care, education, and finance to transportation, entertain- ment, and advertising. The jobs for the most part are highly mobile and involve flexible skills. More important, they are characterized in general by the central role played by knowledge, information, affect, and communication. In this sense many call the postindustrial economy an informational economy. The claim that modernization is over and that the global economy is today undergoing a process ofpostmodernization to- ward an informational economy does not mean that industrial pro- duction will be done away with or even that it will cease to play an important role, even in the most dominant regions ofthe globe. Just as the processes ofindustrialization transformed agriculture and made it more productive, so too the informational revolution will transform industry by redefining and rejuvenating manufacturing processes.

Correspondingly, social labor is increasingly more immaterial; it simultaneously produces and reproduces directly all aspects of social life. As the proletariat is becoming the universal figure of labor, the object of proletarian labor is becoming equally universal. Social labor produces life itself. We should emphasize the central role that informational accumulation plays in the processes of postmodern primitive accumulation and the ever greater socialization of production. As the new informational economy emerges, a certain accumulation of information is necessary before capitalist production can take place. Information carries through its networks both the wealth and the command of production, disrupting previous conceptions of inside and outside, but also reducing the temporal progression that had previously defined primitive accumulation. In other words, informational accumulation (like the primitive accumulation Marx analyzed) destroys or at least destructures the previously existing productive processes, but (differently than Marx’s primitive accumulation) it immediately integrates those productive processes in its own networks and generates across the different D I S C I P L I N A R Y G O V E R N A B I L I T Y 259 realms of production the highest levels of productivity.

The Detroit auto factory of the 1930s stood at the pinnacle ofthe global economy in the dominant position and producing the highest value; the 1990s auto factory, whether in Sa˜o Paulo, Kentucky, or Vladivostok, occupies a subor- dinate position in the global economy—subordinated to the high- value production ofservices. Today all economic activity tends to come under the dominance ofthe informational economy and to 288 P A S S A G E S O F P R O D U C T I O N be qualitatively transformed by it. The geographical differences in the global economy are not signs ofthe co-presence ofdifferent stages ofdevelopment but lines ofthe new global hierarchy ofpro- duction. It is becoming increasingly clear from the perspective of subor- dinated regions that modernization is no longer the key to economic advancement and competition.


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Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Zipcar

Once upon a time, this country, like every country, had a much larger informal economy. As wealthy countries transitioned from an agricultural economy to an industrial one, they regulated away most of the informal economy, which is now much smaller and hidden. Governments see the informal economy as unsafe, unreliable, and just plain chaotic. Productivity gains and the ensuing rise in standard of living came with the purchase of capital assets—machines, tools, factories—that only companies could afford. It made sense to favor this kind of productivity. Poor countries that still have a large informal economy strive to do the same in their central business districts, ridding their cities and economy of this uncontrollable blight and pushing the informal economy to the edges and slums, where it remains an important part of the total economy.

The Peers Inc structure transforms the economic logic and this once-sound societal-benefits argument. Remember, platforms give individuals the power of the corporation at very affordable prices (often for free). Productivity and quality-of-life gains are now not necessarily achieved only through government support of the big and wealthy. Peers now have access to the means of production themselves. We don’t have to stifle the informal economy, because platforms organize, improve quality, and even self-regulate. In Chapter 10, I profile G-Auto, an example of an Indian company that is cleaning up the disorganized auto rickshaw market. But for all that, the rise of the micro-entrepreneur requires reworking and rethinking laws that protect them and their rights to earn a living wage and to work in a safe and healthy environment. Is the Peers Inc paradigm just another way to outsource labor?


pages: 457 words: 125,329

Value of Everything: An Antidote to Chaos The by Mariana Mazzucato

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cleantech, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, European colonialism, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, full employment, G4S, George Akerlof, Google Hangouts, Growth in a Time of Debt, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interest rate derivative, Internet of things, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, money market fund, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, rent control, rent-seeking, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software patent, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

If self-employment (referred to as own-account production for small farming or sex workers, for example) grows in importance, or if a way can be found to cost externalities, national income will jump when the statisticians decide to include it. The Black Economy Gets into the SNA Something similar happens with the black or - to use the official euphemism - ‘informal' economy when countries decide that it has grown so large that they must start to include estimates of it in national accounting. Consider Italy, a ‘developed' country. The Group of 7 (G7), the international club of the biggest economies, estimates that in 2015 the informal economy made up 12.6 per cent of Italy's GDP.35 That calculation excludes illegal activities, which Italian statisticians decided to leave out of their GDP measures. Since the Great Recession which began in 2008, many more unemployed Italians have taken up informal production.

Rubin, Essays on Marx's Theory of Value (1928; Detroit: Black and Red Press, 1972), ch. 19 for a detailed discussion of how labour is or is not productive depending on which function of capital it is employed by. 61. H. P. Minsky, ‘The capital development of the economy and the structure of financial institutions' (1992), Hyman P. Minsky Archive, paper 179. 62. A. Barba and G. de Vivo, ‘An “unproductive labour” view of finance', Cambridge Journal of Economics 36(6) (2012): http://doi.org/10.1093/cje/ber022; Duncan K. Foley, ‘Rethinking financial capitalism and the “information” economy', Review of Radical Political Economics, 45(3) (2013), pp. 257-68: http://doi.org/10.1177/0486613413487154 2. VALUE IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: THE RISE OF THE MARGINALISTS 1. J. B. Clark, The Distribution of Wealth: A Theory of Wages, Interest and Profits (New York: Macmillan, 1899), p. v. 2. A. Roncaglia, The Wealth of Ideas: A History of Economic Thought (Cambridge: University Press, 2005), ch. 4. 3.

This proposition was further refined by other economists, among whom we find Lerner, whilst nowadays the accepted proof is the one elaborated by Kenneth Arrow in 1951: ‘An extension of the basic theorem of classical welfare economics', in Proceedings of the Second Berkeley Symposium on Mathematical Statistics and Probability (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1951), pp. 507-32. 14. E. N. Wolff, Growth, Accumulation, and Unproductive Activity: An Analysis of the Postwar U.S. Economy (Cambridge: University Press, 1987). 15. T. Veblen, ‘The Limitations of marginal utility', Journal of Political Economy, 17(9) (1909), pp. 620-36. 16. See Foley, ‘Rethinking financial capitalism and the “information” economy' for further examples. 17. ‘entrepreneur ne faisant ni benefice ni perte'; Walras quoted in J. A. Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, p. 860. 3. MEASURING THE WEALTH OF NATIONS 1. C. Busco, M. L. Frigo, P. Quattrone and A. Riccaboni, ‘Redefining corporate accountability through integrated reporting: What happens when values and value creation meet?', Strategic Finance, 95(2) (2013), pp. 33-42. 2.


pages: 162 words: 51,473

The Accidental Theorist: And Other Dispatches From the Dismal Science by Paul Krugman

"Robert Solow", Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate raider, declining real wages, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, life extension, new economy, Nick Leeson, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, trade route, very high income, working poor, zero-sum game

Perhaps the best way to describe the flawed vision of fin-de-siècle futurists is to say that, with few exceptions, they expected the coming of an “immaculate” economy—an economy in which people would be largely emancipated from any grubby involvement with the physical world. The future, everyone insisted, would bring an “information economy,” which would mainly produce intangibles; the good jobs would go to “symbolic analysts,” who would push icons around on computer screens; and knowledge rather than traditionally important resources like oil or land would become the main source of wealth and power. But even in 1996 it should have been obvious that this was silly. First, for all the talk of an information economy, ultimately an economy must serve consumers—and consumers don’t want information, they want tangible goods. In particular, the billions of Third World families who finally began to have some purchasing power as the twentieth century ended did not want to watch pretty graphics on the Internet—they wanted to live in nice houses, drive cars, and eat meat.

So here it is—just one question: How did you feel about my telling you that story? If your answer was “Well, that was a cute story, but I don’t see what it can have to do with the U.S. economy,” you get a D. You have failed to understand the usefulness of simplified models in cutting through the complexity of the real world. If your answer was “What’s all this about? I want to talk about globalization and the new information economy, and he’s telling me about baby-sitting,” you get an F. Not only don’t you understand the uses of models, but you have fallen into the naive error of supposing that the way to be sophisticated about economics is to use big words and talk about big things. For the fact is that by studying our model—the baby-sitting co-op, which is like a miniature version of the real U.S. economy, in which Alan Greenspan controls the supply of coupons—we can gain some very important insights that many people who believe that they are knowledgeable about these things never do seem to grasp.

Simple information processing became faster and cheaper than anyone had imagined possible; but the once confident Artificial Intelligence movement went from defeat to defeat. As Marvin Minsky, one of the movement’s founders, despairingly remarked, “What people vaguely call common sense is actually more intricate than most of the technical expertise we admire.” And it takes common sense to deal with the physical world—which is why, even at the end of the twenty-first century, there are still no robot plumbers. Most important of all, the prophets of an “information economy” seem to have forgotten basic economics. When something becomes abundant, it also becomes cheap. A world awash in information will be a world in which information per se has very little market value. And in general when the economy becomes extremely good at doing something, that activity becomes less rather than more important. Late-twentieth-century America was supremely efficient at growing food; that was why it had hardly any farmers.


pages: 362 words: 97,862

Physics in Mind: A Quantum View of the Brain by Werner Loewenstein

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, complexity theory, dematerialisation, discovery of DNA, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, informal economy, information trail, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, Norbert Wiener, Richard Feynman, stem cell, trade route, Turing machine

Swanson et al. 1977 and [b] Salemme et al. 1973, 1977.) It was certainly not for lack of speed. Those biological lines are as fast as hard-wired lines, if not faster. Nor was it for lack of information-transmission efficiency. Their metal proteins leave nothing to be desired in that respect. On the contrary, they are fit to be compared with tunnel diodes, as we shall see. More likely, the limitations of use were dictated by information economy. The genetic-information cost of lines made from metal protein isn’t low, but is affordable when the lines are a few hundred thousandths of a millimeter long. But long-distance lines are another matter. The manufacturing cost rises steeply with length, and for lines long enough for intercellular communication, it becomes prohibitive. Thus, knowing Evolution’s economic bent, the electronic mode may have never been a serious candidate in her laboratory for transmitting information between cells, let alone neurons.

This enables the system to perform many computations at a time—a very different operational mode from that of our technological computers, in which information is processed sequentially, one piece at a time. Parallel computation has its advantages. The most obvious is speed. That on its own must have tipped the scales of Evolution toward selection. But there is another, more basic advantage: information economy. Neuronal parallel computation is inherently cooperative, as the network units share the workload and information cost of computation. From our perch high on the evolutionary ladder, it is hard to see when exactly the parallel mode came into use. But it must have been early, for we find it in neuron systems everywhere, from worms to humans. The systems vary in cell number from a hundred to a trillion—an immense range, reflecting a growth unmatched by any other type of cell.

The brain is not so much about consciousness as it is, and cannot escape being, about computing—and above all, parallel computing. To perform myriads of parallel computations is par for the course for its neuron web (chapter 14), and for this reason alone a quantum-coherent neuronal material would be a tremendous boon. I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if Evolution, ever on the lookout for information economy, had come up with materials that stay quantum-coherent long enough for physiologically meaningful computations. Quantum computation is a natural for parallel computation and is the perfect information bargain. Quantum computation may not sound like much—it may give the impression of being just another method of computation. Well, that’s what it is, but it is also a good deal more. It is a method that uses the strange rules of the quantum world but provides undreamed-of power.


pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

TIMES, Aug. 12, 1994, at A1. 32. Wikipedia, Signaling System #7, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signaling_System_7 (as of Aug. 15, 2007, 15:00 GMT). 33. Harmon, supra note 31. 34. Id. 35. Sullivan, supra note 1. 36. Spafford, supra note 5, at 678—81. 37. Id. at 680. 38. Id. 39. Matt Blaze, Cryptography Policy and the Information Economy, WindowSecurity.com, Apr. 5, 2000, available athttp://windowsecuritycom/whitepapers/cryptography_Policy _and_the_Information_Economy.html. 40. Increases in computer crime have received attention from the hacker community. See Harmon, supra note 31; see also PEKKA HIMANEN & LINUS TORVALDS, THE HACKER ETHIC (2001); BRUCE STERLING, THE HACKER CRACKDOWN: LAW AND DISORDER ON THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER (2002), available at http://www.mit.edu/hacker/hacker.html; cf.

Craigslist, initiated as a “.org” by a single person, dominates the market for classified advertising online.33 Ideas like free Web-based e-mail, hosting services for personal Web pages, instant messenger software, social networking sites, and well-designed search engines emerged more from individuals or small groups of people wanting to solve their own problems or try something neat than from firms realizing there were profits to be gleaned. This is a sampling of major Internet applications founded and groomed by outsiders; start sliding down what Wired editor Chris Anderson calls the Long Tail—niche applications for obscure interests– and we see a dominance of user-written software.34 Venture capital money and the other artifacts of the firm-based industrial information economy can kick in after an idea has been proven, and user innovation plays a crucial role as an initial spark. GENERATIVITY AND A BLENDING OF MODELS FOR INNOVATION Eric von Hippel has written extensively about how rarely firms welcome improvements to their products by outsiders, including their customers, even when they could stand to benefit from them.35 His work tries to persuade otherwise rational firms that the users of their products often can and do create new adaptations and uses for them—and that these users are commonly delighted to see their improvements shared.

The same mode of life is a healthy excitement to one, keeping all his faculties of action and enjoyment in their best order, while to another it is a distracting burthen, which suspends or crushes all internal life.62 The generative Internet and PC allow more than technical innovation and participation as new services and software are designed and deployed. In addition, much of that software is geared toward making political and artistic expression easier. Yochai Benkler has examined the opportunities for the democratization of cultural participation offered by the Internet through the lens of liberal political theory: The networked information economy makes it possible to reshape both the “who” and the “how” of cultural production relative to cultural production in the twentieth century. It adds to the centralized, market-oriented production system a new framework of radically decentralized individual and cooperative nonmarket production. It thereby affects the ability of individuals and groups to participate in the production of the cultural tools and frameworks of human understanding and discourse.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

One poll found that most British babies appear on social media within an hour of being born. Many human beings acquire a data trail almost as soon as they appear in the world—and sometimes before. Once created, it can never be destroyed, only modified, added to, parts of it made more visible while others are suppressed. To become part of the social web, then, is to join the networks of surveillance, tracking, and data circulation that now support a vast informational economy and increasingly shape our social and cultural lives. Few aspects of contemporary life have gone unaffected by this shift, by the ability to publish immediately, freely, and to a massive audience. Shareability, and the drive to rack up likes and other metrics, guides the agendas of magazine editors and the budgets of marketers. Sentiment analysis—the mining of social-network data to determine the attitudes of individuals or whole populations—helps intelligence analysts learn where potential extremists are becoming radicalized.

On an identity-driven, persistently surveilled Web, discrete bits of information matter more for what they say about us and how they inform our public demonstrations of identity. As the Danish academic Anders Colding-Jørgensen argues: “We should no longer see the Internet as a post office where information is sent back and forth, but rather as an open arena for our identity and self-promotion—an arena that is a legitimate part of reality, just like our homes, workplaces and other social arenas in our society.” We’ve moved, he explains, from an information economy to an identity economy. This is a bit self-serving—commentators have developed no shortage of dubious new types of “economy,” from the “attention economy” to the “knowledge economy”—but Colding-Jørgensen is onto something. Our consumption of information online has shifted from purely utilitarian to an expression of the self. This is the paradigm of “Pics or it didn’t happen,” where every incident is worthless without shareable documentation, because our experiences are made fuller by being shared.

Don’t be anything but a good digital citizen, concerned about the issues of the day and sincerely engaged with others, while also pushing the restaurants and designer jeans you love. (They, too, might be watching, waiting to reward you for your free advertising. Plus, spreading taste is spreading influence.) Klout measures your constancy, recommending to users that they increase their “cadence” of tweets and their positivity in order to improve their scores. It may be boring and soulless, but how else to succeed in the information economy except by turning your persona into a more rarified form of data? DOES THIS ALGORITHM LIKE ME? Reputation and influence services play on our anxiety about being invisible on social networks or about being visible in the wrong ways. We don’t want to think that all that work is for nothing. As Taina Bucher writes, social-media associates “visibility” with “empowerment.” The more you are creating content, the more you have a chance to distinguish yourself from the masses.


pages: 318 words: 85,824

A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, debt deflation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, financial repression, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, labour market flexibility, land tenure, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Pearl River Delta, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Chicago School, transaction costs, union organizing, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent

The subsequent lowering of import barriers delivered yet another blow, as cheap imports from the efficient but also highly subsidized agribusinesses in the United States drove down the price of corn and other products to the point where only the most efficient and affluent Mexican farmers could compete. Close to starvation, many peasants were forced off the land, only to augment the pool of unemployed in already overcrowded cities, where the so-called informal economy (for example street vendors) grew by leaps and bounds. Resistance to the ejido reform was, however, widespread, and several peasant groups supported the Zapatista rebellion that broke out in Chiapas in 1994.19 Figure 4.3 Employment in the major maquila sectors in Mexico in 2000 Source: Dicken, Global Shift. Having signed on to what became known as the Brady Plan for partial debt forgiveness in 1989, Mexico had to swallow, mainly voluntarily as it turned out, the IMF’s poison pill of deeper neoliberalization.

Along with this has gone an extraordinary burst in information technologies. In 1970 or so investment in that field was on a par with the 25 per cent going into production and to physical infrastructures respectively, but, by 2000, IT accounted for around 45 per cent of all investment, while the relative shares of investment in production and physical infrastructures declined. During the 1990s this was thought to betoken the rise of a new information economy.7 It in fact represented an unfortunate bias in the path of technological change away from production and infrastructure formation into lines required by the market-driven financialization that was the hallmark of neoliberalization. Information technology is the privileged technology of neoliberalism. It is far more useful for speculative activity and for maximizing the number of short-term market contracts than for improving production.

Unfortunately, that culture, however spectacular, glamorous, and beguiling, perpetually plays with desires without ever conferring satisfactions beyond the limited identity of the shopping mall and the anxieties of status by way of good looks (in the case of women) or of material possessions. ‘I shop therefore I am’ and possessive individualism together construct a world of pseudo-satisfactions that is superficially exciting but hollow at its core. But for those who have lost their jobs or who have never managed to move out of the extensive informal economies that now provide a parlous refuge for most of the world’s disposable workers, the story is entirely different. With some 2 billion people condemned to live on less than $2 a day, the taunting world of capitalist consumer culture, the huge bonuses earned in financial services, and the self-congratulatory polemics as to the emancipatory potential of neoliberalization, privatization, and personal responsibility must seem like a cruel joke.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

As more people lose the dependable income stream that anchors them into the middle class, they are likely to increasingly turn to these long-tail opportunities in the digital economy. A lucky few will provide the anecdotal success stories we will hear about, but the vast majority will struggle to maintain anything approaching a middle-class lifestyle. As techno-visionary Jaron Lanier has pointed out, a great many people are likely to be forced into the type of informal economy that is found in third-world nations.11 Young adults who find the freedom of the informal economy alluring will quickly discover its drawbacks when they begin to think in terms of maintaining a home, raising children, or planning for retirement. Of course, there have always been people living at the fringes in the United States and other developed economies, but to some extent they free-ride on the wealth generated by a critical mass of middle-class households.

At peak employment in 1979, General Motors alone had nearly 840,000 workers but earned only about $11 billion—20 percent less than what Google raked in. And, yes, that’s after adjusting for inflation.10 Ford, Chrysler, and American Motors employed hundreds of thousands more people. Beyond that core workforce, the industry also created millions of peripheral middle-class jobs in areas like driving, repairing, insuring, and renting cars. Of course, the Internet sector also offers peripheral opportunities. The new information economy is often touted as the great equalizer. After all, anyone can write a blog and run ads on it, publish an ebook, sell stuff on eBay, or develop an iPhone app. While these opportunities do indeed exist, they are dramatically different from all those solid middle-class jobs created by the automotive industry. The evidence shows pretty clearly that the income realized from online activities nearly always tends to follow a winner-take-all distribution.

The most prominent digital optimists typically live at the extreme left of the long tail—or, even better, they’ve perhaps founded a company that owns the entire distribution. In a PBS television special that aired in 2012, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil was asked about the possibility of a “digital divide”—meaning that only a small percentage of the population will be able to thrive in the new information economy. Kurzweil dismissed the idea of such a divide and instead pointed to empowering technologies like mobile phones. Anybody with a smart phone, he said, “is carrying around billions of dollars of capability circa 20 or 30 years ago.”12 Left unsaid was how the average person is supposed to leverage that technology into a livable income. Mobile phones have indeed been shown to improve living standards, but this has been documented primarily in developing countries that lack other communications infrastructure.


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Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin

AltaVista, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Graeber, Debian, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, prediction markets, price discrimination, randomized controlled trial, RFID, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, security theater, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

Known as “muckrakers,” investigative journalists such as Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair exposed the underbelly of the industrial revolution, from monopolistic price gouging by the trusts to working conditions in slaughterhouses. Their work led to laws that reined in the worst excesses of the era. I believe that today we are at a similar turning point. As our nation shifts toward an information economy, there are few laws policing the booming industry giants and few governmental or nonprofit institutions with the technical savvy to police the information economy. And so it falls to today’s muckrakers—investigative journalists and conscientious objectors like Edward Snowden—to reveal the underbelly of the information revolution. I hope that once we see the abuses clearly, we will be able to find a way to restrain the excesses of the information age. But I wasn’t sure how to create an online identity for Ida.

She has asked data brokers to voluntarily give individuals access to their data, an opportunity to correct their data, and to opt out of its use for marketing. But since the Federal Trade Commission is not empowered to easily write rules—unlike the Environmental Protection Agency—all Brill can do is encourage the data industry to regulate itself, unless the industry’s activities cross the line and violate more general laws, such as the FTC’s ban on “unfair and deceptive” practices. In an information economy, we probably need an Information Protection Agency that is empowered to police the information economy, with a particular focus on bringing transparency and accountability to data handling and usage. * * * But just creating an Information Protection Agency is not going to be enough to police government surveillance or to remedy the plight of people like Gulet Mohamed. When it comes to government surveillance, we have tended to allow dragnets when the benefits to society appear to outweigh the intrusiveness of the search.

Even Freestylers such as Google and Facebook could perhaps pass the fairness test if they limited the intrusiveness of their tracking, provided more meaningful and real access to their data, and were held accountable for data they shared with others. My unfairness checklist is almost certainly not perfect. But it is an attempt to carve a middle path between those who ask us to hand over all our data and “get over it,” and those who suggest that we throw our body on the tracks in front of the speeding train that is our data economy. Nobody, including me, wants to give up on all the benefits of our information economy—with its magical maps and facts at our fingerprints and the ability to connect with anyone in the world in an instant. But nor should any of us simply give up all of our data without any assurances that it will not come back to bite us. We didn’t shut down the industrial economy to stop pollution. We simply asked the polluters to be more accountable for their actions. We passed laws and created a new governmental agency and forced polluters to be transparent.


pages: 385 words: 118,314

Cities Are Good for You: The Genius of the Metropolis by Leo Hollis

Airbnb, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, East Village, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, negative equity, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, place-making, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, trade route, traveling salesman, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

It is a place of extraordinary industry and produces almost $500 million in revenue every year. This is proof of the power of the informal economy or what the journalist Robert Neuwirth calls ‘System D’. It is economic activity that is rarely recognised by governments, economists or business leaders, but is at the heart of developing communities like Dharavi. As Neuwirth writes, System D is ‘the ingenuity economy, the economy of improvisation and self-reliance, the do-it-yourself, or DIY, economy … off the books, in jobs that were neither registered nor regulated, getting paid in cash, and more often avoiding income tax.’10 It is estimated that today System D includes 1.8 billion people worldwide; and by 2020 will include two-thirds of all workers globally. If it was possible to calculate the total income generated from the informal economy into a single figure it would represent the second-largest nation in the world.

Yet, even standing on the High Line and looking along the streets that radiate outwards, one must acknowledge that the city is a place of extremes, inequality and injustice. It is a place that attracts the super-rich who want to consume the finest things the metropolis can offer, and the very poor who struggle to stay alive. In the coming decades the slums of the world are set to become the fastest-growing regions; these are often places of desperation, without resources, water and security as well as the precariousness of the informal economy. The metropolis is also the place on the front line of the climate-change debate. Cities take more than 2 per cent of the earth’s surface but use at least 80 per cent of all energy. If we cannot make our cities more sustainable, they could easily become our coffin rather than our ark. Most importantly, as I watch the people walking up and down the High Line, sitting and chatting on benches, taking off their shoes and dipping their feet into the shallow pools, young toddlers giggling as they splash about until their clothes are soaked, I am reminded how cities can affect us, individually and as a group – and perhaps even make us better people.

For the vast number of people around the world it is the only system available, as Neuwirth notes: ‘It makes no sense to talk of development, growth, sustainability or globalisation without reckoning with System D.’11 When 65 per cent of all Mumbaikar live their lives within System D it is ludicrous to continue to pretend that this is an invisible marketplace, somehow less important than the business of the neighbouring Bandra Kurla Complex. Settlements like Dharavi are the essential location for System D economics. They are places of transition, or, as Canadian journalist Doug Saunders calls them, ‘arrival cities’, places that mark the movement from the countryside into the urban world. The informal economy is the system that accommodates the latest arrivals who are unable to integrate into the urban economy straightaway, and it is also the means through which the refugee gains both economic stability and citizenship. As Saunders says: ‘These transitional spaces – arrival cities – are the places where the next great economic cultural boom will be born, or where the next great explosion of violence will occur.


pages: 374 words: 94,508

Infonomics: How to Monetize, Manage, and Measure Information as an Asset for Competitive Advantage by Douglas B. Laney

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, digital twin, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, linked data, Lyft, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, performance metric, profit motive, recommendation engine, RFID, semantic web, smart meter, Snapchat, software as a service, source of truth, supply-chain management, text mining, uber lyft, Y2K, yield curve

It also provides specific information valuation models and adapts key economic principles to help you begin quantifying and maximizing the benefits of your information assets. Figure 1.2 Infonomics—Monetize Information The Possibilities of Information Monetization Let’s dispel the notion right away that information monetization (Figure 1.2) is just about selling your data. It’s much broader than that. In today’s information economy we see a range of possibilities: information is used as legal tender (or at least in place of legal tender in many kinds of transactions); information most certainly is used to generate a profit—and not just by Google, Facebook, and the rest of the digerati, but by just about every business in every industry today with even just a copy of Excel—and information is regularly converted into money by a growing marketplace of household-name data brokers such as ACNielsen, Bloomberg, and Equifax, and by upstarts like Tru Optik, AULIVE, and hundreds (perhaps thousands) of others.

Not much, according to Tom Linsmeier, retiring board member of Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), who said: “[T]he current accounting model fails to provide much information on most internally developed intangible assets, resulting in an often-increasing market to book ratio for these organizations and leaving users with little financial reporting information to make their valuation assessments.”5 Irrespective of what accountants say or do, Linsmeier told me, “Accounting standards boards should be asking for an increased disclosure of internally-generated assets.”6 Here we are in the midst of the Information Economy, and the eponymous major source of value in that economy is considered valueless by the custodians of what constitutes value! Throughout the next few chapters, we will explore what constitutes an asset from the perspectives of the accounting profession and the law, and uncloak the increasingly sticky matter of whether information is something that can be owned. Afterward, I will share various methods to help organizations better quantify the value of their information assets, and shed light on how key economic principles break down or need tweaking if they are to be applied to information assets.

Only then was the idea hatched that information could be an item separable from its physical manifestation—the paper (e.g., book, magazine, ledger) it was printed upon. Now, five or six decades since the beginning of the Information Age, the namesake of this age, and the major asset driving today’s economy, is still not considered an accounting asset. Somewhat ironically, while information is at the crux of accounting and has been for millennia, even in today’s information economy it is not something accounted for itself. However, there is some movement on the issue. Both FASB and IAS recently have issued discussion papers for open comment, and have met on the topic of how to recognize, value, and report internally generated intangibles. Presumably these include information assets as well.2324 But even after laborious discussions, over 15 years after the accounting gentry were called before the U.S.


pages: 288 words: 64,771

The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality by Brink Lindsey

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Build a better mousetrap, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, experimental economics, experimental subject, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, inventory management, invisible hand, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, mass incarceration, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Network effects, patent troll, plutocrats, Plutocrats, principal–agent problem, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, software patent, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Washington Consensus, white picket fence, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

Intangible assets can be benign in origin and may include a trusted brand name, intellectual capital that results from research and development (R&D) spending, organizational capital that results from an efficient structuring of production and management, or the human capital of key employees. But another source of intangible assets is government-created barriers to entry or special subsidies. The increase in Tobin’s Q surely reflects the increasing relative importance of intangible productive assets in the post-industrial information economy, but it may also be a warning sign of an increase in rent-seeking. Meanwhile, it appears that many US industries are growing increasingly concentrated. Between 1997 and 2012, the share of total industry revenue accounted for by the 50 biggest firms in that industry rose in three-fourths of the broad nonfarm business sectors tracked by the Census Bureau. More fine-grained analysis shows trends toward higher concentration in industries as diverse as banking, agribusiness, hospitals, wireless providers, and railroads.6 Does increasing concentration mean increasing rents?

As a result, the number of patents issued annually by the US Patent and Trademark Office has increased almost fivefold, from 61,620 in 1983 to 109,414 10 years later, to 186,591 another decade later, to 302,150 in 2013.1 Until the 1970s, intellectual property was a sleepy little backwater of American law. The benefits of IP protection may have been modest, but so were the costs. Since then, the scale and complexity of IP law have exploded even as, with the rise of the information economy, the relative importance of IP-intensive industries has soared. From entertainment to software to pharmaceuticals, leading sectors of the US economy now operate in a much more densely regulated world than they did before the election of Ronald Reagan, which we usually think of as ushering in an era of deregulation. What did we get in return for this surge in regulation? II THE ELUSIVE BENEFITS OF THE IP REVOLUTION Of the various arguments that the advocates of the transformation of IP make, the utilitarian case for restrictions on competition in the production and sale of creative works and inventions is the most superficially powerful one.

The decade prior to the passage of the act saw the development of only ten new drugs for treating rare diseases; in the decade that followed, the number jumped to 200.9 The evidentiary record on patents is thus mixed. Some findings describe positive effects, yes, but there is no convincing confirmation that patent systems as a whole work as intended. Overall, we find ourselves agreeing with the assessment offered nearly 60 years ago by the economist Fritz Machlup, a pioneer in the study of the emerging information economy. “If we did not have a patent system, it would be irresponsible, on the basis of our present knowledge of its economic consequences, to recommend instituting one,” Machlup wrote. “But since we have had a patent system for a long time, it would be irresponsible, on the basis of our present knowledge, to recommend abolishing it.”10 Patent protection’s muddled track record shouldn’t come as a surprise.


pages: 238 words: 68,914

Where Does It Hurt?: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Fixing Health Care by Jonathan Bush, Stephen Baker

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, informal economy, inventory management, job automation, knowledge economy, lifelogging, obamacare, personalized medicine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, web application, women in the workforce, working poor

You regularly cross the Hudson River for dinner on the town—and entrust your health to New York restaurant regulators. You drive through a tunnel and count on highway safety as regulated by New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles. But out-of-staters cannot buy insurance there. Ask yourself this: Who are those laws protecting? These geographic limitations also subvert the promise of the information economy. Let’s say someone in Wyoming develops a pink lump under the skin on his forearm. He doesn’t know that it’s an aggressive skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma, which strikes only 1,200 Americans per year. Chances are, the local radiologist in Cheyenne, Cody, or Detroit, for that matter, has never seen such a lump. But with a cloud-based service, the patient can send this image to a specialist, perhaps in Florida or the backwoods of Maine.

They don’t attend the black-tie fund-raisers at the Kennedy Center. These people are rough-hewn and break the old rules. And they’re engaged in radical and unusual behavior. They’re busy making money in health care by building something new and appealing to shoppers. For me, they’re much like the wildcatters who stormed to fortunes in oil, and the hackers, like the Steve Jobs, who outraced the staid leaders of technology and helped to build a new information economy. These people, to quote Apple’s iconic 1984 commercial, are the “crazy ones.” These crazy ones are committed to health and their patients, of course, but I’ve noticed that most of them don’t mind talking about money. It’s a subject that is broached only in hushed tones and inscrutable bills in the great research hospitals. But the entrepreneurs I’m talking about celebrate their earnings.

Within those constraints, we’ll welcome any idea, no matter how crazy, as long as it meets at least one of three conditions: It must drive revenue to our customers, take work off their plate, or improve their results. If an app is successful, our service grows richer, the entrepreneur makes money—and we keep a slice of the revenue. Win-win-win. These entrepreneurs, I should add, have chosen a rough road. Plenty of tech visionaries, from AOL’s Steve Case to the leaders of Google, have attempted to colonize the hostile health care information economy, and have retreated, battered and bruised. Even when selling to enterprises, there are few buyers in health care, and their purchasing decisions often appear to defy reason. Ideas have to percolate through layers of bureaucracy. There are meetings, and lots of questions. Can it be incorporated into our legacy IT system? What are the risks? Let’s consult and have another meeting. Next month, perhaps?


pages: 332 words: 100,601

Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations by Nandan Nilekani

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, call centre, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, DARPA: Urban Challenge, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, financial exclusion, Google Hangouts, illegal immigration, informal economy, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, land reform, law of one price, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, more computing power than Apollo, Negawatt, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, price mechanism, price stability, rent-seeking, RFID, Ronald Coase, school choice, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software is eating the world, source of truth, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, WikiLeaks

‘In One Slum, Misery, Work, Politics and Hope’. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/world/asia/in-indian-slum-misery-work-politics-and-hope.html 4. Burman, Abheek. 25 October 2013. ‘Informal workers, making up 90% of workforce, won’t get a good deal till netas notice them’. Economic Times. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-10-25/news/43395491_1_neelkanth-mishra-india-fall-informal-economy 5. 28 September 2013. ‘India’s Informal Economy. Hidden Value’. Economist. http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21586891-activities-out-sticks-may-add-more-gdp-was-thought-hidden-value 6. Dr G. Rajan, Raghuram, Governor, Reserve Bank of India. 11 December 2013. Talk at the Delhi Economics Conclave titled ‘Financial Sector Reforms’. http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/BS_SpeechesView.aspx?Id=863 7. Collins, Daryl, Morduch, Jonathan, Rutherford, Stuart, Ruthven, Orlanda. 2009.

You can now find a doctor through your smartphone thanks to businesses such as Practo, which allow users to rate medical practitioners based on their quality of service. How can government primary healthcare centres and hospitals deploy technology in a similar way? The gap between dreams and reality Rayappa Pitkekar is a forty-eight-year-old leatherwork contractor in Mumbai’s Dharavi locality; its status as one of the world’s largest slums belies the fact that its flourishing informal economy boasts a turnover of over Rs 30 billion annually,8 thanks to the enterprising spirit of Pitkekar and his ilk. The son of a garbage picker who earned Rs 1.25 a day digging through trash to salvage plastic for reuse by the local plastic industry, Pitkekar studied by day and then worked two jobs, earning Rs 5 for every 100 newspapers he sold in local trains in the evening and then working in a hotel at night.

The simplicity of this idea lends itself beautifully to building a large-scale banking network across the country, one that will usher every Indian into the formal financial sector. Lurking in the shadows: India’s parallel economy Mumbai’s Dharavi locality is a place of staggering contrasts. With its narrow byways and tumbledown tenements teeming with people, at first glance it lives up to its title of ‘Asia’s largest slum’. Beyond the clichés, however, Dharavi is an economic boom town, the beating heart of India’s informal economy, generating anywhere from $600 million to $1 billion worth of output annually.3 Viral was given a tour of Dharavi by the local branch manager of the Indian Overseas Bank. Despite having grown up in Mumbai, Viral had never set foot in the area; he was amazed by what he saw. Crammed into a warren of tiny rooms and sheds were factories churning out savoury chivda and other teatime snacks, workshops producing fine leather goods, an ice-cream manufacturing plant and a garment factory making T-shirts that were exported to Saudi Arabia and other countries—and this was just a sample.


pages: 408 words: 108,985

Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, deindustrialization, discovery of DNA, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, mini-job, moral hazard, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, open economy, patent troll, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, zero-sum game

In Austria and Spain, part-timers and the self-employed are allowed a more favorable way of calculating benefits for any given level of contributions. In Indonesia and Uruguay, taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers, including those working through gig economy platforms, are covered by social insurance through payments via an online application.8 Formalization, or bringing workers onto the books, would have further benefits, including the improvement of working conditions of those in the informal economy. What these examples illustrate is that public pensions can be provided even to those in the informal economy. Several additional reforms of existing pension systems could also provide more security in old age. First, with increased job mobility, pension portability—as is the case with health care—is important, and legislation has to ensure such portability. Common standards among national social security systems would facilitate economic convergence among member countries and help align labor costs across countries.

■ Wages at the bottom of the income scale in many countries are simply too low. In many countries, it will be important to raise minimum wages and/or to supplement the incomes of low-wage earners. ■ A new problem that Europe has to confront is the emergence of precarious jobs, like those involved in the so-called gig economy. ■ In many countries, there has been an erosion of labor standards. Standards have to be raised and programs designed to bring the informal economy onto the books. ■ Europe has suffered from excesses of long-term unemployment and high rates of youth unemployment. Active labor market policies can help move these individuals into jobs, provided enough jobs are available. ■ More broadly, the state may have to actively intervene in labor markets to provide employment. It may need to consider an employment guarantee program. ■ A dynamic economy constantly requires adjustment, but ordinary workers should not bear all the costs.

.# Other countries, including Poland and Spain, had one inspector per 10,000 workers, while Belgium and the UK had one inspector per 20,000 workers. While some countries have increased the number of labor inspectors, as is the case with France, Poland, and Spain, recent surveys show that the majority of European countries have reduced their number of labor inspectors because of budget cuts and austerity measures.9 The result is that enforcement has been uneven, which has resulted in a growing informal economy with precarious working conditions. Labor standards will not be consistently respected unless there is effective enforcement. Several reforms are needed: ■ Strengthen labor inspection mechanisms, increase funding for enforcement, carry out unannounced on-site inspections, raise penalties for violations of labor standards, and increase numbers of inspection staff, at least to meet the target recommended by the International Labour Organization (one inspector for every 10,000 workers)


pages: 275 words: 84,980

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us (Perspectives) by David Birch

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business cycle, capital controls, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, creative destruction, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Irish bank strikes, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, large denomination, M-Pesa, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, Northern Rock, Pingit, prediction markets, price stability, QR code, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Real Time Gross Settlement, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, social graph, special drawing rights, technoutopianism, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, Washington Consensus, wikimedia commons

Rinaldi’s research further concluded that in these circumstances the European economy would grow by an additional 9 basis points because moving to electronic money would shrink the cash-based ‘shadow economy’. I’m sure she’s right. When the Proton ‘electronic purse’ (e-purse) was launched in Belgium a decade ago, I recall a number of people at the time saying that one of the reasons for the poor usage figures was the size of the country’s informal economy. Time to scrap metal There’s a thing that economists call ‘the big problem of small change’. In essence, there’s a problem because it’s hard to make a living out of producing small change, so no one does it (Sargent and Velde 2002). The state therefore has to do it, delivering the token money that is supported by law. But as inflation erodes the value of that small change, it becomes increasingly unprofitable to provide it and the state has to bear the cost in the interests of the economy as a whole.

Demographics Cash use remains high among the poor and some older people, even in developed economies. I agree with Keohane, though, when he says that this should at most mean we keep some coins and low-value notes. There is no need to print $100 bills or €500 notes for these purposes. Addressing that big problem of small change again, I think we should look to the future and find alternative ways to obtain inclusion. We need alternatives to cash to reach everyone, whether in the formal or informal economy, and (and this will have implications when we discuss privacy later) without moral censure. Douglas McWilliams entertainingly set this out in his Gresham College lecture on the Italian black economy (McWilliams 2014), explaining how Italy decided to revise its GDP calculations back in 1987 in order to obtain membership of what is now the G8 by including estimates for its ‘black economy’ in the figures.

Anyway, to restore fair contributions, some years later EU statisticians revised their methodologies to treat the black economy equally in all EU countries and things like software and drug dealing and prostitution were added to the figures in 1991, which in turn boosted the UK economy significantly. Diane Coyle explores this statistical revision in her book GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History, saying that ‘the largely cash-based informal economy of moonlighting, avoiding taxes and regulations, but creating work and output, has been placed inside the production boundary’ (Coyle 2014). So it is measured, but the people in that economy are not contributing their fair share to the national piggy bank. We (by which I mean me and my colleagues in the payments industry) don’t spend much time thinking about the black economy, but it’s an untapped market for electronic payments.


Green Economics: An Introduction to Theory, Policy and Practice by Molly Scott Cato

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Bretton Woods, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, carbon footprint, central bank independence, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deskilling, energy security, food miles, Food sovereignty, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, gender pay gap, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job satisfaction, land reform, land value tax, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, mortgage debt, passive income, peak oil, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, the built environment, The Spirit Level, Tobin tax, University of East Anglia, wikimedia commons

Illich considered that economic conditions, foremost among these being those in the employment situation, undermined ‘the conditions necessary for a convivial life’.16 Partly in response to this critique, Robertson develops a concept he calls ‘ownwork’ – ‘activity which is purposeful and important, and which people organize and control for themselves’ – only part of which is in the formal economy.17 He argues for the revival of the informal economy and the encouragement of ‘home-grown’ local economies, along with local self-reliance and the expansion of the third sector. ‘Ownwork’ is explained by reference to a quotation from Khalil Gibran, ‘You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession that marches in majesty towards the infinite.’18 Robertson’s argument for moving from employment to ownwork is partly economic – ‘because the development of productive and useful work in the local and household sectors will reduce the present dependency of localities and households on jobs provided by the large-scale manufacturing and service sectors of the economy, as well as on goods and services purchased from these sectors or provided by them at public expense’ – and partly psychological.

As Henderson argues, a sustainable economy requires ‘the rise of worker-owned, self-managed enterprises, and of bartering, self-help, and mutual aid’.25 Such an economy can provide satisfying 64 GREEN ECONOMICS work and rewarding lifestyles but ‘simply cannot provide support for [the] enormous pyramided capital structures and huge overheads’ associated with the late capitalist economy. Greening production and distribution One of the lessons of green economics is that much of what we use in our everyday lives need not have come from a production process of the formal economy at all. Robertson coined the term ‘informal’ economy to describe the work we have traditionally done, unpaid, to provide for our needs and those of others close to us. This economic sector is increasingly squeezed as the market takes over more areas of our lives, so that children are sent to nurseries rather than being looked after by their grandmothers or neighbours, and we eat ready meals rather than cooking for our families or sharing meals with friends.

Greens favour a system of ‘ownwork’ where people are more in control of their own time and reject the alienating form of work that has developed under industrial capitalism. The move towards a sustainable economy will also require a considerable degree of reskilling and more labour-intensive forms of skilled employment such as in mending and repairing. A green economy would have a wider role for the informal economy and for cooperative and community-based systems of mutual support; this is in contrast to sucking ever more areas of our lives into the market. Several green economists have been inspired by medieval economics, including the concept of the ‘just price’ and the organization of production through craft-based guilds. Chapter 5: Money Green economists are critical of the capitalist money system because: it is undemocratic with banks holding the power over a crucial economic institution; it channels energy in other directions than those which would achieve maximum human well-being; it leads to inequality within and between countries; the nature of money creation by debt leads to pressure on the planet’s resources.


pages: 188 words: 9,226

Collaborative Futures by Mike Linksvayer, Michael Mandiberg, Mushon Zer-Aviv

4chan, AGPL, Benjamin Mako Hill, British Empire, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative economy, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late capitalism, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, Network effects, optical character recognition, packet switching, postnationalism / post nation state, prediction markets, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, stealth mode startup, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, WikiLeaks

They are all very well documented, so these descriptions should be great starting points for further research. 12 Anarchism in the Collaboratory Anarchist theory provides some of the background for our framing of autonomy and self organization. This is recapitulated by Yochai Benkler, one of the leading modern theorists of open collaboration, in his book The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom: “The networked information economy improves the practical capacities of individuals along three dimensions: (1) it improves their capacity to do more for and by themselves; (2) it enhances their capacity to do more in loose commonality with others, without being constrained to organize their relationship through a price system or in traditional hierarchical models of social and economic organization; and (3) it improves the capacity of individuals to do more in formal organizations that operate outside the market sphere.

In a free cooperation, all members of the cooperation are free to quit, to give limits or conditions for its cooperative activity in order to influence the rules according to their interests; they can do this at a price that is similar and bearable for all members; and the members really practice it, individually and collectively.” —Christoph Spehr, The Art of Free Cooperation Ownership In the industrial information economy the outputs are owned by the company that produces them. Copyrights and patentable inventions produced by employees are transferred to the corporate owner, either directly or via the ‘work for hire’ doctrine, which treats the acts of individuals as extensions of the employers will. Collaborations amongst small groups o en use similar proprietary methods to control the benefits arising from their outputs, but parcel out ownership amongst collaborators.

It is obviously a drop in the ocean in comparison to the scale of the disaster and the years it would take to heal. Nations and corporations have long term interests and the resources that will probably keep them in the picture long a er the networked effort will evaporate. These are brave yet very early experiments in new political association. They are widely informed by experiments in collaboration and control in information economies. Most of them will not automatically translate to meat space. Especially at times of natural disaster, when food and medicine shortage occupies much of the human rights debate. Open Leaders Failing Forward The abundance of information technologies have also lowered the price of failure and made it an inherent part of the process. It's not about whether you will fail, it's about how you will fail.


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Chapter Twelve The Struggle to Define and Control the Intelligent Infrastructure Yochai Benkler is one of the most ardent and articulate advocates of the Commons approach. He also realizes that a Communications Commons will remain elusive if tied to a proprietary infrastructure. In the last few pages of his eloquent book The Wealth of Networks, Benkler argues that if future generations are to enjoy the immense benefits that come with a networked information economy, it will be necessary to create a common infrastructure. He writes: To flourish, a networked information economy rich in social production practices requires a core common infrastructure, a set of resources necessary for information production and exchange that are open for all to use. This requires physical, logical, and content resources from which to make new statements, encode them for communication, and then render and receive them.1 No disagreement here.

Eighty years after Lange and Keynes made their observations, contemporary economists are once again peering into the contradictory workings of the capitalist system, unsure of how to make the market economy function without self-destructing in the wake of new technologies that are speeding society into a near zero marginal cost era. Lawrence Summers, U.S. secretary of the treasury during President Bill Clinton’s administration and former president of Harvard University, and J. Bradford DeLong, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, revisited the capitalist dilemma in a joint paper delivered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s symposium, “Economic Policy for the Information Economy,” in August 2001. This time, there was much more at stake as the new information technologies and the incipient Internet communication revolution were threatening to take the capitalist system to a near zero marginal cost reality in the coming decades. Summers and DeLong’s concerns focused on the emerging data-processing and communication technologies. They wrote that these “seismic innovations” were forcing a wholesale reconfiguration of commercial life, with potential impacts whose expanse rivaled the advent of electricity.

., 130. 7. John Maynard Keynes, Essays in Persuasion (Project Gutenberg eBook, 2011), 358–74, http://gutenberg.ca/ebooks/keynes-essaysinpersuasion/keynes-essaysinpersuasion-00-h.html (accessed January 23, 2013). 8. Ibid. 9. J. Bradford Delong and Lawrence H. Summers, “The ‘New Economy’: Background, Historical Perspective, Questions and Speculations,” Economic Policy for the Informational Economy (2001): 16. 10. Ibid., 35. 11. Ibid. 12. Ibid., 16. 13. Ibid. 14. Ibid. 15. Ibid. 16. Ibid., 16, 38. 17. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). 18. Isaac Asimov, “In the Game of Energy and Thermodynamics You Can’t Even Break Even,” Smithsonian, August 1970, 9. 19. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier, Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013) 59. 20.


pages: 492 words: 70,082

Immigration worldwide: policies, practices, and trends by Uma Anand Segal, Doreen Elliott, Nazneen S. Mayadas

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, Celtic Tiger, centre right, conceptual framework, credit crunch, demographic transition, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, full employment, global village, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, mass immigration, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, open borders, phenotype, South China Sea, structural adjustment programs, trade route, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, urban planning, women in the workforce

Spain’s relatively long coastline and proximity to Africa confers a strategic position as a bridge between Europe and Africa. Another reason was the restrictive immigration policies applied elsewhere in Northern Europe, particularly France, which made Spain a more attractive alternative for North Africans in particular. It gained a reputation because of the relative ease of entry and the abundant job opportunities in either the formal or informal economy available to work-seeking migrants (Martı́nez Viega 1999). Meanwhile, additional obstacles to entering the United States encouraged ever greater numbers of Latin Americans to select Spain as an alternative destination. For others, like the Argentines, the pressure to emigrate was enhanced by the dire economic conditions in their country. With regard to the Africans, the most important ‘‘push’’ factors that can be identified were the growing poverty, unemployment, and population growth, all of which exerted pressure to leave.

The first is the employment structure. Spain’s economy is notable for the large number of small businesses and the high quotient of the selfemployed. This means that employment opportunities still occur predominantly in the lowskilled jobs and in small, family-run firms. It explains why employers look to foreign labor, despite the existence of a pool of educated jobless native workers. The second is the existence of a large informal economy, estimated by the European Employment Observatory to have reached around 22 percent of GNP (EEO 2004), that provides an access route into employment, albeit often of the temporary and low-paid variety. Among Spaniards, only a small number of the pool of the young unemployed are forced to accept any type of work in order to survive because they live at home, where there is already usually at least one breadwinner.

Notes Acronyms CIS CCOO ECRE EEO EU GDP GRECO INE INEM NGOs OECD PP SIVE Centro de Investigaciones Sociologicas (Socio- logical Research Centre) Comisiones Obreras (Workers’ Commissions) European Council on Refugees and Exiles European Employment Observatory European Union Gross Domestic Product Global Programme to Regulate and Coordinate Foreigners and Immigration in Spain Instituto Nacional de Estadı́stica (National Statistics Institute) Instituto Nacional de Empleo (National Employment Institute) Nongovernmental Organizations Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Partido Popular (Popular Party) Integrated System for External Vigilance References Arango, J. (2000), ‘‘Becoming a country of immigration at the end of the twentieth century: The case of Spain.’’ In R. King, G. Lazaridis, & C. Tsadanidis (eds.), Eldorado or Fortress? Migration in Southern Europe, Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, pp. 253–276. Azurmendi, M. (2001), ‘‘Inmigración y conflicto en el Ejido,’’ Claves de Razón Práctica, 116, pp. 8–17. 151 Baldwin-Edwards, M., & Arango, J. (eds.), (1999), Immigrants and the Informal Economy in Southern Europe, London: Frank Cass. Castellanos, M. L., & Pedreño, A. (2001), ‘‘Desde El Ejido al accidente de Lorca,’’ Sociologia del Trabajo, 42, pp. 3–31. Chislett, W. (2005), Inside Spain 9. Madrid: Real Instituto Elcano. Colectivo IOE, Angel del Prado, M., Actis, W., Pereda, C., & Pérez Molina, R. (1998), Labour Market Discrimination against Migrant Workers in Spain, Geneva: International Labour Organization.


pages: 777 words: 186,993

Imagining India by Nandan Nilekani

addicted to oil, affirmative action, Airbus A320, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, distributed generation, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, knowledge economy, land reform, light touch regulation, LNG terminal, load shedding, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, market fragmentation, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, open economy, Parag Khanna, pension reform, Potemkin village, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, smart grid, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

This became especially pronounced as Europe’s GDP began to double every thirty-five years after 1900. And as labor became a powerful economic force, a large working population became more valuable. This idea of population as an asset rather than a burden has especially gained currency with the rise of knowledge-based industries such as IT, telecommunications and biotechnology in the 1970s. In fact the information economy is the culmination of what the Industrial Revolution started—it has placed human capital front and center as the main driver of productivity and growth. I do shy away, however, from unbridled optimism—that would be almost as bad as the previous mood of relentless pessimism on population growth. The pressures of India’s vast population are indeed humungous—our natural resources are no bottomless pool.

The lack of the most basic connectivity has deeply limited rural India’s growth, since it cuts off access to critical information such as market prices for crops and weather patterns. Transmitting information about a price shock around a certain crop from the central markets to the outlying rural areas can sometimes take months. As a result farmers in India find out about a price collapse too late, often after the planting season. For these farmers, IT is not just access to the information economy—it is their only access to it, and a critical, life-changing one. The demand for IT has consequently grown dramatically across rural India, and rural IT-based services led by the private sector have soared in recent years. Sriram Raghavan’s Internet community centers and kiosks, for instance, offer low-cost computing and networking services across villages, and ITC’s 7000 e-Choupal centers allow farmers to check commodity prices and sell crops online.

Accessing the exchange allows farmers to access prices of far-flung mandis with a single click. Purchasing crop futures on the exchange is also giving them some insight into the potential price volatility of their crops and helps them make their planting decisions accordingly. From being virtually cut off, India’s farmers are now moving, in a single leap, from third-world infrastructure into the information economy. The exchange is now expanding its efforts to reach farmers by putting up price tickers on rural bus stops. It has also tied up with Reliance Communications to transmit voice-enabled information on crop prices over the company’s CDMA network, which now covers more than half of India’s rural areas. The other major commodity exchange in India, the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), is along with the NCDEX also tying in with the broader network, for example by bringing in more people within the Tax Information Network.


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The New Ruthless Economy: Work & Power in the Digital Age by Simon Head

Asian financial crisis, business cycle, business process, call centre, conceptual framework, deskilling, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, informal economy, information retrieval, medical malpractice, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, supply-chain management, telemarketer, Thomas Davenport, Toyota Production System, union organizing

And how should the U.S. economy be judged if it has a poor record on all these counts, yet still manages to achieve annual growth rates of 3 percent or better? These issues will be as much a part of the subject matter of this book as the strictly economic issue of whether "skilled biased technological change" can account for the recent stagnation of most U.S. incomes. Nonetheless, the analysis of this relationship and its impact on the behavior of real wages and benefits can provide a precise measurement of how the information economy affects the lives of most Americans, which may be why so many leading economists have paid so much attention to the subject. Perhaps the most convincing way to demonstrate a causal link between "skilled biased technological change" and the stagnation of wages and benefits is to provide case histories of industries and groups of industries, each documenting the links in the causal chain with detailed and conclusive statistical evidence.

Like 80 THE CUSTOMER RELATIONS FACTORY all battles, this one will be decided on the front line: "When it comes to customer service, it's the front line that counts. No doubt about it! (Never has been any doubt... to me.) But what sparks the front line is the obvious obsession for doing it right, making it right for the customer."3 In sober language more appropriate to a leading theorist of the Harvard Business School, Rosabeth Moss Kanter has also stressed the importance of CRM. With the shift from an industrial to an information economy "more people hold jobs involving human contact." These workers "must influence, affect, or satisfy other people, often in direct interactions in which they look customers in the eye or listen to their voices." These employees "are performing emotional work, not just technical work." The quality of the emotional experience in these human exchanges "often determines organizational success."4 However, no endorsement or promotion of CRM is likely to carry more weight than the one given by Bill Gates in his book Business @ the Speed of Thought: More than anything, though, a company has to communicate with its customers and act on what it learns in that communication.

Since the eventual goal of redesigning a process is to create one that better meets customer needs, it is critical that the team truly understand these needs.7 Estimates of total employment in call centers vary from a low of 3.5 million, or 2.6 percent of the nation's workforce, to a possible high of 6 million. By comparison, there are 11 million production workers in all of manufacturing. The New Tork Times has estimated that there are at least 60,000 call centers in the United States.8 The corporate call center has become an enduring image of the information economy: a vast, football-field-sized space in which many hundreds of employees work, each enclosed within his or her cubicle, each equipped with telephone headset and computer screen. These are the "customer-facing" employees who, in the words of one report on the call center industry, act as the corporation's "voice to customers ... the frontline warriors in the battle for customer loyalty."9 Three strands of technology come together within the confines of the call center.


Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages by Carlota Pérez

agricultural Revolution, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, commoditize, Corn Laws, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, distributed generation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, Hyman Minsky, informal economy, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, late capitalism, market fundamentalism, new economy, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, post-industrial society, profit motive, railway mania, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus

Her intense interest in these deep processes was aroused in the 1970s when, as a young researcher, she was studying the oil industry, then and still today of critical importance for her own native country, Venezuela. In trying to explain the causes and consequences of the so-called OPEC crisis of 1973, she became convinced that the global economy had begun a long-term transition from a mass-production economy based on cheap oil to an ‘information economy’ based on cheap micro-electronics. The arrival of the microprocessor – a ‘computer on a chip’ – served as a ‘big-bang’ announcing this probability and she was able to develop her theory at this time through a period of postgraduate research in California – a state which was already then at the forefront of the Information Revolution. As a result of this research and her subsequent work with government and industry, she was able to publish in 1983 a paper that became an influential landmark in this field.

It is the time depicted by Charles Dickens and Upton Sinclair, by Friedrich Engels and Thorstein Veblen; the time when the rich get richer with arrogance and the poor get poorer through no fault of their own; when part of the population celebrates prosperity and the other portion (generally much larger) experiences The Turbulent Ending of the Twentieth Century 5 outright deterioration and decline. It is certainly a broken society, a two-faced world. But while the poor can usually see the conspicuous consumption of the ostentatious members of the new ‘leisure class’, to these, the poor are often hidden from view. In the globalized world of the information economy, this is all the more true, given that the cleavage between the excessively rich and the extremely poor is basically international. Were it not for satellite TV and mass illegal migrations, the invisibility could be almost total. When the financial breakdown comes, the party is over and the time comes for analyzing what went wrong and how it can be prevented from happening again. Though the debate about the causes and the culprits can go on forever, the more practical task of setting up an adequate regulatory system and a set of effective safeguards is soon undertaken.

The contrast between the dynamism of modern firms and the sluggishness and deterioration of the laggards ends up translated into a polarized income distribution. Worse still, when changes are made that suit the flourishing of the new technologies, the situation for those not modernized becomes even more difficult. Figure 4.3 shows how Business Week saw the US economy gradually decoupling from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, differentiating the ‘high-tech’ sector, belonging to the so-called information economy, from the rest. Figure 4.3 Decoupling of the system: the differing performance of the ‘hightech’ sector and the rest of the economy in the USA, 1989–96 NON SUPERVISORY AND PRODUCTION WORKERS DATA BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS, BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS BUSINESS WEEK ©BW Source: Mandel (1997) Reprinted from the March 31, 1997 issue of Business Week, Latin American Edition, by special permission, copyright © 1997 by McGraw-Hill.


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The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty, and the Well-Being of Nations by David Pilling

Airbnb, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Branko Milanovic, call centre, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Hangouts, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mortgage debt, off grid, old-boy network, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peak oil, performance metric, pez dispenser, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, science of happiness, shareholder value, sharing economy, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

The farmers, hawkers, traders, nomads, artisans, repairmen, con men, day laborers, truckers, and metal bashers who help make most African economies tick generally work outside the taxed economy and largely beyond the purview of national statisticians. One of the basic tenets of our economies is that, if you can’t put a dollar sign against it, it doesn’t exist, but much of what makes Africa go round economically is invisible. The night-light method has been used to gain a better understanding of the massive informal economy in India, a country of 1.3 billion people where more than 90 percent of the working population toils outside the formal sector. One could theoretically ask electricity companies how much power they sell in each district. But satellite imagery provides a more accurate picture, since official figures don’t count small off-grid schemes powered by solar or hydro. Nor do electricity companies properly account for the power that trickles away via inefficient grids or is stolen by poor communities adept at tapping power from overhead cables.

Benjamin Muchiri, a senior official at Kenya’s National Bureau of Statistics, says his office has tried theoretical exercises to work out the imputed value of non-marketed activities from the draft power of oxen working in the fields to the transport provided by camels. You could, say, compare the oxen to tractors and the camels to journeys by motorcycle taxi. One might even count the cow dung used to line the walls of huts as self-produced building material. Including or excluding parts of the informal economy can make a big difference. In 2009 a study was made of milk, using data gathered in that year’s population census. This concluded that national income statistics for 2009 underestimated the economic contribution of milk by about twenty times. It also found that the total contribution of “ruminant livestock”—including cows, goats, and camels—was nearly $2 billion more than was captured in official statistics, no small discrepancy in an economy nominally worth only $37 billion.9 It estimated that 80 percent of beef consumed in Kenya was produced by pastoralists, including the Maasai, about a fifth of which was walked over the border from neighboring countries.

In surveys, says Kale, getting the question right matters. There were big issues over other data too. He had to rely on figures from the notoriously corrupt petroleum industry and port authorities about the amount of oil produced and the volume of goods shipped. The suspicion was always that the official figures underestimated the real amount, creating the scope to skim off revenue at source. The informal economy was so vast and unknowable, Kale says, that even after the 89 percent jump, he suspected he was still underestimating it. Technically, Kale was being asked to conduct what national accountants call a rebasing exercise. When countries calculate their national income they do so in relation to a base year, which serves as a reference point. The reason they need to do so is to take account of changing prices.


pages: 277 words: 80,703

Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle by Silvia Federici

Community Supported Agriculture, declining real wages, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, financial independence, fixed income, global village, illegal immigration, informal economy, invisible hand, labor-force participation, land tenure, mass incarceration, means of production, microcredit, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Occupy movement, planetary scale, Scramble for Africa, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, the market place, trade liberalization, UNCLOS, wages for housework, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

Castells reproposes the theory according to which industrial competitiveness does not depend on cheap labor, but on access to technology and information. From this viewpoint, the “Third World” no longer exists, being replaced by the countries of East Asia that have industrially developed and by the emergence of a “Fourth World” characterized by its inability to access the “information economy” and its consequent economic marginalization (“The Informational Economy and the New International Division of Labor,” 2239). According to Castells’s analysis, almost all of Africa and South America, and a good part of Asia, fall into this “Fourth World” (35-39). But the magnitude of the populations involved does not prevent him from maintaining that the work done by them is irrelevant for the objectives of the world economy and capital accumulation. 9.

Carnoy, Martin, et al., The New Global Economy in the Information Age. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania University Press, 1993. Castegnaro, Alessandro. “La Rivoluzione occulta dell’assistenza agli anziani: le aiutanti domiciliari.” Studi Zancan, 2 (2002). Castells, Manuel. The End of Millennium: The Information Age. Economy, Society and Culture. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1998. _____. “The Informational Economy and the New International Division of Labor.” In The New Global Economy in the Information Age, edited by Martin Carnoy, et al., 15-45. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania University Press, 1993. Chandler, Michael Alison. “When a Kid Becomes the Caregiver.” Washington Post, August 25, 2007. Chege, Michael. “The State and Labour in Kenya.” In Popular Struggles for Democracy in Africa, edited by Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o.


pages: 366 words: 117,875

Arrival City by Doug Saunders

agricultural Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, call centre, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, guest worker program, Hernando de Soto, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, new economy, Pearl River Delta, pensions crisis, place-making, price mechanism, rent control, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, white flight, working poor, working-age population

Until the economic crises of the 1980s, the cities of the developing world were dominated by an elite core of lifelong jobs backed by a few low-paying service jobs. Now, this world has exploded into small constellations of permanent employees dwarfed by a galaxy of informal work: small, unlicensed shops or street-vending sites; services, including domestic work and transportation; or short-term work in building and small manufacturing. The informal economy, previously considered a parasitic irrelevance on the edge of the “main” industrial economy, now represents a quarter of all jobs in post-communist countries, a third in North Africa, half in Latin America, 70 percent in India, and more than 90 percent in the poorest African countries.2 It is a form of labor that is often less secure and that offers none of the social-security benefits or long-term guarantees of industrial work—but, to its immense benefit, it is a form of work that is available to almost everyone who comes to the city.

This ambiguous approach to citizenship can have damaging effects on arrival cities, turning them from opportunities into threats. THE ARRIVAL CITY IN THE POST-MIGRATION NATION The presence of a Central American peasant, like Mario Martinez, in Los Angeles, or a family of Bangladeshi villagers, like the Tafaders, in the East End of London, strikes many people as an aberration, an artifact of the past or a political mistake. In this age of border controls, high-technology information economies, and selective immigration policies, we often think there should be no reason to have large masses of the developing world’s rural poor forming enclaves in the cities of the West. In many western European countries, in Canada, the United States, and Australia, governments respond to the arrival city not by making it function better but by trying to pretend that village-origin migration won’t happen or can be permanently stopped or filtered out.

The residents of arrival cities do not consider themselves “the poor” but rather successful urbanites who happen to be passing through a period of poverty, perhaps for a generation.5 The arrival city, if it is to function at all, must create members of a middle class: Families with enough earnings and savings to start businesses and employ others, to own and improve dwellings, to send children to university, to have a sustainable quality of life capable of moving them, and their neighbors, beyond merely surviving. An arrival-city middle class is important for a number of reasons. It creates social and political stability, because the middle class ties the neighborhood to the institutions of the wider city and thereby opens a pathway to something other than crime, marginal informal-economy employment, and dependency. The presence of an arrival-city middle class shows new arrivals and their children that the process of migration is not a journey into perpetual injustice, that sustainable prosperity is available to those willing to study and invest. It tends to generate employers and political leaders within the arrival city, improving the quality of life for others. And research has shown that the presence of a middle class raises living standards for those neighbors who remain poor.6 The economist Steven Durlauf has shown that a middle class, even a small one, within a poor community can generate “neighborhood feedback effects” in which investments in the higher education of children become a behavioral norm.7 And, significantly, the presence of a middle class within the arrival city helps improve the standards of living in the originating villages, financing non-agricultural industries in rural areas and creating a parallel rural middle class.


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Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Black Swan, book scanning, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, obamacare, optical character recognition, PageRank, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, post-materialism, random walk, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Big data changes the nature of business, markets, and society, as we describe in Chapters Six and Seven. In the twentieth century, value shifted from physical infrastructure like land and factories to intangibles such as brands and intellectual property. That now is expanding to data, which is becoming a significant corporate asset, a vital economic input, and the foundation of new business models. It is the oil of the information economy. Though data is rarely recorded on corporate balance sheets, this is probably just a question of time. Although some data-crunching techniques have been around for a while, in the past they were only available to spy agencies, research labs, and the world’s biggest companies. After all, Walmart and Capital One pioneered the use of big data in retailing and banking and in so doing changed their industries.

On the amount of data smart meters collect—See Elias Leake Quinn, “Smart Metering and Privacy: Existing Law and Competing Policies; A Report for the Colorado Public Utility Commission,” Spring 2009 (http://www.w4ar.com/Danger_of_Smart_Meters_Colorado_Report.pdf). See also Joel M. Margolis, “When Smart Grids Grow Smart Enough to Solve Crimes,” Neustar, March 18, 2010 (http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/gc prod/documents/Neustar_Comments_DataExhibitA.pdf) [>] Fred Cate on notice and consent—Fred H. Cate, “The Failure of Fair Information Practice Principles,” in Jane K. Winn, ed., Consumer Protection in the Age of the “Information Economy” (Ashgate, 2006), p. 341 et seq. [>] On the AOL data release—Michael Barbaro and Tom Zeller Jr., “A Face Is Exposed for AOL Searcher No. 4417749,” New York Times, August 9, 2006. Also see Matthew Karnitschnig and Mylene Mangalindan, “AOL Fires Technology Chief After Web-Search Data Scandal,” Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2006. [>] Netflix identified individual—Ryan Singel, “Netflix Spilled Your Brokeback Mountain Secret, Lawsuit Claims,” Wired, December 17, 2009 (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/12/netflix-privacy-lawsuit/).

“Strength in Numbers: How Does Data-Driven Decisionmaking Affect Firm Performance?” ICIS 2011 Proceedings, Paper 13 (http://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2011/proceedings/economicvalueIS/13; also available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1819486). Byrne, John. The Whiz Kids. Doubleday, 1993. Cate, Fred H. “The Failure of Fair Information Practice Principles.” In Jane K. Winn, ed., Consumer Protection in the Age of the “Information Economy” (Ashgate, 2006), p. 341 et seq. Chin, A., and A. Klinefelter. “Differential Privacy as a Response to the Reidentification Threat: The Facebook Advertiser Case Study.” 90 North Carolina Law Review 1417 (2012). Crosby, Alfred. The Measure of Reality: Quantification and Western Society, 1250–1600. Cambridge University Press, 1997. Cukier, Kenneth. “Data, Data Everywhere.” The Economist Special Report, February 27, 2010, pp. 1–14. ———.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

The rise of information technologies and whole industries based around communications, signs and images, altered not only the economy but the structure of meaning. The growth of information economies fits well with the inherent and ever-increasing celerity of capitalism. Capitalism encounters time and space as obstacles in the way of making money.64 They would ideally like to realize their investment here and now. The development of information technologies enabling the instantaneous transmission of symbols and images around the world makes possible, as Marinetti’s ‘Futurist Manifesto’ anticipated, the death of time and space.65 These technologies have been of most use in the financial sector. But now big data, by way of ‘the cloud’, claims to extend similar advantages to traditional manufacturing firms, by enabling them to choreograph production processes all over the world. Ironically, the growth of information economies is catastrophic for meaning.

Whatever the political purposes to which users put them, however, the most successful users are those who understand the informational politics of the platform. The infamous Facebook experiment, published in 2014, on ‘emotional contagion’, built on the well-known fact that sentiment is catching. By manipulating users’ moods, it found that this contagion can now be orchestrated on a massive scale by networks.34 The virality and celerity of the information economy piggybacks on this tendency, aggregating and herding sentiment, assembling makeshift alliances around a mood, building towards a euphoric climax and then dissipating. The experiment also showed that it is possible for the medium to fabricate and manipulate the mood of users, which of course Facebook already does on a molecular level through its management of feeds. But it doesn’t necessarily need to mass-produce emotional hype: opportune sentiments will arise as a matter of course.


pages: 372 words: 152

The End of Work by Jeremy Rifkin

banking crisis, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, cashless society, collective bargaining, computer age, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, general-purpose programming language, George Gilder, global village, hiring and firing, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land reform, low skilled workers, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, Paul Samuelson, pink-collar, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, Thorstein Veblen, Toyota Production System, trade route, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Wilson blames the exodus for a spiraling decline in the inner-city tax base, a precipitous drop in public services, and the entrapment of millions of black Americans in a self-perpetuating cycle of permanent unemployment and public assistance. In New York City in 1975, more than 15 percent of the residents were on some form of public assistance. In Chicago it was nearly 19 percent. 23 In the 1980s many of the nation's northern cities partially revived by becoming hubs for the new information economy. Scores of downtown areas made the transition from "centers of production and distribution of material goods to centers of administration, information exchange and higher order service provision."24 The emerging knowledge-based industries have meant increased jobs for highskilled white collar and service workers. For large numbers of AfricanAmericans, however, the new urban renaissance has only served to accentuate the ever widening employment and income gap between highly educated whites and poor unskilled blacks.

This small elite owns 37.4 percent of all corporate stocks and bonds and 56.2 percent of all U.S. private business assets. 39 Below the super rich is a slightly larger class consisting of 4 percent of the working population of the United States. Their ranks are made up largely of the new professionals, the highly trained symbolic analysts or knowledge workers who manage the new high-tech information economy. This small group, numbering fewer than 3.8 million individuals, earns as much as the entire bottom 51 percent of American wage earners, totaling more than 49.2 million. 40 In addition to the top 4 percent of American income earners who make up the elite of the knowledge sector, another 16 percent of the American workforce also consists mostly of knowledge workers. Altogether, the knowledge class, which represents 20 percent of the workforce, receives $1,755 billion a year in income, more than the other four fifths of the population combined.

'l\t the end of the morning," says Brod, "she is exhausted, and wonders how she'll find the energy to complete the day's work."19 The new computer-based technologies have so quickened the volume, flow, and pace of information that millions of workers are experiencing mental "overload" and "burnout." The physical fatigue generated by the fast pace of the older industrial economy is being Requiem for the Working Class 189 eclipsed by the mental fatigue generated by the nanosecond pace of the new information economy. According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), clerical workers who use computers suffer inordinately high levels of stress. 20 The hyperefficient high-tech economy is undermining the mental and physical well-being of millions of workers around the world. The International Labor Organization says that "stress has become one of the most serious health issue of the 20th century."21 In the United States alone,job stress costs employers in excess of $200 billion a year in absenteeism, reduced productivity, medical expenses, and compensation claims.


pages: 496 words: 131,938

The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Basel III, blockchain, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, colonial rule, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, factory automation, failed state, falling living standards, family office, fixed income, flex fuel, gig economy, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Parag Khanna, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

They endure great suffering because they have to, because they see success in countries next door or nearby, and because they know their civilizations have been great before and can be great again. ASIA’S GRAY MARKETS Billions of Asians are accustomed to life in the informal economy, working either in sectors unregulated by the state or for unregistered businesses. This gray economy represents anywhere from 12 to 50 percent of GDP and employment in Asian countries. Hustling is nothing new to Asians. Westerners are only now becoming accustomed to life in the gigonomy of multiple jobs in the formal and informal economy. But tens of millions of Indians and Pakistanis are used to working half the year in low-skilled industry and the other half in seasonal harvesting. Across Asia, the informal economy accounts for anywhere from 12 to 50 percent of GDP and employment.51 But in another case of taking advantage of late development, most Asian societies have apps that allow people to be hired for part-time work based on their skills.

., “Made in China 2025: The Making of a High-Tech Superpower and Consequences for Industrial Countries,” Mercator Institute for China Studies, December 2016, https://www.merics.org/sites/default/files/2017-09/MPOC_No.2_MadeinChina2025.pdf. 49 Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, “Update to the IP Commission Report: The Theft of American Intellectual Property: Reassessments of the Challenge and United States Policy,” National Bureau of Asian Research, 2017, p. 4, http://ipcommission.org/report/IP_Commission_Report_Update_2017.pdf. 50 Kyle A. Jaros, “Urban Champions or Rich Peripheries? China’s Spatial Development Dilemmas,” Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, April 2016, http://ash.harvard.edu/files/ash/files/261226_ash_jaros_web.pdf?m=1461696669. 51 The largest share of GDP represented by the informal economy is found in countries such as Russia, Thailand, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. 52 Emma Lee, “Nearly 90% Phones Sold in China in 2016 Came from Domestic Makers,” TechNode, Jan. 12, 2017, https://technode.com/2017/01/12/nearly-90-of-560m-phones-sold-in-china-comes-from-domestic-makers-2016/. 53 Chris Cooper, “China to Surpass U.S. as World’s Largest Aviation Market by 2024,” Bloomberg, Oct. 20, 2016, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-21/china-to-surpass-u-s-as-world-s-largest-aviation-market-by-2024. 5.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-work, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring 2014. 86.Loïc Wacquant, ‘The Rise of Advanced Marginality: Notes on Its Nature and Implications’, Acta Sociologica 39: 2 (1996), p. 125; Richard Florida, Zara Matheson, Patrick Adler and Taylor Brydges, The Divided City and the Shape of the New Metropolis, Martin Prosperity Institute, 2014, at martinprosperity.org. 87.William Julius Wilson, When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor (New York: Vintage Books, 1997), p. 15. 88.Loïc Wacquant, ‘Class, Race and Hyperincarceration in Revanchist America’, Socialism and Democracy 28: 3 (2014), p. 46. 89.Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail (New York: Random House, 1988), p. 191. 90.Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow (New York: New Press, 2012), p. 218. 91.The number of black males working in manufacturing was nearly cut in half between 1973 and 1987. Wilson, When Work Disappears, pp. 29–31. 92.Ibid., p. 42. 93.Ibid., p. 19. 94.Wacquant, ‘Rise of Advanced Marginality,’ p. 127. 95.While the size of the informal economy is notoriously difficult to measure, by all accounts it forms a significant part of the global economy. For an overview of methods to measure the global shadow economy, see Friedrich Schneider and Andreas Buehn, Estimating the Size of the Shadow Economy: Methods, Problems, and Open Questions (CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4448, 2013), pdf available at papers.ssrn.com. For a more detailed, ethnographic account of one urban informal economy, see: Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006). 96.The United Nations suggests that two-fifths of workers in developing economies are in the informal sector, while other research notes a significant growth in this proportion between 1985 and 2007.

Index 1968, 16–7, 63, 188n33 15M, 11, 22 abstraction, 10, 15, 36, 44, 81 additive manufacturing, 110, 143, 150, 182 affect, 7–8, 113–4, 140–1 afro-futurism, 139, 141 AI (artificial intelligence), 110, 143 alienation, 14–5, 82 algorithmic trading, 111 Allende, Salvador, 148, 149 alternativism, 194n95 Althusser, Louis, 81, 141–2 anti-globalisation, 3, 159, 162 anti-war, 3, 5, 22, 162 Apple, 146, Arab Spring, 131, 159 Argentina, 37–9, 173 authenticity, 10–1, 15, 27, 82, 180 automation, 1–2, 86, 88–9, 94–5, 97–8, 104–5, 109–17, 122, 127, 130, 143, 150–1, 167, 171–4, 181–2, 203n15, 212n121, 214n161, 215n9, 218n45 banking, 43–6, 61, 147 Beveridge Report, 118 big data, 110, 111 Bolshevik Revolution, 131 Bolsheviks, 137 Russian Revolution, 139 Brazil, 75, 119, 147, 157, 169 Bretton Woods, 61–2 Brown, Michael, 173 care labour, 113–4 Chicago School, 51, 59–60 Chile, 52, 62, 148, 149, 150 China, 87, 89, 97, 170 class, 14, 16–7, 20–1, 25, 53, 64–5, 87, 91, 96–102, 116, 120, 122–3, 126–7, 132–3, 155–62, 170, 173–4, 189n1, 206n44, 233n119, 233n4, 233n5, 234n18 Cleaver, Eldridge, 91–2 climate change, 13–4, 116 colonialism, 73, 75–6, 96–7, 225n3 common sense, 9–11, 21–2, 40, 54–5, 58–60, 63–7, 72, 131–7 communisation, 92, 225n5 competitive subjects, 63–5, 99, 124 complex systems, 13–4, conspiracy theories, 14–5 cosmism, 139 Critchley, Simon, 72 cryptocurrencies, 143, 182 Cybersyn, 149–150 debt, 9, 22, 35–6, 94 demands, 6–7, 30, 33, 107–8, 130, 159–62, 167 no demands, 7, 34–5, 107, 186n3 non-reformist demands, 108 transitional demands, 215n5 democracy, 31–3, 182 direct democracy, 27–9, 31–3, 164, 190n8 direct action, 6, 11, 27–9, 35–6 education, 64, 99, 104, 141–5, 165–6 Egypt, 32–4, 190n21 energy, 2, 16,19,41, 42–43, 116, 147, 148, 150–51, 164, 171, 178, 179, 182, 183 Engels, Friedrich, 79 Erhard, Ludwig, 57 ethics, 42 work ethic, 124–6 evictions, 8, 12, 36 feminism, 18–21, 122, 138, 161 Fisher, Antony, 58–9, 196n34 food miles, 42–3 fracking, 8 France, 17, 62, 149, 167 free time, 80, 115–6, 120–1, 167, 219n50 freedom, 63–5, 120–1, 126–7, 180–1 negative freedom, 79 synthetic freedom, 78–83 Friedman, Milton, 56, 59–61 full employment, 98–100 future, 1, 71–5, 175–8, 181–3 G20, 6, 94 gender, 21, 41, 90, 122 Germany, 45, 56–7 ghettos, 95–6 Gramsci, Antonio, 132, 165 Graeber, David, 33 grand narratives, 73–4 Great Depression, 46, 65, 99–101, 114–5 Harvey, David, 135 Hayek, Friedrich, 54–6 Holzer, Jenny, 175, 178 horizontalism, 18, 26–39 housing, 8, 28, 35, 48, 77, 80, 95, 96, 148, 159, 167, 168, humanism, 81–3, 180–1 hyperstition, 74–5, 138–9 Iceland, 34, 164 idleness, 85–6 immediacy, 10–1 immigration, 101–2, 161 India, 87, 97–8, 130 inequality, 22, 80, 93–4 informal economy, 95–8, 203n10, 206n44, 210n95 Institute of Economic Affairs, 58–9 Iranian Revolution, 131 Jameson, Fredric, 14, 92, 198n10 Japan, 147 Jimmy Reid Foundation, 117 jobless recovery, 94–5 Jobs, Steve, 179 Johnson, Boris, 172 Kalecki, Michał, 120 Krugman, Paul, 118 labour, 2, 3,9, 17, 20, 21, 33, 38, 48, 52, 58, 61–3, 74, 79, 81, 83, 85–143, 148, 150, 151, 156–8, 161, 163–181, 182 Laclau, Ernesto, 155, 159 Lafargue, Paul, 115, language, 81, 132, 160, 164–5 leisure, 85–6 Leninism, 17, 131, 188n33 Live Aid, 8 localism, 40–6 locavorism, 41–2 Lucas Aerospace, 147 Luxemburg, Rosa, 15 Lyotard, Francois, 73, 74 Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, 58, 59 marches, 6, 30, 49 Marikana massacre, 170 Marinaleda, 48 Marx, Karl, 73, 79, 85, 86, 92, 115, 119, 121, 122, 132, 142, 156, 158, 180 Mattick, Paul, 92, 118 media, 2, 7–8, 31, 36, 52, 58, 60, 63, 67, 88, 118, 125–6, 129, 133–5, 163–5, 176, 182 Mirowski, Philip, 66 modernity, 23, 63, 69–85, 86, 131, 176, 181 modernisation, 23, 60, 63, 137, 174 Mont Pelerin Society, 54, 86, 134, 164, 166 MPS, 55, 56, 58, 66, 67, 134 Move Your Money, 44 Murray, Charles, 59 Musk, Elon, 179 National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, 172 negative solidarity, 20, 37 neoliberalism, 3, 12, 20–3, 47, 49, 51–67, 70, 72, 108, 116, 117, 119, 121, 124, 134, 141, 142, 148, 156, 176, 179, 183 neoliberal, 7, 9, 14–16, 20, 21, 37, 47, 49, 73, 93, 99, 118, 126, 127, 129, 131–2, 134, 135, 162, 169, 174, 176, 181 New Economics Foundation, 117, 144 new left, 18–22 New Zealand, 151 occupations, 5, 7, 10, 11, 29–31, 34, 49, 94, 172 Occupy Wall Street, 3, 6, 7, 11, 18, 22, 26, 29–38, 126, 133, 158, 159, 160, 162, 189n1 ordoliberals, 54, 57 organic intellectual, 165–6 Overton Window, 134, 139 Partido dos Trabalhadores, 169 parties, political, 2, 10, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 30, 34, 39, 46, 59, 105, 116, 118, 124, 129, 162, 164, 168, 169 personal savings, 94 Piketty, Thomas, 140 Plan C, 117 planning, 1, 15, 56, 141, 142, 149, 151, 182 Plant, Sadie, 82 Podemos, 159, 160, 169 police, 6, 30, 33, 36, 37, 102, 133, 161, 168, 171, 173 postcapitalism, 17, 38, 130, 143, 145, 150, 151, 158, 168, 178, 180 postcapitalist, 12, 15, 16, 32, 34, 83, 109, 115, 126, 136, 143, 145, 150, 152, 153, 157, 179, 180 Post-Crash Economic Society, 143 post-work, 23, 69, 83, 85, 86, 105, 107–127, 129, 130, 138, 140, 141, 153, 155, 156, 158, 161, 163, 164, 167, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178 Pou Chen Group, 170 power, 1, 2, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, 18–21, 26, 28–30, 33, 36, 43, 46, 48, 49, 59, 61, 62, 65, 73, 78, 79, 80, 81, 87, 88, 93, 100, 108, 111, 116, 120, 123, 127, 130–5, 146, 148, 151, 153, 155–74, 175, 176, 179, 180, 182 precarity, 9, 86, 88, 93, 94, 95, 98, 104, 121, 123, 126, 130, 156, 157, 166, 167, 173, 174 precarious, 2, 64, 117, 129, 167 Precarious Workers Brigade, 117 premature deindustrialisation, 97, 98 primitive accumulation, 87, 89, 90, 96, 97 prison, 90, 102, 103, 119, 133 incarceration, 102, 103, 104, 105, 161 productivity, 74, 88, 97, 110–17, 125, 150, 167 progress, 21, 23, 46, 71–5, 77, 107, 114, 115, 120, 126, 131, 138, 179, 180 protests, 1, 7, 18, 22, 28, 31, 37, 49, 66, 153, 164 psychopathologies, 64 radio-frequency identification, 110 race, 14, 31, 90, 102, 103, 140, 156, 171, 172 Reagan, Ronald, 60, 62, 66, 70 Republican Party (US), 135 resistance, 2, 5, 12, 15, 30, 35, 46–8, 49, 69, 72, 74, 83, 114, 124, 134, 158, 173, 181 Rethinking Economics, 143 Robinson, Joan, 87 Roboticisation, 110, 209n69 mechanisation, 95, 101 Rolling Jubilee, 9 Samuelson, Paul, 142 second machine age, 111 secular stagnation, 143 self-driving cars, 110, 111, 113, 173 shadow work, 115 slavery, 74, 90, 95, 103 slow food, 41, 42 slum, 86, 96–8, 102, 104 social democracy, 3, 17, 46, 66, 70, 167, 176 social democratic, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 47, 57, 72, 80, 98, 100, 108, 123, 127, 168 social media, 1, 8, 182 South Africa, 119, 157, 170 Spain, 12, 22, 34, 35, 45, 159, 164 stagflation, 19, 27, 61, 65, 100 Stalinist, 17, 18, 137 strategy, 12, 20, 26, 49, 56, 67, 117, 127, 131–3, 136, 148, 153, 156, 163, 164 strategic, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 25, 28, 29, 35, 49, 52, 55, 66, 70, 77, 108, 116, 131, 135, 157, 162, 163, 164, 170, 171, 173, 174 strikes, 9, 10, 28, 36, 37, 116, 120, 157, 167, 170–3 suicide, 94 surplus populations, 40, 86, 88–94, 96–97, 101–3, 104, 105, 120, 130, 166–7, 173, 203n10 Syriza, 159, 160 tactics, 6, 10, 11, 15, 18, 19, 26, 28, 39, 40, 49, 157, 164, 171–4 Tahrir Square, 32, 34 Taylorism, 152 technology, 1, 3, 72, 81, 88, 89, 98, 109, 110, 111, 129, 136, 137, 145–8, 150–3, 178, 179, 182 Thatcher, Margaret, 59, 60, 62, 66, 70, 72, 100 think tanks, 16, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60, 63, 67, 117, 134, 135, 165 trade unions, 10, 27, 47, 59, 61, 62, 71, 105, 116, 117, 124, 129, 148, 162, 166 labour unions, 16, 171 unions, 17, 18, 20, 27, 30, 44 UK Uncut, 126 unemployment, 20, 56, 60, 79, 86–98, 99, 100, 101, 101, 102, 115, 116, 118, 121, 123, 125, 127, 129, 147, 159, 161, 168, 170, 173, 207n44 United Automobile Workers, 170 United Kingdom UK, 8, 20, 40, 42, 45, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61, 62, 92, 93, 94, 117, 118, 126, 144, 147, 151, 172 United States, 8, 18, 29, 36, 44, 45, 59, 62, 78, 92, 95, 103, 114, 118, 123, 133, 135, 138, 167 America, 6, 16, 30, 38, 47, 56, 62, 76, 95, 97, 98, 100, 101, 102, 103, 110, 164 universal basic income, 108, 118, 123, 127, 140, 143 basic income, 80, 108, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 127, 129, 130, 140, 143, 164, 165, 167 universalism, 69, 70, 75–8, 83, 119, 132, 175, 197n1, 199n40 USSR, 62, 63, 79, 139 Soviet Union, 57, 70, 74, 139 utopia, 3, 28, 32, 35, 48, 54, 58, 60, 66, 69, 70, 72, 108, 113, 114, 132, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 143, 145, 146, 150, 153, 177, 179, 181, 182 vanguard functions, 163 Venezuela, 169 wages, 2, 71, 87, 90, 91, 93, 94, 97, 98, 101, 111, 120, 122, 125, 156, 166, 167 welfare, 14, 38, 57, 59, 61, 62, 63, 64, 71, 73, 90, 100, 101, 103, 105, 118, 119, 122, 124 Wilde, Oscar, 182 withdrawal, 11, 47, 48, 69, 131, 182 exit, 47, 48, 181 escape, 3, 9, 11, 38, 69, 107, 114, 139, 165, 178 work, 1, 2, 16, 17, 23, 32, 36, 41, 44, 47, 64, 71, 85, 86, 90–6, 98, 100, 101, 103–5, 108, 109, 110–7, 120–7, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 136, 140, 141, 142, 143, 147, 150, 151, 152, 157, 163, 165, 166, 170, 173, 174, 176, 177, 178, 181 wage labour, 74, 85, 86, 87, 89, 90, 92, 103, 104, 105, 120, 136, 141, 180 job, 2, 38, 41, 47, 48, 63, 64, 79, 85, 86, 88, 89, 90, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 103, 104, 105, 110, 111, 113, 114–23, 124, 125, 126, 129, 147, 148, 161, 166, 167, 171 worker-controlled factories, 38, 39 workfare, 59, 100, 104 World Trade Organisation, 6 World War II, 46, 54, 56, 57, 115, 156 Zapatistas, 11, 22, 26, 35 zero-hours contracts, 93 Žižek, Slavoj, 140 Zuccotti Park, 31, 32


pages: 329 words: 95,309

Digital Bank: Strategies for Launching or Becoming a Digital Bank by Chris Skinner

algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, bank run, Basel III, bitcoin, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, buy and hold, call centre, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, demand response, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Google Glasses, high net worth, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, margin call, mass affluent, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, Pingit, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, reserve currency, RFID, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, software as a service, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Stuxnet, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K

Admittedly, he made these statements as we moved through the height of the information revolution discussions of the 1990s, when Microsoft was rocking the world as mainframe moved to desktop, and internet banking was bubbling on the horizon. Even then, it should be noted that most of this banker’s views that the basis for wealth has evolved from land to labour to information were formed back in the 1970s, when technology first hit the banking system and moved us to an information economy. Today, this vision is realised and businesses exist as information economies and they fight based upon information. Google is not a monopoly as there were and are plenty of search engines around - Ask Jeeves, Lycos, Altavista, Bing, etc - but Google won this game early on by making algorithmic analysis of data more relevant and organised. They continue to do this today by making searches contextual and geographically localised.

Get more cross-sell, get more relationship depth, get more profit, get rid of loss-making customers ... nothing was really focused upon customer service in that era. It’s similar to the days of Business Process Re-engineering, where the push was for banks to reinvent the customer relationship from the external interaction viewpoint inwards ... instead, most banks opted for purely incremental improvements to internal processes to lower costs. Now there is a big change. That big change is the information economy and the ability of new players to use information as a competitive weapon. Deep data mining can now be used to leverage electronic relationships that deliver the depth, loyalty and sales that banks were seeking a decade ago, and it can all be done today without a human hand involved. We see this with Apple, Amazon, Google and more. On Apple, you download an app or iTune and suddenly get recommendations of a thousand others.


words: 49,604

The Weightless World: Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy by Diane Coyle

"Robert Solow", barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business cycle, clean water, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, financial deregulation, full employment, George Santayana, global village, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the sewing machine, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McJob, microcredit, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, night-watchman state, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, two tier labour market, very high income, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, working-age population

The bill for current entitlements has risen painfully high, yet governments are not achieving the basics their citizens expect: there are more paupers on the streets of our cities; there are, in Europe at any rate, more people without work than at any time since the Great Depression. Even trickier for the existing social contract, as the average productivity and income in Western society rises, a small group of citizens is getting left behind. Their productivity is not rising but their expectations keep pace with the rest of us. They will not accept the exploitative jobs in which they might be employable, preferring the informal economy or even the illegal, drugsbased economy. Meanwhile, the grotty jobs that still need carrying out — we still need the cleaners, the auxiliary nurses and the all-night sales assistants at the convenience store — become harder to fill because of the political classes’ mania about keeping out immigrants. A first attempt to provide some answers to these dilemmas follows later, after an exploration of the current tensions in our welfare state in Chapters 5 The Weightless World 15 and 6.

The rhetoric had changed, and for the first time the American equation of ‘welfare’ with ‘dependency’ entered the debate in Britain. From the late 1980s onwards policy-makers became much more concerned about the effects of social security on incentives to work. However, there was no great rolling back of the state under that most ideological of governments. The Thatcher experiment can be interpreted as an attempt to shape the welfare state into a more flexible form better suited to the modern information economy — not that there was any master plan to do so. There can be no doubt that the devolution of managerial power to unelected bodies such as the boards of hospital trusts and self-governing schools has damaged the fabric of democracy.10 It has devolved the responsibility without the accountability. At the same time, it was an instinctive reaction to the fact that fundamental economic changes are shrinking the arena of conventional politics.

On the other hand, health rationing has become extremely visible in the UK, and almost nothing arouses more public passion than the fear of being denied access to treatment because of a limited health service budget. It is less true in education that the public sector is more efficient, but there the issue is the benefits to the economy as a whole derived from having a better-educated work force. There is a social benefit on top of the private benefit people reap from education in the form of higher earnings. Skills and a sophisticated general education are essential to the information economy and no government can afford to see its citizens under-invest in their own education. So if there is one branch of the welfare state that will have to continue growing, it is spending on education. With education essential to individual economic success, higher public expenditure might even be repaid in the form of reduced demands on other forms of social spending in future. And with investment in human capital crucial to the growth of productivity and output across the economy as a whole, education spending will augment the ability to fund the welfare state.


pages: 175 words: 52,122

Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune by Kristin Ross

game design, informal economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, the built environment

For the most part, I have not felt the need to make explicit the Commune’s resonances with the politics of today, although I believe those resonances do indeed exist—some of them quite humorous, as when the New York Times reported unknowingly the name of the young activist they were interviewing in the streets of Oakland, California in November 2011 as Louise Michel.2 There is little need to spell out in detail how the way people live now under the contemporary form of capitalism—with the collapse of the labor market, the growth of the informal economy, and the undermining of systems of social solidarity throughout the overdeveloped world—bears more than a passing resemblance to the working conditions of the laborers and artisans of the nineteenth century who made the Commune, most of whom spent most of their time not working but looking for work. It has become increasingly apparent, particularly after the unraveling of societies like Greece and Spain, that we are not all destined to be immaterial laborers inhabiting a post-modern creative capitalist techno-utopia the way some futurologists told us we were ten years ago—and continue desperately to try to tell us even today.

The way people live now—working part-time, studying and working at the same time, straddling those two worlds or the gap between the work they were trained to do and the work they find themselves doing in order to get by, or negotiating the huge distances they must commute or migrate across in order to find work—all this suggests to me, and to others as well, that the world of the Communards is in fact much closer to us than is the world of our parents. It seems utterly reasonable to me that younger people today, put off by a career trajectory in video-game design, hedge-fund management, or smart-phone bureaucracy, trying to carve out spaces and ways to live on the edges of various informal economies, testing the possibilities and limitations of living differently now within a thriving—if crisis-ridden—global capitalist economy, might well find interesting the debates that took place among Communard refugees and fellow travelers in the Juras in the 1870s that led to the theorizing of something called “anarchist communism”—debates, that is, about decentralized communities, how they might come into being and flourish, and the way they might become “federated” with each other in relations of solidarity.


pages: 320 words: 96,006

The End of Men: And the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin

affirmative action, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, edge city, facts on the ground, financial independence, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, Northern Rock, post-work, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, Results Only Work Environment, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford prison experiment, Steven Pinker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, white picket fence, women in the workforce, young professional

Indeed, the US economy is becoming a kind of traveling sisterhood: Professional women leave home and enter the workforce, creating domestic jobs for other women to fill. Our vast and struggling middle class, where the disparities between men and women are the greatest, is slowly turning into a matriarchy, with men increasingly absent from the workforce and from home, and women making all the decisions. In the past, men derived their advantage largely from size and strength, but the postindustrial economy is indifferent to brawn. A service and information economy rewards precisely the opposite qualities—the ones that can’t be easily replaced by a machine. These attributes—social intelligence, open communication, the ability to sit still and focus—are, at a minimum, not predominantly the province of men. In fact, they seem to come more easily to women. Women in poor parts of India are learning English faster than men, to meet the demands of new global call centers.

Hannah and all her classmates take a “communications” class where they are graded on their ability to show empathy and get through even to ornery patients. “We get graded on people skills,” Hannah says about her upcoming residency, and then “the drug knowledge is important, too.” As a profession, pharmacy put itself on the right side of history. It sidestepped a future in manual labor and moved itself into the more feminine-friendly service and information economy, where higher degrees are always required and technology does not make your job obsolete; instead it frees you to shake hands and smile. Pharmacy followed the script for success in the modern economy. And in that script, the flood of women into the profession is no longer a sign of pollution, but the assurance of a bright, happy future. Pharmacy—the woman’s profession—now has an average salary of somewhere around $110,000, a secure future, and the promise of a reasonably balanced life.

See also Doctors, female; Nursing profession; Pharmacists Hearts of Men, The (Ehrenreich), 63 Hegedus, Nathan, 267 Heilman, Madeline, 210–11 Henderson, Darren, 89 Heriot, Gail, 145–48, 158 Hewlett Packard (HP), 219 “Hey, Soul Sister” (song), 122 Higher education, 94, 163 gender dynamics of, 149–60 See also specific colleges and universities Hiroshima, atomic bombing of, 175 History Channel, 126 Hodge, Monica, 109 Home health care, 118, 124 Honduras, 81 Hooking Up (Bogle), 20 Hook-up culture, 17–45 Housewives, 65, 152, 172 in Asian cultures, 239, 259 role reversal fantasy about, 122 in television shows, 47–48 Housing industry, collapse of, 87, 89 Houston, 81 How to Train Your Dragon (Cowell), 190 Huggies, 266 Humber, Gabby, 100 Hungary, 237 Hunger Games, The (Collins), 34, 190 Hunter-gatherer societies, 175 Hwang Myeong-eun, 241–45 Hyundai Motors, 204, 234, 250 Iceland, 5, 202 I Love Lucy (television show), 47–49 India, 5, 119, 184, 188 traditional families in, 220 Indiana, University of, 21 Information economy, 5 Information technology (IT), 138 Institutional Investor, 203 International Olympic Committee, 250 Internet boom, 201 Iowa, 96 Iraq war, 175 Israel, 237 Ivy League schools, 26–29, 31, 145, 198. See also specific universities J. C. Penney department stores, 97 Jackass 3D (movie), 143 Jacks, Margaret, 132 Jackson, Shirley, 170 Japan, 55, 238, 241, 253, 267 Jersey Shore (TV reality show), 178–79 Jews, 227 Job, The (Lewis), 120–21 Job loss.


pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

As Savio’s speech suggested, the students of the Free Speech Movement were afraid not only of becoming victims of a social machine, but also of becoming fuel for the engines of economic production. In the 1990s, the computer once again served as a metaphor for the organization of production and labor, but this time that link promised to liberate both individuals and society. How was it that the informational economy came to be seen not as an oppressive force, but as a site of political and cultural change? In order to answer this question, we need to revisit the research world out of which the computational metaphor arose in the 1940s and 1950s and the countercultural world of the 1960s. Contrary to the perceptions of many in the counterculture in the 1960s and of many scholars since, the two worlds had a great deal in common.

Thus, the rhetoric of community provided the ideological cover necessary to transform a potentially stark and single-minded market transaction into a complex, multidimensional act. To the extent that they could describe themselves as the givers and receivers of informational gifts within a community, members of the WELL could simultaneously recognize and ignore the degree to which they were also exchanging financially valuable goods within a newly informational economy. As a result, they could increase their own social capital and their access to the informational and social resources on which their work off-line depended. On the WELL, this heterarchical form of information work came together with the experience of interpersonal intimacy. Under the rubric of a New Communalist vision of a community of consciousness, this blend of emotional interconnection and informational labor gave rise to one of the most influential frames with which we have since understood the Internet: virtual community.

Richard Barbrook has argued that the gift-economy paradigm grew out of the New Left and has become a standard feature of the working world online. The history of the Whole Earth network suggests that in America, at least, it was the New Communalist movement rather than the New Left that drove the rise of the gift-economy paradigm. But Barbrook’s work remains an early and influential account of the gift economy’s role in the information economy. See Barbrook, “Hi-Tech Gift Economy.” 44. Mauss and Halls, The Gift. For a critique and extension of Mauss’s arguments, see Lévi-Strauss, “Selections from Introduction to the Work of Marcel Mauss.” See also Bourdieu, “Selections from The Logic of Practice”; and Bourdieu, “Marginalia.” For a broad-brush analysis of gift economies, see Cheal, Gift Economy. For a study of gift economies on the early public Internet, see Kollock, “Economies of Online Cooperation.” 45.


pages: 226 words: 59,080

Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science by Dani Rodrik

airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, business cycle, butterfly effect, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Donald Davies, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, fudge factor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loss aversion, low skilled workers, market design, market fundamentalism, minimum wage unemployment, oil shock, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, unorthodox policies, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, white flight

Some branches of economics, such as mathematical economics, have come to look more like applied mathematics than like any kind of social science. Their reference point has become other mathematical models instead of the real world. The abstract of one paper in the field opens with this sentence: “We establish new characterizations of Walrasian expectations equilibria based on the veto mechanism in the framework of differential information economies with a complete finite measure space of agents.”16 One of the profession’s leading, and most mathematically oriented, journals (Econometrica) imposed a moratorium at one point on “social choice” theory—abstract models of voting mechanisms—because papers in the field had become mathematically so esoteric and divorced from actual politics.17 Before we judge such work too harshly, it is worth noting that some of the most useful applications in economics have come out of highly mathematical, and what to outsiders would surely seem abstruse, models.

Thomas C. Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1960); Schelling, Micromotives and Macrobehavior (New York: W. W. Norton, 1978). 15. Diego Gambetta, “‘Claro!’ An Essay on Discursive Machismo,” in Deliberative Democracy, ed. Jon Elster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 24. 16. Marialaura Pesce, “The Veto Mechanism in Atomic Differential Information Economies,” Journal of Mathematical Economics 53 (2014): 33–45. 17. Jon Elster, Explaining Social Behavior: More Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 461. 18. Golden Goose Award, “Of Geese and Game Theory: Auctions, Airwaves—and Applications,” Social Science Space, July 17, 2014, http://www.socialsciencespace.com/2014/07/of-geese-and-game-theory-auctions-airwaves-and-applications. 19.


pages: 565 words: 122,605

The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us by Joel Kotkin

autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, British Empire, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Downton Abbey, edge city, Edward Glaeser, financial independence, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, labor-force participation, land reform, life extension, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pensions crisis, Peter Calthorpe, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Seaside, Florida, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, starchitect, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the built environment, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, young professional

Collectively, they employed a million people and were key to the rise of many immigrant families, including my own. Today, the city has fewer than 200,000 people working in industry; the loss of these firms, Braudel notes, left “a gap in the heart of New York which will never be filled.”84 Yet if the industrial heart was emptied, New York was not without recourse. The old industry base was supplanted by the “information economy,” which as early as 1982 already accounted for the majority of Manhattan’s jobs. So while plants were slowly going dark throughout the city, new office towers were rising over Gotham. In many ways, this transformation built on New York’s early history of being, first and foremost, a trading and port city. The difference was that the primary raw material was no longer in trading commodities but rather in harnessing skills in the production of information.

., 160 and social cohesion, 163 Hong Kong aging population in, 122 childlessness in, 16 colonial influence in, 87 emigration from, 16 family-friendly policies in, 195 family ties in, 114 foreign-born population of, 97 foreign housing investments in, 101 as global city, 84, 90, 91–92, 274n8 global influence of, 81, 82 housing prices in, 41, 134 inequality in, 102 as “necessary” city, 83 post-familialism in, 119 SARS epidemic in, 66 Horan, Thomas, 188 House sizes, 179 Housing affordability density and, 11–12 for families, 18 for millennials, 172, 173 and move to suburbs, 153–154 for next generation, 198–199 in post-familial cities, 133–134 and rise in fertility rates, 195 and shortage of housing, 173–174 Housing bubble, 151, 152 Housing inflation, 100–102 Housing options, future, 196–198 Housing production, 173, 174 Housing shortage, 173–175 Houston advantages in suburbs of, 157 bayou park system in, 46 density of, 183 family households in, 144 foreign-born population of, 98 global influence of, 82 housing production in, 174 as “necessary” city, 83 suburban growth around, 141–143 Howard, Ebenezer, 153, 176, 200 Howard, Sir Edward, 29 Human city, 5, 45–47 as approach to dispersion, 167–168 focus on choices in, 167–168 global cities as, 83 Human connectivity, 85–87 Human scale, 7, 12–14, 112, 200 Huxley, Aldous, 139 Hyderabad, 54, 68, 74 I Identity, 103–106, 108–110 Immigrants to global cities, 86–87, 97–100 to maintain workforce, 169 to post-familial cities, 136–139 in suburbs, 157–159 Imperial cities, 23–25 India, 49–50 carbon emissions in, 190 colonial domination in, 61 declining growth rate in, 55 growth of spaces in, 197–198 housing investors from, 100 housing shortage in, 175 infrastructure lack in, 68 megacities in, 54, 73–75 poverty in, 65 shift of business to rural areas in, 74 Singaporean immigrants from, 99 tech employment in, 185 telecommuters in, 188 villages in, 75 Individualism, 131–132 Indonesia, 90, 124 Industrial cities, 26–28, 58–59 Inequality geography of, 39–42 Gini index, 287n131 in global cities, 95–96, 102–103 income, 156–157 (See also Poverty) in suburbs, 159–160 Information economy, 38, 42 Infrastructure, 67–70, 84–85 Inherited wealth, 96–97 Innovative businesses, 8–9 “In Praise of Slums,” 71 International Congresses of Modern Architecture, 146 Iran, 126 Irvine, California, 166, 177, 184 Irving, Texas, 184 Islam, Nazrul, 62 Islip, New York, 177 Istanbul (Constantinople), 12–13, 52, 85, 199 Italian Renaissance, 114 Italy, 98, 119, 133, 137 Iwasawa, Miho, 129 J Jackson, Kenneth, 156 Jackson Hole, 188 Jacobs, Jane, 2, 15, 21, 31, 112, 146, 178 Jakarta (Batavia), 53, 55, 60, 63–64, 69 Japan, 52 aging population in, 122–124 colonialism by, 61 dispersion in, 153–154 family-friendly policies in, 195 housing affordability in, 133 inequality in, 95 infrastructure of, 67 post-familialism in, 119, 121, 128–129, 131 renovation of cities in, 60 secularism in, 126 women in workforce in, 135 Japan (Jolivet), 119 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 87 Jerusalem, 21–22 Job decentralization, 186–187 Johannesburg-East Rand, 54 Jolivet, Muriel, 119 Jones, Emrys, 25, 76, 82 Jones, Gavin, 120, 130, 133, 135 Josey, Alex, 90, 91 K Kaliski, John, 20, 199 Kandell, Jonathan, 55 Kaneko, Ryuichi, 129 Karachi, Pakistan, 52, 53, 55, 270n18 Kasarda, John, 85 Katz, Peter, 166, 171 Kaufmann, Eric, 125 Khaldūn, Ibn, 58 Khrushchev, Nikita, 34 Kinshasa (Leopoldville), 60, 71 Kirby, Andrew, 147 Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara, 20 Klinenberg, Eric, 128, 131, 132 Knox, Paul, 83, 147, 163 Kolkata (Calcutta), 54, 60, 64, 69 Kolko, Jed, 152, 172 Kolson, Kenneth, 44 Koolhaas, Rem, 103, 105 Korea, 123, 172, 185 Kothari, Priya, 142–143 Krier, Léon, 161 Krugman, Paul, 151 Kumar, R.

See also Everyday life Lifestyle centers, 177 Liotta, Peter, 53 Lithuania, 138 Liu, Eveleen, 166 Living well, 5, 6 Llewellyn Park, New Jersey, 176 Locational preferences, 38 Logan, John, 39 London aging population in, 130 as “connected” city, 85 dispersion from, 28–29 educational gap in, 166 foreign-born population of, 97 foreign housing investments in, 100, 101 as global city, 87–89, 97, 274n8 global influence of, 82 growth of, 51 homogenization of, 106 housing prices in, 41 as new consumer city, 37 in 19th century, 28 objection to densification in, 13, 199 population of, 51, 52, 115, 155 post-familialism in, 117–118 slums in, 58 suburbs of, 143, 155 as wealthy city, 52 working classes in, 27 Longman, Phillip, 137 Los Angeles black children living in, 156 commuting time in, 68 as “connected” city, 85 environmental wastefulness of, 11 as federation of communities, 176 foreign-born population of, 98 foreign housing investments in, 101 global influence of, 82 growth of, 176 and housing bubble, 134, 152 income spent on rent in, 174 inequality in, 95–96 as luxury-oriented city, 40 migration to, 173 as “necessary” city, 83 opposition to increased density in, 13 pollution in, 196 population of, 52 post-familialism in, 128 suburban inequality around, 159 as wealthy city, 52 Louv, Richard, 192 Luanda, 54 Lutz, Wolfgang, 130, 136, 195 “Luxurious extinction,” 144–145 Luxury-oriented cities, 39–40, 43–44 Lynd, Robert, 151 M Macau, 183 Madison, 9 Madrid, 154–155 Mahmoudi, Dillon, 42 Making Smart Growth work (Porter), 165 Malaysia, 85, 90 Malthusian urbanism, 192–194 Manchester, 27, 115 Manhattan asset-backed wealth in, 96 children living in, 15, 16 and densification proposal, 13 high-density development in, 146–147 inequality in, 97 information economy in, 38 as Le Corbusier’s inspiration, 7 move to Brooklyn from, 177 neighborhoods of, 142 single households in, 117, 139 Manila, 55, 63–64, 66, 69 Marin County, California, 178 Markham (Canada), 158 Marriage, 129–130, 180 Martelle, Scott, 32 Marx, Karl, 25, 51 Master-planned communities, 30–31, 176–177 Maya, 167 Megacities, 6, 49–78 alternatives to, 72–74 ancient, 56–58 colonial legacy in, 60–61 density decline in, 14 dispersion in, 155 early industrial cities, 58–59 health conditions in, 65–67 and humanization of urbanization, 74–76 infrastructure problems in, 67–70 in late 19th century Europe, 59–60 life expectancy in, 65 limits of density in, 76–78 negative conditions in, 61–65 and prosperity, 54–56 quality of life in, 65–67 rise of, 50–54 slums in, 69–72 Mehta, Suketu, 55, 56, 68 Melaka, Malaysia, 81 Melbourne, 98, 158–159 Merkel, Angela, 138 Metropolitan areas, 263n5, 269n5, 274n8 Mexico, 53, 73, 139 Mexico City appeal of, 22 colonialism in, 60 commuting time in, 68 employment in, 64 as megacity, 51 middle class in, 63 organic growth of, 73 pattern of building in, 55–56 share of national GDP, 55 tech employment in, 185 urbanization in, 53 water system in, 68–69 Miami, 97–98, 100, 134, 152 Michigan, 188 Micro-units/micro-apartments, 12, 132–133 Middle class, 64 detached housing of, 160 encouraging growth of, 194 forces undermining, 93–97 global cities and, 92–97 homeownership and, 153 in Mexico City, 63 move to periphery by, 116 and shift to suburbs, 150 smart growth vs. interests of, 44 Middle East, 98, 100, 138 Migration, 62–63, 76, 77, 85, 99, 136–139 Milan, 115, 137, 154 Milch, Michael, 111 Mildner, Gerard, 11 Millennials, 170–176, 179–180, 189 Mills, Edwin, 59–60 Milton Keynes, 149, 163, 197 Minneapolis, 156–157 Miskel, James, 53 Mississauga (Canada), 158 Modarres, Ali, 2, 62, 64–65 Modi, Narendra, 76 Molotch, Harvey, 39 Montreal, 117 Moral order, 22 More developed world, 280n58 Mori, Minoru, 70 Morocco, 139 Morrill, Richard, 159 Morrison, Herbert, 148 Moscow, 33, 34, 52, 82, 194–195 Multigenerational households, 182–183 Multiracial suburbs, 156–159 Mumbai, 49–50 colonial influence in, 87 colonialism in, 60 employment in, 64 housing conditions in, 69–70 infrastructure lack in, 68, 69 life expectancy in, 65 living conditions in, 62, 64, 75 population of, 54, 170 tech employment in, 185 Mumford, Lewis, 2 on ancient Rome, 57 on civic identity, 21 on Radburn, 30 on small units, 200–201 on suburbia, 160 on technical prowess, 200 Munich, 118 Murray, Charles, 131 Myanmar, 124 N Nagoya, 52, 153, 176 Nantucket, 188 Naperville, Illinois, 177 Napoleon III, 8, 29, 59 Nature, connecting with, 46, 191–192 Navi Mumbai, 185 Nazis, 35 “Necessary” cities, 83–84 Nelson, Ted, 141 Netherlands attitude toward immigrants in, 98 dispersion of economic activities in, 185 focus on family in, 113–114 immigrants to, 98 producer cities in, 25–26 New consumer cities, 36–42 New Deal, 30, 150, 176 New Jersey, 178 New Orleans, 32, 107, 144–145 News Corp, 130 New social environment, 132 New Urbanism, 7, 151, 161, 164 New urban paradigm, 19, 42–43.


The Deep Learning Revolution (The MIT Press) by Terrence J. Sejnowski

AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Conway's Game of Life, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, discovery of DNA, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, Henri Poincaré, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Norbert Wiener, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, PageRank, pattern recognition, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Socratic dialogue, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize, Yogi Berra

In the 1960s, the United States made a $100 billion investment in the space race (adjusted for inflation),44 which created a satellite industry, gave the United States the lead in microelectronics and materials, and made a political statement on the strengths of the nation in science and technology. This investment is still paying off today since microelectronics and advanced materials are the among the few industries where the United States is still competitive. Thus, China’s big investment in the AI race could give it the lead in several key industries well into the twenty-first century. This is our wakeup call. AI is accelerating the “intangible” information economy. The output of an economy is measured by its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total value of all goods and services in dollars. This measure was designed for an industrial economy whose primary products and services were tangible, such as food, automobiles and medical care. However, more and more of the value of an information company is not measured by such products. The buildings and equipment owned by Microsoft, for example, are only worth $1 billion, which is 1 percent of its market value.45 The rest of its value is based on software and the expertise of Microsoft’s programmers.

Scientific instruments, from telescopes to microscopes, are collecting larger and larger data sets that are being analyzed with machine learning. The National Security Agency uses machine learning to sift through all of the data it has been collecting everywhere. The economy is going digital, and programming skills are in great demand at many companies. As the world shifts from an industrial to an information economy, education and job training will have to adapt. This already is having a profound impact on the world. Information Theory In 1948, Claude Shannon (figure 15.1) at the AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, proposed a remarkably simple but subtle theory for information to understand signal transmission through noisy phone lines.1 Shannon’s theory drove the digital communications revolution that gave rise to cell phones, digital television, and the Internet.

See Super-Turing computation Hyvarinen, Apo, 295n5, 296n10 IBM, 143, 171–172 Identity, the future of, 173–174 Identity database, digital, 173–174 Identity theft, 173 Independent component analysis (ICA), 81–85, 89, 296nn14–15 applied to EEG recordings from scalp, 66, 87f applied to fMRI data, 86, 88f beyond, 89–90 ICA filters derived from natural images, 85f overview and nature of, 82, 82f, 84b, 85, 85f vs. principal components analysis, 84b Inferotemporal cortex, 130 Infomax ICA algorithm, 85–86, 295n3 Infomax learning principle, general, 82 Information, units of, 219–220 Information economy, intangible, 193 Information explosion, 230–231 Information-theoretic learning algorithm. See Independent component analysis Information theory, 219–220 Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 200, 259 Index Institute for Neural Computation at UCSD, 175, 182, 272 Integrated circuits. See Chips Intelligence evolution of, 263–264 fluid vs. crystallized, 20 general, 257 Intelligence tests (IQ tests), 21 IQ and Human Intelligence (Mackintosh), 277 Jacobs, Irwin, 222 Jennings, Ken, 171 Jeopardy!


pages: 207 words: 63,071

My Start-Up Life: What A by Ben Casnocha, Marc Benioff

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, call centre, coherent worldview, creative destruction, David Brooks, don't be evil, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index fund, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, superconnector, technology bubble, traffic fines, Year of Magical Thinking

(Don’t take my word for it: a conference in Paris named him one of the “twenty-five most influential people in the world of internet and politics.”) My Start-Up Life is not a how-to that will delineate how to create a successful business like Comcate with a few cookie-cutter instructions. This narrative will, however, reveal everything you xiv FOREWORD need to know as you begin your entrepreneurial journey. You’ll learn about everything from writing a business email to dealing with offshore contractors to the dynamics of an information economy. You’ll learn about the risks Ben took: the ones that paid off (offering early customers a discount) and the ones that didn’t (prematurely hiring an outsider as CEO). Most of all, you will enjoy this provocative, honest, and fun romp through an entrepreneurial achievement, which will leave you determined to embark on your own enterprising endeavor—and inspired to find your own way to make a difference.

I appreciated the tireless, if sometimes inefficient, work of public servants, especially after a thirtyminute harangue from a traffic engineer who described in bloody detail how he had placed sensors under the road to time the red light exactly . . . all in response to my client’s complaint. On the business side, I learned the difference between a sole proprietorship and a corporation. I learned about client relations and marketing. I learned how to write a business letter and how to make a business phone call. On the technology side, I learned about dealing with offshore contractors. I learned about the wonders of a “flat” information economy, and how even someone as young and inexperienced as I could partake in it. It all boiled down to one revelation: While I had learned a lot through ComplainandResolve, I was ready to move on. To what, I didn’t know, but something big, something world-changing. . . . Brain Trust: Take Responsibility BY HEIDI ROIZEN Three weeks into my junior year in college, my boyfriend was killed in a plane crash.


pages: 243 words: 59,662

Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less by Michael Hyatt

"side hustle", Atul Gawande, Cal Newport, Checklist Manifesto, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, informal economy, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Parkinson's law, remote working, Steve Jobs, zero-sum game

Life in the Distraction Economy My problem back then was doing too much—mostly by myself. Later I realized focusing on everything means focusing on nothing. It’s almost impossible to accomplish anything significant when you’re racing through an endless litany of tasks and emergencies. And yet this is how many of us spend our days, weeks, months, years—sometimes, our entire lives. We should know better by now. We’ve been doing business in the so-called Information Economy for decades. In 1969 and 1970 Johns Hopkins University and the Brookings Institution sponsored a series of conferences on the impact of information technology. One speaker, Herbert Simon, was a Carnegie Mellon professor of computer science and psychology who later won a Nobel for his work in economics. In his presentation, he warned that the growth of information could become a burden. Why?

See smartphone Center for Creative Leadership, 15 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 74 Chesterfield, Lord, 162, 180 Churchill, Winston, 71, 81–82 circumstances, 61 clarifying one’s objectives, 225 Clayton, Russell, 75–76 clearing the decks, 224–25 Cloud, Henry, 77 clutter, 218–19 commitments, 96–99 elimination of, 108–10 to free time, 111 confusion, 193 connect, 195 connections, 77–79 Consolidate, 21, 161–81 contribution, 48 control, taking vs. surrendering, 196 coordination, 168–69 Costolo, Dick, 81 counterproductive productivity, 17–18 Covey, Stephen, 191 coworkers, 78 “cozy rut,” 99 creativity and changing environment, 72 through disengagement, 37 freeing up, 117 and play, 79 Currey, Mason, 117 Cut, 19–21, 89–158, 227 Daily Big 3, 196–202, 204, 220, 226 Daily Rituals Worksheet, 135 decluttering workspace, 218–19 deep work, 33, 52, 164, 197, 210, 215, 218 deferring, 190 delayed communication, 208–9 Delegate, 21, 137–57, 168 levels of, 148, 149–56 and mentoring, 153 process, 145–49 as smart and organizationally sound, 140 Delegation Hierarchy, 141–46 Designate, 21, 183–204 Desire Zone, 49, 51–53, 55–59, 97, 98, 101, 140, 144–45, 146, 199–201 developing potential, 61 development, 168, 169–70 Developmental Zone, 53–55 digital technology, 14–16 Dillard, Annie, 161 disappointing people, 107–8 discipline, 59–60 Disinterest Zone, 49–50, 55, 100, 116, 143–44, 146 disruptions, minimizing of, 221 Distraction Economy, 13–14, 185, 206, 227 distractions, 35, 212–15, 226 Distraction Zone, 50–51, 55, 99, 100, 144, 146 doing nothing from time to time, 36–37 Doland, Erin, 218 dopamine, 209, 215 downhill tasks, 213–15 drink, 73 Drudgery Zone, 48–49, 50, 55, 58, 100, 109, 116, 142–43, 144 eating, 72–74, 195 Edison, Thomas, 71 efficiency, 27–30 Eisenhower, Dwight, 81 Eisenhower Priority Matrix, 191–94, 199 Eisner, Michael, 69 Eliminate, 21, 91–113, 168, 190 email, 13, 15–16, 29, 85, 120, 163, 179 filtering software, 130–31 signature feature, 124 templates, 123–24 energy, 74, 86–87 energy drinks, 73 energy flexing, 68, 87, 101 energy management, 78 energy producers and drains, 78 environment, taking charge of, 218 Ericsson, Anders, 54 Evaluate, 19, 43–64, 87 evening ritual, 119 Evernote, 127 exercise, 74–77 exhaustion, 66–67 Fabritius, Friederike, 208, 220 Facebook, 71, 78, 213 factory workers, 28, 38 fake work, 14, 99, 214 family and friends, time with, 35–36, 41, 170 fear of missing out, 193 feedback, 149 focus, 33–35, 180, 206 Focus@Will, 217 Focus Defense Worksheet, 221 focus tactics, 215–20 food, 72 Ford, Henry and Edsel, 38 Ford Motors, 38–40 Formulate, 19, 25–42, 87 freedom, 41 Freedom (app), 215–16 Freedom Compass, 45, 55–58, 64, 96–97, 195, 226 freedom (productivity objective), 33–37 freedom to be present, 35–36 freedom to be spontaneous, 36 freedom to do nothing, 36–37 freedom to focus, 33–35 free time, commitment to, 111 frenetic schedules, 84 Fried, Jason, 164 friendships, time for, 79 Front Stage, 166, 167–68, 171, 173, 176, 178–79, 197 frustration tolerance, 219–20 gardening, 97 Gates, Bill, 81 Gazzaley, Adam, 213 Gernsback, Hugo, 205, 212 Google Voice number, 210 Grant, Ulysses S., 81 guilt, 193 Hagemann, Hans, 208, 220 Hallowell, Edward, 215 Hansen, Morten T., 67 Hardy, Benjamin, 218 Hastings, Reed, 71 health, 228 Heinemeier, David, 164 hobbies, 41, 79, 228 Holland, Barbara, 71 Ideal Week, 119, 162, 172–81, 226 Ideal Week template, 182 I Love Lucy (TV program), 25–26 impairment, 70 Information Economy, 13 innovation, and changing environment, 72 instant communication, 207–11 instant-gratification culture, 84 interruptions, 207–11, 226 Isolator, 205–6, 212 Jobs, Steve, 111 Johnson, Paul, 81–82 Jones, Charlie “Tremendous”, 50 journaling, 220 karoshi (death by overwork), 32 Kennedy, John F., 71 King, Stephen, 223 knowledge workers, 28 Koch, Jim, 200, 202 Lewis, Penelope A., 70 liberating truths, 59–63 lifestyle objectives, 38 limiting beliefs, 59–63 “loss of separation,” 184 lunch, 72 MacArthur, Douglas, 71 McCartney, Paul, 99 McKeown, Greg, 183 macro-processing software, 131–32 maintenance, 168, 169 margin, 33, 36, 52, 111, 157, 224, 225, 226 meals, and building relationships, 74 meetings, 197 MegaBatching, 162, 163–66, 172, 180–81 mental health, 83 mentoring, 153 Michel, Alexandra, 65–66 Michelangelo, 21, 100 micro-breaks, 82–83 micromanagers, 149 Miller, Megan Hyatt, 54 mindset, 54 Minor, Dylan, 78 morning ritual, 119 Mortimer, Ian, 223 movement (exercise), 74–77, 195 multitasking, 161–62, 212 music, 217 musicians, 46 Musk, Elon, 67–68 Naish, John, 161, 212 naps, 71 Nashville, 46 natural foods, 73 nature, 82–83 necessary routines, 147–48 Netflix, 71 Newport, Cal, 161–62, 164 Not-to-Do List, 93, 99–100, 113 Nozbe, 202 nutrition, 73 nutritional supplement protocol, 73 offloading tasks, 138, 225–26 Off Stage, 166, 170, 173, 176, 195 OneNote, 127 Opipari, Ben, 75 outdoors, 82–83 overgrowth.


pages: 220 words: 64,234

Fewer, Better Things: The Hidden Wisdom of Objects by Glenn Adamson

big-box store, blood diamonds, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, dumpster diving, haute couture, informal economy, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Mason jar, race to the bottom, trade route, white flight

Just as a skilled maker will anticipate a user’s needs, a really attentive user will be able to imagine the way something was made. The material object serves as a bridge between these two perspectives. One of the most fascinating aspects of the material landscape is the way everything in it is interwoven, in ways that are just as profound and subtle as the “networked” realm of the digital. When we overemphasize the promise of the digital information economy, we not only express an irrational preference for the new over the old, we also miss the physical know-how that binds our society together. The cultural habit of marginalizing this kind of expertise has deep historical roots and has always been related to class condescension. I believe that by challenging this legacy and building respect for material intelligence across our culture, we can form a bridge that emphasizes shared experience: a greater awareness of the things we hold in common.

In order to work the hard shells, he was forced to make his own tools, turning discarded blades into files and adapting bicycle spokes for the purpose of punching holes. Having mastered the newly invented craft, he went on to teach it to others, earning the local nickname “cleverest of the clever.” Within a short time the island was home to a thriving cottage industry of coconut carvers. These craftsmen were able to build an informal economy for their wares by selling them to tourists from Europe and from mainland Africa, who in turn happily brought the objects home as souvenirs, under the assumption that they were helping sustain a centuries-old craft tradition.2 The story of clever Murage is clearly an extraordinary case, as his innovations began more or less from scratch. On Lamu Island, the modern tourist economy brought its own bespoke craft “tradition” into being.


pages: 443 words: 112,800

The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World by Jeremy Rifkin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, American ideology, barriers to entry, borderless world, carbon footprint, centre right, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, decarbonisation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, global supply chain, hydrogen economy, income inequality, industrial cluster, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, knowledge economy, manufacturing employment, marginal employment, Martin Wolf, Masdar, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, Yom Kippur War, Zipcar

In a sense, rethinking work this time around is more akin to the great upheaval that ensued when millions of serfs were released from their indenture in a feudal system and forced to become free agents and wage earners in a market economy. The issue, then, becomes more of how we reenvision what we mean by work rather than just how we retrain the workforce. There are four areas where people can engage in work: the market, the government, the informal economy, and the civil society. Market employment, however, is going to continue to shrink with the introduction of intelligent technology systems. Governments around the world are also culling their work-forces and introducing intelligent technology in areas as diverse as tax collection and military service. The informal economy, which includes household production, barter, and at the extreme end, black-market and criminal economic activity, is also likely to diminish as traditional economies transition into high-tech societies. This leaves us with the civil society as a means of employment.

The Third Industrial Revolution offers the prospect, at least, that the poorest countries on Earth, who were virtually left out of both the First and Second Industrial Revolutions, could leapfrog into the new era of distributed capitalism over the course of the next half century. Still, no one, myself included, doubts the enormity of the challenge ahead. Assuring that 40 percent of the human race reaches the level of material comfort necessary to free themselves from the shackles of backbreaking and often mindless toil in the marketplace and informal economy, so they can be free to engage in deep play in the pursuit of social capital is a daunting task—made all the more difficult by the need to reorganize economic life to mitigate industrially induced climate change. Yet, for the first time in history, we are close enough to at least imagine such a possibility, which makes me guardedly hopeful that we might succeed. CIVILIZATIONS THROUGHOUT HISTORY have experienced critical moments of reckoning where they have been forced to radically change course to meet a new future or face the prospect of demise.


pages: 399 words: 116,828

When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor by William Julius Wilson

affirmative action, business cycle, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, desegregation, Donald Trump, edge city, ending welfare as we know it, fixed income, full employment, George Gilder, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, informal economy, jobless men, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, school choice, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Americans in more affluent areas have jobs that offer fringe benefits; they are accustomed to health insurance that covers paid sick leave and medical care. They do not live in neighborhoods where attempts at normal child-rearing are constantly undermined by social forces that interfere with healthy child development. And their families’ prospects for survival do not require at least some participation in the informal economy (that is, an economy in which income is unreported and therefore not taxable). It is just as indefensible to treat inner-city residents as superheroes who are able to overcome racist oppression as it is to view them as helpless victims. We should, however, appreciate the range of choices, including choices representing cultural influences, that are available to inner-city residents who live under constraints that most people in the larger society do not experience.

Among the inner-city mothers who were not receiving AFDC, those who lived in a coresidential household and received informal child care had a very high (90 percent) probability of labor-force activity. On the other hand, those who maintain sole-adult households and did not receive informal child care had a much reduced (60 percent) probability of working. Of the 12 percent of inner-city women on AFDC who candidly reported that they worked at least part-time—probably in the informal economy—those who lived in a coresidential household and received informal child care were more than five times as likely to work as were those who lived in single households and did not receive informal child care. There are many factors involved in the precipitous decline in marriage rates and the sharp rise in single-parent families. The explanation most often heard in the public debate associates the increase of out-of-wedlock births and single-parent families with welfare.

Residence in highly concentrated poverty neighborhoods aggravates the weak labor-force attachment of black males. The absence of effective informal job networks and the frequency of many illegal activities increases nonmainstream behavior such as hustling. As Sharon Hicks-Bartlett, another member of the UPFLS research team, points out, “Hustling is making money by doing whatever is necessary to survive or simply make ends meet. It can be legal or extra-legal work and may transpire in the formal or informal economy. While both men and women hustle, men are more conspicuous in the illegal arena of hustling.” In a review of the research literature on the experiences of black men in the labor market, Philip Moss and Christopher Tilly point out that criminal activity in urban areas has become more attractive because of the disappearance of legitimate jobs. They refer to a recent study in Boston that showed that while “black youth in Boston were evenly split on whether they could make more money in a straight job or on the street, by 1989 a three-to-one majority of young black people expressed the opinion that they could make more on the street.”


pages: 234 words: 63,149

Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World by Ian Bremmer

airport security, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, clean water, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, Parag Khanna, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

The international community might not be able to cope with all the threats that state failure could create. State failure in Somalia or Yemen is one thing. That kind of breakdown in Pakistan or Russia is quite another. Then there is the subtler version of this issue. In countries like India and Brazil, large populations of the urban poor living in largely ungoverned enclaves might simply provide their own governance, neighborhood by neighborhood, with an informal economy that operates under its own rules. This is a phenomenon already developing in some of the world’s most important emerging cities.15 Call this larger scenario the G-Subzero. As leadership weakens and power fragments inside individual countries, control is divided between local and central leaders, and competition arises among power brokers within individual states. In China and Russia, cash-rich governments maintain control of the troops and guns needed to maintain basic order, but other states could face more existential threats.

* In late 2011, Myanmar showed signs of trying to become a pivot state. Political concessions and a shift in rhetoric earned a visit from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It remains to be seen if Myanmar will follow through, but even Myanmar’s leaders recognize that a single powerful friend can’t beat the power of the pivot. * Given the importance of drug trafficking for organized crime and the flow of drugs across the border, even Mexico’s informal economy is heavily dependent on U.S. demand. * They warned, however, that debt was the tie that bound the two together and later argued that the financial crisis had killed what had always been an unnatural alliance. * That said, this period featured several smaller wars and revolutions. * More than a million Taiwanese now live on the mainland. * Between 1995 and 2008, the United States fell from second to thirteenth among OECD countries in the percentage of its citizens with college degrees


pages: 254 words: 69,276

The Metric Society: On the Quantification of the Social by Steffen Mau

Airbnb, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, connected car, crowdsourcing, double entry bookkeeping, future of work, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, mittelstand, moral hazard, personalized medicine, positional goods, principal–agent problem, profit motive, QR code, reserve currency, school choice, selection bias, sharing economy, smart cities, the scientific method, Uber for X, web of trust, Wolfgang Streeck

The new quantification cult – or the ‘number rush’ as it has been dubbed by Jürgen Kaube (after Hornbostel et al. 2009: 65) – should be viewed in close connection with the digitalization process that is radically restructuring so many different areas of life. The multitude of data we churn out and store is creating an ever-larger digital shadow – sometimes with our consent, but often without it. In the world of Big Data, information on users, citizens or people in general offers the ideal raw material for making a profit. Small wonder, then, that the information economy has evolved into a monster which not only swallows huge quantities of data but grinds them up with algorithms and spits them out again for a variety of purposes. The aim in every case is to create – and encode – difference, with far-reaching consequences for processes of classification and status assignment. Digital status data are becoming the ultimate ‘emblems of distinction’ (Bourdieu 1984: 141).

Index ‘20-70-10’ rule 155 academics 139 and altmetrics 77–8 and h-index 75–6, 139, 144 self-documentation and self-presentation 76–7 status markers 74–8 accountability 3, 91, 115, 120, 134, 147, 159 accounting, rise of modern 17 activism alliance with statistics 127 Acxiom 164–5 ADM (automated decision-making) 63 Aenta 108 Airbnb 88 airlines and status miles 71–2 algorithms 7, 64, 127, 167 and nomination power 123–5, 126, 141–2 AlgorithmWatch 127 altmetrics 77–8 Amazon 96, 150, 156 American Consumers Union 167 apps 99, 105, 150 finance 66–7 fitness and health 68, 102–3, 104, 107 Moven 65–6 Asian crisis (1997) 57 audit society 24–5 automated decision-making (ADM) 63 averages, regime of 155–7 Barlösius, Eva 113 Baty, Phil 48 Bauman, Zygmunt 143 behavioural reactivity 131 benchmarks, regime of 155–7 Berlin, television tower 40 Better Life Index 20 Big Data 2, 79, 123 biopolitics 19 of the market 70 biopower 19 Boam, Eric 104 body images, regime of 156–7 Boltanzki, Luc 125–6 border controls 73–4 borders, smart 74 Bourdieu, Pierre 111, 114, 115, 162 BP 108 Bude, Heinz 37 bureaucracy 18 calculative practices 11, 124 expansion of 11, 115 and the market 15–17 Campbell, Donald T. 130–1 Campbell's Law 130–1 capitalism 15, 54, 55 digital 150 capitalists of the self 163 Carter, Allan 48 Chiapello, Ève 125–6 Chief Financial Officer (CFO) 17 China Sesame Credit 67 Social Credit System 1, 166 choice revolution 118–19 class and status 33 class conflict switch to individual competition 168–70 classification 60–80 see also scoring; screening collective body 104–6 collective of non-equals 166–8 commensurability 31–3, 44, 159 Committee of Inquiry on ‘Growth, Wealth and Quality of Life’ (Germany) 127 commodification 163, 164 Community (sitcom) 96 companies 16–17 comparison 7, 26–39, 159 and commensurability/incommensurability 31–3 and competition 28 dispositive(s) of 7, 28–31, 159, 169 new horizons of 33–5 part of everyday life 27 prerequisites for social 35–6 registers of 135–9 and self-esteem 30 shifts in class structure of 33 and status 29–30, 36–7 universalization of 27–8 COMPAS (Correctional Offender Management Profiling or Alternative Sanctions) 79 competition 6, 7, 115–19, 159–60 and comparison 28 increasing glorification of 159 and neoliberalism 23 and performance measurement 115–19 and quantification 116–17 and rankings 45 switch from class conflict to individual 168–70 competitive singularities 169 consumer generated content (CGC) 85–6 control datafication and increased 143, 147, 169 individualization of social 143 levers of social 144 relationship between quantification and 78 conventionalization 128 Cordray, Julia 97 Correctional Offender Management Profiling or Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS) 79 Corruption Perceptions Index 26 cosmetic indicators 135 Couchsurfing 88 credit risk colonialization 64 credit scoring 63–7 and social status 67 criminal recidivism, scoring and assessment of 62–3, 79 criteria reductionism 22 cumulative advantages, theory of 174 CureTogether 106 customer reviews 82–6, 87, 88 Dacadoo 68 Daily Telegraph 149 darknet 87 data behaviourism 171 data leaks 152 data literacy 21 data mining 4, 22, 163 data protection 72, 142 data repositories 62, 73–4 data storage 22, 73, 135 data voluntarism 4, 152, 153, 159 dating markets and health scores 70 de Botton, Alain 30 decoupling 133, 136, 174–5 democratization and digitalization 166 difference 2 visibilization and the creation of 40–3 ‘difference revolution’ digitalization giving rise to 166–7 digital capitalism 150 digital disenfranchisement of citizens 151 digital health plans 70 digital medical records 67 digitalization 2, 7, 21–2, 25, 63, 73, 80, 111, 123, 180 and democratization 166 giving rise to ‘difference revolution’ 166–7 as ‘great leveller’ 166 quantitative bias of 124 disembedding 13 distance, technology of 23–4 diversity versus monoculture 137–40 doctors, evaluation of by patients 92–3 Doganova, Liliana 5–6 double-entry bookkeeping 15, 163 e-recruitment 61 eBay 87 economic valuation theory 5 economization 22–4, 38, 115, 117 and rise of rankings 46 education and evaluation 89–91 evaluation of tutors by students 89–90 law schools 44, 138–9 output indicators and resource allocation in higher 132 and Pisa system 122, 145–6 Eggers, Dave The Circle 41, 82–3 employer review sites 83 entrepreneurial self 3, 154 epistemic communities 121 equivalence 16, 27 Espeland, Wendy 44, 139 esteem 29, 30 and estimation 15, 38 see also self-esteem Etzioni, Amitai The Active Society 20 European Union 122 evaluation 81–98 connection with recognition 38 cult and spread of 7, 97–8, 134 education sector 89–91 loss of time and energy 136 and medical sector 91–3 peer-to-peer ratings 87–8 portals as selectors 84–6 pressure exerted by reviews 147–8 and professions 89–93 qualitative 117 satisfaction surveys 82–4 and social media 93–8 of tutors by students 89–90 evidence-basing 3 exercise and self-tracking 101–4 expert systems 7 transnational 121–2 experts, nomination power of 119–23, 126 Facebook 94 FanSlave 95 Federal Foreign Office (Germany) 53 feedback power of 147–8 and social media 93–4 Fertik, Michael 66 Fitch 56 fitness apps 68, 102–3, 104, 107 Floridi, Luciano 105 Foucault, Michel 19 Fourcade, Marion 163–4 Franck, Georg 29 fraud 137 Frey, Bruno ‘Publishing as Prostitution’ 146 ‘gaming the system’ 132 GDP (gross domestic product) 14 dispute over alternatives to 127–8 General Electric 155 Germany Excellence Initiative 51 higher education institutes 52–3 Gerstner, Louis V. 130 Glassdoor.com 83 global governance 122 globalization 34, 73 governance 12 self- 19, 37, 105 state as data manager 17–20 ‘government at a distance’ 145 governmentality 112 GPS systems 150 Granovetter, Mark ‘The strength of weak ties’ 147 gross domestic product see GDP h-index 75–6, 139, 144 halo effect 90 Han, Byung-Chul 154 Hanoi, rat infestation of 130 happiness and comparison 30 Hawthorne effect 107 health and self-tracking 101–4 health apps 68, 102–3, 104, 107 health scores 67–71 health status, quantified 67–71 Healy, Kieran 163–4 Heintz, Bettina 14, 33, 34 hierarchization/hierarchies 1, 5, 6, 11, 33, 39, 40–59, 174 and rankings 41–2, 43, 44, 48 higher education, output indicators and resource allocation 132 Hirsch, Jorge E. 75 home nursing care 135–6 hospitals and performance indicators 131 Human Development Index 14 hyperindividualization 167–8 identity theory 29 incommensurability 31–3 indicators 2, 3, 5, 20, 23–4, 34, 114, 159 and competition 116–17 and concept of reactive measurements 129–33 cosmetic 135 economic 7 governance by 24 politics of 14 status 35, 75 see also performance indicators individualization of social control 143 industrial revolution 19 inequality 6, 8, 158–76 collectives of non-equals 166–8 establishment of worth 160–2 inescapability and status fluidity 170–4 reputation management 162–6 switch from class conflict to individual competition 168–70 inescapability of status 170–4 information economy 2 information transmission interfaces, between social subsystems 165–6 institutional theory 113 insurance companies 72, 108, 151, 152, 167 International Labour Organization 122 investive status work 36–7 Italian Job, The (film) 138 justice 126 Kaube, Jürgen 2 Kula, Witold 16 Latour, Bruno 34 law schools 44, 138–9 league tables 35, 43, 46, 47, 51, 52, 53, 91, 138, 139, 146, 162, 175 legitimate test, concept of 125–6 Lenin, Vladimir 116 lifelogging 99, 109, 153 Luhmann, Niklas 166 Lyon, David 142 McClusky, Mark 101 McCullough, Nicole 97 Mann, Steve 153 market(s) calculative practices of 15–17 and neoliberalism 23 and rating agencies 55–6 Marron, Donncha 65 Matthew effect 174–5 measurement, meaning 10 media reporting 33 medical sector and evaluation 91–3 hospitals and performance indicators 131–2 MedXSafe 70 meritocracy 23, 161 Merton, Robert K. 161, 174 ‘metric revolution’ 16 Miller, Peter 112 mobility 71–4 border controls 73 digital monitoring of 72 and scoring 71–4 smart cars 72 and status miles 71–2 money as means of exchange 16 monoculture versus diversity 137–40 mood, self-tracking of 101–4 Moody's 56 motivation 106–10 and rankings 45 Moven 65–6 Münch, Richard 145 Nachtwey, Oliver 150 naturalization 113 neoliberalism 3, 12, 23, 25 basic tenets of 23 New Public Management 3, 117, 136, 155 NHS (National Health Service) 118 nomination power 111–28 and algorithms 123–5, 126, 141–2 critique of 125–8 and economization 115 of experts 119–23, 126 performance measurement and the framing of competition 115–19 and the state 112–15 non-equals, collectives of 166–8 normative pressure 144–6 North Korea 144 ‘number rush’ 2 numbers 13–14, 15 numerical medium 8, 14, 16, 18, 28, 33, 113, 160, 166 objectivization 35, 154, 160 OECD 122 Offe, Claus 175 Old Testament 17 omnimetrics 9 O’Neil, Cathy Weapons of Math Destruction 79 optimization 12, 25 Oral Roberts University (Oklahoma) 108 Peeple app 96–7 peer-to-peer ratings 87–8 Pentland, Alex 151 people analytics 150–1 performance enhancement 12 performance indicators 12, 38, 53, 74, 118, 119, 120, 129, 155 and hospitals 131–2 performance measurement 23, 38, 115–19 performance-oriented funding allocation 22 performance paradox 132 performance targets 4 Personicx 165 Pisa system 122, 145–6 politicians 14, 120 politics 114 portals 84–6, 88, 90–1 power of nomination see nomination power prestige 8, 29, 67, 144 principal–agent problem 147–8 private consultancy services 117 professional control, loss of 133–4 professionalization 19, 133 professions and evaluation 89–93 publicity 33 QS ranking 52 qualitative evaluation 117 quantification advantages of 8 engines of 21–5 history 11 impact and consequences of 5, 6 meaning 10, 12–15 risks and side-effects 7, 129–40 role of 35 quantified self 99–110 Quantified Self (network) 99–100 quantitative evaluation see evaluation quantitative mentality 11–12 quasi-markets 116, 118–19 race and assessment of criminal recidivism risk 79 rankings 47–53, 58–9, 60, 144 and competition 45 and compliance 44 differences between ratings and 42–3 disadvantage of 43–4 economization and rise of 46 and evaluation portals 84–6 and hierarchies 41–2, 43, 44, 48 and image fetishization 47 and motivation 45 as objectivity generators 41 performance-enhancing role 46 popularity of 41 as positional goods 45 purpose of 45 and reputation 48, 49, 50, 52 as social ushers 42 and status anxiety 46–7 university 6, 7, 43, 47–53, 144, 175 Welch's forced 155–6 rating agencies, market power of 53–9 ratings 41–3, 53–9, 60 definition 54 differences between rankings and 42–3 and evaluation portals 84–6 as objectivity generators 41 peer-to-peer 87–8 as social ushers 42 rationalization 5, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 19, 105, 110, 154, 163 Raz, Joseph 31–2 reactive measurements 129–33 recommendation marketing 85 recruitment, e- 61 reference group theory 29 reputation 29, 39, 66, 74, 121 academic 75–6 cultivating good 47 and rankings 48, 49, 50, 52 rating of 87–8 signal value of 87 social media and like-based 93–8 reputation management 4, 50, 162–6 reputation scoring 87–8 research community 146 and evaluation system 146 and review system 146–7 ResearchGate 77 reviews 136 customer 82–6, 87, 88 doctor 92 high demand for 136 lecturers/tutors 90 performance 25, 149 pressure exerted by popular 147 Riesman, David 37 risks of quantification 129–40 loss of professional control 133–5 loss of time and energy 135–7 monoculture versus diversity 137–40 reactive measurements 129–33 Rosa, Hartmut 94, 173 Rose, Nikolas 112 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 28–9 running apps 107 Runtastic app 107 satisfaction surveys 82–4 Sauder, Michael 44, 139 Schimank, Uwe 134 Schirrmacher, Frank 152 Schmidt, Eric 147 schools and choice 118–19 evaluation of 90–1 league tables 46 and Pisa system 122, 145–6 scoring 7, 60, 61, 78–80 academic status markers 74–8 and assessment of criminal recidivism 62–3 credit 63–7 health 67–71 mobility value 71–4 pitfalls 79 screening 7, 60–1, 78–9 border controls 73–4 e-recruitment 61–2 function 60–1 smart cars 72 self-direction 105, 121, 143 self-documentation 153 and academic world 76–7 self-enhancement 3, 137 self-esteem 29, 37, 170 and comparison 29, 30 rankings and university staff 50–1 self-governance 19, 37, 105 self-image 37, 47, 50, 89 self-management 3, 20, 25 self-observation 25, 42 quantified 99–110 self-optimization 3, 19, 104, 109, 163 self-quantification/quantifiers 4, 13, 25, 101, 154–5, 156 self-reification 105 self-responsibility 25, 110 self-tracking 4, 7, 99, 100, 106, 109–10 collective body 104–6 as duty or social expectation 108 emotions provoked 109 health, exercise and mood 101–4 and motivation 106–10 problems with wearable technologies 103–4 running and fitness apps 68, 102–3, 104, 107 and sousveillance 153 as third-party tracking 154 self-worth 29, 36, 38, 47, 51, 170 and market value 67 Sesame Credit (China) 67 Shanghai ranking 47 ‘shared body’ 105 shared data 142, 152–3 Simmel, Georg 28 ‘small improvement argument’ 32 smart borders 74 smart cars 72 smart cities 21 smart homes 21 ‘social accounts’ 20 Social Credit System (China) 1, 166 social engineering 20 social management 20 social media 93–8, 153, 166 drivers of activity 93 and feedback 93–4 forms of connection 93 likes 93–5 and online disinhibition 153 and reputation building 95 resonance generated by 94 and running/fitness apps 107 social research 19–20 social security systems 19 social status see status social worth see worth socio-psychological rank theory 46 sociometrics/sociometers 2, 5, 36, 74, 141, 150–1 Sombart, Werner Modern Capitalism 15–16 sousveillance 153 sport 33 rise of world 35 Staab, Philipp 149–50 Stalder, Felix 124 Standard & Poor's 54, 56 statactivism 127 state as data manager 17–20 nomination power of the 112–15 statistics 14 origins of word 17 status and class 33 and comparison 29–30, 36–7 and credit scoring 67 inescapability from 170–4 and life satisfaction 30 seeking of 36 status anxiety 30 and rankings 46–7 status competition 26–39 status data 2, 80, 159, 161–2, 169, 174 functioning as symbolic data 8, 162 status fluidity 170–4 status insecurity 4 status miles 71–2 status sets 161–2 status symbols 158 status work 4, 36–7, 174 Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission (France) 127 Streeck, Wolfgang 171–2 subprime crisis (2007) 57, 64 surveillance 8, 142, 152 interdependence of self- and external 153–5 and neoliberalism 23 workplace and technological 149–51 surveys, satisfaction 82–4 symbolic capital 174 status data as 8, 162 target setting 22 tariff models 152–3 technological surveillance, in the workplace 149–51 technologies of the self 25 tertium comparationis 32 Thomas theorem 59 Thompson, David C. 66 Times Higher Education ranking 47, 48, 53 tourism portals 85 tracking as double-edged sword 142 see also self-tracking trade relations 16 transnational expert systems 121–2 transparency 3, 91, 141–3, 144, 147 Transparency International 26 ‘transparent body’ 105 TripAdvisor 85 Trustpilot 86 Turkey 54 tutors evaluation of by students 89–90 Uber 156 űbercapital 163–4 UN Sustainable Development Goals 20 United Nations 122 university lecturers evaluation of 89–90 object of online reviews 90 university rankings 6, 7, 43, 47–53, 144, 175 valorization 5, 58, 124, 161 valuation 5–6 value registration 161 Vietnam War 131 visibilization, and the creation of difference 40–3 Webb, Jarrett 104 Weber, Max 15, 16, 154 Weiß, Manfred 119 Welch, Jack 155 ‘winner-take-all society’ 136 Wolf, Gary 99–100 Woolgar, Steve 34 workplace technological surveillance in the 149–51 World Bank 122 worth 5–6, 7, 11, 78–80, 170 assessments of 27 establishment of 160–2 orders of 11, 15, 29 self- 29, 36, 38, 47, 51, 67, 170 Young, Michael 161 The Rise of Meritocracy 23, 161 Zillien, Nicole 105 Zuckerberg, Mark 158 POLITY END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT Go to www.politybooks.com/eula to access Polity's ebook EULA.


Work in the Future The Automation Revolution-Palgrave MacMillan (2019) by Robert Skidelsky Nan Craig

3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, anti-work, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, business cycle, cloud computing, collective bargaining, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, data is the new oil, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, off grid, pattern recognition, post-work, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, wealth creators, working poor

From Brazil to Delhi, only a small number of middle-class couples live in nuclear families, in which both partners have gainful occupations and do not have servants to do the housework. Lower and lower-middle classes in the global South live in income-­ pooling family households; in many cases they have a trans-regional character, including family members in the countryside (eventually working the land), family members in local towns (eventually working as factory-­workers, in administration or in the informal economy), as well as family members who emigrate to work abroad. This description may serve as a prototype which is adapted by each family in a specific way. Occupations and responsibilities change along the life-cycle and often single family members get lost, not contributing to the common household anymore. Such a household can ideally unite several breadwinners, wageworkers, peasants, migrants, housewives and househusbands, not to speak of those who do small jobs and informal activities just to get along.

., 59 Graeber, David, 6, 76, 157, 161, 168 Greek ideas of work, 74 Growth, 2, 6, 7, 12, 25, 27, 30, 31, 55, 69, 75, 85, 86, 88, 110, 126, 128, 130, 135, 169, 176, 180, 183, 185, 190, 192, 198, 200 H Happiness, 5, 62, 195 Harrop, Andrew, 180 Hassabis, Demis, 119 Hayden, Anders, 182, 183 Healthcare, 3, 87, 94, 117, 165, 197 Heterodox economics, 54, 56, 62 Hierarchy, 46, 48, 55, 69, 170 High-skilled jobs, 128, 134 Homejoy, 135 Homo economicus, 56, 57 Homo laborans, 3 Homo ludens, 3 Household economy, 4, 38–40, 45, 47 Housewives, 42, 43, 46, 47 Housework, 39, 40, 42, 44, 47 Hunter-gatherers, 11, 26, 27, 30 Index I Idleness, 54 India, 44–47 Industrial Revolution, 2, 4, 14, 29, 37, 75, 93, 94, 175, 177, 190, 191 Inequality, 67–69, 86, 87, 192, 193, 199, 200 Informal economy, 47 Information technology, 86, 161 Infrastructure digital, 140 physical, 103 Innovation, 6, 10, 14, 16, 18, 34, 67, 69, 189–199 process innovation vs. product innovation, 16, 18, 190–191, 195 International Labour Organisation (ILO), 193 Internet of Things, 139, 191 Investment in capital, 114 in skills, 70 J Japan, 117 Jensen, C, 55 Job guarantee, 172 Jobs, Steve, 73 Journalism automation of, 118 clickbait, 118 Juries, algorithmic selection of, 150, 153 K Karstgen, Jack, 196 Kasparov, Garry, 91, 112, 129, 130 207 Katz, Lawrence, 198 Kennedy, John F., 160 Keune, Maarten, 180 Keynes, John Maynard, 6, 9, 11, 27, 60, 61, 160, 161, 176 King, Martin Luther, 171 Knowledge (tacit vs. explicit), 127 Komlosy, Andrea, 4, 75 Kubrick, Stanley, 26 Kurzweil, Raymond, 101, 103, 104 Kuznets, Simon, 190 L Labour, 3, 10, 11, 13–16, 18–21, 29, 34–36, 38, 43–46, 55, 59, 65–70, 73–76, 85–87, 89, 90, 93, 94, 96, 114, 125, 126, 128, 130, 131, 141, 158, 165, 176–180, 183–184, 189, 190, 192–196, 199–200 Labour market polarisation, 67, 70, 126 Labour markets, 67, 68, 70, 87, 90, 96, 125, 126, 128, 130, 131, 141, 178, 183–184, 189, 192, 193, 195, 196, 199–200 Labour-saving effect, 86 Lall, Sanjaya, 193 Language translation, 105, 106 Latent Damage Act 1986, 127 Law automation of, 145, 152, 153 ethics, 145–153 Lawrence, Mathew, 177 Layton, E., 58 Le Bon, Gustave, 101 Lee, Richard, 26 Legal search/legal discovery, 148–150 208 Index Leisure, 3, 10, 11, 19, 27, 48, 55, 56, 59–62, 65, 77, 79, 117, 118, 159, 161, 178, 180, 182, 184, 191, 195 Levy, Frank, 126 List, Friedrich, 193 Love, 55, 74, 76, 99, 103, 106, 112, 118 Low-income jobs, 96 Loyalty, 69 Luddites, 2, 14, 18, 35, 59, 94, 96 Lyft, 136 M Machine learning, 59, 84, 90, 91, 96, 138, 139 Machines, 2, 5, 10, 12–15, 17, 19, 20, 35, 36, 38, 59, 84–87, 90–96, 99–103, 105–107, 109–121, 127–131, 138, 139, 145, 147, 148, 160, 168, 191 Machine vision, 120 Malthusian, 19 Man, Henrik de, 79 Management, 27, 30, 41, 69, 70 management theory/ organisational theory (see also Scientific management) Mann, Michael, 46 Manual work, 1 Manufacturing, 86, 87, 90, 94, 95, 176, 184, 198 Markets/market forces, 5, 6, 21, 38, 44–46, 67, 68, 70, 79, 85–88, 90, 96, 120, 125, 126, 128, 130, 131, 140, 141, 150, 152, 159, 164, 165, 171, 178, 183, 189–193, 195, 196, 198–200 Marx, Karl, 17, 18, 27, 56–59, 61, 62, 78 Matrimonial relationships, 37 McCormack, Win, 159 Meaning, 4, 9, 10, 19, 25, 54, 57, 58, 66, 73, 76, 78, 79, 84, 106, 116, 176, 180 Mechanisation, 15, 17, 19, 20, 192 Meckling, W., 55 Méda, Dominique, 183 Medical diagnosis (automation of ), 128, 129 Menger, Pierre-Michel, 4 Mental labour, 3 Meritocracy, 28 Middle-income jobs, 90, 93, 94 Migration, 40, 47 Minimum wage, 67, 69 Mining, 26, 38, 197 Mokyr, J., 59 Monopolies, 6, 136, 138–140 Morals/morality, 48, 77, 159, 160, 162, 164, 166, 167 Moravec’s paradox, 131 Murnane, Richard, 126 N Nagel, Thomas, 100, 102 National Living wage, 184 Needs vs.


pages: 410 words: 119,823

Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life by Adam Greenfield

3D printing, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cellular automata, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collective bargaining, combinatorial explosion, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, digital map, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, drone strike, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fiat currency, global supply chain, global village, Google Glasses, IBM and the Holocaust, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, license plate recognition, lifelogging, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, megacity, megastructure, minimum viable product, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, natural language processing, Network effects, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Pearl River Delta, performance metric, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, post-work, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, social intelligence, sorting algorithm, special economic zone, speech recognition, stakhanovite, statistical model, stem cell, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Uber for X, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

If not this, then her frequent purchases of condoms would certainly help to flesh out the picture—even though she pays cash, the pharmacy where she buys them retains a service that uses each phone’s unique IMEI number to track customers’ trajectories through the store, and this service maps her path to the Durex display with unerring precision. Here in these ghostly trails are the rhythms of the informal economy, surfacing through seemingly innocuous patterns of fact. The streetcleaner, of course, has a GPS transponder; its moment-to-moment route through the city is mapped by the Mairie, and provided to citizens in real time as part of a transparency initiative designed to demonstrate the diligence and integrity of civil servants (and very much resented by the DPE workers’ union). Unless they are disrupted by some external force—should sanitation workers, for example, happen to go on strike, or a particularly rowdy manif break out—here are the metronomic rhythms of the municipal.

And this does demand at least some explication: of all the ways in which money manifests itself in our lives, exchange is the one Bitcoin was explicitly designed for, and seems most suited to. Why is Bitcoin’s failure to gain traction as a medium of daily exchange so surprising? Firstly, and entirely by design, the currency welcomes those who find themselves locked out of other ways of exchanging value over the global network. This includes the billions of people on Earth who derive all or part of their livelihood from participation in the informal economy; the so-called “unbanked,” those 2.5 billion of us who lack access to conventional financial services; and, of course providers of goods or services that would be overtly illegal in one or more jurisdictions. All of these people can securely transact in Bitcoin, given only a network connection and access to a smartphone or other device on which they can safely store a wallet application. One of the beauties of distributed consensus is that no one can censor the ledger, or prevent someone else from adding a legitimate transaction to it.

One of the beauties of distributed consensus is that no one can censor the ledger, or prevent someone else from adding a legitimate transaction to it. This means there’s no way, other than moral suasion, of enforcing boycotts or blockades on transaction with disfavored parties. In principle, then, Bitcoin ought to have a built-in constituency among those who, for one reason or another, cannot participate in other modes of digital value exchange. And with World Bank and ILO estimates placing the size of the informal economy at anywhere up to 72 percent of total economic output, depending on region, this implies a very large number of highly motivated potential users. Moreover, because of the relatively low transaction costs it imposes—nothing like the considerable overhead banks and credit-card issuers must dedicate to detecting fraud, assessing the merits of chargeback attempts and so on—the Bitcoin network can in principle economically process much smaller amounts than other payment systems.


Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett

Buckminster Fuller, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, creative destruction, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Downton Abbey, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, housing crisis, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, open borders, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Richard Florida, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen

He may know full well that rich developers and their political henchmen are indifferent to his fate, but he does not obsess about that fact. He cannot succumb to disabling depression if he wants to survive; he has no choice but to believe in man as his own maker. Indeed, in his emerging city large numbers of people like him are moving from absolute poverty to a more ambiguous condition. This is due, to use Joan Clos’ metaphor, to the watery realm surrounding the urban octopus; in the informal economy, left out of top-down, big-project planning, he makes his way, as do people like him, with little or no help from the top. So long as his circumstances remain ambiguous, he can retain a faith in his powers to deal with them. His belief in family values can be affirmed as his values. Ambiguity grounds personal ethics for him. Would this hold for those, whether in the Global North or South, whose circumstances are less watery?

Simulation appeared in Moscow at that time, just as it has in Beijing today. Stalin’s Moscow was coming to look like Haussmann’s Paris, with vast boulevards lined by buildings decorated like elaborate wedding cakes and subways illuminated by chandeliers – communism driving the people forwards, while the Angel, as urban builder, looked backwards. Neither ideology nor chandeliered subway could disguise, however, the informal economy by which Muscovites fed, clothed and medicated themselves, in open-air markets like Smolensk bazaar. This was, like Nehru Place, a black market which the authorities tolerated; near Christmas-time Benjamin found it ‘so crowded with baskets of delicacies, tree decorations, and toys that you can barely make your way from the street to the sidewalk.’ The official shops had, however, bare shelves.

Thanks in part to their access to the advanced Arabic medicine brought by Muslims to Spain, the Sephardic Jews who lived in that country were much better than local Christian doctors who relied on spells and prayers. So, too, the Venetians resorted to Jewish networks for trade with the East (which at that time stretched along the Silk Road all the way to China). Most Jews, however, were very poor and unskilled; they filled the niches of the informal economy in the way Mr Sudhir operates today, peddling cheap or used goods below the radar of the Venetian authorities. What the authorities sought was a place in which to isolate this especially degraded group, even while making use of them.12 It is easy to imagine today that Jews had always lived in Europe in the isolated conditions of ghetto space. From the Lateran Council of 1179 on, Christian Europe sought to prevent Jews living in the midst of Christians.


pages: 611 words: 188,732

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

They were tales about resistance, heroism, and struggle, yarns about the creation of something out of nothing—and the derring-do required to pull such a feat off. In short, they were about dragon slaying. That’s still true, at least in the Silicon Valley I know. Those were the stories that got me excited. And they still do. I’m not saying there isn’t an economic story to be told. In fact, I think that we are witnessing the greatest transition since the industrial revolution. A new economy—the information economy—is being created, and the center of that new economic order will be Silicon Valley. And if that’s not the business story of the century, what is? Still, the bigger question, in my humble opinion, is how that transformation will transform us. We begin to see the answer in the culture that’s being created in Silicon Valley, now. It’s future obsessed and forward thinking. It’s technical and quantitative.

Steve Wozniak (at the Hackers Conference): Information should be free—but your time should not. Stewart Brand: So, putting these things out for free is kind of nuts. And, I said, “Well, software—this kind of information—wants to be expensive, but it also wants to be free because it’s so easy to copy.” John Markoff: It was a dialectic, right? Stewart is not a Marxist, but it was a very Marxist view of the information economy. Steven Levy: It was a conversation, they were engaging. The whole thing was almost like a jazz improvisation. Just like building up in one of those long Coltrane songs or something like that. Stewart Brand: I was really just restating something that was written down in Levy’s book as “the hacker ethic.” Steven Levy: Information should be free. Stewart Brand: My only addition to that was to take away the “should” and turn it into a “want.”

And while Jean-Louis Gassée did his French thing and went off for a two-week summer vacation on the beach in the south of France, Bill just released it. And when Gassée got back he was furious, but he couldn’t stop it because HyperCard was really well received. It got great press. There are a lot of stories like that. Andy Hertzfeld: But the beginning of General Magic is really Marc Porat. He’s a very clever nontechnical person—an impresario businessman who in the thesis he did at Stanford came up with the first use of the term “information economy.” Marc was a college friend of Larry Tesler’s. So that was his connection to Apple. And he was hired on in the fall of 1988 to work in the Advanced Technology Group at Apple to try to help figure out what’s the next thing beyond personal computers. Megan Smith: Marc was very tied into Nicholas Negroponte and is part of that whole MIT Media Lab conversation. Andy Hertzfeld: Marc started by interviewing everyone at Apple trying to come up with a consensus—what’s in the wind.


pages: 607 words: 185,487

Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed by James C. Scott

agricultural Revolution, business cycle, clean water, colonial rule, commoditize, deskilling, facts on the ground, germ theory of disease, informal economy, invention of writing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, new economy, New Urbanism, Potemkin village, price mechanism, profit maximization, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, stochastic process, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, working poor

The outlaw city bears the same relation to the official city as the Parisian taxi drivers' actual practices bear to the Code routier. On a more speculative note, I imagine that the greater the pretense of and insistence on an officially decreed micro-order, the greater the volume of nonconforming practices necessary to sustain that fiction. The most rigidly planned economies tend to be accompanied by large "underground, 'gray,' informal," economies that supply, in a thousand ways, what the formal economy fails to supply"' When this economy is ruthlessly suppressed, the cost has often been economic ruin and starvation (the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution in China; the autarkic, moneyless economy of Pol Pot's Cambodia). Efforts to force a country's inhabitants to maintain permanent, fixed residences tend to produce large, illegal, undocumented populations in urban areas where they have been forbidden to go. 121 The insistence on a rigid visual aesthetic at the core of the capital city tends to produce settlements and slums teeming with squatters who, as often as not, sweep the floors, cook the meals, and tend the children of the elites who work in the decorous, planned center. 129 8 Taming Nature: An Agriculture of Legibility and Simplicity Yes, enumerate the carriage partsStill not a carriage.

The thin simplifications of agricultural collectivization and centrally planned production have met a comparable fate, whether on the collective farms of the former Soviet Union or in the ujamaa villages of Nyerere's Tanzania. Here again, the schemes that did not collapse altogether managed to survive thanks largely to desperate measures either not envisaged or else expressly prohibited by the plan. Thus an informal economy developed in Russian agriculture, operating on tiny private plots and and the "theft" of time, equipment, and commodities from the state sector and supplying most of the dairy products, fruit, vegetables, and meat in the Russian diet.' Thus the forcibly resettled Tanzanians successfully resisted collective production and drifted back to sites more suitable for grazing and cultivation. At times, the price of an unyielding imposition of state simplifications on agrarian life and production-Stalin's forced collectivization or China's Great Leap Forward-was famine.

They serve to illustrate that the formal order encoded in social-engineering designs inevitably leaves out elements that are essential to their actual functioning. If the factory were forced to operate only within the confines of the roles and functions specified in the simplified design, it would quickly grind to a halt. Collectivized command economies virtually everywhere have limped along thanks to the often desperate improvisation of an informal economy wholly outside its schemata. Stated somewhat differently, all socially engineered systems of formal order are in fact subsystems of a larger system on which they are ultimately dependent, not to say parasitic. The subsystem relies on a variety of processes-frequently informal or antecedent-which alone it cannot create or maintain. The more schematic, thin, and simplified the formal order, the less resilient and the more vulnerable it is to disturbances outside its narrow parameters.


Raw Data Is an Oxymoron by Lisa Gitelman

23andMe, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Filter Bubble, Firefox, fixed income, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, index card, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, knowledge worker, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Louis Daguerre, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peer-to-peer, RFID, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, social graph, software studies, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, text mining, time value of money, trade route, Turing machine, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

True interpellation—in his terms “a complicated configuration of unconsciousness, indirection, automation, and absentmindedness”—requires a coercive system, a “superpanopticon,” capable of rendering us as both subjects of and subjects to that particular assemblage that David Mitchell, in a fictional context, calls a corpocracy.22 For Kevin Robins and Frank Webster, this is the essence of “cybernetic capitalism,” by which they mean the whole of the socioeconomic control system that is in part dependent on the capacity of state and corporate entities to collect and aggregate personal data to the extent that each individual can be easily monitored, managed, and hence controlled.23 As my epigraphs indicate, Robins and Webster are far from alone in their concern with our dynamic incorporation within a totalizing technological system of data management. 24 Greg Elmer also explicates the techniques by which consumer profiles are developed and individuals are “continuously integrated into a larger information economy and technological apparatus.”25 But for Elmer and Lyon and others, a crucial aspect of this incorporation is our voluntary participation: the composition of consumer profiles in part results from solicitation—whether in the form of a request for feedback or personal data so as to be granted access to a particular service or program—which means we are interpellated as “self-communicating” actors.26 To be sure, to participate in the project of modernity has arguably always meant that one becomes a calculable subject by voluntarily surrendering data.

For a thorough account of pattern-based searches by government and corporations and the techniques one can use to mask online activity; a detailed overview of the public outcry over TIA, its subsequent de-funding, and the continuation of the same data-mining exercises under the classified intelligence budget; and, finally, a detailed legal review that makes the case for transparency and new identity technologies with privacy protections, see Rubinstein, Lee, and Schwartz, “Data Mining and Internet Profiling.” It is important to note, however, that these debates are premised on a notion of privacy with a particular history and cultural specificity. 25. Greg Elmer, Profiling Machines: Mapping the Personal Information Economy (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004), 17. 26. Lyon, The Electronic Eye, 52. 27. There are substantive juridico-political questions that need to be addressed as the legal infrastructure develops: What is the legal status of our financial records, unique ID codes, and biometric data? How or to what extent will individual data be monetized? Can individual browsing be considered labor? If so, would not the unique ID code that records sites visited be considered a product of that labor and thus private property?


pages: 251 words: 76,868

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, Bob Geldof, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, don't be evil, double entry bookkeeping, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, global village, Google Earth, high net worth, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, private military company, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, X Prize

Israelis have long practiced the art of kibbutz living, and today Chinese and Japanese people are moving back to the land in droves in search of stable and sustainable community living. The Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India has its own community-level banks, health clinics, child-care programs, legal services (such as sexual harassment and workers’ compensation), and retirement accounts. SEWA doesn’t just champion women’s rights; it provides those rights through its own quasi-economic and political communities across India. The so-called informal economies of community cooperatives often go unregistered in economic statistics, yet they are a legitimate mode of economic and social survival for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. What is crucial to understand about Grameen, BRAC, SEWA, and other such organizations is that their primary unit of organization is not the town or village but the community. Community building is nation building done right.

Signer, Michael. Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst Enemies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Simmons, P. J., and Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, eds. Managing Global Issues: Lessons Learned. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2001. Singer, Peter. One World. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2002. Singh, J. P. Negotiation and the Global Information Economy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Slaughter, Anne-Marie. A New World Order. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2004. Smith, David Livingstone. The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2007. Smith, Rupert. The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World. New York: Allen Lane, 2005. Snow, Nancy, and Philip M.


pages: 279 words: 76,796

The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives by Lisa Servon

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, basic income, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, employer provided health coverage, financial exclusion, financial independence, financial innovation, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, Lyft, M-Pesa, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, precariat, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, too big to fail, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

Some, like a small loan to a family member or friend, might be more informal in the typical sense of the word. Others, like loan sharking—lending at illegal interest rates—have clear rules, and there are consequences for failing to abide by them. Some practices, like tandas, are perfectly legal, while others, like lending at prices above the usury rate, are not. The sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh, who studied the informal economy of a black neighborhood in Chicago, defines the “underground economy” as “a widespread set of activities, usually scattered and not well integrated, through which people earn money that is not reported to the government and that, in some cases, may entail criminal behavior.” Informal economic activities of all kinds tend to be more prolific in low-income communities. Venkatesh argues that this is partly because of “the neglect of outside actors . . . who refuse to allocate enough resources to black inner cities to create true economic security there.”

The connections Blanca has with members of her tandas play the role of credit scores in mainstream credit markets. Informal economic activity isn’t confined to low-income people. It is the rare contractor in New York City who reports all of her income. The thousands of recent college graduates working as babysitters and nannies in New York City alone tend to be paid in cash or by personal check, and it is the norm not to report this income on tax returns. Estimates put the size of the US informal economy at between 5 and 10 percent of the GDP, and up to 40 percent of the labor force is thought to be informal. But the proportion of informal activity is higher in some communities than others. Saving and lending practices are no exception. Blanca herself offers a window into the complexity of informal financial services. The tandas she operates function completely on trust, as we’ve seen, and new members are people she knows well or who come to her from members of her existing network.


pages: 246 words: 76,561

Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture by Justin McGuirk

A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, dark matter, Donald Trump, Enrique Peñalosa, extreme commuting, facts on the ground, Guggenheim Bilbao, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income per capita, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, mass immigration, microcredit, Milgram experiment, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, place-making, Silicon Valley, starchitect, technoutopianism, unorthodox policies, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus

‘We need a new concept of density,’ he says. ‘Density is still measured as a number of things – units – per acre. Why not measure it as a number of social and economic exchanges per acre?’ Cruz was inspired to think this way by studying the land uses in San Ysidro, which are often multiple and overlapping – a Buddhist temple functioning as an unofficial City Hall, a house front operating as a taquería. In the informal economy, as can be witnessed across Latin America, people will find a way to put even the most unpromising or unlikely places to social and economic use. By contrast, the strict regulations governing any American city strive to segregate the domestic from the economic, and categorise the city into zones suitable for property speculation rather than rich social interaction. Can San Diego learn from the likes of Tijuana?

What Cruz is trying to do is challenge the American conception of the city as a rigidly zoned thing servicing big business on the one hand and some quaint idea of the American dream on the other. After all, the sub-prime mortgage fiasco was the product of America’s fixation with private property, and the logic, as Cruz once put it, ‘of democracy being based on the almighty right to be left alone behind a picket fence’. Instead, the city could be more communal, more productive. And he’s drawing on the much more complex dynamics of informal economies, where no space goes to waste, where every inch belongs to a dense network of social and economic exchanges. That’s the model he’s using to try to transform policy in San Diego. The regulations need to be more flexible, more ambiguous, more easily adapted to people’s needs. This is not a Turneresque laissez-faire attitude, but an attempt to get the top-down to facilitate the bottom-up. And while much of that may sound somewhat utopian, the San Ysidro project has had a stroke of luck that may soon make it a reality.


pages: 457 words: 128,838

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, The Great Moderation, the market place, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

It’s why de Soto and others from his Lima-based Institute for Liberal Democracy spend time in the slums of Peru, Haiti, Egypt, and other places surveying and documenting people’s property and handing out mortgage deeds. But with this work, they are merely scratching the surface. In aggregate, this global informal economy, or System D as the journalist Robert Neuwirth has chosen to call it, is worth $10 trillion by his estimates. If it were its own country—Neuwirth suggests the names Bazaaristan or the USSR, the United Street Sellers Republic—this economy of the undocumented would be second only to that of the United States. As BitPesa’s Rossiello suggests, the biggest opportunities may lie not with the digital currencies per se but with the technology behind them. The potential is great for people in the informal economy to exploit the blockchain’s middleman-free way to exchange assets and information and its irrefutable public record that’s free from the control of any one central institution.

Whereas judicial corruption means that low-income people in a developing country can’t rely on watertight contracts to shore up their businesses and unlock de Soto’s mystery of capital, subjecting such agreements to the infallibility of the blockchain could end all that. Jonathan Mohan, who works at Ethereum, the new Bitcoin 2.0 platform that’s seeking to disrupt all sorts of legal and contractual arrangements, offers a compelling explanation for how these “smart contracts,” each designed to be executed on the blockchain via an automated piece of software, would benefit the informal economy. “As long as you render collateral for a contract and the blockchain recognizes the contract, then you know there’s no fraud and you know there’s no need to have to trust a third party,” he said at an Inside Bitcoins conference in New York. “So the contract is simple and all these other things sort themselves out. If you are in places like Africa, in China—hell, even in America—you know that justice will be rendered because the entity will execute the contract exactly how it was programmed to execute.”


pages: 700 words: 201,953

The Social Life of Money by Nigel Dodd

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, David Graeber, debt deflation, dematerialisation, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Kula ring, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mental accounting, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, predatory finance, price mechanism, price stability, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, remote working, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, Scientific racism, seigniorage, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Veblen good, Wave and Pay, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Streeck, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

First, there is the liberalization and expansion of international money and financial markets and the development of private monies, such as derivatives and collateralized securities (Bryan and Rafferty 2007). Second, there is the increasing use of major currencies beyond the legal jurisdiction of their respective authorities, whatever the preferences of governments, together with dollarization (where a government chooses to adopt a foreign currency in place of its own) (Cohen 2004). There is also widespread use of major currencies (especially U.S. dollars and euros) within the global informal economy, wherein currencies (normally in the form of cash) are used for transactions that take place in the interstitial spaces of the international system (Staudt 1998; Neuwirth 2011). Third, there is a transnational monetary union: although the Eurozone has been in crisis, it is by no means clear that the project will be abandoned altogether; indeed, with the inclusion of Latvia on January 1, 2014, the Eurozone has now expanded to a membership of eighteen states.

Generation Online. http://www.generation-online.org/p/fp_negri21.htm. Nelson, A. and F. Timmerman, Eds. (2011). Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies, London, Pluto Press. Nettlau, M. (1996). A Short History of Anarchism, London, Freedom Press. Neu, J. (2005). In Memoriam Norman O. Brown, Santa Cruz, CA, New Pacific Press. Neuwirth, R. (2011). Stealth of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Economy, New York, Pantheon Books. Newton, T. (2003). “Credit and Civilization.” British Journal of Sociology 54 (3): 347–71. Nietzsche, F. (1973). The Will to Power: In Science, Nature, Society and Art, New York, Random House. Nietzsche, F. (1979). Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is, Harmondsworth, U.K., Penguin. Nietzsche, F. (1980). On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life: Thoughts Out of Season, Pt. 2, Cambridge, MA, Hackett Publishing Company.

February 18. Spannos, C. (2008). Real Utopia: Participatory Society for the 21st Century, Oakland, CA, AK Press. Sperber, J. (2013). Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life, New York/London, W. W. Norton and Co. Spiegel, H. W., Ed. (1991). The Growth of Economic Thought, 3rd ed., Durham, NC, Duke University Press. Spinoza, B. (1996). Ethics. London, Penguin. Staudt, K. (1998). Free Trade? Informal Economies at the U.S.–Mexico Border, Philadelphia, Temple University Press. Steiner, P. (2008). “Who Is Right about the Modern Economy: Polanyi, Zelizer, or Both?” Theory and Society 38 (1): 97–110. Stephens, H. M. (1915). “Nationality and History.” Annual address of the president of the American Historical Association, Washington, DC, December 28, American Historical Review 21 (2): 225–36. Stephenson, N. (1994).


pages: 362 words: 83,464

The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bob Noyce, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Graeber, deindustrialization, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, energy security, falling living standards, future of work, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, McJob, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Buchheit, payday loans, Peter Calthorpe, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

Senate. Their wealth, in the era before income taxes, was immense; by the 1880s the revenues of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s railroad empire were greater than those of the federal government.8 Like John D. Rockefeller (Standard Oil), J. P. Morgan, and railway mogul Edward Harriman, the tech Oligarchs have taken advantage of the shift in the economic paradigm to garner enormous wealth and power. The information economy’s emergence is allowing them to establish sway over vast sections of the economy, including such areas as advertising, media, entertainment, and, increasingly, the political system as well. In some senses the new tech hegemons share some similarities to the oligarchs that arose to dominate the post-Soviet Russian economy. As Russia privatized its vast industrial and resource economy, certain aggressive figures, many of them quite young and some connected to the security apparatus, seized control of critical assets.

This helped consolidate the Valley’s supremacy over its traditional rival, the greater Boston area. By 1990, the Valley accounted for 39 of the nation’s fastest growing electronics companies, compared to just four along Boston’s Route 128. Over the ensuing decade, Valley firms, largely through the application of software, also overcame what had once been considered insurmountable competition from Japan.45 The great hope promised by this emerging, post-industrial information economy was perhaps best stated by futurist Alvin Toffler. He distinguished between bureaucratic, top-down “Second Wave” industrial firms—which still remain powerful in their own right—and the flatter, more dispersed, and fundamentally less hierarchical “Third Wave” firms. The decentralization of technology, allowing people to communicate without going through a centralized computer, Toffler reasoned, would weaken the power of “Big Brother,” promoting instead the decentralization of power.46 Being simply the medium of the message, software companies could not control it, it was believed, and few considered how such companies’ activities could prove harmful to the consumer.47 These new Third Wave companies, noted one journalist, were seen as “wildly productive but humane,” headed by entrepreneurs who embraced an “egalitarian” ethos that saw senior executives hobnobbing with janitors in an almost comradely fashion.


pages: 281 words: 83,505

Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life by Eric Klinenberg

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, assortative mating, basic income, big-box store, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Filter Bubble, ghettoisation, helicopter parent, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, Peter Thiel, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart grid, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, universal basic income, urban planning, young professional

He was a true “robber baron,” who allowed managers to hire hundreds of armed Pinkerton detectives and violently suppress unionized workers during the Homestead strike, and lobbied fiercely against the income tax and other government efforts to address inequality. Yet Carnegie gave away so much of his fortune that the Philanthropy Roundtable, the leading network of charitable donors in the United States, says he “may be the most influential philanthropist in American history.” His contributions, they write, are “without peer.” Entrepreneurs have amassed vast fortunes in the new information economy, and yet no one has come close to doing what Carnegie did between 1883 and 1929, when he funded construction of 2,811 lending libraries, 1,679 of which are in the United States. Today, the Carnegie libraries are set in ordinary residential neighborhoods throughout the world, and they continue to be powerful sources of uplift. Carnegie’s extraordinary commitment to American cities and communities is worth recalling, as are the principles that motivated him.

It’s hard to find Carnegie’s sense of goodwill and civic-mindedness in today’s Silicon Valley, where the entire industry depends on a technology developed by the government—the Internet—and a publicly funded communications infrastructure. Like Zuckerberg, corporate leaders are always happy to experiment with projects that promote the common good while raising their market capitalization. But there are limits to how much they can accomplish by giving while taking. How much more wealth do they need to accumulate before they are ready to help? It’s particularly puzzling that so few corporate leaders from the information economy, including those in technology and finance, have supported the library, the primary institution promoting literacy and providing Internet access to those who would otherwise have no way to get online. There are exceptions. In the 1990s, Microsoft and the Gates Foundation, which stands out for its investments in schools, health centers, and other vital social infrastructures, donated $400 million to help libraries across the United States establish Internet connections.


pages: 345 words: 84,847

The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by David Eagleman, Anthony Brandt

active measures, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, haute couture, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, lone genius, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, microbiome, Netflix Prize, new economy, New Journalism, pets.com, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Simon Singh, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons, X Prize

By looking at a tapestry of the arts, science, and technology, we’ll see the threads of innovation that link disciplines. As important as creativity has been in our species’ recent centuries, it is the cornerstone for our next steps. From our daily activities to our schools to our companies, we are all riding arm-in-arm into a future that compels a constant remodeling of the world. In recent decades, the world has found itself transitioning from a manufacturing economy to an information economy. But that is not where this road ends. As computers become better at digesting mountains of data, people are being freed up to work on other tasks. We’re already seeing the first glimpses of this new model: the creativity economy. Synthetic biologist, app developer, self-driving car designer, quantum computer designer, multimedia engineer – these are positions that didn’t exist when most of us were in school, and they represent the vanguard of what’s coming.

Wheeler Elementary School (Burlington) ref1 Hobbes, Thomas ref1 Hockney, David ref1 Hokusai, Katsushika ref1 Holoroom ref1 Holz, Karl ref1 Honda ref1 honeybees ref1, ref2, ref3 Honeywell ref1 horses ref1 Hot Bertaa tea kettle ref1 How Buildings Learn (Brand) ref1 Hughes, Robert ref1 human form bending ref1, ref2, ref3 blending ref1, ref2 mythical creatures ref1 human genome project ref1 humor ref1 Iberian sculpture ref1 IBM ref1, ref2, ref3 Icebag (Oldenburg) ref1 idea flings ref1 idea quotas ref1 IDEO ref1, ref2 Idriss, Ali Mohamed Younes ref1 Ihering, Hermann von ref1 image recognition ref1 image-labeling ref1 imagination ref1, ref2, ref3 “Imagine Mars” project ref1 Indian dance ref1 indigenous art ref1 Industrial Revolution ref1, ref2, ref3 information economy ref1 instant replay ref1 insulin ref1 intravenous (iv) drips ref1 inventions see design iPad ref1 iPhone ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 iPod ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Isaiah (Michelangelo) ref1 iTunes ref1 Ive, Jonathan ref1, ref2, ref3 IXI music player ref1 Japanese Imperial court ref1 Japanese Noh drama ref1 The Japanese Footbridge (Monet) ref1 Jay Z. ref1 Jesus phone (iPhone) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 “Jewish science” ref1 jigsaw method ref1 Jobs, Steve ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Johns, Jasper ref1, ref2, ref3 Johnson, Ben ref1 Johnson, Lonni Sue ref1, ref2 Johnson, Steve ref1 JR (artist) ref1 The Judgment of Paris (Raimondi) ref1 K-12 campuses ref1 Kahlo, Frida ref1, ref2 Kandinsky, Wassily ref1, ref2 Kettering, Charles ref1, ref2 Keystone Cops ref1 Khine, Michelle ref1 Killian, Michael ref1 kin selection ref1 King Jr, Martin Luther ref1 King Lear (Shakespeare) ref1 King Tee ref1 kingfisher ref1 Kitty Hawk (airplane) ref1 knives ref1 Koestler, Arthur ref1 Kramer, Hilton ref1 Kramer, Kane ref1, ref2 Kranz, Gene ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Krzywy Domek (“Warped Building”) ref1 Ku Klux Klan ref1 “Kubla Khan” (Coleridge) ref1 Kulich, Max ref1 Laarman, Joris ref1 The “Lady Blunt” Stradivarius ref1 Land, Edwin ref1, ref2 landscaping ref1 office ref1 Zen Gardens ref1 language bending ref1 blending ref1 cinema ref1 coding ref1 cultural conditioning ref1 Google Translate ref1 universal ref1, ref2 Large Hadron Collider ref1 Las Meninas (Velázquez) ref1 Picasso variations ref1 lasers ref1, ref2, ref3 The Last Judgment (Michelangelo) ref1 Lauter Piano Company ref1 LCD televisions ref1 Le Bordel d’Avignon (Picasso) ref1 Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (Manet) ref1, ref2, ref3 Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (Picasso) ref1 The LEGO Movie (2014) ref1 Leguia, Luis ref1 Leigh, Simone ref1 Lenard, Philipp ref1 Lennon, John ref1 Lenormand, Louis-Sébastien ref1 Les Demoiselles d’Alabama (Colescott) ref1 Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (Picasso) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 “Let Me Ride” (song) ref1 “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (King) ref1 Levi ref1 Lewis, Randy ref1 Lichtenstein, Roy ref1, ref2 “Life is Art” festival ref1 Ligeti, Györgi ref1 light bulbs ref1 Light Warlpiri ref1 Lightning Sonata (Cicoria) ref1 lions ref1 lipids ref1 liquid crystal displays ref1 literature bending ref1, ref2 breaking ref1, ref2 education ref1, ref2 mining history ref1 proliferating options ref1 see also drama Loewy, Raymond ref1 Longitude prize ref1 Longwell, Charles ref1 Lost in Space (tv) ref1 Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (Gehry building) ref1 Louis C.K. ref1 Louvre ref1 Lovelace, Ada ref1 Lowes, John Livingston ref1 Lowe’s (US retailer) ref1 McCarthy, John ref1 McCartney, Paul ref1 MacWorld ref1 Maeda, John ref1 Malevich, Kazimir ref1 mami wata (mermaid) ref1 The Man in the High Castle (Dick) ref1 Manet, Edouard ref1, ref2, ref3 Manley, Tim ref1 manufacturing economy ref1 Marclay, Christian ref1 Marlborough Gallery ref1 The Marriage of Figaro (Beaumarchais) ref1 Martin, George ref1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology ref1 Maternity (Brandt) ref1 mathematical techniques ref1 Maugham, W.


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A Swamp Full of Dollars: Pipelines and Paramilitaries at Nigeria's Oil Frontier by Michael Peel

banking crisis, British Empire, colonial rule, energy security, informal economy, Kickstarter, megacity, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, trade route, UNCLOS, wage slave

On the Third Mainland Bridge, which led to the airport, executives and commuter wage slaves alike would have to be on the lookout for cars driving on the wrong carriageway to avoid night-time traffic jams. Not for nothing did road-safety signs warn in pidgin English that ‘Life no get duplicate’. In the hands of skilful operators, Lagos’s disorder and disorientation can be turned to financial advantage. The stop-start geography of the roads is well suited to the army of street sellers who underpin the city’s dynamic informal economy. One day I saw a man hawking T HE BOYS FROM THE BOOKSHOP STARK ILLITERATES AND JUNKIES 79 an eclectic selection of magazines that included Vanity Fair and BBC Top Gear; another held a wilted puppy up for sale in the lunchtime sun. Men even stand dangling dead rats on strings, to show the effectiveness of the rodent poison they are trying to sell. It is supply and demand economics at is most unadorned: the rich man can stop his car anywhere and wait for a smorgasbord of services to be offered him by a clamour of sweaty, competing traders.

‘I want me to stand as a whole, to talk to people about what they are doing, to talk to the government.’ I am struck by Scorpion’s characterization of a beach society whose superficial chaos hides sophisticated shadow systems of organization and support. Just as on Lagos Island, or in a Delta militant camp, financial power flows on the beach through highly personalized structures buttressed by oil money. I wonder how many oil-worker expense accounts have drained into Kuramo Beach’s informal economy. Many multinational employees seem to come to Lagos with the same attitude as the man who, on finding out that a friend of mine had moved to Nigeria with his girlfriend, had asked in puzzlement, ‘But why bring a sandwich to a restaurant?’ The top dogs and paymasters in Kuramo are bar owners such as Kenneth Eze, manager of Dreams, a rival bar to Varieties down the T HE BOYS FROM THE BOOKSHOP STARK ILLITERATES AND JUNKIES 85 sand.


pages: 207 words: 86,639

The New Economics: A Bigger Picture by David Boyle, Andrew Simms

Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, congestion charging, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, financial deregulation, financial exclusion, financial innovation, full employment, garden city movement, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, land reform, light touch regulation, loss aversion, mega-rich, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working-age population

It may not be appropriate for that work to be paid but, equally, it is certainly not right to ignore it, or pretend that somehow it isn’t essential and hugely valuable. The futurist Alvin Toffler used to ask executives what it would cost in real cash terms if none of their staff members had been toilet trained. The fact that they are is, in effect, a massive subsidy from the informal economy to the formal. The co-production theoretician Edgar Cahn describes this informal economy as ‘core’ because it is far more important than the money economy.23 Yet the money economy, and the traditional economic obsession with it, is constantly corroding the core economy, leading to the current problems of crime and alienation. There is also another, new category of activity – rewarded work, that is not paid with money – that is beginning to emerge, especially for single mothers, or refugees and asylum seekers who are not allowed to work, also for people with mental health problems.


pages: 91 words: 26,009

Capitalism: A Ghost Story by Arundhati Roy

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Bretton Woods, corporate governance, feminist movement, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Howard Zinn, informal economy, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, megacity, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, neoliberal agenda, Occupy movement, RAND corporation, reserve currency, special economic zone, spectrum auction, stem cell, The Chicago School, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks

National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS), Report on Conditions of Work and Promotion of Livelihoods in the Unorganised Sector, Government of India, August 2007. The state-supported study notes that though a “buoyancy in the economy did lead to a sense of euphoria by the turn of the last century . . . a majority of the people . . . were not touched by this euphoria. At the end of 2004–5, about 836 million or 77 per cent of the population were living below Rs.20 a day and constituted most of India’s informal economy” (1). 6. As of March 2013, Mukesh Ambani was worth $21.5 billion, according to a Forbes profile: http://www.forbes.com/profile/mukesh-ambani/. 7. “RIL Buys 95% Stake in Infotel Broadband,” Times of India, June 11, 2010, http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-06-11/telecom/28277245_1_infotel-broadband-broadband-wireless-access-spectrum-world-class-consumer-experiences. 8. Depali Gupta, “Mukesh Ambani–Owned Infotel Broadband to Set Up over 1,000,000 Towers for 4G Operations,” Economic Times, August 23, 2012, http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012 -04-23/news/31387124_1_telecom-towers-largest-tower-tower-arm. 9.


pages: 353 words: 98,267

The Price of Everything: And the Hidden Logic of Value by Eduardo Porter

Alvin Roth, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Credit Default Swap, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Glaeser, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, longitudinal study, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, means of production, Menlo Park, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, new economy, New Urbanism, peer-to-peer, pension reform, Peter Singer: altruism, pets.com, placebo effect, price discrimination, price stability, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, ultimatum game, unpaid internship, urban planning, Veblen good, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game

By October of 2008, In Rainbows had sold more than 3 million copies, according to the band’s publisher, including 100,000 of a special boxed set that retailed for about $80. This surpassed the sales of the previous two albums, Hail to the Thief and Amnesiac . Pumped by the enormous publicity surrounding the album’s release, the subsequent concert tour was a smashing hit. To believers in the transformational potential of the Internet, Radiohead’s experiment suggested that the information economy could revolutionize capitalism by allowing creators to make a living while giving away their creations for free. This new economy might require people to radically change their approach to property. But In Rainbows demonstrated that if creators would free themselves of the capitalistic shackles represented by record labels, Hollywood studios, and other representatives of corporate greed that siphoned off a big slice of their revenues, this new paradigm could work out for everybody.

Giulio Prisco, a former scientist at CERN who founded Metafuturing Second Life, an Internet services company, added: “You cannot stop a tide with a spoon.” Perhaps not. The media companies that rose in the twentieth century might be irrevocably doomed. Record labels might disappear. But I doubt that free information will ever be the natural state of affairs in a capitalist economy. In fact, I would wager that whatever the information economy looks like ten years from now, information in it will not be free. The last battle over free might serve as an illustrative precedent. Music piracy didn’t exist until the late eighteenth century because property rights didn’t cover music compositions. Agents from opera companies would attend the opening nights of their rivals to “steal” the best melodies and reuse them in their own dramas.


pages: 364 words: 99,613

Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux

back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disruptive innovation, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

India and China turned out scientists and engineers at a phenomenal rate, and the outsourcing of high-tech jobs spread throughout the economy. Projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2006 concluded that by 2014 the number of occupations filled by people with college degrees will rise by merely 1 percent, from 28 to 29 percent. The share of jobs for which a college education will actually be required is projected to be just 21 percent.6 It turned out that much of the job and wealth creation associated with the information economy was tied to the making of goods; success results from setting trained people to work on problems in the context of day-to-day production, whether of sneakers, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, or Hollywood films. The more we offshored production jobs, the more we offshored research and development as well. What had been touted as a natural comparative advantage for the United States in skills, technology, and organization was in reality duplicated or even surpassed by other nations.

As early as 1974, the CEO of Dow Chemical said he yearned to place his headquarters on an island “beholden to no nation or society and prevent the U.S. Government from attempting to force its subsidiaries to conform to American interests.”16 In 1995, the CEO of the Ford Motor Company said, “Ford isn’t even an American company, strictly speaking. We’re global. We’re investing all over the world. . . . Our managers are multinational. We teach them to think and act globally.”17 In 2006, the CEO of Cisco Systems—poster company for the information economy—went a step further: “What we are trying to do is outline an entire strategy of becoming a Chinese company.”18 And the CEO of Intel—a company like Cisco, whose growth was built on technology paid for by the American taxpayer—stated, “Intel can thrive today and never hire another American. It is not our desire [to never hire another one]. It is not our intention, but we can do that.”19 Ralph Gomory, a former IBM executive and later the president of the Alfred P.


pages: 351 words: 100,791

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford

airport security, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, digital Maoism, Google Glasses, hive mind, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, large denomination, new economy, new new economy, Norman Mailer, online collectivism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Stanford marshmallow experiment, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

At O’Hare International Airport, the moving handrail on the escalator was covered with an endlessly recurring message from the Lincoln Financial Group: You’re In Charge.® When I got to my hotel, I was handed a key card that was printed on one side with an advertisement for Benihana, the restaurant. Somehow, the fact that such a key card presents about five square inches for inevitable eyeballing had gone unnoticed, or rather unmonetized, until recently. Capitalism has gotten hip to the fact that for all our talk of an information economy, what we really have is an attentional economy, if the term “economy” applies to what is scarce and therefore valuable. As these last examples illustrate, the pertinent development here is a social technology, not something electronic. Turning unavoidable public surfaces into sites of marketing isn’t inherently “digital.” We have developed methods for tuning out commercial messages, for example by inserting earbuds or burying our faces in our devices.

escaping of, through abstraction as inflicted by world of objects Kant on will and heuristics hipsters Hobbes, Thomas on “war of all against all” homosexuality Houk, Peter How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive (Muir) Huffington Post human beings conflicting views on environmental claims on as evaluative creatures potential capabilities of hunches Husserl, Edmund HVAC system hyperpalatable stimuli hypocrisy IBM ice hockey hockey stick intimacy in motorcycling and puck-handling finesse and mastery in rules as jigs in identity theft Igo, Sarah immune system imperfect contingency independence individualism epistemic paradox of in U.S. individuality conformity vs. Fichte on other people and as passé subjectivism and see also self infants gaze-checking by learning by perfect contingency in minds of inference infidelity information economy information technology inheritance installment plan “Intelligence Without Representation” (Brooks) “Intelligent Use of Space, The” (Kirsh) intensification of nervous stimulation intentionality interactionism introspection Iraq War Italy Jacksonian era jail, staying out of James, William James-Lange theory of emotions Japan “jazz hands” jazz musicians, collaborative improvisation of Jefferson, Thomas jigs, jigging administrative background cultural for hire nudging vs.


pages: 346 words: 97,330

Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley From Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray, Siddharth Suri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, bitcoin, blue-collar work, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, deindustrialization, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, hiring and firing, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, market friction, Mars Rover, natural language processing, new economy, passive income, pattern recognition, post-materialism, post-work, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, union organizing, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

The door opened by the Supreme Court’s 1944 decision to interpret the Fair Labor Standards Act as covering all workers was closed by the Taft-Hartley Act’s explicit litmus tests and classifications for full-time employment and independent contractor work. This change also created a new class of non-unionized, expendable labor more valuable to the rapidly expanding service industry sectors and so-called information economy that was now booming in telecommunications, aerospace, and consumer retail. In sum, companies selling everything from advertising to space exploration could grow without investing in long-term, full-time employees. TEMPORARY COMPUTERS SENT US TO THE MOON The erosion of labor protections for workers seen as “unskilled” but working outside of unionized manual jobs moved like water through cracks, exploiting and capitalizing on society’s assumptions about whose work needed protection and who was worth protecting.

As described in chapter 2, traditional employment used to take a long view of workers. Firms used to invest in individuals early in their careers to retain a steady, on-site workforce. Keeping costs down meant gaining loyalty and longevity, striving for workforce diversity to get the most of distinct perspectives; this model no longer fits today’s highly specialized, always updating service and information economies. If on-demand work is a harbinger of the future, it’s noteworthy that traditional employment contracts are being replaced by a platform’s “terms of service.” The obligations in these agreements spell out the limits of what a worker can expect from the platform. They rarely detail how a worker would ever challenge work conditions, beyond deleting their account. And the absence of a physical work site makes matters worse.


pages: 268 words: 112,708

Culture works: the political economy of culture by Richard Maxwell

1960s counterculture, American ideology, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, business process, commoditize, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, intermodal, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, Network effects, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, structural adjustment programs, talking drums, telemarketer, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban renewal, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

Rowe, “The Global Love-Match,” 566. 45. David Rowe and J. McKay, “Field of Soaps: Rupert v. Kerry as Masculine Melodrama,” in SportCult, ed. Randy Martin and Toby Miller (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 191. 46. Quoted in R. Snoddy, “Alliances for a Digital Future,” Financial Times, December 11, 1996, 1. 47. Quoted in C. Bruck, “The Big Hitter,” New Yorker, December 8, 1997, 826. 48. Forefronting the new informational economy is a species of economically and culturally imposing global media corporations such as Time Warner, Disney, Viacom, Sony, Seagram, Bertelsmann, Granada, and News Corporation. These purveyors of variously formatted mass-mediated cultural products represent the dynamic force in the latecapitalist economy, occupying much the same role as mass-manufacturing titans such as Ford, General Motors, General Electric, Dupont, and Westinghouse Electric did in the industrial economy.

It has been created and maintained by programmers working over the Internet on a largely voluntary basis, and is legally organized by what people are calling an Open Software License, wherein one not only can use it free of charge, but one can have access to the source code for further modification and improvement as long as those improvements are published and shared. Source code is at the heart of all forms of software. This is what companies and intellectual property lawyers fight so rabidly to protect and to market; it is the commodity par excellence of the so-called information economy. Linux, however, is the flagship of the Open Software movement, which sees itself in a struggle against the protection and marketing of source code. Open Software is in one view a kind of political movement against the commodification of information. And it has been making some significant inroads among computer users, which in turn has inspired emulation by some of the major firms in the industry.


The Future of Money by Bernard Lietaer

agricultural Revolution, banks create money, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, business cycle, clean water, complexity theory, corporate raider, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, diversification, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, Golden Gate Park, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invention of writing, Lao Tzu, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Norbert Wiener, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, price stability, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, The Future of Employment, the market place, the payments system, Thomas Davenport, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, working poor

Some people foresee the spread of a 'Winner-Takes-All' economic environment.81 The trend towards increasingly exorbitant compensation for the very few at the top has been notorious. It started with movie stars, entertainment and sports heroes, and spread over the past decade to high-performance CEOs, traders, lawyers and doctors. Is this just a strange shift in societal values, or is this also a consequence of deep-seated forces in the information economy? The 'network economist' Brian Arthur claims that positive marginal rates of return can propel some corporations into an almost impregnable monopoly. For instance, once a particular software moves towards becoming an industry standard, it will tend automatically to crowd out competitors until it captures 100% of the market. Microsoft's dominance in the PC software market is often cited as an example of this process in action.

Oil Environment (Mature Industrial Age) New Environment (Post Industrial Age) Predictability and Control Assumed Fundamental Structural Changes Assumed Intelligence and information Centralised Intelligence and information Distributed Expert Driven Solutions Many agents experimenting with new patterns Command and Control Structure Structures Complex Adaptive As long as the assumption was valid that we are living in an environment which is both predictable and controllable (both key Yang assumptions), it made sense to centralise information and leave the decisions to 'experts'. The most coherent management structure in such circumstances is the traditional command and control hierarchical structure, which is now almost ubiquitous. However, as breakdowns and crises spread to many domains (e.g. global monetary system, government, education, environment, jobs, etc.) if the transition towards an information economy becomes indeed an 'Age of Uncertainty’ then the time is ripe to reconsider the old organisational assumptions. Under such circumstances, holding on to the old expert-driven, hierarchical command and control structures will predictably kill the very innovations that the circumstances require. Tony Judge, whom Alvin Toffler described as 'one of our most brilliant organisation theorists', claims that the organisations of the future will take the form of' networks not co-ordinated by anybody; the participating bodies co-ordinate themselves'.


pages: 394 words: 108,215

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, different worldview, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

He entered Columbia University after deciding the goal of the political demonstrations he had been in was to get on Walter Cronkite’s evening news. It seemed only logical to him that it was all about media coverage, and he was determined to become a top executive at CBS, which would enable him to make the changes from the inside. It didn’t work out that way, however, and two years later he was back at Stanford, where he received a graduate degree in economics. He coined the term “information economy,” went to work for Apple Computer, and later became the cofounder of General Magic, one of Silicon Valley’s ill-starred start-up companies. The West Coast counterculture acted like a magnet for thousands of young people around the country. Dorothy Bender picked the Summer of Love to leave Washington, D.C., and come to California. She was a rarity in the computer world of the 1960s: a woman and a programmer.

Certainly Stolaroff’s impact on the history of the computer was less direct than those of Engelbart and Moore. But his obsession with creativity and psychedelics unleashed forces the impact of which has never been adequately acknowledged. In their individual ways, all three men helped lay the groundwork for the personal computer, which in turn during the past three decades has given risen to the information economy. Today, that industry embodies some of what all three men dreamed of. It has spread the conflict over the dual nature of digital information into every nook and cranny of modern life. In league with Hollywood and publishers, Microsoft and Intel have now embarked on a crusade to build computer software and hardware that wraps information with a protective layer of encryption designed to prevent sharing via computer networks.


pages: 345 words: 105,722

The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling

Apple II, back-to-the-land, game design, ghettoisation, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Mitch Kapor, pirate software, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Silicon Valley, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Hackers Conference, the scientific method, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

What security there was, was entirely physical, for it was assumed that anyone allowed near this expensive, arcane hardware would be a fully qualified professional expert. In a campus environment, though, this meant that grad students, teaching assistants, undergraduates, and eventually, all manner of dropouts and hangers-on ended up accessing and often running the works. Universities, even modern universities, are not in the business of maintaining security over information. On the contrary, universities, as institutions, pre-date the "information economy" by many centuries and are not-for-profit cultural entities, whose reason for existence (purportedly) is to discover truth, codify it through techniques of scholarship, and then teach it. Universities are meant to PASS THE TORCH OF CIVILIZATION, not just download data into student skulls, and the values of the academic community are strongly at odds with those of all would-be information empires.

Terminus had not crashed the AT&T phone system on January 15. He was, however, blithely running a not-for-profit AT&T software-piracy ring. This was not an activity AT&T found amusing. AT&T security officer Jerry Dalton valued this "stolen" property at over three hundred thousand dollars. AT&T's entry into the tussle of free enterprise had been complicated by the new, vague groundrules of the information economy. Until the break-up of Ma Bell, AT&T was forbidden to sell computer hardware or software. Ma Bell was the phone company; Ma Bell was not allowed to use the enormous revenue from telephone utilities, in order to finance any entry into the computer market. AT&T nevertheless invented the UNIX operating system. And somehow AT&T managed to make UNIX a minor source of income. Weirdly, UNIX was not sold as computer software, but actually retailed under an obscure regulatory exemption allowing sales of surplus equipment and scrap.


pages: 7,371 words: 186,208

The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times by Giovanni Arrighi

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business process, colonial rule, commoditize, Corn Laws, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, double entry bookkeeping, European colonialism, financial independence, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, late capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Peace of Westphalia, profit maximization, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, reserve currency, spice trade, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, Yom Kippur War

Pollard, Sidney, “Fixed Capital and the Industrial Revolution in Britain,” ]ournal of Economic History, 24, 1964, pp. 299-314. “Capital Exports, 1870-1914: Harmful or Beneficial?” Economic History Review, 2nd ser., 38, 1985, pp. 489-514. Portes, Alejandro, “Paradoxes of the Informal Economy: The Social Basis of Unregulated Entrepreneurship,” in N.J. Smelser and R. Swedberg, eds., Handbook of Economic Sociology, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 1994, in press. Portes, Alejandro, Manuel Castells, and Lauren A. Benton, eds., 77Je Informal Economy, Studies in Advanced and Less Developed Countries, Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press 1989. Postma, Johannes Menne, 77Je Dutcb in tbe Atlantic Slave Fade, 1600-1815, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1990. Rapkin, David P, “The Contested Concept of Hegemonic Leadership,” in D.P Rapkin, ed., I%rld Leadersbzp and Hegemony, Boulder, CO: Lynne Reiner 1990,pp.1-19.

Evans-Pritchard, Edward, 77Je Nuer: A Description of tbe Modes of Livelibood and Political Institutions o tbe Nilotic People, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1940. Farnie, D.A., 771e Eng is/7 Cotton Industry and tbe 1%rld Mar/eet, 1815-1896, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1979. REFERENCES 393 Favier, Jean, Les Finances pontificales a l ’e’poque du grand scbisme d ’Occident, 1378-1409, Paris: Boccard 1966. Feige, Edgar, “Defining and Estimating Underground and Informal Economies: The New Institutional Economic Approach,” I%rld Development, 18, 7, 1990, pp.989—1002. Fieldhouse, D.K., 771e Colonial Empires:/1 Comparative Survey fiom tbe Eigbteentb Century, New York: Delacorte 1967. Fishlow, Albert, “Lessons from the Past: Capital Markets During the 19th Century and the Interwar Period,” in M. Kahler, ed., 77Je Politics of International Debt, Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press 1986, pp. 37-93.


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Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase

Airbnb, basic income, bitcoin, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, fixed income, full employment, future of work, high net worth, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), iterative process, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, litecoin, mass incarceration, means of production, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-work, postindustrial economy, price mechanism, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart meter, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck

And there are already those who would build an entire city to hide from the masses. Off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria, a group of Lebanese developers are building a private city, Eko Atlantic, intended to house 250,000. It is to be “a sustainable city, clean and energy efficient with minimal carbon emissions.”14 It is also going to be a place where the elite can escape from the millions of nearby Nigerians who live on less than a dollar a day and scrounge in the informal economy. Another island, the island of Manhattan, is also gradually being turned into an enclave of the global rich: in 2014, over half of Manhattan real estate sales worth $5 million or more were to foreigners or anonymous buyers behind shell companies (most of whom are believed to be non-American).15 These purchases serve the dual purpose of laundering money and hiding it from prying governments, as well as providing a landing place in case of unrest in their home countries.


pages: 411 words: 114,717

Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles by Ruchir Sharma

3D printing, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, eurozone crisis, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, informal economy, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, zero-sum game

Adcorp, South Africa’s largest employment-services company and a leading authority on labor-market trends, calls this split a “new apartheid” and warns that, in the worst-case scenario, it could lead to an upheaval that pits the unemployed rural masses against the privileged urban job holders. Today the 2 million COSATU members are greatly outnumbered by the 6.4 million unemployed, the 3.7 million who do freelance work through labor contractors, and the 2 million-plus working in the informal economy. To date, however, the unemployed are not organized, and they are rebelling only through channels that do not threaten the ANC. While there is scuttlebutt about corruption in powerful places, there is little visible sign of it. No leader is building a vast palace that would attract public protest and serve as the ramparts of his last stand in office. Yet there are mounting attacks on other targets, including white farmers in the countryside and the workers spilling over the border from Zimbabwe, fleeing the chaos of the Mugabe regime.

Rates of alcoholism and of street crime are also extremely high: visitors are advised not to walk outside their Johannesburg hotels even in broad daylight, or stop at traffic lights at night, and it is impossible to meet anyone in the capital who has not been a violent-crime victim or known one. Why the Unemployed Masses Are Not Angry at the ANC The sprawling black market for labor may be siphoning off some of the discontent over the official unemployment rate. As many as one out of four workers has a job in the informal economy. At every traffic light and street corner, hawkers sell just about anything from jeans to sunglasses, or hire themselves out as day labor. Unlike surprised citizens in nations like Greece or Spain, where unemployment is climbing today, these South Africans have never experienced better economic times. A top official at the country’s central bank told me that the outlook of this group helps explain the ANC’s longevity: far from coalescing as an angry opposition, he said, most workers in the informal sector have “learned to live with what they have, and learned to live with quite little.”


pages: 636 words: 202,284

Piracy : The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates by Adrian Johns

active measures, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, commoditize, Corn Laws, demand response, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Marshall McLuhan, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, software patent, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Whole Earth Catalog

They reach, in fact, to the defining elements of modern culture itself: to science and technology; to authorship, authenticity, and credibility; to policing and politics; to the premises on which economic activity and social order rest. That is why the topic of piracy causes the anxiety that it so evidently does. Ours is supposed to be an age of information – even of an information revolution. Yet it suddenly seems as though enemies of intellectual property are swarming everywhere, and the ground rules for an information economy are nowhere secure. Universities find themselves havens for countless devotees of filesharing software, making blithe use of services that the recording industry condemns flatly as piracy. Biotechnology companies, testing genetically modified organisms in Indian cotton fields, accuse local farmers of being “seed pirates” when they use part of one year’s crop as seed for the next. And Hollywood executives make frontpage headlines when their companies join forces to sell movies online, having been spurred into rare cooperation by their mutual fear of losing control of their intellectual property.

His scheme stalled, and he left the administration in frustration. In 1950 Congress and the White House finally settled on a National Science Foundation that would be based on Bush’s design, not Kilgore’s or Wallace’s. Pure science, expert appraisal, and a patentbased structure of public and private research prevailed as policy. The scientific commons shrank into an ideal. intellectual property versus information economy The years of these conflicts saw the inauguration of a series of disciplines dedicated to understanding the sciences and their place in society. Between 1920 and 1945 one can see the beginnings of, for example, sociologies of invention (in S. C. Gilfillan’s Sociology of Invention), science (in R. K. Merton’s classic papers), and technology (in W. G. Ogburn’s work). There also appeared a psychology of creativity (with patent officer Joseph Rossman’s Industrial Creativity), and a grand theory of technology and society (with Lewis Mumford’s Technics and Civilization).

Today any corresponding taxonomy would extend to a vast array of sins – phishing, identity theft, biopiracy, seed piracy, and so on. It would surely ba√e even someone as worldly as Defoe. Because more things fall under the aegis of intellectual property today than ever before – including recordings, algorithms, digital creations, genes, and even living organisms – practices that until relatively recently would not have seemed even potentially piratical may now be deemed actually so. Meanwhile, as the information economy has grown, so it seems that piracy has metastasized beyond anyone’s ability to understand and master it. Some of its species are industries in their own right. In political and economic rhetoric the accusation of piracy has become the indictment of the age, and a ubiquitous element in the framing of national and international trade politics. The story of piracy has two major implications in this context.


pages: 376 words: 121,254

Cocaine Nation: How the White Trade Took Over the World by Thomas Feiling

anti-communist, barriers to entry, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, illegal immigration, informal economy, inventory management, Kickstarter, land reform, Lao Tzu, mandatory minimum, moral panic, offshore financial centre, RAND corporation, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Stanford prison experiment, trade route, upwardly mobile, yellow journalism

The farming economies of countries such as Colombia and Peru were shrinking, feeding a stream of unemployed farmers and labourers who gravitated towards the biggest cities in search of work. They ensconced themselves as best they could in the shanty towns that sprang up on the peripheries of cities like Lima, Caracas and Kingston. For millions, their first experience of urban life also gave them their first taste of what it meant to be illegal. They worked, if they worked at all, in the informal economy, where their wages went untaxed. They often had no access to basic services, and found themselves maligned by mainstream society and unable to count on the protection of the law. Many of these migrants from countryside to city kept going until they arrived in the United States. In the space of twenty years, traditional village-based societies in countries like the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Guatemala, whose members had been schooled to have strong moral objections to drugs and criminality by the Catholic Church, were uprooted and transplanted into urban milieux.

The Mexican city of Tijuana, which lies across the border from San Diego, California, has 100,000 methamphetamine addicts; far more than you’d expect to find in a city of 1.4 million.17 Mexico, Brazil and Argentina are all struggling to deal with growing numbers of cocaine users. The destitute have latched on to paco, which is made from leftovers from cocaine processing. There has also been an epidemic of crack use among the street children of Mexico City. But to adduce increases in rates of drug use in Mexico to poverty would be to miss the real changes afoot. Most street children get food and shelter from charities and NGOs. They make money in the informal economy, guarding market stalls, picking up rubbish to sell, unloading trucks and the like, and that money goes on crack. More important than poverty in driving the rise in cocaine consumption in Third World countries is the fragility of the family. As more women go out to work, many machista men respond to their partners’ newfound independence with violence. This leads to divorce and traumatizes children, who often flee the family home for a life on the street.18 Once there, many children find that drugs offer the only respite to be had.


pages: 480 words: 119,407

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, lifelogging, low skilled workers, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, phenotype, post-industrial society, randomized controlled trial, remote working, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, the built environment, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Women get up before dawn and then wait for hours until dusk to go out again in search of a relatively private place to urinate or defecate.12 And this isn’t just a problem in poor countries: Human Rights Watch spoke to young girls working in tobacco fields in America and found that they would ‘refrain from relieving themselves at all during the day – aided by avoiding drinking liquids, which increased their risk of dehydration and heat illness’.13 This affects women’s paid labour: women make up 91% of the 86% of Indians who work in the informal economy. Many of these women work as market vendors, and no public toilets means they have nowhere to go during the workday.14 In Afghanistan, female police officers go to the toilets in pairs, because their changing and toilet facilities (described by an international advisor to Human Rights Watch as ‘a site of harassment’) often have peepholes or doors which don’t lock. The lack of safe toilet provision in fact often prevents women from joining the force at all, and this in turn has had a significant impact on how the police respond to crimes against women and girls.15 Despite women’s arguably greater need for public sanitary facilities, however, men are often the ones who are better provided for.

A 2011 survey by Japan’s labour ministry found that ‘more than a third of married women who worked part time and deliberately curtailed their hours did so to keep the tax deduction’.26 In a slightly different example of a hidden gendered bias, Argentina’s tax system provides a rebate almost four times higher for employees than for the self-employed. Gender comes into it because men are more likely to be employed in the formal economy, while women are more likely to be self-employed in the informal economy.27 So the tax system is essentially covertly giving a higher rebate to men than to women. There’s a fairly simple reason why so many tax systems discriminate against women, and that is that we don’t systematically collect data on how tax systems affect them. In other words, it’s because of the gender data gap. The impact of taxation on women is ‘an underdeveloped area of research’ according to a 2017 report from the European Parliament, which called for more sex-disaggregated data on the issue.28 Even countries such as Spain, Finland and Ireland that have taken steps to analyse their budgeting from the perspective of gender, usually focus only on spending, not tax.


pages: 153 words: 45,871

Distrust That Particular Flavor by William Gibson

AltaVista, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, edge city, informal economy, Joi Ito, means of production, megastructure, pattern recognition, proxy bid, telepresence, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

What is this casting of the nets of identity? Do we engage here in something of a tragic seriousness? In the age of wooden television, media were there to entertain, to sell an advertiser’s product, perhaps to inform. Watching television, then, could indeed be considered a leisure activity. In our hypermediated age, we have come to suspect that watching television constitutes a species of work. Postindustrial creatures of an information economy, we increasingly sense that accessing media is what we do. We have become terminally self-conscious. There is no such thing as simple entertainment. We watch ourselves watching. We watch ourselves watching Beavis and Butt-Head, who are watching rock videos. Simply to watch without the buffer of irony in place, might reveal a fatal naïveté. But that is our response to aging media like film and television, survivors from the age of wood.


Hollow City by Rebecca Solnit, Susan Schwartzenberg

blue-collar work, Brownian motion, dematerialisation, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Loma Prieta earthquake, low skilled workers, new economy, New Urbanism, pets.com, rent control, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, wage slave

losing A appeal to vacation travelers, its developer tells me Fisherman's Wharf, completing American economy: from risks if not to business that dot-coms are its a place moving into passage through the peristaltic of food production with and sensory aspects such labor can provide; to the all a tourist site celebrating that food and labor; to another white-collar worksite for an information economy that could be icon Wharf, the developer notes, is its located anywhere Sil- nickname. Meanwhile, a dot-com has leased the top floor of the Cannery, the fruit and food canning factory whose 1967 conversion into a mall style for — sea- set the such conversions around the country.^ These transforma- tions could be read as the return of labor after sure or as a further deterioration of the life an interlude of lei- of the senses and the further homogenization of the world.


Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World by Jeffrey Tucker

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, altcoin, bank run, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Google Hangouts, informal economy, invisible hand, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, obamacare, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, TaskRabbit, the payments system, uber lyft

But I’ll mention Marianne Copenhaver for the cover design, Richard Ellefritz for proofing and suggestions, Max Borders for the constant challenges he poses to these ideas, B.K. Marcus for his editorial eye, the team at Liberty.me for showing what progress means, all my teachers in the bitcoin space, Andreas Antonopoulos for radical and inspirational punditry, Laurie Rice for social media and intellectual mastery, Patrick Byrne for corporate leadership and his introduction, Stephan Kinsella for showing me about the magic of information economies, all the god-like brains from the past whose immortal writings have inspired me, and countless others who have added their wits and wisdom to my thinking on this topic. It’s a crowd-sourced book. It’s a crowd-sourced world. Always has been. I. Liberation Ms. Fereshteh Forough, scientist and philanthropist, grew up as a refugee in Iran. Today her work centers in Afghanistan. Her passion is the liberation of women from poverty and oppression in the developing world.


pages: 448 words: 142,946

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate raider, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, God and Mammon, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, land value tax, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, McMansion, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, special drawing rights, spinning jenny, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail

Of course, physical currency would need to be subject to the same depreciation rate as reserves, which could be accomplished either through Gesell’s method, by having expiry dates on currency, by replacing it with (or redefining it as) bearer bonds with a negative interest rate, by using cash currency that is distinct from the official unit of account, or by letting the exchange rate between bank reserves and currency fluctuate.20 Another option would be to ban official physical currency altogether, which could vastly increase the power of government since every electronic transaction could be recorded. Frightening as that is to those (including myself) who are wary of the surveillance state, my response to that concern is, “Too late.” Already today nearly all important transactions are done electronically anyway, with the notable exception of those involving illegal drugs. Cash is also used extensively in the informal economy to help people avoid taxes, a motive that would disappear if taxation were shifted away from incomes and onto resources as I propose. Moreover, there is no reason why unofficial currencies shouldn’t thrive alongside the official, negative-interest electronic currency. Whether these are electronic or paper depends on the application: probably commercial barter rings and credit-clearing cooperatives would use electronic money while local, community-based currencies might prefer paper.

Corporations bypass banks by obtaining financing directly from money markets, while new P2P lending websites such as LendingClub and Prosper.com now allow individuals to borrow directly from each other. Commercial credit-clearing rings, mutual factoring systems, and commercial barter networks, which I will discuss later, are other ways that information technology is reducing the role of centralized intermediary institutions. All of these developments will reduce GDP by lowering spending on “financial services.” Because these ever-cheaper “information economy” services are a factor of production in nearly every other sector, degrowth here is contagious. This is true even in industries that we think of as growth industries. In 2000, for example, $371 billion was spent on PC hardware, including printers, servicing, and data storage. By 2009, this had shrunk to $326 billion. Obviously, this drop is not because we are buying fewer computers; it is because costs have fallen dramatically.


pages: 193 words: 47,808

The Flat White Economy by Douglas McWilliams

"Robert Solow", access to a mobile phone, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, correlation coefficient, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, George Gilder, hiring and firing, income inequality, informal economy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, loadsamoney, low skilled workers, mass immigration, Metcalfe’s law, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, smart cities, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, working-age population, zero-sum game

Their definition of R&D, and hence innovation, is constructed in such a way that most software development is consequently excluded.16 The reason for this is that the scientists involved in the process (and the distinguished economist Christopher Freeman, emeritus Professor of the Economics of Science at Sussex University) were focussing on research carried out by the type of scientists operating in dedicated research establishments and wearing laboratory coats. In the days when this definition was invented, no one had ever envisaged that economically valuable research would be carried out by young(ish) kids playing at their desks with their computers in between other activities. But in the new digital economy this is how R&D mainly happens, and with the information economy being one of the largest parts of the world’s economy and certainly its fastest growing, this probably accounts for the bulk of the innovative activity that takes place anywhere in the world, and especially in the UK. The result is that the desk research conducted by government economists using the Frascati definition of research misses the key points – that the UK is not only one of the leading nations in the world for innovation but also for its dissemination.


pages: 186 words: 49,595

Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet by Linda Herrera

citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, Google Earth, informal economy, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, minimum wage unemployment, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, RAND corporation, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, WikiLeaks

In the breathtaking pace at which images and stories spread, there is little time for fact-checking, reflection, or bottom-up movement building. The meme-like spread of Mohamed Bouazizi seems to have traveled a path via social media similar to that traversed by Khaled Said. First was the grippingly tragic story of the martyr’s demise. Bouazizi was a twenty-six-year-old man from Tunisia’s interior region of Sidi Bouzid. He left high school early to work full-time in the informal economy as a fruit and vegetable vendor. As the eldest son in his family, he provided the primary support for his widowed mother and five younger siblings. Overwhelmed by the burden of fines, debts, and the humiliation of being serially harassed and beaten—in the end by a female police officer who literally struck the final blow to his dignity when she slapped him in public—he sought retribution. He tried to lodge complaints with government authorities, but they were indifferent to his plight.


pages: 171 words: 54,334

Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

Whole Earth Catalog. Brand, Stewart. 1972. “Space War: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums.” Rolling Stone, December 7. http://www.wheels.org/spacewar/stone/rolling_stone.html. ———. 1974. “History – Demise Party etc.” Whole Earth Catalog, October. http://wholeearth.com/issue/1180/article/321/history.-.demise.party.etc. ———. 1985. “Keep Designing: How the Information Economy is Being Created and Shaped by the Hacker Ethic.” Whole Earth Review, May. Brandeis, Louis. 1913. “What Publicity Can Do.” Harpers Weekly. Burns, John F. 2010. “WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Trailed by Notoriety.” The New York Times, October 23. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/world/24assange.html. Bush, Vannevar. 1945. “As We May Think.” The Atlantic, July. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1945/07/as-we-may-think/3881/.


What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

banking crisis, British Empire, Doomsday Clock, failed state, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, informal economy, liberation theology, mass immigration, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus

Sainath has pointed out, for the first time in Indian history there is mass migration from the countryside.19 There always was migration during harvests. This is different. People are fleeing the devastated countryside, where the large majority lives, and essentially pouring into the Mumbai slums. The most serious economic analyses—not the rave reviews on the op-ed page of the Times but real analyses—indicate that maybe 80 percent of the population or so is in the informal economy, which is not even counted.20 In states such as Uttar Pradesh, which has about the same population as Pakistan, the conditions for women are probably worse than under the Taliban. Go around India, and that’s what you find. There is growth, which is good. They’re improving roads, they have a big software program, they do have great labs. But for most of the population, it’s hardly heaven. Very far from it.


pages: 554 words: 158,687

Profiting Without Producing: How Finance Exploits Us All by Costas Lapavitsas

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III,