437 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. I like the differentiation that Jared has made here on his homepage with categories for "fast" and "slow".

      It's reminiscent of the system 1 (fast) and system2 (slow) ideas behind Kahneman and Tversky's work in behavioral economics. (See Thinking, Fast and Slow)

      It's also interesting in light of this tweet which came up recently:

      I very much miss the back and forth with blog posts responding to blog posts, a slow moving argument where we had time to think.

      — Rachel Andrew (@rachelandrew) August 22, 2017
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      Because the Tweet was shared out of context several years later, someone (accidentally?) replied to it as if it were contemporaneous. When called out for not watching the date of the post, their reply was "you do slow web your way…" #

      This gets one thinking. Perhaps it would help more people's contextual thinking if more sites specifically labeled their posts as fast and slow (or gave a 1-10 rating?). Sometimes the length of a response is an indicator of the thought put into it, thought not always as there's also the oft-quoted aphorism: "If I Had More Time, I Would Have Written a Shorter Letter".

      The ease of use of the UI on Twitter seems to broadly make it a platform for "fast" posting which can often cause ruffled feathers, sour feelings, anger, and poor communication.

      What if there were posting UIs (or micropub clients) that would hold onto your responses for a few hours, days, or even a week and then remind you about them after that time had past to see if they were still worth posting? This is a feature based on Abraham Lincoln's idea of a "hot letter" or angry letter, which he advised people to write often, but never send.

      Where is the social media service for hot posts that save all your vituperation, but don't show them to anyone? Or which maybe posts them anonymously?

      The opposite of some of this are the partially baked or even fully thought out posts that one hears about anecdotally, but which the authors say they felt weren't finish and thus didn't publish them. Wouldn't it be better to hit publish on these than those nasty quick replies? How can we create UI for this?

      I saw a sitcom a few years ago where a girl admonished her friend (an oblivious boy) for liking really old Instagram posts of a girl he was interested in. She said that deep-liking old photos was an obvious and overt sign of flirting.

      If this is the case then there's obviously a social standard of sorts for this, so why not hold your tongue in the meanwhile, and come up with something more thought out to send your digital love to someone instead of providing a (knee-)jerk reaction?

      Of course now I can't help but think of the annotations I've been making in my copy of Lucretius' On the Nature of Things. Do you suppose that Lucretius knows I'm in love?

    1. Second, how is everyone going to get paid? Without a profit motive for middleware providers, the magic will not happen, or it will not happen at large enough scale. Something about business models—or, at a minimum, the distribution of ads and ad revenue—will have to change. That leaves the two thorny issues I do know a fair amount about: curation costs and user privacy.
    2. Fukuyama's work, which draws on both competition analysis and an assessment of threats to democracy, joins a growing body of proposals that also includes Mike Masnick's "protocols not platforms," Cory Doctorow's "adversarial interoperability," my own "Magic APIs," and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's "algorithmic choice."

      Nice overview of work in the space for fixing monopoly in social media space the at the moment. I hadn't heard about Fukuyama or Daphne Keller's versions before.

      I'm not sure I think Dorsey's is actually a thing. I suspect it is actually vaporware from the word go.

      IndieWeb has been working slowly at the problem as well.

    1. Law, medicine, academia, media—the most desirable professions—have all contracted. The result is a large population of overeducated, underemployed young people living in metropolitan areas.

      This is definitely a problem and a bigger one since the 2008 recession.

    2. The conclusion was obvious: The system was rigged for insiders. The economic recovery took years; the recovery of trust never came.

      Economic recovery for the masses took ages while the economic recovery for the wealthier was nearly instantanous.

      What is the relationship to the recession with the rise of the Tea Party?

      Will the pandemic recession do better since there seems to be more focus on the lower classes than the upper? The upper classes (and certainly the billionaires) apparently did incredibly well.

    3. As an Army officer in Iraq wrote in 2007, “A private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war.”

      This seems a solid microcosm of the idea of of privatizing profits and socializing the losses.

      It also fits at the corporate level where a CEO who makes a horrible decision can wreck a company, but the low level blue collar worker or even low level white collar worker who steals hand tools or office supplies faces much larger consequences.

      It's much harder to and more complicated to hold power to account, but we're obviously failing miserably at it in American society. How might we incrementally improve this situation. We desperately need it.

    4. Finally, Real America has a strong nationalist character. Its attitude toward the rest of the world is isolationist, hostile to humanitarianism and international engagement, but ready to respond aggressively to any incursion against national interests.

      Humanitarianism and international engagement are definitely important, but their value is often made invisible to "Real America" or "middle America".

      How can this value be made more apparent? How could we account for it to make it easier to see?

      The issue is compounded when large corporations receive massive bailouts as it's an additional cost weighing down the system. Would humanitarianism and international engagement be easier to uphold if we left off corporate costs? Do most of the value of humanitarianism and international engagement redound to corporations as an additional value primarily to them rather than everyday people? Is their perceived problem that they're another method of privatizing profits to major corporations and elites and socializing the losses to the average person?

    5. If your goal is to slow climate change, or reverse inequality, or stop racism, or rebuild democracy, you will need the national solidarity that comes from patriotism.

      This is a strong statement.

      Are there other levers? What might they be?

      If it is the only lever, has the split in America made things too difficult to allow patriotism to come back? Especially in a more global marketplace where countries now are more inter-reliant?

    6. But Smart Americans are uneasy with patriotism. It’s an unpleasant relic of a more primitive time, like cigarette smoke or dog racing. It stirs emotions that can have ugly consequences. The winners in Smart America—connected by airplane, internet, and investments to the rest of the globe—have lost the capacity and the need for a national identity, which is why they can’t grasp its importance for others. Their passionate loyalty, the one that gives them a particular identity, goes to their family. The rest is diversity and efficiency, heirloom tomatoes and self-driving cars. They don’t see the point of patriotism.

      These ideas of patriotism apply generally to me. Perhaps some of it is the result of extreme nationalism at the end of the 1800s which broadly caused the two World Wars of the 1900s.The new rise of populism also doesn't make nationalism a valuable thing.

      Also tied into this change is the rise of globalism and the global marketplace which devalued some of the "made in America" sort of nationalism of the 1970s and 1980s.

      How much of my thesis about the massive shifts of consumption and production related to globalism fits into this sort of nationalism? When might the playing field equilibrate? Equilibration is going to rely on not having a World War III which may only serve to break things further apart?

      Similar to Abraham Lincoln forcing America to stick together to make it what it was, what will future leaders have to do/sacrifice to hold the world together until the economics of the first, second, and third worlds equilibrate?

    7. So these two classes, rising professionals and sinking workers, which a couple of generations ago were close in income and not so far apart in mores, no longer believe they belong to the same country. But they can’t escape each other, and their coexistence breeds condescension, resentment, and shame.

      This rings true to me. How can we reverse this tide?

    8. What professionals actually do to earn the large incomes that pay for their nice things is a mystery. All those hours spent sitting at a computer screen—do they contribute something to society, to the family of an electrician or a home health aide (whose contributions are obvious)?

      A solid question.

      Perhaps less mysterious when gauged against the extreme financialization of our economy since the 1970's.

      Are these people primarily propping up our classist structures to the lack of all else?

      What could be done to re-regulate things back into some semblance of balance?

      How much of the financialization is strip mining the lower classes or even middle classes of their earnings and retirements in progressively more vicious economic downturns that get bailed out by the populace?

      Would allowing companies that are "too large to fail" help right the system and push more wealth back down to the lower classes?

    9. In our case, a system intended to expand equality has become an enforcer of inequality. Americans are now meritocrats by birth. We know this, but because it violates our fundamental beliefs, we go to a lot of trouble not to know it.

      Class stratification helps to create not only racist policies but policies that enforce the economic stratification and prevent upward (or downward) mobility.

      I believe downward mobility is much simpler for Black Americans (find reference to OTM podcast about Obama to back this up).

      How can we create social valves (similar to those in the circulatory system of our legs) that help to push people up and maintain them at certain levels without disadvantaging those who are still at the bottom and who may neither want to move up nor have the ability?

    10. The winners in Smart America have withdrawn from national life. They spend inordinate amounts of time working (even in bed), researching their children’s schools and planning their activities, shopping for the right kind of food, learning to make sushi or play the mandolin, staying in shape, and following the news. None of this brings them in contact with fellow citizens outside their way of life. School, once the most universal and influential of our democratic institutions, now walls them off. The working class is terra incognita.

      This statement generally rings true to me. The collapse of cultural and local institutions (Lions Club, Elks Club, etc.) hasn't helped to bring different classes together.

      Some of this has been fueled by social media as well.

      Smart America can also afford more expensive tickets, so even mixing classes at baseball games is less frequent on an economic scale as well.

    11. In April 2000, Clinton hosted a celebration called the White House Conference on the New Economy. Earnest purpose mingled with self-congratulation; virtue and success high-fived—the distinctive atmosphere of Smart America. At one point Clinton informed the participants that Congress was about to pass a bill to establish permanent trade relations with China, which would make both countries more prosperous and China more free. “I believe the computer and the internet give us a chance to move more people out of poverty more quickly than at any time in all of human history,” he exulted.

      This is a solid example of the sort of rose colored glasses too many had for technology in the early 2000s.

      Was this instance just before the tech bubble collapsed too?

      What was the state of surveillance capitalism at this point?

    12. The narrative of Free America shaped the parameters of acceptable thinking for Smart America. Free trade, deregulation, economic concentration, and balanced budgets became the policy of the Democratic Party.

      The deregulation part has hurt us immensely. Cross reference this with the thesis found in American Amnesia by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson.

      Which parts of the Democratic party went along with this? Evidence? More of the deregulation parts seemed to be identified with the Republican party.

  2. Jul 2021
    1. For much of Americanhistory, people were educated in a wide range of (often highlyeccentric) settings. !is was generally perceived as a problem, andefforts at standardization kicked in, reaching their peak in the1960s. Since then we have seen increasing fragmentation, withordinary public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, variouskinds of private schools, homeschooling, unschooling—but all ofthese work on the same platforms;

      Interesting to note the time period of this peak, which broadly coincides with Brown vs. Board of Education and desegregation in the 1970s. Did the fluorescence of these others begin as a means of better segregating students either racially or economically?

    1. For consumers seeking the best price per ounce, the most value is normally in our larger boxes of cereal," says Kelsey Roemhildt, a General Mills spokesperson. "This change also allows more efficient truck loading leading to fewer trucks on the road and fewer gallons of fuel used, which is important in both reducing global emissions as well as offsetting increased costs associated with inflation." General Mills' reframing of its shrinkflation seems to be pretty typical of Corporate America. Companies often sell downsizing as a way to help the environment, offer consumers more choice, or improve the quality of their products. When a spokesperson for Charmin, for example, was confronted by reporters at WBUR about shrinking the size of their toilet sheet squares, she suggested it was the result of "innovations" that allow consumers to, basically, wipe their butts more efficiently.

      So in addition to sketchy economic and psy-ops practices, they're also engaging in greenwashing as well.

    2. Downsizing and shrinkflation mean the same thing Dworsky is a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general and longtime consumer advocate. He has spent decades tracking instances of companies shrinking products on his website Mouseprint. He refers to it by its original name, downsizing, but economist Pippa Malmgren rechristened it "shrinkflation" about a decade ago, and the term stuck. Downsizing and shrinkflation both refer to the same thing: companies reducing the size or quantity of their products while charging the same price or even more.

      The idea of shrinkflation and the fact that it works indicates that the majority of consumers are not rational actors that classical economics would indicate or they would be much more aware of these changes in pricing.

      Another example of this sort are the domed bottoms of jars/bottles which remove product while keeping the same packaging, which further hides the bait-and-switch operation.

    1. The 2016 presidential race had signaled as much. Donald Trump carried 2,584 counties across the country, but calculations by scholars at the Brookings Institution showed that the 472 counties Hillary Clinton carried accounted for nearly two-thirds of U.S. economic output.

      Hillary Clinton: 472 counties = 64% US GDP

      Donald Trump: 2584 counties = 36% US GDP

      Source

    2. districts won by Democrats account for 61 percent of America's gross domestic product, districts won by Republicans 38 percent.
    3. Residents of districts won by Democrats generate 22% more output per worker, and have a 15% higher median household income.
    4. In Democratic districts, 35 percent of residents have college degrees, compared to 28 percent in Republican districts.
    5. Employees are less likely to work in manufacturing (7.2 percent in blue districts, 11 percent in red districts) and more likely to work in digital services (2.5 percent compared to 1.1 percent).
    6. Blue districts have attracted the expanding segments of the U.S. population and workforce; half their residents are non-white. Red districts are 27 percent non-white.
    1. ‘Don’t get fooled by those mangled teeth she sports on camera!’ says the ABC News host introducing the woman who plays Pennsatucky. ‘Taryn Manning is one beautiful and talented actress.’ This suggestion that bad teeth and talent, in particular, are mutually exclusive betrays our broad, unexamined bigotry toward those long known, tellingly, as ‘white trash.’ It’s become less acceptable in recent decades to make racist or sexist statements, but blatant classism generally goes unchecked. See the hugely successful blog People of Walmart that, through submitted photographs, viciously ridicules people who look like contemporary US poverty: the elastic waistbands and jutting stomachs of diabetic obesity, the wheelchairs and oxygen tanks of gout and emphysema. Upper-class supremacy is nothing new. A hundred years ago, the US Eugenics Records Office not only targeted racial minorities but ‘sought to demonstrate scientifically that large numbers of rural poor whites were genetic defectives,’ as the sociologist Matt Wray explains in his book Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness (2006). The historian and civil rights activist W E B du Bois, an African American, wrote in his autobiography Dusk of Dawn (1940) that, growing up in Massachusetts in the 1870s, ‘the racial angle was more clearly defined against the Irish than against me. It was a matter of income and ancestry more than colour.’ Martin Luther King, Jr made similar observations and was organising a poor-people’s march on Washington at the time of his murder in 1968.

      examples of upper-class supremacy

      This seems an interesting sociological issue. What is the root cause? Is it the economic sense of "keeping up with the Jonses"? Is it a zero-sum game? really?

    1. Libraries in these scenarios are no longer custodians for the ages of anything, whether tangible or intangible, but rather poolers of funding to pay for fleeting access to knowledge elsewhere.

      A major archiving issue in the digital era is that libraries are no longer the long term storage repositories they have otherwise been for the past two thousand years.

      What effects will this have on the future? Particularly once the financial interests of the owning companies no longer exists?

  3. Jun 2021
    1. We should favor ways of organizing our social and economic life so things that are socially productive are more nearly equally rewarded. And we should pick ways of making things, ways of delivering services, ways of running schooling that don’t skew achievement so far at the very top. … We could organize finance so that the middle of the skill distribution, the old home loan officer, is the dominant worker. We could organize medicine in such a way that the difference between the specialist doctor, the nurse practitioner, and the pharmacist is relatively small and most health care is delivered by people in the middle of the skill distribution. ... The core thing to do is to find policies both in education and the labor market that recompress the distribution of economic roles.

      This sounds like a positive move, but will require a lot of government regulation/oversight.

      Placing caps on runaway capitalism and meritocracy could be required to keep us from killing ourselves.

    2. Markovits wants to move us away from a polarized meritocracy — one characterized by a massive skill-and-reward gap between elite workers and other workers — to a compressed meritocracy defined by broad, shared prosperity between mid-skilled workers.

      Think about this and the ultimate consequences. Polarized verses compressed meritocracy sounds intriguing, but could also be the wrong framing or working at the wrong issue.

    3. You have to be right that the best society is one where people get ahead by being good at things that are worth doing.

      Quote from Daniel Markovitz

      This does raise the point of whether or not some of the things elites are doing is actually good or productive for society. Many are only working at privatizing profits and socializing losses which can be phenomenally caustic to society as well.

    4. Diminishing social mobility excludes the middle class from the hope of achieving the American Dream.

      Do we actually need social mobility?

      Social mobility and the goods it can purchase can be a useful social motivation.

      However, social mobility for the poorest amoungst us would be good, but how much additional marginal good does society derive from continued social mobility of the middle and upper classes continuing to gain wealth and moving up?

      Perhaps there's a myth of social mobility confounding the issue with the myth of meritocracy as well.

      Certainly the idea of raw capitalism without caps is at play as well. Could providing better governmental oversight of this be a helpful factor for society? (At least American society at the moment? As international competition may drive other broader problems vis-a-vis other pieces of global domination...)

    5. Meritocratic inequality works like this: First, elite workers acquire super-skilled jobs, displacing middle-class labor from the center of economic production. Then, those elite workers use their massive incomes to monopolize elite education for their children, ensuring that their offspring are more qualified to dominate high-skilled industries than their middle-class counterparts. The cycle continues, generating what Markovits calls “snowball inequality”: a compounding feedback loop that amplifies economic inequality, dramatically suppresses social mobility, and creates a “time divide” between an elite class whose members work longer and longer (due to a higher demand for their talents) and an increasingly idle middle class (whose work has been made redundant).

      This all seems logical and certainly plays a part, but I still think it's more complicated. This is a feedback "engine" that has been installed since ~1970 and exacerbated by the 1980s.

      There's likely still a leisure class above this compounding the effects.

    6. This leads us to Markovits’s second critique of the aspirational view: The cycle that produces meritocratic inequality severely harms not only the middle class but the very elite who seem to benefit most from it.

      What if we look at meritocracy from a game theoretic viewpoint?

      Certainly there's an issue that there isn't a cap on meritocratic outputs, so if one wants more wealth, then one needs to "simply" work harder. As a result, in a "keeping up with the Jones'" society that (incorrectly) measures happiness in wealth, everyone is driven to work harder and faster for their piece of the pie.

      (How might we create a sort of "set point" to limit the unbounded meritocratic cap? Might this create a happier set point/saddle point on the larger universal graph?)

      This effect in combination with the general drive to have "power over" people instead of "power with", etc. in combination with racist policies can create some really horrific effects.

      What other compounding effects might there be? This is definitely a larger complexity-based issue.

    7. As a result, Markovits calculates that three-quarters of elite income now originates from labor rather than inherited capital.

      Financialization of the economy may indicate that this isn't the case. What labor is really being done? Isn't more of it built on information and information flows?

      These numbers definitely need to be checked.

    8. The rich are also more skilled than ever.

      What level of rich are we talking about with this comparison? The uber-rich or the rich?

      The rich need at least some level of education to prevent themselves from being scammed certainly, but how hard do the uber-wealthy really need to work?

    9. Fifty, 60, 70 years ago, you could tell how poor somebody was by how hard they worked.
    10. A Harvard Business Review survey found that 62 percent of high-earning individuals work over 50 hours a week, more than a third work over 60 hours a week, and one in 10 work over 80 hours a week. According to Markovits, elites today work an average of 12 more hours per week than middle-class workers (the equivalent of 1.5 additional workdays).

      This may be the case for high-earners, but where do these people sit with respect to the higher elite or "leisure class"?

      Are these hard working high-earners a new class of people that has emerged that aren't the previous elite of the mid-1900s?

      What effect does the rise of finacialization (versus manufacturing or service sectors) since the 1970's have on this shift? Did these high-earners arise out of a hole in the market to service the elites on the highest rung up to make their wealth grow faster?

      There seems to be a hole in this argument with respect to the prior quote:

      Fifty, 60, 70 years ago, you could tell how poor somebody was by how hard they worked. Today, that relationship has been completely reversed. Elites work for a living. They work harder than they used to. They work harder in terms of brute hours than the middle class on average, and they get most of their income by working.

    11. Some argue that the American elite is functionally an old-fashioned aristocracy that owes its income to nepotism and opportunism. Others argue that the elite is functionally an oligarchy that owes its rising income to a shift away from labor and toward capital. According to this view, elites don’t even need nepotism — they are using preexisting wealth and inheritance to rebuild an old-fashioned feudal class.

      So much here to unpack...

    1. This animated film is a collaboration between economist Kate Raworth, puppet designer Emma Powell and song writer Simon Panrucker.

    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>juanjosefernandez</span> in 📚-reading (<time class='dt-published'>06/04/2021 16:32:12</time>)</cite></small>

  4. May 2021
    1. I worked on a recent project to sketch out for a centre-right German think-tank how a European data commons might work. I tried to steer it away from property rights and towards what you’d get if you started with the commons and then worked back to what data could be harnessed, and to which collective purposes. This is eminently do-able, and pushes you towards two distinct areas; groups of people who are served poorly or not at all by current data regimes, and existing cooperatives, unions and mutual societies who could collect and process their members’ data to improve collective bargaining, or licence access to it to generate revenue and boost affiliate membership. Viewing personal data as a collective asset points towards all sorts of currently under-provided public goods (I briefly describe several, on p. 74 here – yes, oddly enough, this stuff got shoved into an annex).

      Apparently lots of reading to catch up on here.

      I definitely like the idea of starting with the commons and working backwards, not only with respect to data, but with respect to most natural resources. This should be the primary goal of governments and the goal should be to prevent private individuals and corporations from privatizing profits and socializing the losses.

      Think of an individual organism in analogy to a country or even personkind. What do we call a group of cells that grows without check and consumes all the resources? (A cancer). The organism needs each cell and group of cells to work together for the common good. We can't have a group of cis-gender white men aggregating all the power and resources for themselves at the cost of the rest otherwise they're just a cancer on humanity.

    2. I particularly enjoyed the California water commons, with its quiet nod to Elinor Ostrom’s original post-graduate research on emergent cooperation between county water-boards.

      A quiet nod here in it's own right. Now I want to dig into Elinor Ostrom's research and work.

    3. Right now, fewer than half a dozen tech firms concentrate huge resources on a small number of global post-graduate AI programmes around the world. They directly and indirectly influence the training and content of those programmes, especially through access to data-sets. Compliance of senior academics is easy to gain, however they individually rationalise it.

      The dominant culture being in a position of power and wealth makes it far easier to direct the future to ensure that the dominate culture stays in power and wealth.

      How does one "break this wheel" of power?

    4. I’ve also written about China’s no less corrosive version of the Internet and how it’s marketed to developing and middle income countries as “Autocracy-as-a-Service”.

      Autocracy-as-a-Service---it's so sad that this apt phrase exists and worse that it has such a benign feeling to it.

      https://onezero.medium.com/now-any-government-can-buy-chinas-tools-for-censoring-the-internet-18ed862b9138

    5. Right now, most of the blockchain mining in the world happens in China, where provinces with the cheapest energy set up mining operations to do the ‘proof of work’ calculations that the dominant paradigm of blockchain requires. Factories that ostensibly make other things now acquire significant computing hardware and dedicate energy in order to, essentially, print money that’s then stored offshore. A recent study shows that 40% of China’s mostly bitcoin mining is powered by coal-burning. We also already know that non-blockchain server farms in cheap energy countries consume so much energy they distort national grids, and throw off huge amounts of heat that then need cooling for the servers to operate, creating a vicious cycle of energy consumption
    1. This is another great example of companies attempting to privatize profits and socialize the losses, or in this case pass along the losses and lost productivity to their employees (or as described here their independent contractors).

      Why can't they do some of the hard "technology" work and solve the problem of helping their workers become dramatically more productive?

    1. Even with data that’s less fraught than our genome, our decisions about what we expose to the world have externalities for the people around us.

      We need to think more about the externalities of our data decisions.

    1. Yet apart from a few megastar “influencers”, most creators receive no reward beyond the thrill of notching up “likes”.

      But what are these people really making? Besides one or two of the highest paid, what is a fair-to-middling influencer really making?

    1. Lichtenberg, on the other hand, used the term "aphorism" in his notes, but never referred to it in his own writing. [7] The name Sudelbuch goes back to him, as his brother Ludwig Christian Lichtenberg noted in the "preliminary report" for the first edition of a selection of Lichtenberg's notes the year after his death . [8] And there was already reference to Lichtenberg's own explanation of the use of the term: [9] “The merchants have their waste book (Sudelbuch, Klitterbuch, I believe in German), in which they enter everything they sell and buy from day to day, everything in a mess, from this it is carried into the journal, where everything is more systematically stands, and finally it comes to the Leidger at double entrance according to the Italian way of bookkeeping. In this, each man is accounted for separately, first as a debtor and then as a creditor. This deserves to be imitated by scholars. First a book in which I write everything, as I see it or as my thoughts give me, then this can be carried back into another, where the matter is more separated and ordered, - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg : Sudelbuch E, entry 46 [10]

      Here's translated quote from the 1700's in which Georg Christoph Lichtenberg directly links the idea of double-entry bookkeeping to the idea of a commonplace book (or waste book or in his tongue Sudelbücher).

      Not to dissimilar to my recent observation:

      Backlinks in digital gardens, commonplace books, or wikis are just an abstract extension of the accounting concept of double-entry bookkeeping.

    1. Standard economic theory uses mathematics as its main means of understanding, and this brings clarity of reasoning and logical power. But there is a drawback: algebraic mathematics restricts economic modeling to what can be expressed only in quantitative nouns, and this forces theory to leave out matters to do with process, formation, adjustment, creation and nonequilibrium. For these we need a different means of understanding, one that allows verbs as well as nouns. Algorithmic expression is such a means. It allows verbs (processes) as well as nouns (objects and quantities). It allows fuller description in economics, and can include heterogeneity of agents, actions as well as objects, and realistic models of behavior in ill-defined situations. The world that algorithms reveal is action-based as well as object-based, organic, possibly ever-changing, and not fully knowable. But it is strangely and wonderfully alive.

      Read abstract.

      The analogy of adding a "verb" to mathematics is intriguing here.

  5. Apr 2021
  6. Mar 2021
    1. What Fukuyama and a team of thinkers at Stanford have proposed instead is a means of introducing competition into the system through “middleware,” software that allows people to choose an algorithm that, say, prioritizes content from news sites with high editorial standards.

      This is the second reference I've seen recently (Jack Dorsey mentioning a version was the first) of there being a marketplace for algorithms.

      Does this help introduce enough noise into the system to confound the drive to the extremes for the average person? What should we suppose from the perspective of probability theory?

    1. Paywall success stories are a mix of specialized news, often catering to the ultrawealthy (WSJ), superstar news orgs focused on specific national and international news (NYT) or news with billionaire backstops (WP). The civic function of news is not met by any of these models. But reader-supported, open access news, like Canadaland and The Halifax Examiner are filling in the gaps. The co-op model is a most welcome adjunct to these success stories.

      List of business models for news.

    1. An NFT is a crypto-token on a blockchain. The token is virtual — the thing you own is a cryptographic key to a particular address on the blockchain — but legally, it’s property that you can buy, own or sell like any other property.

      It's already caused society a lot of harm to treat corporations as people. Turning digital assets into property seems like a similar mistake in the making.

    1. The challenge, honestly, is the tyranny of choice. It takes research and time. As Linux users will tell you, the hardest part of using Linux is deciding the exact distro to use, because there’s so much choice. It can be overwhelming.

      I love the elegance of the idea of "tyranny of choice."

    1. The urgent argument for turning any company into a software company is the growing availability of data, both inside and outside the enterprise. Specifically, the implications of so-called “big data”—the aggregation and analysis of massive data sets, especially mobile

      Every company is described by a set of data, financial and other operational metrics, next to message exchange and paper documents. What else we find that contributes to the simulacrum of an economic narrative will undeniably be constrained by the constitutive forces of its source data.

    1. As well as the discussion about what is really meant by a ‘domain of one’s own‘

      Societies have been inexorably been moving toward interdependence. More and more people specialize and sub-specialize into smaller fragments of the work that we do. As a result, we become more interdependent on the work of others to underpin our own. This makes the worry about renting a domain seem somewhat disingenuous, particularly when we can reasonably rely on the underlying structures to work to keep our domains in place.

      Perhaps re-framing this idea may be worthwhile. While it may seem that we own our bodies (at least in modern liberal democracies, for the moment), a large portion of our bodies are comprised of bacteria which are simultaneously both separate and a part of us and who we are. The symbiosis between people and their bacteria has been going on so long and generally so consistently we don't realize that the interdependence even exists anymore. No one walks around talking about how they're renting their bacteria.

      Eventually we'll get to a point where our interdependence on domain registrars and hosts becomes the same sort of symbiotic interdependence.

      Another useful analogy is to look at our interdependence on all the other pieces in our lives which we don't own or directly control, but which still allow us to live and exist.

      People only tend to notice the major breakdowns of these bits of our interdependence. Recently there has been a lot of political turmoil and strife in the United States because politicians have become more self-centered and focused on their own needs, wants, and desire for power that they aren't serving the majority of people. When our representatives don't do their best work at representing their constituencies, major breakdowns in our interdependence occur. We need to be able to rely on scientists to do their best work to inform politicians who we need to be able to trust to do their best work to improve our lives and the general welfare. When the breakdown happens it creates issues to the individual bodies that make up the society as well as the body of the society itself.

      Who's renting who in this scenario?

  7. Feb 2021
    1. “In the last decade, especially with the pioneering work of Thomas Piketty and his co-authors, there has been a growing consensus that tax cuts for the rich lead to higher income inequality,” Hope and Limberg said.
    2. in the United States the bottom 10 percent of earners capture only 1.8 percent of the country’s income).

      This is really abominable.

    1. As Miller explained, it is central to the radical Left’s foundation to destroy Americans’ faith in ourselves, our past, and our present. Because this destruction is the prerequisite for changing America into a dramatically different country, which is less free, less safe, and less successful.

      Why are Republicans always trying to use the "radical Left" as the boogeyman and painting the entirety of the Democratic party with it? Gingrich knows full well that there are marginal voices on the far left just as there are on the far right. Why are Republicans always painting with such a broad brush and not supporting their arguments with actual facts?

      I'm curious just which specific things Gingerich thinks they're doing that will make us "less free" or "less safe"? For comparison, maybe we should look at decades of "trickle down economics" and see if those work? I suspect Gingrich and Miller would say yes, but mountains of evidence indicate we're not measurably better off. (See also: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/107919/1/Hope_economic_consequences_of_major_tax_cuts_published.pdf)

    2. “Of course, we want to cut taxes. Who would ever want to pay more taxes? [It] seemed crazy to want to pay more taxes. You know, of course, you want to have a safe and secure community. Who wouldn’t want that?” Miller said. “You know, of course, we want to have a strong military. I just remember reading it and thinking this just makes a lot of sense.” 

      Now tell us how you do both of these things well? What do you think funds a safe and secure community and a strong military?

    1. In the telecommunications industry, on a conceptual level, value-added services add value to the standard service offering, spurring subscribers to use their phone more and allowing the operator to drive up their average revenue per user.
    1. 21st Century Economics (USA)

      Economic Theory of a Market Economy, Characteristics, Pros, and Cons

      Americans and the World believe or want to believe that the United States is built upon a Market Economy.

      Historical context validates a classic Market Economy theory as directed by our Founding Fathers and Constitution. We clearly do not have a pure Market Economy today (2021).

      • To Big to Fail - (Bailouts)
      • Farm Subsidies
      • Political Influence (money, lobbying, tenure)
      • Government Agencies
      • Military/Industrial Complex
      • Federal Reserve (Central Banking)
      • Social Security
      • Medicare
      • Other

      Most Americans lump (through education) the concept of economics and government together, into 3 basic categories; Capitalism, Socialism and Communism.

      The U.S. is a Capitalist Nation with a corresponding market economy.

      Is this statement Fact or Hypothesis ?

      Can we still rely on textbook economic models in the 21st Century?

    1. We have “limbic capitalism” which “preys on our addicted brains”, with vast amounts of money invested into making sites and apps more addictive so subjects view more adverts, with some people even claiming this has created a new generation with shorter attention spans and less focus and concentration than ever before.

      This is the first time I've seen a reference to limbic capitalism as a term. Not a bad word for the concept.

    1. Economists call this a "network effect": the more people there are on Twitter, the more reason there is to be on Twitter and the harder it is to leave. But technologists have another name for this: "lock in." The more you pour into Twitter, the more it costs you to leave. Economists have a name for that cost: the "switching cost."
  8. Jan 2021
    1. Pew Research Center analysis from 2018 found that between the year 2000 and 2016, median household income for middle class Americans has been stagnant while the median household income for working class Americans is less than it was 16 years prior.

      Yet dramatic billionaire growth.

    1. But if Schmelzing is right, his chart simply tells the story of the technological maturity of capitalism. In the long run, as I argued in Postcapitalism, it means there are just not going to be rates of return to sustain an economic model based on markets and private ownership.

      Another "unthinkable" notion. cf. Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: climate change and the unthinkable.

  9. view.connect.americanpublicmedia.org view.connect.americanpublicmedia.org
    1. The 2019 eponymous documentary from director Justin Pemberton is our choice for this month’s Econ Extra Credit film series.

      Film: Capital in the Twenty-First Century

      This looks interesting to watch

    1. Help is coming in the form of specialized AI processors that can execute computations more efficiently and optimization techniques, such as model compression and cross-compilation, that reduce the number of computations needed. But it’s not clear what the shape of the efficiency curve will look like. In many problem domains, exponentially more processing and data are needed to get incrementally more accuracy. This means – as we’ve noted before – that model complexity is growing at an incredible rate, and it’s unlikely processors will be able to keep up. Moore’s Law is not enough. (For example, the compute resources required to train state-of-the-art AI models has grown over 300,000x since 2012, while the transistor count of NVIDIA GPUs has grown only ~4x!) Distributed computing is a compelling solution to this problem, but it primarily addresses speed – not cost.
  10. Dec 2020
    1. People who think that racial differences are all biological might say that all these non-White groups have suffered so much excess death because of that bottom circle, because of greater biological susceptibility.  Recent studies have evaluated this hypothesis and found that it’s not true.  Instead the answer is simpler: Black and Latino/a people in particular are dying of COVID-19 at such staggering rates because they are more likely to be exposed to the virus in infectious settings, particularly workplaces.
    1. The company’s early mission was to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” Instead, it took the concept of “community” and sapped it of all moral meaning. The rise of QAnon, for example, is one of the social web’s logical conclusions. That’s because Facebook—along with Google and YouTube—is perfect for amplifying and spreading disinformation at lightning speed to global audiences. Facebook is an agent of government propaganda, targeted harassment, terrorist recruitment, emotional manipulation, and genocide—a world-historic weapon that lives not underground, but in a Disneyland-inspired campus in Menlo Park, California.

      The original goal with a bit of moderation may have worked. Regression to the mean forces it to a bad place, but when you algorithmically accelerate things toward our bases desires, you make it orders of magnitude worse.

      This should be though of as pure social capitalism. We need the moderating force of government regulation to dampen our worst instincts, much the way the United State's mixed economy works (or at least used to work, as it seems that raw capitalism is destroying the United States too).

    1. Patreon doesn’t work if a band is seen as background. You have to divorce people’s notion of music as being passive for them to see value in that. Same goes for donating to causes.
    1. I’m not always connected to a stable internet connection

      The centralized nature of today's systems is a problem for several reasons - Some are technical, but this applies socially and economically as well. This mindset of centralization is arguably a cultural afterimage from the advent of computing, with little incentive on the part of business to change.

      In each of these senses (technical, social, economic) many of the computational abstractions we use today to simplify individual progress actually hold us back in aggregate.

      In my view, there exist eery parallels between the technical foibles of centralization (CAP, etc), and the subtle manner of economic and behavioral coercion which come along for the ride. I do not believe there is a magic bullet to be found per se – but rather that it is possible to decentralize well, both from a technical perspective, and in terms of business as a function of value-addition rather than coercion.

  11. Nov 2020
    1. Anditisclearthatthislackofsocialconsciousnessisinfactadistincteconomiclossinaveryconcretesense,aswellofcourseasalossinthepossiblewell-runningofapoliticalsystem.IapproachthisfromthepointofviewofaneconomistsoIspeakofthefail-uresofthepricesystem;Iamsureonecouldcometothesameendfromotherpointsofview.Butstartingfromthispointofview,thefactthatwecannotmediateallourre-

      And continues:

      sponsibilitiestoothersthroughprices,throughpayingforthem,makesitessentialintherunningofsocietythatwehavewhatmightbecalled“conscience,”afeelingofresponsibilityfortheeffectofone’sactionsonothers.

      The crucial sentences ...

      we cannot mediate all our responsibilities to others through prices, through paying for them, makes it essential in the running of society that we have what might be called “conscience,” a feeling of responsibility for the effect of one’s actions on others.

      Why economics 101 misses so much.

    Tags

    Annotators

    1. the market was seen as the optimal institution for the production and exchange of private goods. for nonprivate goods, on the other hand, one needed “the” government to impose rules and taxes to force self-interested individuals to contribute necessary resources and refrain from self-seeking activities. Without a hierarchical government to induce compliance, self-seeking citizens and officials would fail to generate efficient levels of public goods, such as peace and security, at multiple scales (hobbes [1651] 1960; W. Wilson 1885). a single governmental unit, for example, was strongly recommended to reduce the “chaotic” structure of metropolitan governance, increase efficiency, limit conflict among governmental units, and best serve a homogeneous view of the public (anderson and Weidner 1950; Gulick 1957; friesema 1966). this dichotomous view of the world explained patterns of interaction and outcomes related to markets for the production and exchangeof strictly private goods (alchian 1950), but it has not adequately accounted for internal dynamics within private firms (Williamson 1975, 1986). nor does it adequately deal with the wide diversity of institutional arrangements that
    1. The coronavirus pandemic is expected to take the U.S. national debt to levels not seen since World War II.

      The takeaway: The debt to GDP ratio after coronavirus relief spending is higher than it has ever been.

      The claim: The coronavirus pandemic is expected to take the U.S. national debt to levels not seen since World War II.

      The evidence: A number of COVID-19 spending acts and executive orders include: Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), CARES Act, Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, and President Trump's Executive Actions (1). Prior to these bills and executive actions, the fiscal year 2020 federal deficit was predicted to be $3.1 trillion (1). The total cost of the coronavirus relief measures is $2,607,000,000,000 (1). The debt to GDP ratio in 2020 at the end of quarter 2 is 136% (2). The debt had previously peaked in 1946 after WWII at 118% debt to GDP ratio (2).

      Sources:

      1) https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertberger/2020/10/18/5-big-numbers-reveal-the-unsettling-scope-of-stimulus-spending/?sh=26ae8057142b

      2) https://www.thebalance.com/national-debt-by-year-compared-to-gdp-and-major-events-3306287

  12. Oct 2020
    1. The backlash from gig economy companies was immediate, and Uber and similar app-based businesses have committed nearly $200 million to support a state ballot measure — making it the costliest in state history — that would exempt them from the law.

      This is a pretty good indicator that it will save them 10x to 100x this amount to get rid of this law.

      One should ask: "Why don't they accept it and just pass this money along to their employees."

    1. It did not have to be this way. But as Trump aptly said of himself and his policy, “It is what it is.” He accepted more disease in hopes of stimulating a stronger economy and winning reelection. He’s waiting now for the return on that bet. As so often in his reckless career, his speculation seems to be that if the bet wins, he pockets the proceeds. And if the bet fails? The losses fall on others.

      A very apt description of Trump's life philosophy. Also a broad perspective at how many Republicans and Libertarians seem to view the world economically: privatizing profits and socializing losses.

    1. That approach: build protocols, not platforms.

      I can now see why @jack made his Twitter announcement this morning. If he opens up and can use that openness to suck up more data, then Twitter's game could potentially be doing big data and higher end algorithmic work on even much larger sets of data to drive eyeballs.

      I'll have to think on how one would "capture" a market this way, but Twitter could be reasonably poised to pivot in this direction if they're really game for going all-in on the idea.

      It's reasonably obvious that Twitter has dramatically slowed it's growth and isn't competing with some of it's erstwhile peers. Thus they need to figure out how to turn a relatively large ship without losing value.

    1. Gradually, we begin to conflate visibility with value. If something is being talked about and seen, we assume that it must be important in some way. – An Illustrated Guide to Guy Debord’s ‘The Society of the Spectacle’

      And in an over-saturated media space, this is exactly the sort of thing that lands us a narcissistic and incompetent president.

    1. Reporting on a study at Queensborough Community College, also in the CUNY system, Sheila Beck notes that the library’s reserve textbook collection is “heavily used,” however, staffing and other concerns have prompted librarians to consider “less labor intensive and less costly alternatives.“ Beyond textbook reserves, academic librarians can help students to locate required course readings in other ways: older editions of their required textbook, pre- or post-prints of articles in institutional repositories, articles or other texts in databases subscribed to by the library, or readings that may be in the public domain or otherwise available on the open web.

      The basic economics of this system would indicate (especially as classes become larger and larger) that more careful consideration of choice, economics, accessibility, availability, etc. on a larger institutional level creates larger marginal gains for those in the class. If a staff librarian, teacher, or someone else within the system does the leg-work up front and does it well, then the dozens or even hundreds of students in the course don't need to spend (read: waste) their own time re-inventing the proverbial textbook wheel once they're in the class.

      Portions of the situation here make me wonder if we might pull a page from Dr. Peter Pronovost's playbook in the health care space and create a simple checklist of what to do when planning for textbooks and readings. Checklists that include things like:

      • will the texts actually be used?
      • will they be primary to the subject or are they supplementary?
      • What are their prices?
      • Are alternate materials available?
      • Are older editions available?
      • are public domain or open web versions available?
      • are there copies in the library? reserves? pirated versions? pre/post prints?
      • etc.

      Once such a checklist is available, institutions should require that it be available along with syllabi and other course listings.

      cross references:

    2. Textbook affordability is covered frequently by higher-education news media in the United States, part of the broader conversation about access to American colleges and universities. The National Survey of Student Engagement has reported that 31% of first year and 40% of senior undergraduates didn’t purchase required course materials because of the expense.

      Given the economics of the textbook market and the fact that it's not the students who are choosing their textbooks, (but instead are assigned their textbooks) there is a massive mismatch in the market. The person choosing the text doesn't necessarily care about the price since it's not something they're directly paying for.

      The better surveys we should be seeing are surveys of professors on what materials they choose, why they choose them, what thought--if any--goes towards the price of such materials. These surveys of students are generally useless because they don't get to the point of the economic inequity in the textbook market.

    3. some students told me that they bought all of their books in prior semesters and their instructors did not use them, so in subsequent semesters they either delayed or opted not to buy their books.

      I wonder what role satisficing plays in the current textbook market?

    4. depressing the market for used books as they maintain their profits.

      but this only occurs with the tacit approval of professors who are assigning those new textbooks without any thought about whether the new edition is really worth that much more. Since the professor generally doesn't care (or even use the updated material in a new edition), they could easily stick with a 7th edition for several decades. The real question is why don't they?

    1. "Protestant" life of wealth and risk over the "Catholic" path of poverty and security.[8]

      Is this simply a restatement of the idea that most of "the interesting things" happen at the border or edge of chaos? The Catholic ethic is firmly inside the stable arena while that of the Protestant ethic is pushing the boundaries.

    2. Weber notes that according to any economic theory that posited man as a rational profit-maximizer, raising the piece-work rate should increase labor productivity. But in fact, in many traditional peasant communities, raising the piece-work rate actually had the opposite effect of lowering labor productivity: at the higher rate, a peasant accustomed to earning two and one-half marks per day found he could earn the same amount by working less, and did so because he valued leisure more than income. The choices of leisure over income, or of the militaristic life of the Spartan hoplite over the wealth of the Athenian trader, or even the ascetic life of the early capitalist entrepreneur over that of a traditional leisured aristocrat, cannot possibly be explained by the impersonal working of material forces,

      Science could learn something from this. Science is too far focused on the idealized positive outcomes that it isn't paying attention to the negative outcomes and using that to better define its outline or overall shape. We need to define a scientific opportunity cost and apply it to the negative side of research to better understand and define what we're searching for.

      Of course, how can we define a new scientific method (or amend/extend it) to better take into account negative results--particularly in an age when so many results aren't even reproducible?

    3. But that state of consciousness that permits the growth of liberalism seems to stabilize in the way one would expect at the end of history if it is underwritten by the abundance of a modern free market economy.

      Writers spend an awful lot of time focused too carefully on the free market economy, but don't acknowledge a lot of the major benefits of the non-free market parts which are undertaken and executed often by governments and regulatory environments. (Hacker & Pierson, 2016)

    4. This is not to say that there are not rich people and poor people in the United States, or that the gap between them has not grown in recent years. But the root causes of economic inequality do not have to do with the underlying legal and social structure of our society, which remains fundamentally egalitarian and moderately redistributionist, so much as with the cultural and social characteristics of the groups that make it up, which are in turn the historical legacy of premodern conditions.
    5. FAILURE to understand that the roots of economic behavior lie in the realm of consciousness and culture leads to the common mistake of attributing material causes to phenomena that are essentially ideal in nature.
    6. In general, while I've been reading Stuart Kauffmann's At Home in the Universe, I can't help but thinking about the cascading extinctions he describes and wonder if political extinctions of ideas like Communism or other forms of government or even economies might follow the same types of outcomes described there?

    1. This is, I thought, little more than an analogy with Boyle’s Law, one of the most striking early successes of the scientific revolution, which holds that the pressure and volume of a fixed amount of gas are inversely proportional.  Release the contents from a steel cylinder into a balloon and the container expands.  But it still contains no more gas than before.  Something like that must have been in the mind of the first person who first spoke of “inflating” the currency. From there it was a short jump to the way that classical quantity theory relies on the principle of plenitude – the age-old assumption, inherited from Plato, that there can be nothing truly new under the sun, that the collection of goods of “general price level” were somehow fixed.
    2. What interested me were intricate questions about the direction of causation.  Had prices grown higher because the number of pennies had increased?  Or had the supply of pennies grown to accommodate an increasing overall division of labor? To put it slightly differently, in those periods of “industrial revolution” – there had been at least two or three such events – had prices risen because the size of the market and the division of labor had grown, and the quantity of money along with them?  Or was it the other way around?
    3. I still have the feeling that the important changes in the global division of labor have something to do with the behavior of traditional macroeconomic variables.
    4. It turned out the higher the money price, the more prosperous was the craftsman’s lot, at least in the long run, though sometimes after periods of immiseration lasting decades.
    5. That leaves economist Martin Shubik, surely the second most powerful mind among economists to have tackled the complexity problem (John von Neumann was first). Shubik pursued an overarching theory of money all his life, one in which money and financial institutions emerge naturally, instead of being given. In The Guidance of an Enterprise Economy (MIT, 2016), he considered that he and physicist Etic Smith had achieved it. Shubik died last year, at 92.  His ideas about strict definitions of “minimal complexity” will take years to resurface in others’ hands.
    6. Two of the most successful expositors of economic complexity were research partners, as least for a time:  Ricardo Hausmann, of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and physicist César Hidalgo, of MIT’s Media Lab. They, too, worked with a gifted mathematician, Albert-László Barabási, of Northeastern University, to produce a highly technical paper; then,  with colleagues, assembled an Atlas of Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity (MIT, 2011), a data-visualization tool that continues to function online. Meanwhile, Hidalgo’s Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies (Basic, 2015) remains an especially lucid account of humankind’s escape (so far) from the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but there is precious little economics in it. For the economics of international trade, see Gene Grossman and Elhanan Helpman.
    1. If OER is free, what hidden costs exist in its production? Making these textbooks is taking me a chunk of time in the off-season.  Thanks to my salaried position, I feel ok about putting in the overtime, but it’s a privilege my colleagues who teach under year-to-year part-time non-contracts can’t afford. Who should be funding OER creation? Institutions? Students? For-profit start-ups? How will you invest time in this project without obscuring the true costs of academic labor? Right now, we pass the corruptly high cost of academic publishing onto the backs of academia’s most vulnerable members: students. But as OER gains steam, we need to come up with funding models that don’t land us back in the same quagmire of exploitation that we were trying to get out of.

      This is a nearly perfect question and something to watch in the coming years.

    1. “INFORMATION RULES”—published in 1999 but still one of the best books on digital economics—Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian, two economists, popularised the term “network effects”,

      I want to get a copy of this book.

    1. Today's Web giants want us to believe that they and they alone are suited to take us to wherever we end up next. Having used Adversarial Interoperability as a ladder to attain their rarefied heights, they now use laws to kick the ladder away and prevent the next Microcomputer Center or Tim Berners-Lee from doing to them what the Web did to Gopher, and what Gopher did to mainframes.
    1. We need to debate what kind of hypermedia suit our vision of society - how we create the interactive products and on-line services we want to use, the kind of computers we like and the software we find most useful. We need to find ways to think socially and politically about the machines we develop. While learning from the can-do attitude of the Californian individualists, we also must recognise that the potentiality of hypermedia can never solely be realised through market forces. We need an economy which can unleash the creative powers of hi-tech artisans. Only then can we fully grasp the Promethean opportunities of hypermedia as humanity moves into the next stage of modernity.

      Great ending. These words are as true today as they were 25 years ago.

    2. Americans have always had state planning, but they prefer to call it the defence budget.
    3. Working for hi-tech and new media corporations, many members of the 'virtual class' would like to believe that new technology will somehow solve America's social, racial and economic problems without any sacrifices on their part.

      In retrospect, this has turned out to be all-too-true.

    4. Almost every major technological advance of the last two hundred years has taken place with the aid of large amounts of public money and under a good deal of government influence. The technologies of the computer and the Net were invented with the aid of massive state subsidies.

      examples of government (public) funding for research and it's effects

    5. In this version of the Californian Ideology, each member of the 'virtual class' is promised the opportunity to become a successful hi-tech entrepreneur.

      In retrospect, it's really only made a much higher disparity between the top and the bottom.

    1. when we are given the space to consider our decisions, we tend to make fewer errors.

      think about examples where this isn't the case like high-pressure car buying

    2. If the original price is horizontally farther away on the page from the sale price (Fig 2.8), the customer is more likely to view it as a better deal, even if the dollar amounts do not change. We equate visual distance with fiscal distance (http://bkaprt.com/dcb/02-19/).
    1. On the right — that’s what democracy looks like. At City Bureau we believe the future of journalism looks more like this. It’s made of networks, it’s collaborative, it practices radical transparency and it equips people to be makers.

      This chart is very reminiscent of a similar chart I saw just this morning that was looking at the differences between unicorns and zebras within an economic framing.

    1. But, whereas engaged scholarship has a political imperative, academic microcelebrity has a market imperative. Academic microcelebrity is ostentatiously apolitical, albeit falsely so because markets are always political. Academic microcelebrity encourages brand building as opposed to consciousness-raising; brand awareness as opposed to co-creation of knowledge. It creates perverse incentives for impact as opposed to valuing social change. Microcelebrity is the economics of attention in which academics are being encouraged, mostly through normative pressure, to brand their academic knowledge for mass consumption. However, the risks and rewards of presenting oneself “to others over the Web using tools typically associated with celebrity promotion” (Barone 2009) are not the same for all academics in the neo-liberal “public” square of private media.

      I'm reminded here of the huge number of academics who write/wrote for The Huffington Post for their "reach" despite the fact that they were generally writing for free. Non-academics were doing the same thing, but for the branding that doing so gave them.

      In my opinion, both of these groups were cheated in that they were really building THP's brand over their own.

    2. Scholars who are also members of marginalized groups disproportionately take up this kind of engaged scholarship, often without commensurate credit from university administrators or colleagues (Ellison and Eatmen 2008; Park 1996; Stanley 2006; Taylor and Raeburn 1995; Turner et al 2008; Villalpando and Bernal 2002).