In the last three recoveries, however, America’s economic engine has emitted sounds we’d never heard before. The 1990 recovery took 15 months, not the typical six, to reach the prerecession peaks of economic performance. After the 2001 recession, it took 39 months to get out… Continue reading →
While it is conceivable that PayPal could become a ‘financial API’, capitalizing all of the pieces of a production value chain, PayPal, like eBay, is an artifact of the transition to hyperconnectivity, an arbitrageur exploiting imperfections in hyperconnectivity. Once everyone is directly connected, it is… Continue reading →
The Local-Global Flip, Or, “The Lanier Effect”. Absolutely fascinating interview. Two technologies on the cusp of going mainstream: self-driving cars and (dis)assembling robots. Also, technological efficiencies tend to have a positive benefit to the already wealthy (you save more money) but a negative benefit to the already middle-class or poor (you don’t have any money to begin with). What do we do when machines can do it better?
Digital currencies: Bits and bob. The Economist hedges its analysis of Bitcoin. The present has been weirded by the future.
The University Has No Clothes. Data point one:
Nearly half of all students demonstrate “exceedingly small or empirically nonexistent” gains in the skills measured by the Collegiate Learning Assessment, even after two years of full-time schooling, according to a study begun in 2005 by sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa.
Data point number two:
In the past 30 years, private- college tuition and fees have increased, in constant 2010 dollars, from $9,500 a year to more than $27,000. Public-college tuition has increased from $2,100 to $7,600. Fifteen years ago, the average student debt at graduation was around $12,700; in 2009, it was $24,000. Over the past quarter-century, the total cost of higher education has grown by 440 percent.
Mull those two together.
The Great Ephemeralization. Big picture: Today’s economic growth indices, like GDP, are poor at accounting for the effects of ephemeralization, or the processby which “special-purpose products are replaced by software running on general-purpose computing devices.”
10 Dying U.S. Industries. Number three ain’t that bad.
It would be sweet to have capability within a support ticketing tool or CRM to track the “cost” of a given client or topic. When the agent logs a transaction, they’d record their perceived cost to the transaction. The system would capture this information against… Continue reading →
Douglas Rushkoff easily wins the most quotable essay of the day award:
We ended up with an economy based in scarcity and competition rather than abundance and collaboration; an economy that requires growth and eschews sustainable business models. It may or may not better reflect the laws of nature — and that it is a conversation we really should have — but it is certainly not the result of entirely natural set of principles in action. It is a system designed by certain people at a certain moment in history, with very specific interests.
The entire piece is a solid foundation for how we think about changing the system, and the devil will be in the deets.
Andrew Spittle has a post up on ideas for expanding Spot.Us. The skinny is to give the funding community more power over who is reporting on what stories. In addition to allowing them to choose which stories are funded, they’d also have some amount of influence on who reports on which stories.
Let’s take this one step further. In addition to allowing the community to pitch assignments, they should obviously be able to use a currency to vote on which reporting projects actually move forward. It doesn’t need to be an “official” currency, however; the money that the community uses to green-light journalism assignments could be the same that they use for economic transactions within the local geo-space.