The social impact of technology is swamping the technology agenda. The result is a huge opening for those who can manage the interface between tech and society. This means an accurate overview of tech and a good understanding of history, society, law, social policy.
Provocation #106. Treating the economy as if it is a thing. Imagine a car parked on the street We think we see that car for what it is. But we do not see the flows within which it is embedded. - the finance, the road rules, the factory, the material extraction from open iron-ore pits... Continue Reading →
Provocation #105 The problem of narrowing perspective in history The strategy of historians, especially of a field or a nation, is simple. They pick out in the past the major figure, or a few, that are obvious points of origin of the best qualities of the current state of affairs. Adam Smith played (or was... Continue Reading →
Optimism comes either from weak thinking, .....or from a serious understanding of the difficulties to be overcome.
The danger is that all the professionals and siloed agencies will rush in with the plan of rebuilding to match the past. It would be much better if we could first think of the goal (kind of society) and then plan on how to get there, taking into account further likely disruptions (eathquakes, plagues) and... Continue Reading →
The provocation is simple: economics doesn’t know what people want. Some related thoughts. (probabaly too long, the smokey hot weekend made thinking go lazy) Adam Smith was a little like Einstein: a personality and perspective so powerful that we don’t see much else, before or after. Though in Smith’s case, the immediate next generations of people... Continue Reading →
Provocation # 90 Aristotle, as most economists know, used an existing greek word economy from oiko=house = nomos=rules… By it he and other Greeks meant estate management which we know both by the way the word was used and by the surrounding society which was organized in what we today would see as cattle ranches.... Continue Reading →
land-use restrictions New Hsieh-Moretti paper land-use restrictions cut aggregate US growth 1964-2009 by >50%! Typical economics paper with no reference to people. It is assumed that a land use regime that maximizes corporate values is the best. The constraint is, high prices make it difficult for labor, but the idea is that under rent control conditions... Continue Reading →
provocation #39 Economics begin early, as accounting, perhaps as notches on a stick and then keeping track of cattle, oil and grain in communal storehouses. This led to contracts and taxes and on to trade and the development of risk models, all well developed by China, Greeceand Rome. Adam Smith lifts the village market and... Continue Reading →