21st Century Economy

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What If We're Beyond Mere Policy Tweaks? (February 6, 2012) The nation's ills cannot be fixed by thousands of pages of regulation or more policy tweaks.

What If We're Beyond Mere Policy Tweaks?

Only a profound cultural transformation can address our problems. Tail Risk and Embalming Fluid, in 2012. I feel motivated today to write about global markets, and especially the lingering fear that’s sure to carry over from 2011 to 2012.

Tail Risk and Embalming Fluid, in 2012

The last 18 months have supplied historians with every reason to believe that a replay of the 2008 financial crisis was about to unfold. The difference being that the private sector debt crisis which triggered 2008′s terrible domino event has now been transposed, into a similar risk in sovereign debt. Especially the sovereign debt of peripheral Europe. As a student of macroeconomics, and as one who observes the procession of market psychology—when markets slowly move from the comfort of sleep to the Ker-Pow! Sara Horowitz - Authors. The Freelance Surge Is the Industrial Revolution of Our Time - Sara Horowitz - Business. Welcome to the Gig Life.

The Freelance Surge Is the Industrial Revolution of Our Time - Sara Horowitz - Business

The boom in independent work is changing the way we think about jobs and careers. Does Washington get it? It's been called the Gig Economy, Freelance Nation, the Rise of the Creative Class, and the e-conomy, with the "e" standing for electronic, entrepreneurial, or perhaps eclectic. Everywhere we look, we can see the U.S. workforce undergoing a massive change.

Book review: Improvisational economies and a globalized building. Posted by Ethan on Dec 7th, 2011 in Developing world, ideas | 2 comments Robert Neuwirth is bringing new insights to familiar (for him, unfamiliar for most of us) territory in his book, “Stealth of Nations“.

Book review: Improvisational economies and a globalized building

His previous work, “Shadow Cities” was a plea to take squatter cities and informal settlements seriously, rather than dismissing them as slums. (My review of Shadow Cities is here.) His mission in this new book is for us to reconsider the “informal economy”, which he rebrands “System D”. “System D” is an abbreviation for “l’economie de la débrouillardise”, a tern coined in French-speaking Africa to refer to a system of “resourceful and ingenious” people who make their livings outside the formal, taxed and regulated economy.

New Currency Frontiers. Transforming corporate forms through currencies. Transforming corporate forms through currencies Michel Bauwens 10th August 2011 Excerpted from Arthur Brock: “The failure of change agents to re-encode social systems (especially ones with as much influence on everything as money has), is what keeps us on this intolerable trajectory of destruction.

Transforming corporate forms through currencies

So far, the biological equivalent to our most “successful” social organism pattern is cancer. Innovation needs to be freed. John Perry Barlow used the eG8 to demolish IP monopolies claims.

Innovation needs to be freed

Other internet advocates backed up the critique of the repressive approach proposed by Sarkozy, see below. Excerpt: “Barlow was a late addition to a panel on intellectual property; his name wasn’t even included on the schedule. The Link Between Peak Oil and Peak Debt – Part 1. The economy is closely linked with the physical resources that underly it.

The Link Between Peak Oil and Peak Debt – Part 1

Most economists assume debt can rise endlessly, just as they assume GDP can rise endlessly. But if there really is a limit that prevents oil supply from rising endlessly, it seems to me that there is also a corresponding limit that prevents debt from rising endlessly. As I analyze the situation, it seems to me that here is really a two-way link between peak oil and peak debt: Commons as a Corporation. This point of view, ‘the commons must be a corporation’, may come as a shocker and is by no means an easy text, I had to reread it a few times, but, worth pondering.

Commons as a Corporation

Chris answers the question: what is the optimal solution for combining a community, a commons, and the necessity to make a living. Answer: the commons, under the governance of a democratically governed corporate entity, allows for multiple community agreements detailing the use of the stock for creating value. Gregor.us. If you can quantify the self, can you also program it? The Quantified Self health movement, once thought limited to elite athletes or patients suffering from chronic disease, has been steadily expanding beyond body hackers and body builders.

If you can quantify the self, can you also program it?

Recent research on how the Internet is shaping healthcare from the Pew Internet and Life Project contained an eye-opening fact: fully one quarter of online adults were tracking their own health statistics. There’s clearly something important going on here. To learn more, I turned to Fred Trotter (@fredtrotter). This Time Really Is Different. As the economy goes down the drain, those who want to believe that America's problems are temporary face an unsolvable dilemma: how do you spin this ongoing disaster in such a way as to maintain your delusions about the future greatness of the United States?

This Time Really Is Different

The latest jobs report was a case in point—"ugly" was the preferred word for describing it. John Mauldin is one of those who will grasp at any straw to remain hopeful about the future. I'll quote from his latest newsletter What Happened To The Jobs? The Essay | arts2090 – Publics and Publishing. Q.2 How is the diminution of traditional, and often hierarchical, “authoritative” intermediaries changing the role of publishing in social life? Hunting and gathering is the natural primitive desire instinctive to human beings. This ensures the survival of civilization, and society.

Changing Models of Ownership. Changing Models of Ownership Michel Bauwens 7th June 2011 In societies saturated by hyper-consumption, the joy of acquiring, of holding the new object in your hands and knowing with satisfaction that it’s yours, is familiar. Equally recognizable, though, is that creeping anxiety when the sheen starts to fade and your mind gets distracted with a new, better, life-improving version, and at this intersection, ownership becomes a pain, a burden. Shareable presents a three-part investigation of changing models of ownership, undertaken by Claro Partners.

Revival of the cooperative economy in the U.S. and in the UK. Excerpted from Gar Alperovitz in Yes magazine: (original has many links) At the cutting edge of experimentation are the growing number of egalitarian, and often green, worker-owned cooperatives. Kevin Kelly on how to sell free. The question of whether access or ownership is more important was directly addressed — and answered — by Kevin Kelly, senior maverick at Wired magazine, during his keynote speech at TOC 2011. In no uncertain terms he said access was the future: There’s this huge shift we see in the entire environment where people get more value out of having access to something rather than owning it.

The Onset of Catabolic Collapse. I've commented more than once on the gap in perception between history as it appears in textbooks and history as it's lived by people on the spot at the time. That's a gap worth watching, because the foreshortening of history that comes with living in the middle of it quite often gets in the way of figuring out a useful response to a time of crisis -- for example, the one we're in right now.

This is all the more challenging because the foreshortening of history cuts both ways; it makes small but sudden events look more important than they are, and it also helps hide slow but massive shifts that will play a much greater role in shaping the future. Maintaining critical infrastructures on the other side of the oil peak. Locke and his Failed Metaphysics of Private Property. Economic benefits of shorter working hours in a new ‘non-economic’ conception of time. Case study of a community economy: The Alliance to Develop Power in western Massachusetts: The Ten States Running Out Of Children. Peak Oil & Future of Urbanism. Building a 21st Century Economy.

Positive role of complementary currencies (thesis of the week, part 2) Life After Shopping.