Archive for the ‘economics’ category

Dec 1, 2015

Chip In The Flesh: The Ultimate Endgame of Embedded Bitcoin Mining

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, computing, economics, information science, internet, robotics/AI

21 Inc.’s launch of their bitcoin computer has been met with tantalizing anticipation. Promoted as a developer tool for building bitcoin payable apps & services, 21’s new toy has been called a “gamechanger” by many of the industry’s developer crowd.

Although the bitcoin computer has been met with a flood of eager developers, what is less understood, is the implications of embeddable, autonomous cybercash payment devices. At first glance, the introduction of bitcoin computers may seem to be a niche application for hardcore developers looking to implement pay-for-access web proxies. However, this type of device not only aims to capitalize on a new form of money characterized by its digital, algorithmic nature, but seeks to utilize the bitcoin protocol for its truly revolutionary implication – an always connected economic endpoint.

This new protocol, one which is being viewed as the latest layer of internet technology conceived, compels us to remain connected at all times if we are to compete in this new economic matrix. For the individuals and businesses jockeying for position, being disconnected, even momentarily, is a death sentence.

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Nov 30, 2015

Meet Zoltan, the presidential candidate who drives a coffin

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, economics, geopolitics, life extension, transhumanism

Excited to have a full feature on the BBC homepage on transhumanism and my growing presidential campaign. Transhumanist Party, speech at the World Bank, Immortality Bus, and universal basic income issues discussed:

Not many politicians running for the White House promise to end death. But not many politicians are Zoltan Istvan. Tim Maughan meets a man travelling America in a giant coffin-shaped bus to make his point.

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Nov 20, 2015

Offer networks: a new paradigm for developing an intelligent sharing economy

Posted by in category: economics

Transitioning to a Post-Employment, Post-Scarcity, Post-Money Economy in Which Collective Human and Machine Meaning Making Reigns.

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Nov 16, 2015

Lessons from the PC video game industry — By Chris Dixon | Medium

Posted by in categories: business, computing, economics, futurism, internet, media & arts


“The subtitle to this post is a variation of William Gibson’s famous remark: “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” An obvious follow up question is: if the future is already here, where can I find it?”

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Nov 11, 2015

Bitcoin May Solve the Triffin Dilemma

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics

The Triffin Dilemma remains a barrier to economic growth. Could bitcoin solve this age-old problem?

Although the United States Federal Reserve Note carries with it many advantages for conducting commerce and serving as a world reserve currency, its makeup is not void of imperfections. One of the main shortcomings of the USD is the Triffin Dilemma, a problem which arises when countries must manage both short term domestic and long term international economic objectives. Where the USD falls victim to the Triffin dilemma, the borderless, digital cryptocurrency bitcoin may hold promise to solve this international monetary flaw, and provide the backbone for a more interdependent global economy.

The economist Robert Triffin first brought to light an international monetary issue involving the nation issuing a reserve currency and the impact such a role would have on domestic trade deficits. Such a currency arrangement, he argued, would conflict the interests of countries holding reserve status by dividing them between short term domestic and long term international objectives. The countries issuing a reserve currency, which foreign nations would wish to hold, must be willing to supply extra money stock to fulfill global demand. Such an arrangement would inevitably lead to operating a trade deficit.

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Nov 9, 2015

Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Nominated for Nobel Prize

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics

Described as “nothing short of revolutionary”.

Satoshi Nakamoto has been nominated to receive the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

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Nov 5, 2015

The trust machine | The Economist

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics


“The technology behind bitcoin could transform how the economy works”

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Nov 3, 2015

Finland prepares universal basic income experiment

Posted by in category: economics

Pack a heavy coat, folks, we’re going to Finland. The Finnish Social Insurance Institution, also known as Kela, has begun work on a proposal that would guarantee a basic income to every citizen of the small Nordic nation. This system of a universal state-facilitated payment delivered to every Finnish person would transform the state’s welfare system and potentially provide a blueprint for other countries looking to build a different kind of economy.

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Nov 2, 2015

The world just got closer to a ‘hypersonic space plane’ that will transform ‘the economics of space’

Posted by in categories: economics, space travel

BAE just bought 20% of Reaction Engines. That’s a good indication it’s gonna happen!

BAE Systems, one of the world’s biggest aeronautics and defence firms, just made a significant investment in Reaction Engines.

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Oct 28, 2015

Humanity on a Budget, or the Value-Added of Being ‘Human’

Posted by in categories: automation, economics, futurism, governance, human trajectories, law, philosophy, policy, posthumanism, theory, transhumanism

This piece is dedicated to Stefan Stern, who picked up on – and ran with – a remark I made at this year’s Brain Bar Budapest, concerning the need for a ‘value-added’ account of being ‘human’ in a world in which there are many drivers towards replacing human labour with ever smarter technologies.

In what follows, I assume that ‘human’ can no longer be taken for granted as something that adds value to being-in-the-world. The value needs to be earned, it can’t be just inherited. For example, according to animal rights activists, ‘value-added’ claims to brand ‘humanity’ amount to an unjustified privileging of the human life-form, whereas artificial intelligence enthusiasts argue that computers will soon exceed humans at the (‘rational’) tasks that we have historically invoked to create distance from animals. I shall be more concerned with the latter threat, as it comes from a more recognizable form of ‘economistic’ logic.

Economics makes an interesting but subtle distinction between ‘price’ and ‘cost’. Price is what you pay upfront through mutual agreement to the person selling you something. In contrast, cost consists in the resources that you forfeit by virtue of possessing the thing. Of course, the cost of something includes its price, but typically much more – and much of it experienced only once you’ve come into possession. Thus, we say ‘hidden cost’ but not ‘hidden price’. The difference between price and cost is perhaps most vivid when considering large life-defining purchases, such as a house or a car. In these cases, any hidden costs are presumably offset by ‘benefits’, the things that you originally wanted — or at least approve after the fact — that follow from possession.

Now, think about the difference between saying, ‘Humanity comes at a price’ and ‘Humanity comes at a cost’. The first phrase suggests what you need to pay your master to acquire freedom, while the second suggests what you need to suffer as you exercise your freedom. The first position has you standing outside the category of ‘human’ but wishing to get in – say, as a prospective resident of a gated community. The second position already identifies you as ‘human’ but perhaps without having fully realized what you had bargained for. The philosophical movement of Existentialism was launched in the mid-20th century by playing with the irony implied in the idea of ‘human emancipation’ – the ease with which the Hell we wish to leave (and hence pay the price) morphs into the Hell we agree to enter (and hence suffer the cost). Thus, our humanity reduces to the leap out of the frying pan of slavery and into the fire of freedom.

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