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Archive for the ‘economics’ category

May 20, 2017

Bitcoin closes in on (US) $2000; Why it matters

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, finance, government

At the beginning of 2016, Bitcoin was fairly steady at $430. Richelle Ross predicted that it would finish the year at $650. She would have been right, if the year had ended in November. During 2016, Bitcoin’s US dollar exchange rose from $433 to $1000. In the past 2 months (March 24~May 20, 2017), Bitcoin has tacked on 114%, rising from $936 to $2000. [continue below image]…

If this were stock in a corporation, I would recommend liquidating or cutting back on holdings. But the value of Bitcoin is not tied to the future earnings or property value of an organization. In this case, supply demand is fueled—in part—by speculation. Yes, of course. But, it is also fueled by a two-sided network built on the growing base of utilitarian adoption. And not just an adoption fad, but adoption that mirrors the shift in our very understanding of bookkeeping, trust and transparency.

Despite problems of growth, governance and regulation, Bitcoin is more clearly taking its place as the future of money. Even if it never becomes “legal tender” in any country—and is used only as a mechanism of payments and settlement, it is still woefully undervalued. $2000 is not an end-game. It is a beginning.

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May 15, 2017

Interview: California gubernatorial candidate proposes state-wide basic income

Posted by in categories: economics, government

This is an extensive new interview on my major platform proposal to eliminate all poverty in California (and eventually the nation) and to restore the massive wealth of government resources to your wallet. Also, I’m currently calling this a Federal Land Dividend, as that name sits better with libertarians, though it is of course a new way of paying (withut raising taxes) a #basicincome to everyone. It will also massively jumpstart the economy and end the healthcare affordability issues, since everyone would be able to afford healthcare.


Zoltan Istvan is running for governor of California in 2018 and has made headlines for his proposal to develop California lands and use the revenue to form a Universal Basic Income for all California households.

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May 13, 2017

The Connected Business May 2017

Posted by in categories: business, economics, robotics/AI

This month we look at important questions about our future: is it time to have a serious the debate about universal basic income?; the weaponisation of AI; and we review Vivek Wadhwa’s book about our unease over industrial revolution 4.0

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May 12, 2017

Virtual worlds so good they’ll change our grasp on real life

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, entertainment

New simulation technology is not just revolutionising gaming, it could transform the way we model everything from disease to economic markets and ecosystems.

By Chris Baraniuk

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May 12, 2017

Are You Drinking the Transhumanist Kool-Aid?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, economics, Elon Musk, geopolitics, information science, law, life extension, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, space, transhumanism

A new story out on #transhumanism:


In the Basic Income America Facebook group, Zoltan Istvan, a transhumanist who recently ran for president, shared his Wired article, Capitalism 2.0: the economy of the future will be powered by neural lace. He (along with many others) argues Wall Street, law offices, engineering firms, and more will soon be mostly void of humans.

I think I mostly agree with him. Algorithms will far surpass human ability to achieve the best possible outcomes (Nash equilibrium). Having read Super Intelligence, the Master Algorithm, The Age of Em, books on evolution, lectures, interviews, etc… I think we’re approaching an important moment in human history where we have to figure out morality so we can build it into the proto-AI children we are giving birth to. I’ve even toyed around with a fun idea related to the simulation hypothesis. Maybe we exist as a simulation, repeating the birth of AI over and over again until we figure out a way to do it without destroying ourselves or turning the universe into computonium.

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May 12, 2017

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data

Posted by in categories: economics, energy, internet

But there is cause for concern. Internet companies’ control of data gives them enormous power. Old ways of thinking about competition, devised in the era of oil, look outdated in what has come to be called the “data economy” (see Briefing). A new approach is needed.


A NEW commodity spawns a lucrative, fast-growing industry, prompting antitrust regulators to step in to restrain those who control its flow. A century ago, the resource in question was oil. Now similar concerns are being raised by the giants that deal in data, the oil of the digital era. These titans—Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft—look unstoppable. They are the five most valuable listed firms in the world. Their profits are surging: they collectively racked up over $25bn in net profit in the first quarter of 2017. Amazon captures half of all dollars spent online in America. Google and Facebook accounted for almost all the revenue growth in digital advertising in America last year.

Such dominance has prompted calls for the tech giants to be broken up, as Standard Oil was in the early 20th century. This newspaper has argued against such drastic action in the past. Size alone is not a crime. The giants’ success has benefited consumers. Few want to live without Google’s search engine, Amazon’s one-day delivery or Facebook’s newsfeed. Nor do these firms raise the alarm when standard antitrust tests are applied. Far from gouging consumers, many of their services are free (users pay, in effect, by handing over yet more data). Take account of offline rivals, and their market shares look less worrying. And the emergence of upstarts like Snapchat suggests that new entrants can still make waves.

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May 10, 2017

Analysis predicts extremely disruptive, total transition to EV / autonomous vehicles in 13 years

Posted by in categories: economics, finance, internet, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Yes, this works with the financial profile of “middle class” American families.


(Tech Xplore)—RethinkX, an independent think tank that analyzes and forecasts disruptive technologies, has released an astonishing report predicting a far more rapid transition to EV/autonomous vehicles than experts are currently predicting. The report is based on an analysis of the so-called technology-adoption S-curve that describes the rapid uptake of truly disruptive technologies like smartphones and the internet. Additionally, the report addresses in detail the massive economic implications of this prediction across various sectors, including energy, transportation and manufacturing.

Rethinking Transportation 2020–2030 suggests that within 10 years of regulatory approval, by 2030, 95 percent of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles (AEVs). The primary driver of this unfathomably huge change in American life is economics: The cost savings of using transport-as-a-service (TaaS) providers will be so great that consumers will abandon individually owned vehicles. The report predicts that the cost of TaaS will save the average family $5600 annually, the equivalent of a 10 percent raise in salary. This, the report suggests, will lead to the biggest increase in consumer spending in history.

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May 7, 2017

Capitalism 2.0: the economy of the future will be powered by neural lace

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, economics, robotics/AI, transhumanism

My new article at Wired UK: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/basic-economy-neural-prosthetics #Future #BasicIncome


But it’ll take more than just a mind tapped into the cloud to be widely competitive in the overall job market. Augmented limbs, bionic organs, and widespread use of exoskeleton technology will be needed to compete against robotic strength.

For years I’ve been supportive of a basic income, which would provide a monthly income for the poor – mostly because I saw it as the only logical way to keep people fed and housed, while still allowing for technological and economic evolution. Now, with neural prosthetics and upgraded bodies, I see the future may, instead, be full of capitalistic enterprise, fuelled by transhumanist technologies that allow us to more closely resemble the machines.

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May 3, 2017

Rejuvenation would be too expensive to create

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, economics, existential risks, finance, life extension

Creating rejuvenation will probably be quite expensive, but that’s no reason to give up on it. We can pull it off.


The first thing to realise is that, when you wonder how much something will cost, you’re actually wondering how many resources and how many people doing how much work it will take to do that something. That’s all that really matters. The problem is that we have a sucky economic system such that even if we do have more than enough people and resources to do the job, the monetary cost of it could be so high that you can’t get the job done without creating financial problems left and right. This should be a hint that the problem, if it exists, lies in our crappy economic system, not in rejuvenation itself or whatever other thing we may create.

Apart from the obvious fact that other hysterically expensive endeavours (such as space missions) are pulled off despite their costs, we must take into account that desperate circumstances call for desperate measures. We don’t need to tear apart our economic system and replace it with another before we create rejuvenation, and neither would we if faced with another health crisis (such as a pandemic) or a planetary crisis, but we need to get the job done despite its costs and the consequences they may have. We can’t give up on rejuvenation on the grounds that it may be too expensive to create, just like we wouldn’t in the case of an existential risk. Can you imagine that? There’s a huge asteroid on a collision course with Earth, and our only hope is a spectacularly expensive space mission to destroy it before it’s too late. Just who in their right mind would step up and say: ‘Nah, too expensive. Let’s not do it.

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Apr 29, 2017

Canada’s largest province to launch universal basic income trial

Posted by in categories: economics, government, policy

Canada’s largest province is to trial universal income, becoming the first North American government to test the progressive policy for decades.

Some 4,000 people in Ontario will be given at least C$16,989 (£9,850) a year under the scheme, with no conditions or restrictions attached.

Participants living in three settlements in Ontario will be selected at random to participate in the radical scheme, which advocates hail as a solution to poverty and costly bureaucracy.

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