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Abundance Economics

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A new philosophy of economics is needed that is adequate to the contemporary moment, configuring a mindset shift from 1) survival to fulfillment, 2) scarcity to abundance, and 3) centralization to decentralization
Successful societies recognize that economics is shifting to the greater production and consumption of “social goods” in complement to “material goods”
Social goods such as trust, dignity, abundance, opportunity, creative expression, fulfillment, challenge, collaboration, status, certainty, availability, contingency, willingness, cognitive surplus
Claim: societies with less income inequality have greater cohesion and trust, and are better poised to move more quickly into the abundance economics of the future
Blockchain technology is a key mechanism for building new forms of societal shared trust
Modern society arrived with trust beyond kinship groups; similar expansion now beyond hierarchical models with decentralization

Published in: Economy & Finance

Abundance Economics

  1. 1. Tempe AZ, May 24, 2016 Slides: http://slideshare.net/LaBlogga A Hegelian Complexity Theory of Abundance Economics Part of a Series on Cryptophilosophy cryptophilosophy Melanie Swan Philosophy & Economic Theory New School for Social Research, NY NY melanie@BlockchainStudies.org
  2. 2. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics 1 Melanie Swan  Philosophy and Economic Theory, New School for Social Research, NY  Founder, Institute for Blockchain Studies  Singularity University Instructor; Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology Affiliate Scholar; EDGE Essayist; FQXi Advisor (Foundational Questions Inst) Traditional Markets Background Economic Theory Leadership Source: http://www.amazon.com/Bitcoin-Blueprint-New-World-Currency/dp/1491920491 Book: Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy
  3. 3. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Thesis Statement Abundance Economics 2 A new philosophy of economics is needed that is adequate to the contemporary moment, configuring a mindset shift from 1) survival to fulfillment, 2) scarcity to abundance, and 3) centralization to decentralization
  4. 4. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics  Successful societies recognize that economics is shifting to the greater production and consumption of “social goods” in complement to “material goods”  Social goods such as trust, dignity, abundance, opportunity, creative expression, fulfillment, challenge, collaboration, status, certainty, availability, contingency, willingness, cognitive surplus  Claim: societies with less income inequality have greater cohesion and trust, and are better poised to move more quickly into the abundance economics of the future  Blockchain technology is a key mechanism for building new forms of societal shared trust  Modern society arrived with trust beyond kinship groups; similar expansion now beyond hierarchical models with decentralization Thesis Statement Trust-based Social Goods 3 Source: http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/swan20151101
  5. 5. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics 4 http://www.robotandhwang.com/attorneys/ Law Firm, San Francisco CA Algorithmic Reality Developing empowering human-machine collaborations
  6. 6. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Algorithmic Reality  Proliferation of Computing Platforms  Increasing presence of technology  Everything is a math problem  Drones, self-driving cars, personal home robots, quantified-self gadgets, Siri- commanded mobile phones, blockchain smart contract DACs, tradenets, deep- learning algorithms, big data clouds, brain- computer interfaces, neural hacking devices, augmented reality headsets, deep-learning, gaming worlds 5 Source: Swan, M. Rethinking Authority With The Blockchain Crypto Enlightenment. Response to The Edge Question 2016: What do you consider the most interesting recent news? What makes it important? John Brockman, Ed., 2016.
  7. 7. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Algorithmic Reality: Gridworld, Cloudworld  Each technology class is a platform, network, and app store…the implication is cloudworld  Any platform can run any other  Every network is a Turing-complete general computational substrate for every other  Any technology can immediately ‘grok,’ simulate, and run any other  Cloudworld is the notion of a deep multiplicity of networks as a compositional element of new algorithmic realities  What does this mean for humans? 6
  8. 8. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Modern Relations with Technology 7 The Prosthetic Relation The Drone Relation L’Intrus (The Intruder) – Jean-Luc Nancy Théorie du drone (Drone Theory) – Gregoire Chamayou Impoverished relation: roving invisible Panopticon, never safe from unseen eyes Intimate relation: Accepting the foreign into our own body
  9. 9. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics The Data Relation  Cloud, background, crunching away, silent tracking, continuous uploading  Algorithms predicting and even defining our preferences  What is our relation? Impoverished: neither side has full mental model of the other (the very basis for conducive interaction with another)  Data models humans as a sketch: purchasing agent not aspirational being  Humans have no way see, grasp or act on big data, it acts on us (drone relation) 8
  10. 10. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics 9 Think through the problem of human-machine collaboration in one of the most vulnerable cases: opening our brains up to big data in BCI Cloudminds (cloud-based thinking collaborations)
  11. 11. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics What is a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)?  A brain-computer interface (BCI), brain- machine interface (BMI), or neural prosthesis is any technology linking the human brain to a computer  A computational system implanted in the brain that allows a person to control a computer using only brainwaves; for example reading the electrical signals from the brain as a person focuses on a computer screen  Used to repair human cognitive and sensory-motor function  Over 219,000 worldwide cochlear implants 10 Source: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Cochlear-Implant-Frequently-Asked-Questions/
  12. 12. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Future Applications of BCIs 24-7 connectivity to the Internet and other minds  Pathology resolution; cognitive enhancement; platform for human-machine collaboration  The BCI functionality of typing on a keyboard with the mind suggests the possibility of having an always-on brain-Internet connection  Cell phones connected every individual, BCIs connect every brain? (cloudmind, telepathic noosphere)  Ubiquitous BCIs, on-board smartphones (‘better horse’); new possibilities like cloudminds (‘car’)  Key functionality: 24-7 connectivity  Human cognitive processing continuously linked to the Internet and other minds in cloudminds via BCI, VR headset, QS wearables, smart contact lenses, etc. 11 Source: http://www.amazon.com/Bitcoin-Blueprint-New-World-Currency/dp/1491920491
  13. 13. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics BCI Governance Concerns  The potential advent of brain- computer interfaces (BCIs) that are ubiquitous and widely- adopted, where humans might be continuously connected to the Internet and other minds in cloudmind formats  Adoption risk solutions  Privacy, security, reversibility, credit assignation, and personal identity retention 12
  14. 14. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Reality (Physical & Algorithmic) is Complex  Complexity is a state or quality of being that is nonlinear, emergent, open, unpredictable and unknowable at the outset, self-organizing, and interdependent  General or reductive  Examples of complex adaptive systems include an anthill or a weather system 13 Source: Morin, Edgar. (2007). "Restricted complexity, general complexity." Trans. C. Gershenson. In Worldviews, Science and Us: Philosophy and Complexity, ed. C. Gershenson, D. Aerts, and B. Edmonds, 5–29. World Scientific, Singapore.
  15. 15. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Reality is Indeterminacy: Composable Possibility  Reality is complex and exists in a “raw material” state composable per action/observation  Light: wave-particle duality  Time: simultaneously discrete and continuous  Schrödinger's cat: dead or alive? 14 Source: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-particle.html, http://actu.epfl.ch/news/the-first-ever-photograph-of-light-as-both-a-parti The bottom 'slice' of the image shows the particles. The top image shows light as a wave. Particle Wave
  16. 16. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Not all Reality is Thinkable  Thinkability  Becoming aware of and coming to terms with phenomena that are “bigger” than humans  Features of the world that are outside our perceptual and experiential domains  Existing situations  Quantum physics, black holes, global warming, the Florida everglades, the biosphere, derivatives, capitalism, neuroscience, big data, blockchains  Radically-different future-tech situations  Life extension, digital societies, cloudminds 15
  17. 17. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Thinking Thinkability 16 Source:  Need new models for conceiving the correspondence between internal experience and the external world like radical contingency  Ancestrality (Meillassoux), hyperobjects (Morton), superjects (Hansen), object-oriented ontologies (Harman), black swans (Taleb)  Result: human existence decentered
  18. 18. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831)  Phenomenology of Spirit  Development of individuals; continual progression and awareness, emergence  Shapes of Consciousness  Self-consciousness  Free Concrete Mind  Absolute Knowledge  Science of Logic  Philosophy of meaning, logic  Philosophy of Right  Social and political philosophy  Abstract Right and Morality  Ethical Life: Family, Civil Society, the State 17
  19. 19. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Hegel: FutureTech Philosophical Principles  Bildung – (education, self-formation) continuous life-long learning, always learning, growing into a new shape  Humans in “adolescence” – (thinkability) we don’t know what we don’t know until we progress; how can we know if we want life extension technologies?  Freedom expressed through bildung (Neuhauser)  Progressive shape-changing  Abstract to concrete  Sublation – distill useful truth kernel from previous state and bring it along with you as you move on; helpful way of incorporating yet departing from the past  Complexity - parts-whole, emergence, beyond baseline 18
  20. 20. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Agenda: Economic Abundance in 3 Acts  Current Situation and Problem: Algorithmic Reality  Complexity, Emergence, Thinkability  Technological Unemployment, Income Inequality  Solution: Abundance Economic Theory 19 1. Scarcity to Availability 2. Survival to Fulfillment Centralization to Decentralization 3.
  21. 21. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Technological Unemployment  “Technological breakthroughs endanger up to 47% of total employment in the US” – Carl Frey, Oxford, 2015  “Robots might take 50% of America's jobs” – Marshall Brain, 2011 20 Source: http://marshallbrain.com/robotic-nation.htm
  22. 22. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Next to Automate? Commercial Driving  “Autonomous Driving Long- Distance Trucks Will Be A Reality In Ten Years” – 2014  Vehicle-To-Vehicle "V2V" Communication networks 21 Source: http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/autonomous-driving-long-distance-trucks-will-be-a-reali-1603746933
  23. 23. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Technological Unemployment (Pew study)  Potential Benefits  Tech advances have been a net creator of jobs  Adaptation through inventing new types of work  Technology is freedom from drudgery, and defines “work” in a more positive and socially beneficial way  Potential Costs  Automation impacting white-collar and blue-collar employment  Highly-skilled workers poised to succeed; others displaced into lower paying service industry jobs or permanent unemployment  Educational system inadequate for future work preparation 22 AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs, Pew Research Center, 2014 http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/08/06/future-of-jobs/
  24. 24. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics No Shortage of Human Ingenuity 23 “If people have the talent to invent new machines that put people out of work, they have the talent to put those people back to work.” - President John F. Kennedy, 1962 http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/07/world-without-work/395294/
  25. 25. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Top 10 Jobs of the Future 1. Neuro-Implant Technician 2. Urban Farmer 3. Virtual Reality Experience Designer 4. 3-D Printer Design Specialist 5. Smart-Home Handyperson 6. Remote Health Care Specialist 7. End-Of-Life Planner, Senior Carer 8. Professional Triber 9. Freelance Professor, Coach, Tutor 10. Personal Brand Coach and Manager 24 http://www.fastcompany.com/3046277/the-new-rules-of-work/the-top-jobs-in-10-years-might-not-be-what-you-expect
  26. 26. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics 25 Life of the Future Now Jobs of the Future Reorientation to Jobs and Life of the Future
  27. 27. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics 26 Life of the Future Life of the Future – Potential Categories  Jobs of the Future/Productive Engagement  Education/Training/Learning  Recreation, Teams  Exercise, Movement  Community Participation  Creativity/Artistic Expression  Music, Singing  Coaching/Teaching/Mentoring
  28. 28. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Economic Shift - Success Stories  Pittsburgh: from steel to “eds and meds”  Baltimore: from mills to townhomes  Middle East:  Dubai: oil to financial services; Abu Dhabi: Masdar energy city of the future; Saudi Arabia: KAUST 27
  29. 29. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Agenda: Economic Abundance in 3 Acts  Current Situation and Problem: Algorithmic Reality  Complexity, Emergence, Thinkability  Technological Unemployment, Income Inequality  Solution: Abundance Economic Theory 28 1. Scarcity to Availability 2. Survival to Fulfillment Centralization to Decentralization 3.
  30. 30. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Maximum possibility is open-ended and unbounded in both structural trajectories (form) and content emergent, complex, novel, creative Abundance is a social good 29 BaselineMaximum possibility is recouping baseline (a pre-specified and externally-imposed ideal) Scarcity is a social pathology: To count as flourishing requires not just alleviating suffering and surviving (i.e.; recouping baseline), but emergent abundance Philosophy of Abundance Abundance Sources: Philosophical support via Spinoza, Deleuze, Simondon
  31. 31. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Social Goods created by Abundance  Not just availability of material goods resolving the social pathology of scarcity but that new social goods are created through abundance  Social Goods of relief, contingency reduction, peer willingness, stress-easing, and cognitive surplus  Psychology of Certainty and Availability: A reliable ongoing feeling of certainty that material survival needs will be met (unprecedented)  Efficiency: much current cognitive and physical effort is tied up in anti-scarcity measures: hoarding, manipulation, and other anti-scarcity measures; ascertaining future availability of resources  Up-leveled focus: Relief of having a whole class of cognitively- exertional activities drop off the reality of what has to be considered for basic living 30 Sources: Social Goods, Social Pathology: Rousseau, Descartes, Augustin, Honneth, Neuhauser, Jaeggi http://www.amazon.com/Bitcoin-Blueprint-New-World-Currency/dp/1491920491
  32. 32. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Agenda: Economic Abundance in 3 Acts  Current Situation and Problem: Algorithmic Reality  Complexity, Emergence, Thinkability  Technological Unemployment, Income Inequality  Solution: Abundance Economic Theory 31 1. Scarcity to Availability 2. Survival to Fulfillment Centralization to Decentralization 3.
  33. 33. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Rethinking Economics and Governance  Recasting governance as abundance not extraction Actualization economy focuses on (1) sustainable material survival and (2) the social goods of liberation:  Self-respect, self-esteem, self-realization  Destabilize non-value-added elites, esprit of Rousseau, Rawls, Hegel: “When liberty is mentioned, we must be careful to observe whether it is not really the assertion of private interests which is thereby designated.” 32
  34. 34. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics 33 The sense of duty of the citizen to serve the republic Civic Duty Civic Collaboration Ancient Greek Statesman Self-directed Cryptocitizen The sense of meaning and purpose in participating in community sustainability http://www.amazon.com/Bitcoin-Blueprint-New-World-Currency/dp/1491920491 Vision New Polis is the Self-sustaining Micropolis
  35. 35. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Cryptosustainability Micropolis Example: Peer-to-peer Microgrids  Transactive Grid, President Street, Brooklyn NY (Mar 2016)  Grid Singularity (Vienna Austria), SolarCoin (MIT)  Peergrid local energy exchange  Citizen-owned solar panels  Blockchain-based peer-to-peer buying and selling (Ethereum)  Energy and money goes into local economy 34 Source: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2079334-blockchain-based-microgrid-gives-power-to-consumers-in-new-york/
  36. 36. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Cryptosustainability Micropolis Example Neighbor.ly Self-directed Community Bonds  Modern Public Finance, P2P municipal bonds  $1 billion / day public finance market  Low accountability, corruption, waste, multiple layers of unnecessary transaction-fee taking without adding value  Community project funding (school, road, bridge)  Self-directed investment in civic projects of affinity  Transportation, energy, schools, parks 35
  37. 37. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics 36 Conclusion: Welcome to the New Economy!
  38. 38. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics 37 “Siri, could you have Amazon drone me a beer?”
  39. 39. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics DIY Biohacker Labs Example: citizen science microbiome sequencing 38 Source: Counter Culture Labs
  40. 40. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Cafeteria of the Future Hydroponic microgreens for lunch? 39
  41. 41. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Thesis Statement 40 A new philosophy of economics is needed that is adequate to the contemporary moment, configuring a mindset shift from 1) survival to fulfillment, 2) scarcity to abundance, and 3) centralization to decentralization
  42. 42. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics  Successful societies recognize that economics is shifting to the greater production and consumption of “social goods” in complement to “material goods”  Social goods such as trust, dignity, abundance, opportunity, creative expression, fulfillment, challenge, collaboration, status, certainty, availability, contingency, willingness, cognitive surplus  Claim: societies with less income inequality have greater cohesion and trust, and are better poised to move more quickly into the abundance economics of the future  Blockchain technology is a key mechanism for building new forms of societal shared trust  Modern society arrived with trust beyond kinship groups; similar expansion now beyond hierarchical models with decentralization Thesis Statement Trust-based Social Goods 41 Source: http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/swan20151101
  43. 43. May 24, 2016 Abundance Economics Hegel inspires a new way forward 42 “The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk” Hegel, Philosophy of Right, p. 23 Meaning: traditionally, we have only learned from events after they have happened; where the implication is that some means of prescriptive wisdom is needed to prepare for events
  44. 44. Tempe AZ, May 24, 2016 Slides: http://slideshare.net/LaBlogga Melanie Swan Philosophy & Economic Theory New School for Social Research, NY NY melanie@BlockchainStudies.org A Hegelian Complexity Theory of Abundance Economics Part of a Series on Cryptophilosophy cryptophilosophy Thank You! Questions?

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