Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [bafuture] Interesting_viewpoint_to_the_New_Economy_…_

Expand Messages
  • wayne radinsky
    Now I would like to point out something to you about the economy that relates to our group -- accelerating technological change. And that is, the periods of
    Message 1 of 5 , May 31, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      Now I would like to point out something to you about the
      economy that relates to our group -- accelerating
      technological change. And that is, the periods of economic
      growth and economy recession have *no*impact* on the
      acceleration of technology. None! Absolutely nothing!
      Because if you look at, say, Moore's Law, you find there
      isn't any noticable deviation from the curve in either the
      growth period or the recession. Intel is still cranking up
      the speed of their chips and the transistor density, and
      the semiconductor industry is still shifting from
      generation to generation of fab equipment as it did before.

      In fact, if you look at the graph in Kurzweil's book, where
      he plots technological growth on 5 different substrates,
      you can see that it did not change EVEN during World War
      II. Even something as catastrophic as World War II has NO
      IMPACT on the rate of technological change!

      I think the only area where you might argue the recession
      has affected the speed of technological growth is in
      optical networking, and even there I suspect there are
      people in labs inventing the next generation of better and
      faster optical networking equipment even though right now
      there is a lot of glut and few buyers. And in a few years,
      we'll look back and see that there really wasn't much
      change in the expected rate of growth in the networking
      technology. We'll see.

      And I would like to advise you to do exactly the OPPOSITE
      of what the guy who wrote these articles recommends. He
      says the Internet fundamentally changes the situation in a
      way permanently disfavorable to corporate profits. That
      implies that you should sell your stocks. Bunk. BUY them!!
      Buy them now, while they are low. The market is somewhere
      near its low point. It's impossible to say where exactly
      the low point is until hindsight, but we're somewhere near
      it. So load up on stocks *now*. You just need to figure out
      what stocks to buy, and when to sell them.

      What you want to do is buy low, sell high. People are
      nervous about buying stocks now, because they remember the
      pain of the drops in recent years. That's why prices are
      low. And that, my friends, is why you should buy now. Go
      against the herd. Buy when everyone else is selling. People
      *will* forget the pain. The stock market *will* go back up.
      I doubt it will go up at the insane rate that we saw in the
      late 90's, but it will certainly start going up again. As
      Warren Buffet is fond of saying, the stock market is
      manic-depressive.


      --- markfinnern <markfinnern@...> wrote:
      > For all you people invested in stocks an interesting viewpoint
      >
      > regarding the shift of power and the shrinkage of margins that
      > the
      > internet brings with it and will keep the stock market down
      > for the
      > years to come.
      >
      > Two part essay regarding the New Economy from John Robb:
      >
      http://jrobb.userland.com/stories/2002/05/17/theNewEconomy.html
      >
      >
      http://jrobb.userland.com/stories/2002/05/27/theNewEconomyIi.html
      >
      >
      > Eric Nolan comments to John's piece:
      >
      http://www.unchartedshores.com/blogger/archive/2002_05_26_archive3.htm
      > l#85123916
      > John's responds:
      > http://jrobb.userland.com/2002/05/29.html#a1878
      > (Don't forget to check the comments at the end of the piece
      > too.)
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
      >
      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      >
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
      > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >


      __________________________________________________
      Do You Yahoo!?
      Yahoo! - Official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cup
      http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com
    • John Smart
      ... Bravo Wayne! Thanks for that insightful analysis. These observations can be extended even further, as I present in my book. Any good history of technology
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 1, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        > In fact, if you look at the graph in Kurzweil's book, where
        > he plots technological growth on 5 different substrates,
        > you can see that it did not change EVEN during World War
        > II. Even something as catastrophic as World War II has NO
        > IMPACT on the rate of technological change!

        Bravo Wayne! Thanks for that insightful analysis. These observations can be
        extended even further, as I present in my book. Any good history of
        technology text, in the West or East, shows that technological advances have
        stayed on a very smooth exponential acceleration over all recorded history.
        We've seen countless collapses of *civilizations* (Egyptian, Roman, Minoan,
        Greek) but looking closely at any of them, you discover that the
        technologies rapidly filtered out into surrounding environments, were
        parallel invented, rediscovered, were usefully mutated, etc. Same is true
        with written literature. The burning of the Library of Alexandria, if you
        look into it, was a myth. There were a number of ransacks of that place,
        over many years, and several scholars have proposed that a lot of the books
        made it out. If we charted the number of written characters since the start
        of writing I'd also expect to see a smooth exponential acceleration.

        I think we see this because, while human social systems may be desirable or
        undesirable, technological advances have broad positive feedback loops
        within any society. Technology apparently solves deep human problems, in an
        incremental manner. We stay on that acceleration because human creativity
        doesn't flag. And catastrophes, whether war or depression, will accelerate
        certain types of innovation, even as they dampen others. ("Necessity and
        invention").

        In ancient times, you can look at the number of humans on the planet, take
        an average creativity function independent of social factors, and get your
        exponential, when tracking technology. But it gets even better than that
        once you've moved to written records of technology development, because then
        you can rediscover with a fraction of previous effort, and you can start
        moving into numeric human independence in tech development (growth in
        technological autonomy, a process which will be completed within this
        century). Algorithms become the new keys to the kingdom.

        Of course it's difficult to get clean definitions for all this, but you can
        take multiple metrics and follow them over thousands of years with current
        records and see what falls out. Computation per dollar is one. Number of
        printed words is another. Average communication (verbal and technological)
        is another. Energy density of your machinery is yet another, and my current
        favorite (read Chaisson, Cosmic Evolution).

        Unfortunately, though, I don't think this necessarily translates into market
        capitalization. Because we've moved to an intangibles economy, what I call
        an Algorithmic Economy, we are mostly ascribing relative psychological value
        to algorithmic intangibles. Book value has been steadily losing its meaning
        over the last century, so now market cap represents primarily a social
        variable that tracks the mass manic-depressiveness of the population's
        psychological impressions of the system, to use your Warren Buffet quote. I
        could easily see a ten year average recession, for example, if we felt we
        deserved self-imposition of that kind of correction (guilt for the excesses
        of Kosmo and Sock Puppets? :), though I'm sure there would also be some
        exponential winners over that time. To look at some of the possible winners,
        I'd read all the articles on the "Exponential Economy" concept at Nathan
        Mhyrvold's site below:

        http://www.intellectualventures.com/RecentNews/

        Mhyrvold really gets it, and is doing some good singularity metrics. He sees
        that biotech is poised for a computationally-driven phase of exponential
        growth, and this will create amazing value for human society. As Murphy and
        Topel have estimated in their book, Exceptional Returns, eliminating all
        deaths from heart disease would increase national wealth by $48 trillion.
        Eliminating cancer would generate another $47 trillion. A hundred trillion
        infusion into the economy just two domains, is the order of effect of
        technological acceleration we can expect over the next 30-50 years as we
        slide into the high end of the exponential economy, just prior to
        singularity.

        Best,

        JS

        http://www.SingularityWatch.com
        Understanding Accelerating Change
      • wayne radinsky
        ... Thanks, John :) Actually, what you say doesn t surprise me. I bet you could extend it back billions of years, back to the orgin of life itself, if you
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 3, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          --- John Smart <john.smart@...> wrote:
          >
          >> In fact, if you look at the graph in Kurzweil's book, where
          >> he plots technological growth on 5 different substrates,
          >> you can see that it did not change EVEN during World War
          >> II. Even something as catastrophic as World War II has NO
          >> IMPACT on the rate of technological change!
          >
          > Bravo Wayne! Thanks for that insightful analysis. These
          > observations can be extended even further, as I present in
          > my book. Any good history of technology text, in the West
          > or East, shows that technological advances have stayed on a
          > very smooth exponential acceleration over all recorded
          > history.

          Thanks, John :)

          Actually, what you say doesn't surprise me. I bet you could
          extend it back billions of years, back to the "orgin of
          life" itself, if you had enough data. Remember Carl Sagan's
          calendar? He certanly makes it look like an exponential
          trend is at work in biological evolution as well. I don't
          have the data, but with all the stuff you read, you might
          see it.

          > We've seen countless collapses of *civilizations*
          > (Egyptian, Roman, Minoan, Greek) but looking closely at any
          > of them, you discover that the technologies rapidly
          > filtered out into surrounding environments, were parallel
          > invented, rediscovered, were usefully mutated, etc. Same is
          > true with written literature. The burning of the Library of
          > Alexandria, if you look into it, was a myth. There were a
          > number of ransacks of that place, over many years, and
          > several scholars have proposed that a lot of the books made
          > it out. If we charted the number of written characters
          > since the start of writing I'd also expect to see a smooth
          > exponential acceleration.

          One of the things I've heard about the Library at
          Alexandria, is that fewer than 10% of the books that were
          once there survived.

          The actualy loss of *knowledge* is probably not that great,
          because there's redundancy in the books. Still, I think the
          book burning was tragic. We would know a lot more about
          ancient civilizations if the people didn't go around
          burning books.

          > I think we see this because, while human social systems may
          > be desirable or undesirable, technological advances have
          > broad positive feedback loops within any society.
          > Technology apparently solves deep human problems, in an
          > incremental manner. We stay on that acceleration because
          > human creativity doesn't flag. And catastrophes, whether
          > war or depression, will accelerate certain types of
          > innovation, even as they dampen others. ("Necessity and
          > invention").

          Oh, I totally agree with you here. Where I disagree is the
          claim made by you, Kurzweil, and others, that this
          arrangement will continue forever.

          > In ancient times, you can look at the number of humans on
          > the planet, take an average creativity function independent
          > of social factors, and get your exponential, when tracking
          > technology. But it gets even better than that once you've
          > moved to written records of technology development, because
          > then you can rediscover with a fraction of previous effort,
          > and you can start moving into numeric human independence in
          > tech development (growth in technological autonomy, a
          > process which will be completed within this century).
          > Algorithms become the new keys to the kingdom.
          >
          > Of course it's difficult to get clean definitions for all
          > this, but you can take multiple metrics and follow them
          > over thousands of years with current records and see what
          > falls out. Computation per dollar is one. Number of printed
          > words is another. Average communication (verbal and
          > technological) is another. Energy density of your machinery
          > is yet another, and my current favorite (read Chaisson,
          > Cosmic Evolution).

          I also think the energy density metric is the most
          interesting. You know, John, it really amazes me how much
          stuff you read and how you manage to find all this stuff. I
          definitely want to follow up on the energy-density stuff. I
          think it is really key because energy is such a fundamental
          concept in physics. In biology energy is also key to the
          process of evolution -- different species competing for
          matter and energy resources. In physics matter is even
          represented as a form of energy, remember E=mc^2.

          Recently I've been trying to understand the connection
          between energy and economics. If you think of the world
          economy as an energy circuit, where different financial
          transfers represent energy flows with different energies,
          then you can think of money in the bank as a store of
          potential energy. Since 5% of the population controls 50%
          of the wealth in the world, you can see that there is
          extreme concentration of energy -- that is, high energy
          density -- at particular points in the economic system.
          (Unfortunately for me I am not one of those points :). This
          energy density may correlate, in some manner that I haven't
          figured out, with the energy density for machinery metrics
          that you have found. That would tie "economic evolution"
          in with the concepts we're developing for biological
          and machine evolution.

          > Unfortunately, though, I don't think this necessarily
          > translates into market capitalization. Because we've moved
          > to an intangibles economy, what I call an Algorithmic
          > Economy, we are mostly ascribing relative psychological
          > value to algorithmic intangibles. Book value has been
          > steadily losing its meaning over the last century, so now
          > market cap represents primarily a social variable that
          > tracks the mass manic-depressiveness of the population's
          > psychological impressions of the system, to use your Warren
          > Buffet quote. I could easily see a ten year average
          > recession, for example, if we felt we deserved
          > self-imposition of that kind of correction (guilt for the
          > excesses of Kosmo and Sock Puppets? :), though I'm sure
          > there would also be some exponential winners over that time.

          Why do you think so?

          I disagree because, they way I see it, the value of
          *everything* is psychological. A house, for example, is a
          big, physical object, but what is its value? You can get
          educated guesses by looking at recent sales of similar
          property, or hire an appraiser, but the fact is you don't
          really know what it's worth until somebody buys it. The
          same is true of, say, a share of stock in Microsoft
          Corporation. I think Microsoft is a good example because
          their business is primarily bits and not atoms (though I
          acknowledge that they do make some hardware like mice and
          X-boxes). Their business is primarily Windows in all its
          flavors, Office, etc, which is bits, not atoms. The price
          of the CD's the software comes on is probably around $1,
          and it wouldn't surprise me if the printed books and
          cardboard box cost more. Microsoft last traded for $49.42
          per share, which gives it a market cap of $276.2 billion.
          So I don't see how you can argue that
          psychologically-valued "intangibles" and "algorithms" can't
          translate into market cap? Microsoft has $276.2 billion in
          purely psychological value, but that's real money.

          Actually, you want to take it one further, money *itself*
          is just a psychological construct. What is my bank account
          balance, besides a number stored on a hard disk at my bank?
          That's all it is, a number on a hard disk somewhere. Its
          "value" is entirely psychological.

          > To look at some of the possible winners, I'd read all the
          > articles on the "Exponential Economy" concept at Nathan
          > Mhyrvold's site below:
          >
          > http://www.intellectualventures.com/RecentNews/
          >
          > Mhyrvold really gets it, and is doing some good singularity
          > metrics. He sees that biotech is poised for a
          > computationally-driven phase of exponential growth, and
          > this will create amazing value for human society.

          Oh, Mhyrvold has "gotten it" for a long time. I went to
          some speeches he gave when I was at Microsoft. He is quite
          a character. All the news articles about him always mention
          he's a "gourmet chef" and that totally fits him -- he's a
          very jolly, chubby, bearded, fellow. I'd been wondering
          what he was up to since he left Microsoft a couple of years
          ago. I was kinda worried he was just spending all his time
          cooking and eating. I'm glad to see he's doing some more
          interesting stuff :)

          Anyway, around 1992 he gave a speech about Moore's Law, and
          was talking about how we'd see a factor of a million
          increase in the upcoming decades, and how this had
          surprising consequences, such as long distance phone
          service becoming free. He said that voice traffic uses so
          little bandwidth, that, with the exponential growth in
          bandwidth, it would become a tiny trickle and thus had to
          become free. And the mind of everybody in the room was
          boggled by that one! But look at where we are today (only
          10 years later). There's "dark fiber" everywhere. And the
          only reason I can tell why long distance phone service
          isn't free is because there are government regulations
          propping up the price. That is, if you want to set yourself
          up as a cheap long-distance company, you still have to pay
          a per-minute local access fee of about 2 cents on each end
          of the long distance call, which puts a minimum at the cost
          of a long distance call. If you look at the prices people
          are charging for long distance, the lowest prices on the
          market are only fractions of a penny above the regulatory
          limit. With all the development in voice-over-IP (VOIP)
          technology, it's clear that if the government doesn't
          change the regulations, people will figure a way to route
          right around them through their internet connections. But
          anyway, my point is that Myhrvold's 1992 prediction was
          absolutely right. It's easy to forget that in 1992, the
          concept of free long distance seemed unthinkable. He really
          nailed that one.

          I would advise everyone to go check out the Myhrvold link
          John gave. Myhrvold really knows what he's doing.

          > Best,
          >
          > JS
          >
          > http://www.SingularityWatch.com
          > Understanding Accelerating Change

          Wayne

          --- John Smart <john.smart@...> wrote:
          >
          > > In fact, if you look at the graph in Kurzweil's book, where
          > > he plots technological growth on 5 different substrates,
          > > you can see that it did not change EVEN during World War
          > > II. Even something as catastrophic as World War II has NO
          > > IMPACT on the rate of technological change!
          >
          > Bravo Wayne! Thanks for that insightful analysis. These
          > observations can be
          > extended even further, as I present in my book. Any good
          > history of
          > technology text, in the West or East, shows that technological
          > advances have
          > stayed on a very smooth exponential acceleration over all
          > recorded history.
          > We've seen countless collapses of *civilizations* (Egyptian,
          > Roman, Minoan,
          > Greek) but looking closely at any of them, you discover that
          > the
          > technologies rapidly filtered out into surrounding
          > environments, were
          > parallel invented, rediscovered, were usefully mutated, etc.
          > Same is true
          > with written literature. The burning of the Library of
          > Alexandria, if you
          > look into it, was a myth. There were a number of ransacks of
          > that place,
          > over many years, and several scholars have proposed that a lot
          > of the books
          > made it out. If we charted the number of written characters
          > since the start
          > of writing I'd also expect to see a smooth exponential
          > acceleration.
          >
          > I think we see this because, while human social systems may be
          > desirable or
          > undesirable, technological advances have broad positive
          > feedback loops
          > within any society. Technology apparently solves deep human
          > problems, in an
          > incremental manner. We stay on that acceleration because human
          > creativity
          > doesn't flag. And catastrophes, whether war or depression,
          > will accelerate
          > certain types of innovation, even as they dampen others.
          > ("Necessity and
          > invention").
          >
          > In ancient times, you can look at the number of humans on the
          > planet, take
          > an average creativity function independent of social factors,
          > and get your
          > exponential, when tracking technology. But it gets even better
          > than that
          > once you've moved to written records of technology
          > development, because then
          > you can rediscover with a fraction of previous effort, and you
          > can start
          > moving into numeric human independence in tech development
          > (growth in
          > technological autonomy, a process which will be completed
          > within this
          > century). Algorithms become the new keys to the kingdom.
          >
          > Of course it's difficult to get clean definitions for all
          > this, but you can
          > take multiple metrics and follow them over thousands of years
          > with current
          > records and see what falls out. Computation per dollar is one.
          > Number of
          > printed words is another. Average communication (verbal and
          > technological)
          > is another. Energy density of your machinery is yet another,
          > and my current
          > favorite (read Chaisson, Cosmic Evolution).
          >
          > Unfortunately, though, I don't think this necessarily
          > translates into market
          > capitalization. Because we've moved to an intangibles economy,
          > what I call
          > an Algorithmic Economy, we are mostly ascribing relative
          > psychological value
          > to algorithmic intangibles. Book value has been steadily
          > losing its meaning
          > over the last century, so now market cap represents primarily
          > a social
          > variable that tracks the mass manic-depressiveness of the
          > population's
          > psychological impressions of the system, to use your Warren
          > Buffet quote. I
          > could easily see a ten year average recession, for example, if
          > we felt we
          > deserved self-imposition of that kind of correction (guilt for
          > the excesses
          > of Kosmo and Sock Puppets? :), though I'm sure there would
          > also be some
          > exponential winners over that time. To look at some of the
          > possible winners,
          > I'd read all the articles on the "Exponential Economy" concept
          > at Nathan
          > Mhyrvold's site below:
          >
          > http://www.intellectualventures.com/RecentNews/
          >
          > Mhyrvold really gets it, and is doing some good singularity
          > metrics. He sees
          > that biotech is poised for a computationally-driven phase of
          > exponential
          > growth, and this will create amazing value for human society.
          > As Murphy and
          > Topel have estimated in their book, Exceptional Returns,
          > eliminating all
          > deaths from heart disease would increase national wealth by
          > $48 trillion.
          > Eliminating cancer would generate another $47 trillion. A
          > hundred trillion
          > infusion into the economy just two domains, is the order of
          > effect of
          > technological acceleration we can expect over the next 30-50
          > years as we
          > slide into the high end of the exponential economy, just prior
          > to
          > singularity.
          >
          > Best,
          >
          > JS
          >
          > http://www.SingularityWatch.com
          > Understanding Accelerating Change
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >


          __________________________________________________
          Do You Yahoo!?
          Yahoo! - Official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cup
          http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com
        • John Smart
          Thanks for the nice response, Wayne. ... I d respectfully disagree. Human psychology isn t driving the Moore s acceleration. The value of that double
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 3, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            Thanks for the nice response, Wayne.

            Wayne writes:
            > the way I see it, the value of
            > *everything* is psychological.

            I'd respectfully disagree. Human psychology isn't driving the Moore's
            acceleration. The value of that double exponential computational growth that
            the physics of the universe are *allowing* to be easily discovered by modern
            civilization will be settled in terms of universal adaptation, not the court
            of human psychology. Market valuations will move from primarily what humans
            value to primarily what machines value as we enter the Symbiotic Age.

            Your idea of an energy density metric for economics is fascinating. Yet to
            fully develop it I think it would have to include a significant nonhuman
            computational component. Humans are on their own S curve, and that includes
            human consumption of all goods, including energy. If you look at the DOE's
            projections, you'll see the data shows we are leveling off in the global use
            of energy, strongly correlated with the fact that our population won't be
            going above 10 billion, and will be lower in 2100 than in 2060. (see
            http://www.nature.com/nature/fow/010802.html). The reduction of world energy
            consumption velocity that has *already* occurred, however, is even less
            widely known today than the reduction in population velocity. I think it is
            driven by a combination of:
            1. saturation in the S curve of the soon-to-be-surpassed substrate of
            biological humanity
            2. the fact that systems in the tech substrate become far more energy
            efficient with each new generational form (what I call MEST efficiency).
            3. Machines will be "doing" a lot less and "simulating" a lot more, the
            smarter they get. This latter point may be the least defensible at present,
            as it requires accepting a very controversial hypothesis, computational
            closure, explained in my book summary, Exploring the Technological
            Singularity. I can send that to any of you BA Futurists on request, if you'd
            like to be added to the reviewer group.

            Wayne writes:
            > He (Mhyrvold) said that voice traffic uses so
            > little bandwidth, that, with the exponential growth in
            > bandwidth, it would become a tiny trickle and thus had to
            > become free. And the mind of everybody in the room was
            > boggled by that one!

            Yeah, so cool to see that kind of foresight out there in our futurist
            community.

            Take care,

            JS
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.