Fascinating new magazine, with a quite a few relevant market/economic articles– I just love the digital format version of the magazine — much slicker than a PDF:

  • “The Global Financial Crisis: A Hiccup on the Path to Superintelligent Financial Markets?” by Ben Goertzel
  • First Steps Toward Post Scarcity or Why It’s the End of the World as We Know it and You Should Feel Fine” by Jason Stoddard.
  • HaCKinG tHe eConomy Douglas Rushkoff

Pretty radical stuff:

The economy we live in is a rigged game, established around the time of the Renaissance in order to promote the welfare of early chartered corporations and the monarchs who gave them license to monopolize world business. Until that time, there were many kinds of money in use simultaneously. People used centralized currency to conduct long-distance transactions, and local currency to transact on a more day-to-day basis.

Most people, in fact, never used centralized currency at all. They simply brought their season’s harvest to a grain store, then got a receipt for the amount of grain they had deposited. This receipt was currency, redeemable at the grain store for something everyone knew had real value. but since a certain amount of grain went bad or was lost to rats, and since the grain store had some expenses, this money lost value over time. Since the money would be worth less the following year than it was worth that day, the bias of the money was towards spending and reinvestment. That’s why medieval towns built cathedrals: as a way of investing in the future with excess money from the present. They were that wealthy. Women were taller in medieval england — a sign of their good health and diet — than at any other time before the last two decades.

Local currencies allowed towns to create value and reinvest it in their own affairs. This was intolerable to an aristocracy already waning in power and influence. So European monarchs began to outlaw local currencies, and force everyone to use “coin of the realm.” These centralized currencies had the opposite bias. They were borrowed into existence by businesses, and then paid back to the central bank, with interest. Like most innovations of the Colonial era, centralized currency is a way to extract value from the periphery and bring it back to the center. People’s labor no longer contributes to their own wealth, but to the lender’s. eventually, the lending economy — central banks and banks — becomes bigger than the “real” economy of people doing stuff. Today, in fact, over 95% of currency transactions are made between speculators. our money is used less for real transactions than betting.

A few people in the publishing business tell me this is “the Mondo 2000 crew from the late 80s—still on the transhumanist, extropian, singulatarian beat. It’s largely much a compendium of articles, mostly from people of that era.”

Still, its a cool format . .  .


Hat tip boing boing

HaCKinG tHe eConomy
Douglas Rushkoff
H+ Magazine


Category: Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

20 Responses to “H+ Magazine: HaCKinG tHe eConomy”

  1. TrickStar says:

    I’m in Goetzel’s boat. This crisis should set the stage for improved risk management and streamlined financial markets. At the same time, the emerging markets have continued to establish themselves. There is a lot to look forward to over the next 30 years.

  2. .pdf blows it, and Windows should be swept into the ‘digital’ trashcan..

    those two apps are serious bloatware, their inherent inefficiences, not only waste tremendous amounts of time, all those additional cycles waste copious quantities of Energy..

    if you care to 2x-check, find a data center, worth its salt, running MSFT server software..

    may ADBE y MSFT continue their march to zero..

  3. nertopia says:

    For me the most interesting article was the link to the video on the back page of the digital web version of the magazine. If Vernor Vinge and Kurzweil are right , the financial markets may become a thing of the past as a future computer/human hybrid may be able to accurately predict market results before they happen. ;)

    Supposed to come true around 2029 or so…

    Although the article by Goetzel rocked!

  4. nertopia says:

    To add to the above I found a quote from Ray Kurzweil in his 1999 book where he predicts “computers will one day prove superior to the best human financial minds at making profitable investment decisions.”. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Technical Analysis”!

  5. those ‘Singularity’ dudes are a curious lot, no fans of Thoreau, I’ll bet..

  6. AGG says:

    Oh, the economy is rigged all right. The “rigging” is far more sophisticated than arranging the canvas for maximum efficiency on a sailing ship. The psychology of the masses is approached from myriad directions to achieve “profitable” results for the rich. The heroes of liberty are coopted into appearing to defend the present corporate tyranny as true freedom. The brainwashing we are subject to is extensive. Avoiding it is like trying to stay dry while wlking in a driving rainstrorm. This pschologocal rainstorm has been particularly harsh since World War II.
    Observe this enlightening snippet from Counterpunch on the For Profit Health “Care” Insurance Corporations:
    As you were leaving, you quoted the Declaration of Independence (“…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”), making the point that Thomas Jefferson didn’t specify health care as one of the unalienable rights. Nor did Thomas Jefferson say anything about police and fire protection in the Declaration of Independence. Both police and fire departments are accepted as vital public services (which, of course, are public on both the financing and delivery sides). When your house is on fire, the fireman does not ask for your insurance information or ask if you’ve paid your service subscription. Certain services, including police protection, fire protection and health care insurance are clearly integral to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and are appropriately in the public domain. The market is appropriate for auto insurance and microwave ovens, but it has been a miserable failure in a vital, non-discretionary area such as health care insurance. About 18,000 American adults die unnecessarily every year due to lack of insurance (Institute of Medicine study in 2002; the number is currently about 22,000 per year). The corporate health insurance industry bears proximate responsibility for these deaths, hundreds of thousands over the years that the foxes have been in the henhouse. Incidentally, Thomas Jefferson apparently borrowed the phrase from the English writer John Locke, who said “no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” Jefferson considered Locke to be one of “the three greatest men that have ever lived”. John Locke clearly recognized the central importance of health. In any case, it is clear that Jefferson was not being exclusive in his list of unalienable rights: “…certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (emphasis added).

    My response to your citation of Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence was to say, “health care is either a commodity that is based on ability to pay or it is based on need”. I would like to add: Doctors and hospitals are increasingly fed up with the current system. Increasingly, both realize that treating health care as a commodity that some can afford and others cannot — apportioned based on profit motive and the ability to pay, rather than need — is the most irrational and inhumane form of rationing and interferes with their mission of providing high-quality, compassionate, evidence-based, necessary health care to patients, while still maintaining adequate operating budgets, capital budgets and incomes for health care providers and administrators.

    This is not “pie in the sky” utopian ideation. We’ve had a giant experiment in the U.S. since the end of World War II, with the rest of the industrial world acting as a control. The data and evidence are clear: to a scientific certainty, only a single-payer system of health care financing will solve the serious problems and achieve high-quality, comprehensive and affordable health care for all Americans. The cherry picking of the risk pool by “insurance” companies and their denial of claims in order to maximize profits profoundly harms millions of Americans. We should follow the example of John Snow, M.D. (1813-1858), who took the pump-handle off the Broad Street pump in order to stop a cholera epidemic — let’s take the handle off the Health Insurance Misery and Death Pump, ban the parasitic middlemen and stop this epidemic.


    Daniel P. Wirt, M.D.

    Daniel P. Wirt, M.D. is a Pathologist, Houston, Texas and member of Health Care for All Texas and member of Physicians for a National Health Program. He can be reached at: boojum@wt.net

    The Occupation
    by Patrick Cockburn

    Humanitarian Imperialism
    By Jean Bricmont

    By Tennessee Reed

  7. AGG says:

    Computers could replace judges in our courts at any time. Corruption is the only thing that prevents it. T he knowledge base of medical computer softare exceeds that of any individual human. It’s always being added to and is used to train physicians. There is no reason except the preservation of medical compensation to limit the spread of this software. In an ideal society, robots run the numbers and do the logical, empirical stuff; humans would deal with arrt, beauty, religion and adventures in entertainment. But that’s utopia.

  8. try2bamused says:

    And that debt-based system, centuries old, is now finished. It is a victim of the unsustainability of its own compounding interest. The compounding debts due are too large to ever be paid back. Watch global policy makers and top-level financiers running around like panicy monkey heads! And no surpirse, their cherished and enriching central bank based system is collapsing around them and there is nothing they can do to stop it.

    Bring on the brave new world!

  9. Mike in Nola says:

    I recommend one of the books I believe is on Barry’s list, The Great Wave

    [BR: Looks interesting but unfamiliar]

    It’s heavy going, but interesting. It examines economies going back to the middle ages, the thesis being that there are certain common successions of economic conditions (waves, but not cycles) that have occured and seem to be built into civilizations. The author uses common stats from the various periods, e.g. prices for food, fuel, rents, and money supply. Note something to read while you are sleepy. Although it was written in the 1990′s, some of the comments fit better today than they did then.

    Mark: The magazine is built with Adobe Flash which is expensive but very powerful. MS has put out a worthy competitor in Silverlight which is superior in some respects for streaming video and has much programmability built in. Expect to see a lot more content built on those two platforms.

    I just upgraded to Acrobat 9 standard after trying to save the $100 upgrade charge by trying some of the freebies pdf applications. Acrobat is so far ahead it’s amazing.

    Just another illustation of a statement someone made that has a wider application than just Linux: “Linux is only free if your time has no value.”

  10. @try2bamused Says:March 7th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    And that debt-based system, centuries old, is now finished. It is a victim of the unsustainability of its own compounding interest. The compounding debts due are too large to ever be paid back. W

    Ah, but VOILA! They have decided you are too burdened and thus will write down your debt burden by 30% while at the same time lowering your interest rate. You get to keep your house, your car and your family and you also get to be thankful! This is what your personal Fed agent Uncle Ben is ‘negotiating’ for you right now. Don’t worry, he is working very hard to help you maintain the life of debt slavery that you have come to expect. After all, you have voted for it and you have worked and studied hard for the last 30 years of your life to achieve this great and symbiotic system of living. It would be cruel to take it away now. Especially to the bankers. You’re welcome! :mrgreen:

  11. Mike,

    that’s really cool, and all, but dispute my poins about their being bloatware, and tremendously Energy Inefficient..

    LSS: we can hear, and pay for, “SmartGrids”, “Carbon-trading”, all Day long, but neither address the underlying wastefulness built-in, nor the real Problems cause by the systemic weakness extant..

    as an add’l + try some research, to go with your opinion: http://linux.softpedia.com/

    desktop distro’s, to which you must have been referring, now, totally disprove that thread-bare disinfo prop that you tossed out..

    to the original point on DCs: http://searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid39_gci917863,00.html#
    note date..

  12. usphoenix says:

    @agg: IMHO the wheels came off our health care system when everything transitioned to “for profit”.

    Few of us are expected to have long enough term memory to recall that. It was more than an hour ago, the longest allowed time for a TV soap opera.

    “For profit” was going to make health care more efficient and allow the best to dominate. Well, it certainly allowed the biggest to operate.

    The magnitude of Medicare fraud is astounding. But nothing gets cleaned out except our wallets.

  13. Greg0658 says:

    on the presentation software of H+ .. I had issues with the online version .. I haven’t downloaded the pdf yet
    I like the software* my subscription to TvTechnology comes on :

    * wish I could copy stuff by drag copy paste .. I’ve come up with a sorta work around .. shoot lcd screen w/digital camera in hi-def …… if I remember there’s a tab to save or print a page too

    Sincerely to AGG and
    Daniel P. Wirt, M.D.
    I agree and thanks in advance for helping the advancement of healthcare for all.

  14. dunnage says:

    Rigged: of course. Not a conspiracy, a preference.

    But nothin like Pork Bellies if your lookin for fair shake.

    And ya, mutation of feudal system the way I’ve always looked at government. Communism was for 99% of the people. Capitalism: as everybody now sees, it like communism is for the 99%. At the top you no longer have kings, just a bunch of Princes.

    Now folks just didn’t think these folks would …. in their own nest, but you cannot discount Inbreeding.

    And as far as things like the Black Swan stuff or doing figuring for cotton prices: well, look at $150 oil. Like the joke of Supply and Demand — ok, I’ll go along, but my first question would be supply and demand of what?

    But what angers me is real estate prices; The one damn thing you can bet you life on is that guys with hammers are going to build houses until there are houses standing empty without buyers. Like prices weren’t going to go down at that point? If such a stupid ass idea as Black Swans existed you could overbuild and yet maintain prices — then I’ll believe. For a bunch of interbred elite to sell back and forth for commission should be no surprise — it worked for my uncle, my dad. Now for these money centers to actually possess enormous quantities of this stuff themselves is probably another manifestation of savantism. The public is supposed to be holding these algorithms.

  15. Kyle says:

    I can’t read H+ magazine, someone help me! I live on the other side of the Great Firewall, is there any chance I will be able to read it in the future?

  16. Bob the unemployed says:

    The magazine looks interesting, but the new delivery means makes it difficult to get into the magazine. Color me old-fashined, but I’d prefer a pdf version.

    Before everyone skewers me :) I agree that the Adobe pdf reader is a bloated pig. I use FoxIt to read pdf files. http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php

  17. cewing says:

    RE: That excerpt–

    An interesting idea, but I would be more inclined to agree with it if we still lived in a world where people were born, lived, worked, and died in the same 50 mile radius. Local currencies might make the next-door neighbor militias feel empowered, but in today’s economy it would provide even MORE profit opportunities for speculators and scammers.

  18. skardin96 says:

    It may have butter-up visual and UI but this is still PDF.

  19. jasonbradfield says:

    The author in the article is basically suggesting businesses use trade financing, the basic concept is not new and indeed is one of the most common ways many entrepreneurs finance themselves. However, the example cited is a slightly new twist and the web makes it more possible to use this form of financing.