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Re: <nettime> Nobel laureate in economics aged 102 endorses the human ec
Newmedia on Tue, 29 Jan 2013 02:51:15 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Nobel laureate in economics aged 102 endorses the human economy...


Brian:
 
> But when you follow the technology, Mark, it leads to the 
> questions of social reproduction and of government.
 
Exactly!  It's really a pleasure to discuss this with someone who does  
their homework! <g>
 
> According to Perez, it's only after the successful resolution 
> of the institutional questions - concerning wages and livelihood, 
> money and credit, government regulation and intervention, 
> international trade regimes, etc - that a "techno-economic 
> paradigm" can reach its mature phase and deploy all its 
> potentials.
 
Precisely!  So, what does Perez say about the "potentials" for the  current
TEP and the progress by the "institutions" to deal with the changes  driven
by the technology?  
 
What sort of economic growth does "informationalism" (or what many have  
long called "The Information Age" and what was originally called  
"Post-industrialism") offer for those economies that no longer have  
industrialization (i.e. the earlier 4x "surges" described in her work) to
drive  living standards -- like North America, Europe and Japan?
 
Silence?  I have been discussing this with her for nearly 10 years and
have helped with some of her papers on the topic.  You will notice that
there are NO numbers in her work!  (And, as we've discussed, providing
those numbers is likely to become my job.)
 
The fact is that the "institutions" in the *developed* economies have
failed to deal with these problems for 50+ years (i.e. since it became
clear in  the early 60s where this was all heading) and show no indication
of picking up  the ball today.  
 
The EU's "Internet of Things" (i.e. sensors everywhere or what IBM calls  
"Smarter Planet") is the closest they've come and, once again, it has no 
numbers  attached and no growth forecasts are implied.  It simply won't
help reverse the larger trends.
 
Meanwhile, we in a "race against the machines."  As detailed in their  book
with the same title, the group at MIT's Center for Digital Business simply
*cannot* find the new jobs that have long been expected.  Nothing will be
spared.  Robots will flip burgers, fight wars, take care of the elderly,
conduct science experiments and paint pictures.  What are the  POTENTIALS
with all of this?  The Singularity?
 
Labeling all this "neo-liberal" is a cop-out and completely misses what has
gone on!  The technology doesn't care who is elected President or Prime
Minister or who controls the legislature (or what we say on nettime).  The
typical left vs. right bickering is the modern version of fiddling (and
dancing)  while Rome burns.  Complete ignorance -- on both "sides" -- about
the  fundamental changes that have *already* happened as a result of
technology  dominates the *ideological* debates!
 
If Carlota could find a "socialist" to pay attention to her work, she'd be
very happy.  ANY "leftist" with institutional clout at all would be  great.
NONE have stepped forward -- not even in Estonia where she  teaches classes
for the EU!  
 
Paul Krugman's "Keynesianism" only works if his "stimulus" kickstarts the
economy and it rebounds decisively.  But under "informationalism" that
cannot happen (as Krugman suspects but is afraid to admit)!
 
At the same time, the Chinese Academy of Sciences has published their
*strategic* roadmap for science and technology (in English), complete with
projections of what this will mean for "ubiquitous" Chinese society --
unlike  anything ever done in the West.  Is this something they
accomplished  because of their "Marxist" ideology or is it really the
reflection of a much  more deliberate and responsible collections of
"institutions," which are able to  operate *without* concerns about
"ideological" distractions (i.e. the *lack* of  ideological "struggle")?
 
LEFT vs. RIGHT is a hoax.  As shown over the past 50+ years of
back-and-forth in US politics, it doesn't matter which "side" wins --
because,  of course, they aren't really different at all on what really
matters.   They are just two sides of the same TECHNOLOGICALLY *ignorant*
coin.
 
Taking responsibility for POST-INDUSTRIAL economic development will require
abandoning the typically superficial arguments based on "ideology" -- which
only  gets in the way of our ability to understand what has happened and
where we are  heading.  Throw it all out!
 
You can run your "ideology" up the flag-pole everyday and hope that someone
will salute it (no doubt getting some personal satisfaction at the
audiences  attending your lectures) and hope that someone will incorporate
your ideas into  their "institution" but that has already been tried and
FAILED.
 
>From 1964-66 a US Commission on Technology, Automation and Economic  
Progress met almost daily to discuss these issues.  It had top labor
leaders (Reuther etc), social scientists (Bell, Sokow etc) and
industrialists  (Watson, Land etc) and it produced a complete set of
recommendations along with  6-volumes of backup materials/testimony.  (I'll
be glad to send a PDF copy  to anyone interested.)
 
Then it was completely ignored and LBJ gave us the "Great Society" -- which
has led directly to the highest level of per-capita incarceration in the
world  and as US median wages *permanently* stagnated in the early 1970s!
How's that for *potentials*?
 
Instead the US labor leaders got their pensions and the Japanese developed  
"worker collaboration" (with the help of the social psychologists), which 
has  now spread to the automobile industry worldwide.  Nothing to worry
about.  Game over.  Go directly to jail.  Do not pass go -- do  not collect
$200.
 
The "left" has *ignored* the technology (as reflected in the absence of any
sustained discussion on this list for the past 15 years) and, as a result,
has  only dug a deeper hole for everyone, since, in conventional terms, it
is their  responsibility to consider the broader social implications.  Net
ART won't  feed the children.
 
Shame on the LEFT for being so friggin' *stupid*!!  More "ideology"  won't
fix any of this -- less might.
 
Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn NY


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