Isn’t it fascinating how the anti-tech group in this trailer use tech to try and kill Will? Speculation about the very nature of a “singularity” has consumed technology futurists: the singulartarians and the non, and while I like the thought of directors playing with and ideal of a singularity, it would be good to see some diversity in perspective. Specifically I mean, it would be good to see some optimistic interpretations.
Transcendence directot Wally Pfister is known for playing with philosophy in his interpretations of scripts like his work on and The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Inception (2010), and the most fascinating in my opinion, play on choice and choas with his Joker character in The Dark Knight (2008).
Technology is ubiquitous in the future that I foresee, and I don’t think an evolution per technology is a good/bad or avoidable phenomenon, morals specific to propping up the system (a group of human-kind) are necessary.
Please watching this video of wise rants by ALEX ‘SANDY’ PENTLAND. I agree with most of what he has said. I should start recording thoughts on film more. Ideas on how we leverage data to identify each other is where the heavy lifting of socio-economic philosophy resides in this century. Narrowing the focus from averages of groups to the individual. We are in extraordinary times. Over the course of the next few weeks when I get some downtime for the holidays, i will comment in more detail about Pentland’s conversation.
Yesterday I attended an event at the City University of New York’s Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies for a roundtable discussion on Black/Queer/Diaspora the seeming ultimate in minority topics. I have to admit that I was unsure what would actually be discusses at the event. To my surprise topics related to the “connectivity” explored in Integrationalism were at the forefront.
In a special issue of GLQ, Jafari Allen beckoned us to see that “Black/queer/diaspora is an organic project of multivalent and multiscalar reclamation, revisioning, and futurity (yes, all at once).” This event brings together preeminent writers and thinkers at the forefront of engaging with this work. Issue editor Jafari Allen (Yale) and contributor Vanessa Agard-Jones (Columbia) present research from their new projects emerging from the conversations of the special issue. Robert Reid-Pharr (CUNY Graduate Center), and Rosamond S. King (Brooklyn College) will offer responses to this new work, informed by their own scholarship and research interests. Collectively, they will each present new research that considers and expands the methodological and conceptual inquiries grounding the issue.
After the presentation of Allen’s new book project Black/Queer/Diaspora and a Agard-Jones’s beyond fascinating paper What the Sands Remember (which could suggest radical political warfare on ethnic and sexual minorities via unethical bio & chemical policy. READ IT) their critiques made the event much more compelling. Rosemond King’s poetry was beautifully easy yet provocative, although I’m not sure she’d agree with my choice of language. But the kicker was Dr Robert Reid-Pharr’s critique of Allen & Agard-Jone’s work. He said
Black Queer Diaspora should be presented as a heuristic
Meaning that it “can” go away. In writing about the future colleagues, peers, critiques, and I regularly explore the ends of things to push understanding beyond the linear site of our day-to-day lives in an effort to understand the exponential growth of our actual reality. I’ve never seen so many minorities clash at one, and to think that they are a problem to potentially be solved with less-than optimal outcomes; or rather a diluted existence in to the tolerances and acceptances and general culture of a (or all) societies is quite likely what will happen per the history of all other physical systems in their respective evolution.
Even further and most interesting to me as a socialized African American, although my genome sequence reads quite different, was question posed from the audience by a woman asking Jafari Allan if he agreed with Rober Reid-Pharr’s comment about heuristics. Allen agreed that “Queer” could go away, as he elaborated about his and the academy’s difficulty with the term. He continued to say that “Black” could never go away.
To this point I haven’t dealt with Afro-futurism mainly because it is not an interest of mine, even after the request of editors at organizations like Humanity+ & IEET. Having stated that, the writings and comments around Afro-futurism concern me simply because I am classified as black. Phenomenologically I am inclined to reject Allen’s suggestion that “Black” could never dilute, especially while considering “Queer” to have the potential to do so. While we are still early in the commencement of our technological evolution it is possible to consider the potential of ethnic ranks pervading the humanoid population. Simply, human selection aside from that of natural selection allowing human-kind to design itself in the favor of its ambitions has commence. I’m compelled to think of the green-honed four-toed tri-breasted Spanish-speaking avatars designed in SecondLife and those in real life. Our population will be a large sea of minorities, identifying as a singular spectrum of species. From a socio-cultural standpoint, I think that Anthropologists can find and will continue to find remnants of tolerance leading to acceptance from individuals living OUT or transparent lifestyles to dilute the majority and minority normative: exposing everyone as a participating individual.
This past week I was at the Canadian Consulate General in New York for their Celebration of Innovation in Financial Technology, which featured 10 start-ups or early stage companies from the most robust nation in financial terms, according the IMF & World Bank stress tests. I’ve been thinking about fintech and the use of technology to better distribute wealth via identifying the value that individuals possess for some time. The meeting hosted by @miriam_leia CanadaNY’s chief innovation officer compelled me to start piecing some of the writing that I’ve done on the topic of value. I’m unsure how to summarize things enough for a quick read, hopefully this isn’t too choppy.
We find ourselves at the beginning of a somewhat great automation. While formidable arguments exist from every political faction on the potential for job creation and depletion, forecasters can confirm that the growth trends of technology show no signs of slowing; continued automation of tasks in business services for enterprise are on the horizon.
· Demand side: Restore public-sector jobs and invest in infrastructure for immediate jobs and long-term growth.
· Supply side: Extend Bush-era tax cuts to spur economy. Cut spending to curb growth-crushing debt and deficit.
· Another way: Invest in community-based, member-owned cooperatives and reduce the workweek.
Even as the world economy reacts to the automation of the its most affluent and technologically advanced nations, we find ourselves unable to distribute vales well for physical laborers.
At McKiney & Company, David Fine quotes: Africa’s workforce, young and growing quickly, will be the world’s largest by 2035. Unemployment stands at just 9 percent, but two-thirds of the labor force are in vulnerable, non-wage-paying jobs.
I wrote to the IEET a few years ago to provoke some discussion on the ethics of automation from an information technology standpoint, as the ethnography behind automation has been a large focus of mine over the past decade with corporations as a consultant. Even as resistance was futile the protests continue at each firm I visited. It seems that the exponential growth of technology, not only from a hardware standpoint (via Moore’s Law), but also from a methodological and software standpoint, requires a new method of distributing values. Jobs are difficult to generate in this great automation. Further, if our labor culture is changing for goods and services, I’m not aligned with the idea that we can restore historical methods. We must innovate out of joblessness.
Our inability to quantify the toiling of the individual and even the institution has hampered our ability to sustain gainful employment (jobs) during the accelerating changes. Note: I am not referring to sustainability, as it is illogical to seek, but to state that we are not agile. In the modern world individuals and institutions are participating more than ever in the process of development of goods/services through passive means. They are influencers. Specifically I mean: we are performing the act of development of goods and services without being compensated for it or even realizing our participation. Consider a long being in empty space, worthless. While human-kind can’t have inherent value, community can. We all generate values at the point we can interact with another.
In business CRM (customer relations management) and UX (user experience) are examples of how we leverage a consumer to be their own discoverer, developer, and deploy-er of solutions to problems. Via a conduit (profit seeking institution) as a platform, we interact. Sure there may be a single or group of experts monitoring the feedback, but the fact that feedback exists warrants some nominal indemnification other than the creation of new products for consumers, no? Figure 1. Represents a crude the CRM input process.
While the system is still new, culturally, functionally, and technologically – we’ve managed to build and identify better sensors for data points on participants in the crowd. Our ability to evaluate systemic risks and opportunities is actually an older statistical science that mathematicians and economists have been tinkering for decades. The fact that entrepreneurs who develop software solely based on customer reviews in the Salesforce.com AppExchange to then distribute as an added service is justification enough to consider how we indemnify a society for its knowledge and experience as a user. Is it valuable to seek more useful or even intuitive experiences? Companies have dedicated efforts to understanding sentiment on news by consumers and reactors to information regarding their enterprise. Firms like, Finmaven: Tool for publicly traded companies to monitor, publish and analyze social media…or, Market IQ: Analysis of unstructured data such as social media to provide real time insights to traders.. Automation is much broader than marketing and customer relations; however, the processes around relations are at the core of automation.
Too Connected To Fail
Our relations in our close and extended networks are what provide the tangible value that other individuals and institutions derive from us. As social beings we are somewhat obligated to interact well. While this sheds no light on egalitarian ideals, it does provide an opportunity for less-introverted individuals and institutions to be indemnified for participation. For example, at HBS participation often accounts for 50% of the total course grade. That method is good enough to start with, no? Lowering our degrees-of-separation from our peers and attracting new connections is what elects the people at the top of the classes at Harvard Business School. People learn how to communicate more effectively through the rigor of participation, and their value sky rockets relative to the rest of the business community.
In the past decade the global “great recession” exposed our systemic vulnerability and ties to each other at the micro and macro scale. Financial innovations have enabled risk transfers that were not fully recognized by financial regulators or by institutions themselves, complicating the assessment of a “too-connected–to-fail” problem. Companies in FinTech are closing the communication gap like Quantify Labs: CRM and Content Platform for Institutional Finance. In plain English they show all communication between bank’s customers and vendors. Scenarios like, who checked which communications and the supply-chain of communication. Anyone who has ever watched a movie about finance and trading of equities knows that traders and brokers mostly talk to each other to buy and sell stakes in equities for mutual benefit. Expanding communications or even knowledge of existing communications on creates more threads to an ever-expanding web of connectivity. As an evolving species, we need our web to continue to grow in order to support our initiative for growth, or creating technologies on a more grand scale.
The mentioned initiative can be found in every facet of our lives. Form the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Figure 2. A diagrammatic depiction of co-risk feedbacks, presents the conditional co-risk estimated between pairs of selected financial institutions. In plain English, the numbers on the diagram are communication linkages between people/assets at these banks.
While there is some debate on exactly what the framework should be to quantify co-dependence or co-risk, the best solution should be a growing group of qualified rating methods and agencies evaluating data differently as it changes and expands, as it does. Similar to this type of co-dependence our civilization’s most important institutions, our most important individuals are also co-dependent on a group of near and distant peers. We are all dependent on other to discover, develop, and deploy solutions to problems of a more personal kind.
Software services like Klout, Kred, Peer Index, and at least a dozen more are making efforts to mine through the data that we communicate to influence, in order to deliver a score with regards to our varied value (depending on their methodology and focus). Similar to the IMF individuals need to evaluate co-dependence and influence on their peers but also on institutions. Applying Klout-like methods to measure our value will enable us to make formidable legal and political arguments for out just due. And perhaps a more manageable transition through structural unemployment and globalization is possible via what’s due. Note: I am using influence and co-dependence to reference social value on entities. We all play a role in the negotiation that is life’s happenings but those of us who aren’t entrepreneurs rarely know that we’re a part of the conversations affecting decisions.
Connectivity is starting to span beyond social connections and socialization in general. It is starting to be quantified in new ways, as there are no shortages in places to install sensors and things to understand. Physical sensors that help us recognize, colors, odors, heat, distance, sounds, etc are all being created as devices that empower an application programming interface (API), which is another way to allow information technology to quantify how we engage sensors. The appification of sensors like Node or Canary or Leap Motion are the next generation of sensors that we’ve used on watches and cameras. Looking forward to days where nanorobotics can monitor mitochondrial stability to forecast and avoid apoptosis to help cells cheat death, of course, we still have a long way to go. Today, the case can be made to spread some of the abundant wealth by validating the abundant value each individual creates through info tech.
From a political standpoint a new debate needs to be had around how we react to the types of joblessness that results from rapidly changing technology, as the rate of changing is seemingly increasing. In regards to technoprogressivism and structural unemployment via automation and other methods; it is ideal to embrace the end of work: meaning that there should be some equitable distribution of the leisure created by automation.
While ideas on the end of work have been around for centuries, the distribution of leisure within or succeeding a capitalistic system is quite new. The innovation in distribution of social values that needs to occur is separate from welfare. It is understandably just to enforce a pervasive welfare state for our inability to distribute value; however, it is not an adequate remedy to the wealth gap and technologies effort to quantify all things. The root of our problem is our inability to distribute values among those who actually participate in creating it, while managing risk (or insurances). A guaranteed basic income and/or a shorter work week are not elaborate enough to compel an agile system of developments in compensation, even while they are necessary.
Information technology and the manipulation of BigData, are enabling us to understand who is influencing which changes, even at a nominal rate. Incentivizing individuals and institutions to interact in a more transparent way is important in evaluating new ways to indemnify them for their participation in society. It helps them learn and others to learn about them. This may read invasive and unethical from a privacy stand-point. While that debate should be had, my stance in short: is that human-kind cannot achieve the interconnectedness it requires for distributing our relatively abundant resources through complete privacy or conservatism. Going forward, the next wave of value to exploit it not material but portable. Figure 3. Shows my Klout rating of 60/100 for influencing my social network. The question should be asked: who have I influenced? What decisions have they made based on my influence? Have they contributed to any gross domestic product (GDP)? Is that value portable?
In a short essay I wrote called “Portable Value”, influenced by Hernando de Soto I channeled his ideas that “adequate participation in an information framework that records ownership”, can spur economic growth. History shows that coinage in the exchange of good in local/international trade made portable wealth possible. The more transparent information-collection of purchase, stake holdings, and ownership of goods from legal-documentation to land to human-slaves made our modern economies grow. While I don’t agree with de Soto’s position on land titling and side with a more communal and democratic systems of collective land tenure because this offers protection to the poorest and prevents ‘downward raiding’ in which richer people displace squatters once their neighborhoods are formalized, I am aligned with the idea of an individual titling.
Neither de Soto nor his opponents wrote about individual titling specifically, and I’m not very fond of the phrase, but it’s fitting nomenclature assuming that they would have called the distributing of ownerships outside of land specifically some version of “individual titling” considering their democratic capitalism alignment. The significance here rest with ownership and the individual. The phenomenon of private ownership has pervaded and propelled the growth of humans and our technological extensions which make life more livable. Capitalism is the term of choice for the private ownership and trade of things. Per my views (@Ntegrationalism), Capitalism is merely an economic manifestation of human-kind’s technological evolution. While I’m aware of the rigid opposition to my last sentence, I’ve written it under the assumptions that
- All things in existence are physiologically connected.
- Humans cannot have nature.
- Technology is deterministic when applied to the human condition.
- Individualism spawns competition resulting in arbitrage.
Regarding information on ownership, economic growth requires a growth in participation of owners to in-turn expand the amount of wealth or wealth opportunities in the collective (system). Nostalgic and conservative ideas of constricting the potential growth of human-kind and the institutions that we’ve built is futile and unwise, as we live in a dynamic realm (world, galaxy, universe, multiverse) which renders life as we know it, unsustainable by definition. Even the home planet (Earth) warmed by the nearest star (Sun) will be an unsustainable body in due time. We need to be more agile in how we adapt to change.
As a species or parent of species, human-kind should be encouraged to compel as many participating owners of physical-properties (land) and nonphysical-properties (intellectual property, digital, and other) as possible to create a web of interconnected and integrated interest, per our vigilant growth. While land is scarce and in de Soto’s day, it was the end of the titling arguments, our ability to create valuable information and intellectual property has surpassed that of land property. The individual must be able to own the information that they distribute and monetize it. There is a firm called 4pay in Canada that aims to create the beginnings of a “data locker” by creating mobile applications that allow consumers to control transactions without giving personal or financial data to creditors or retailers. Knowing that this will be a heavy blow to the advertising industry and could hinder individuals from accessing valuable information on goods/services that they actually want and need, the delivery model may be flawed. While innovations away from the existing supply chain may prove formidable, I think that some legal and financial incentives to provide individuals with their own information footprint have to be implemented at the local and international scale not to protect the individual, but to empower them. Individuals have to know when they are being used as insights to make decisions about their peers lives.
I just happened to be out at a festival in Brooklyn this past week and there was a table from the AK Press, as there are frequently. On the table are a few dozen pamphlets with Anarchist reads. so I took about 20, just to see what the people at this particular event are taking in. I’m not sure how many people were reading this stuff, because I was the only person asking questions at the free literature table for at least 30 minutes. This text Capitalism, class and class struggle for (ex) dummies tries to sum up capitalism in a friendly way, they even call the readers (ex) dummies. I’m unsure who the authors are, as they weren’t presented, but I do know that it came from someone or many @IOHNYC via @libcomorg & @AKPressDistro.
This critique will be short and is specific to Integrationalism which is the notion that we are all physiologically connected; based on my previous writings on “Human Nature / Technological Determinism / Competition as as spawn of Individualism”. The brief read was entertaining, and the use of prose made their concept of capitalism digestible. It elaborates that capitalism was established by other-than “natural” forces. More specifically: violence and imperialism. Sorts of politics by the first advanced countries in Europe as they aimed to compete for scarce resources.
- Humans cannot have nature.
- Technology is deterministic when applied to the human condition.
- Individualism has spawned competitive events resulting in arbitrage.
The term nature will forever be ambiguous, because of its reference to the physical world; and as we are physical entities, all that we can know is a apart of the physical world/realm. “Natural” can also reference a nostalgic or more primitive state of existing socially and technologically. This is where I have to assume that the argument for capitalism by force (for lack of better phrases) stems. This notion of force is a false, as the first technologically elite nations fought over scarce land, resources, and allusive faiths. This competition stems from the inherent arbitrage that already existed by a more primitive brand of capital from tribal times: land & people.
We live in a dynamic physical realm where growth is essential to our survival. Human-kind is inherently ambitious in this regard.
While it is impossible phenomenologically for human’s to actually have a nature about themselves, the one thing that we’ve always tried to do is control our situation to better manage the risks of uncertainty. It’s not an ill mission, but the pathology of our altruism often shows that it is our most stifling virtue. Projecting our idea of greatness onto the entire population is not progressive, even as technology progresses. we must compel growth via our technologies.
Regardless of the horrible brand at places like http://capitalism.org/ the economic phenomena (not system) of Capitalism is human-kinds most technologically advanced attempt at distribution of values, and while it has its flaws, the growth and ability of our information tech and bio tech will allow us the opportunity (if we so choose to seize it) to better distribute value and compel growth by participation of persons. This text called Capitalism for (ex)dummies is misleading and a dangerous attempt to bring attention to one of the most important issues of any time.
I got a call yesterday from a head hunter friend that is aware of some of my company and product development work around strategies to better distribute values, as I’ve argued in Integrationalism that we are reaching a point where we cannot create jobs and should be indemnifying people for their participation in discovering, developing, and distributing the valuable goods & services that exist.
This California based group called Project Uplift ran by Andrew Johnson is aiming to do just that: better distribute values. In my next set of essays I’ll be exploring how we carrying this indemnification of toiling to other mediums (in & outside of social networking).
History lesson: Project Uplift was a major short-term program of the Great Society. It was an experimental anti-poverty program in Harlem, New York in the summer of 1965, intended to prevent the recurrence of the riots that hit the community the summer before.