Archive for Value
Over the past week, my comments on value being comparable to energy, in that it cannot be created or destroyed have been questioned. The questions have come primarily from LinkedIn where my previous post has been syndicated. Readers hold energy and value should not be compared at all, and that that value can in fact be destroyed…
That is not true. Worth of particular types of things (including financial assets) can be diminished or even destroyed as they fail to compel relative importance. Obviously there are many qualitative and quantitative measures of importance, but value is an inherent measure of a system of worth. For instance when the equity markets shrink due to a lack of confidence and as a result of short selling of shares of sorts, the value is stored somewhere else (either debt, or liquid, or physical assets of sorts). Value exists intrinsically per the physical being of things. Value is quantifiable or qualify-able at the point that more than 1 individual exists to engage it. Value starts to change form as individuals and groups of individuals (institutions) start to exchange worth based on their ability to identify value. Growth in the population of things does not scale value. It only increases the access to quantify and qualify value.
Similar to energy: value is a property of objects, transferable among them via fundamental interactions, which can be converted into different forms of worth but not created or destroyed. Even if our modern infrastructure (system) of economic worth collapsed, value would remain. The identifiable objects left would carry more value than they do today.
Since the end of the 20th century and after the early economic recessions of the 21st century our ability to indemnify workers for their toiling has not only stagnated from a wage standpoint, but it has also dropped from a jobs creation standpoint. Fewer people are working and for less money, because of the growth of money in the system and its production.
As mentioned in previously and in a recent article, capital is not to blame here, as it is a technology. Capable of distributing values of sorts under a denomination that we call money, capitalism is a system of distributing values and that is all. What we lack as a society or group of societies across the planet are sufficient ways to distribute value.
Value is constant and pervasive, like that of energy. Neither can be created nor destroyed, but can change form, for instance
- Energy: chemical energy can be converted to kinetic energy in the explosion of a stick of dynamite.
- Value: institutional profits can be converted to individual wages, in the remittance from employer to employee.
Specific to values and because we currently have less jobs garnering less wages, it doesn’t mean that the the value is lost. Value still exists in the trillions of dollars in the equity (stocks, futures, forex) and debt (bonds) markets.
Going forward our financial innovations need to be geared around tools and methodologies to attract more people to the markets in order to consume their share of the tangible value in the world. The only realistic method to ensuring that the wealth gap between the haves and the have-nots shrinks is to give everyone the opportunity to accrue: gather and store their value. Further, individuals need to be able to own their value and convert it to wealth in the denomination of a trusted currency over time. Economic engineers and strategists need to focus, not only on the economic benefits of having more participants in the markets, but also the social benefits: added security, buoyancy in market movements, adequate consumption of goods and services.
The technologies demonstrated in the video “iDoctor Could a smartphone be the future of medicine” are of the group of sensors that are and will continue to transform our future lives. Of course I’m 100% behind the development of these technologies, per everything that I’ve written in the past. My concerns are around the economic ethics related to the development of technologies in general.
By “economic ethics” I’m meaning to touch on the necessary monitoring of economic transitions that happen as a result of discovering and deploying new technology. The creative class (that discovers and deploys tech) is regularly taking away from the potential of the consumer class via the method of ownership. Often the ownership of technologies is “out-right” and fails to take into account the individuals and institutions that help one of many of the stages of technology coming-to-market. The three stages are: discovery, development, and deployment. At some point in one or all of such stages the creative class is assisted by the consumer class to ensure that products/services are adequate.
Watch the video and listen to the talk about expensive and cheap medical processes: This is where I’m troubled from an economic standpoint…as we leverage tech to reduce costs in industry, the original value still exists. Meaning the revenues have the potential to only go to the product producers and the idea generators. further, as it takes more and more interdisciplinary understanding to produce innovative ideas. This is bad for the non-creative (or consumer) class from an economic standpoint. Such unavoidable happening are why I’m writing this third installment of Integrationalism to touch on ownership and distribution of value.
Thanks to Dr Shellae Versey for sending me this video.
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 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.
Per integrationalism, entities in existence are connected at the sub-atomic scale. The growth or retraction of entities in existence directly affects that of the broader group of entities, with variances of entity affects based on degrees-of-separation.
Sub-atomic – while Integrationalism stems from theories derived in string-field-theory and it is difficult to define precisely what the sub-atomic domain looks like with a lack of visible experiments; this term is representative of the most-microscopic scale, suggesting that all matter is physically connected, even as it changes.
Entities – refer to physical bodies, as large as a galaxy of planets, and billions of times smaller than a grain of sand, including sentient beings or persons.
Degrees-of-separation – refer to the indirect connection an individual-entity has with other entities. These affiliate phenomena identify and have the potential to quantify the influence happenings of one entity can have on another.
Variance – refer to the differed influence of entities of groups of entities based on the interactions of the individual-entity.
Integrationalism pours over into political, economic, social, and technological theory…In, the very cores of what humans believe or know to be true about their existence, even spirituality. As our social technologies grow and our ability to mine through large data sets, we will discover more and more connections between the individuals known to be in existence. This will continue to make a compelling case on modern economic theory and our existing distribution of value or wealth of sorts.
Per integrationalism, I am not of the group that can afford to identify anything as rigidly “good” or “evil” as they are not concepts understood buy the physical realm. I mention this while reading the world’s new papers from South Africa to North America. During a time of economic turmoil and disruption on a global scale, I find similarities in the rhetoric-war between the rich and poor. The political differences are abundant and so are the social, per the lifestyles assumed by the decision makers of yesterday and today. The Fat-Cats versus the Lazy-Leaches….they are surprisingly of the same ideological and religious faiths, economic philosophies, and technological aspirations. With some caveats of course that I will delve into later, these people are as similar as identical twin.
Based on my general theory of value, the differences occur when entities are allocated values through their ability to procure ownership of growth and/or retractions. The means are irrelevant phenomenologically; it will however, be necessary to identify some of the most known instances to show how we all participate in a somewhat primal set of activities to leverage our degrees-of-separation and stifle others in order to hoard what we’d find as “enough” ownership. Even while competition pervades the animal species of the known existence, we can gradually do better at distributing an equity stake to entities participating in past/present/future of existence.
With the slightest sarcasm the evil-rich or the good-n-poor can’t be as they are labeled. There has to be an engineering (root-causing / error-proofing) problem worthy of solving here. Each time that man has faced an obstacle of political or economic strain, the status quo has evolved to ensure that we’d continue to grow. We are at another crossroads; unable to allocate values to human-kind as we actively deplete the labor force (note: I didn’t use the term workforce). While I don’t think that any one group can be inherently evil, I would think that a group might lack the tools to cooperate with the modern society. In modern political and economic ideals we have no frameworks to adequately distribute the value that is actively created by the interaction of so many.
In integrationalism I’d like to identify the mechanism as, ownership. The objective of these writings in the general theory of value are to make the distribution of value work well for a larger number of human-kind’s population, based on the most modern tools to quantify values.
Per the ancients, Value theory from a philosophical perspective encompasses a wide range of approaches to understand how, why, and to which degree entities value things. Although it is a 20th century term (Paul Lapie), value is historically coined as axiology or ethics. Some of the earliest investigations aimed to understand the concepts of good and evil and the concept of the “the good” or even “God”. Much of the investigation today resides in economics and a scientifically empirical documentation of what and how entities have been willing to designate the value of things (monetary and other). Specific to meta-ethics and questions like “what is goodness?”, In Integrationalism, I don’t think it necessary to establish a definitive answer to a seemingly abstract concept. Value cannot be warranted by “the good,” but a formidable and tangible representation of one’s participation: influence over degrees-of-separation.
I’ll just start right out with it. The problem with this century is and will continue to be (unless we fix it philosophically), how we compensate the individuals of our species for the value that they add to our evolving existence.
We have the tools today to start quantifying the value that human-kind generates based on the following phenomena:
- Degrees-of-separation – This is the number of others that each person has the ability to influence from a PEST (politically, economically, socio-culturally, or technologically) standpoint beyond a nominal rate.
- Influence – This is information published and could be rhetoric, opinions, research findings, creations, reactions, etc. I think that the field of ethnography in sociological study has shown us that people influence each other via their culture and language regardless of the macro geographic or economic conditions.
- Action – This s where the data compiled from the prior is used to argue in the legal fashion the just due for labors of publication and participation. Per Integrationalism, we understand that every innovation is crowdsourced regardless of how large/small it is. Further, those so compelled will have grounds to actively negotiate the value of their existence.
In the information technology age where the buzz word BigData I so difficult to understand from an implementation standpoint, we find ourselves (in my opinion) overwhelmed with information resources. Like any situational abundance, it is difficult to see the opportunities, even as they are within our grasp.
The current view on value and creation: a provider entity (individual or institution) produces a product/service and a consumer entity pays with insights and value for exchange. I think that it is possible to prove in many situations that the consumer or 3rd parties influence heavily on the provider; and further, that the provider is owning a too pervasively, consuming too much of the value produced by product/service creation. This is stifling to our growth and capacity to produce products/services.
On the ideal of Integrationalism, I’m looking to build a team to produce an application that generates both degrees-of-separation and influence more thoroughly than the utilities of social networks and micro blogs, but also factoring in financial transactions, location based data, viewership and participation in physical world events, and all voluntary information formally captured per the individual.