Friday, May 12, 2023

PCE - People Centered Economy

I have just started reading "The People Centered Economy" by David Nordfors & Vint Cerf, Vint being considered one of the founding fathers of the internet. It was recommended to me by a friend of mine at Hyland as we have continued conversations on mulitple topics.

I can already tell you that it both excites me and annoys me all at the same time.

In short what appeals to me is the idea of putting people first. What is going to bother me is this idea that we need AI to implement it and that it does not address the unbridled capitalism that currently reigns in the U.S. Over time I'll explain these concerns and othersbut first just suspend disbelief and learn is my goal. Here is what they say on page 26 of the book:

It is my thesis that that much more value can potentially created by a people-centered economy than by a task-centered one , and that artificial intelligence is the key to realizing this potential. This is what we want as individuals and for everyone in the economy. This is the society envisioned in this book, one that should not be impossible to build:

A powerful innovation economy where people do meaningful work together with people they like, being valued by people they do not know, providing for the people they love.

Welcome to Skynet! Do you want the red pill or the blue pill?

I am currently on page 122 of the book and they have gone through various thought/points including definition of a people-centered economy(proposed) vs a task-centered economy (current), why the current system is beginning to fail including the threat of AI, the growth-profit paradox, defining the labor market as a service market, how people-centered companies can out perform task-centered one, currency and governance, coolabilities (change in perspectives on disabilities), virtual me, humane education, the interpersonal economy, I-Thou and I-It, Turing vs Buber tests. Alot of very cool stuff with some oversights or intentional blindness to some core issues. For example, in one of the scenarios they talked about the completely ignored the fact that the person in question went from doing ONE job to TWO. That is not people centered, it is what we have today when people have multiple jobs just to survive. It causes context switching which means that person won't do either job well. There are a couple of other things like that, but this is a really cool, thought-provoking book so far.

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