Samir’s Selection 05/16/2013 (p.m.)
Predatory capitalism | The Enlightened Economist
This lovely vision of ‘creative capitalism’ is some distance from the ‘predatory capitalism’ that brought us the crash, and continues to serve up poor service at high prices to support executive pay packets. The book makes a good case that the dysfunction we’re all too aware of now is itself the dynamic that will change the character of the capitalism mixed economies we live in. Mulgan draws on the literature on technology-driven long waves to explain how cycles of change come about: every crisis contains the seeds of its own destruction, as it were. Of course there are forces of reaction, but he has a fundamental belief in the power of innovation and human creativity to overcome them…
The predators are in a strong position. They are defended by a barricade of legislation, ways of doing business and social norms… it’s time to plunge into the legal and political nuts and bolts of turning predation into creation.
» Disruptive Technology – Blog of the Long Now
New research suggests that the use of technology does not always facilitate greater connectedness.
Several recent studies have shown that people consider the experience of overhearing a person talk on a cell phone far more annoying than listening to two people converse; more so, even, than being surrounded by white noise. These wireless “halfalogues” are so disruptive, researchers argue, because they awaken our innate tendency to make sense of communicative stimuli. Faced with a one-sided conversation, our brain is co-opted by the instinct to fill in the conversational gaps, and can no longer focus on anything else… our pursuit of innovative communicative technology should perhaps involve a debate about whether, and where, we might impose boundaries on its use.
Overcoming Bias : Robot Econ Primer
A recent burst of econo-blog posts on the subject of a future robot based economy mostly seem to treat the subject as if those few bloggers were the only people ever to consider the subject. But in fact, people have been considering the subject for centuries.
Spying on the Associated Press: Look who’s talking | The Economist
So it came as some surprise to the Associated Press (AP), a news agency, to discover that the Justice Department had quietly obtained records of more than 20 phone lines used by its reporters and editors in New York, Washington and Hartford, Connecticut.
India: Patents and precedents – FT.com
But western companies’ greatest concern is that India will serve as a catalyst for emerging markets to change their laws to make it more difficult to register or extend patents. That is worrying prospect for an industry facing slowing growth in developed countries and looking to emerging markets to finance research…
In most countries, only governments can issue compulsory licenses allowing production of cheaper generic versions of patented drugs. In India, though, generics companies can seek such licenses themselves from the independent patent controller. India’s patent law also has a contentious provision intended to stop the “ever-greening” of patents – when companies are able to extend or renew patents by making minor changes to a molecule or a drug formulation.
What Makes Narendra Modi a Middle-Class Hero? – NYTimes.com
In countries where materialism has been unleashed after decades of self-effacement, people have told their politicians that they don’t really care about democracy, free speech or religious tolerance, as long as they help people get richer…
In the last decade, India’s annual per capita income has almost trebled from $530 in 2003 to nearly $1,600 today. The average Indian is now 25 and lower middle class. The people in this group are young and poor enough that their income can grow at a fast rate, but also rich and confident enough to consume, make some small investments and aspire to break into the real middle class. They are already connected to middle class dreams through their television and mobile phone, and want more.
If India follows the trends of other developing nations, this hyper-materialistic streak is set to continue until per capita income reaches global middle class levels, when hunger for growth is replaced by a desire for social security and complacence. Until then, Mr. Modi’s narrative of growth at any cost is likely to be the dominant political theme in lower-middle-income India.
ROI of Corporate Lobbying | The Big Picture
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.