The Second Machine Age (2MA)
Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a time of Brilliant Technologies
Eric Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee 2014 Norton Bvtn 303.483 Bry
The main concern of this book is that jobs are lost to software, and that prospects for high-school dropouts are bleak - a college degree is required even for low-skill jobs, because rote and clerical work is done by machine.
Steam replaced muscle labor (and horses, and hostlers). The transition occured slowly enough for new work to be created. However, the downside was that children could run the machines - and did.
The current transition is replacing rote brainwork much, much faster than cultural and training evolution. Machines have become cheaper to train than people. Adults who learn no more than children have little to contribute.
- p16 Computers are good at rules but lousy at pattern recognition ... except "self driving cars" can recognize rote patterns.
- p22 Siri - good for directions, weird for unusual requests (and why can't Siri learn from trusted people?)
Language translation . Jeopardy.
- p31 iRobot "Baxter", train by moving the arms
p34 John Doerr "SoLoMo" -- social, local, and mobile
- p35 "Narrative Science" company generates corporate earnings preview text for Forbes
- why not generate reader-centric reviews - with hyperlinks?
- p41 Moore's Law: "Airplanes don't consistently have the ability to fly twice as far ..."
but they did. First Wright flyer, 1903: 37 meters. Lindbergh to Paris, 1927 km - 17 doublings in 24 years, 14 months per doubling. Further limitations relate to the finite world and the fuel supply - integrated circuits do not last very long at all with portable fuel supplies.
- Integrated circuits will reach power and market limits long before they reach the limits of physics. S-curves and infinite exponentials seem similar in the beginning.
- p63 Shapiro and Varian "Information is costly to produce but cheap to reproduce"
- see p243, Mechanical Turk and Task Rabbit and Innocentive
- p73 Bob Gordon "innovation is slowing down"
- or suppressed by draconian "IP" laws
- p76 GPT Generap purpose technology
- p83 More eyeballs and bigger computers
- p74 retired radio engineer Bruce Cragin finds way to predict Solar Particle Events
- p83 AI, but also 7.1 billion interconnected humans
- p84 Julian Simin: contribution of more minds to stock of knowledge
- p101 labor productivity graph compares 2MA to electrification 80 years earlier
- 1890 to 1930, 1970 to 2010, 0.7x to 1.5x
- p111 Free: GOod for Well-Being, Bad for GDP
- p121 GDP does not count intangibles like organization and reputation
- p126 spread - a few do a lot, most do less, median wage falls
- KHL the problem is not marginal superiority, it is mass decay - cure the decay, don't penalize it
- p133 graph: GDP per capita climbs, median incomp per capita flat since 2000
- p135 graph: Grad school wages climbing, "some college" flat, dropouts dropping
- p144 graph: 2002 to 2012, profit share of GDP 5 to 11%, wage share of GDP 49 to 43%
p188 "Learn to Race with Machines
- p189 2 amateurs with 3 computers beat both Deep Blue and grandmasters at chess
- p195 SOLEs Self Organized Learning Environments, Montessori kids (Page Brin Bezos Wales)
- p198 college students "today" spend 9% time studying, 51% playing
- p199 Khan Academy, MOOC Massively Online Open Courses
- p212 Higher teacher salaries, more accountability
- p214 Schumpeter "It is not the owner of a stagecoach who builds railways"
- p217 reduce (or at least coordinate federal/state/municipal) regulation
- p218 Support scientists (now there's a surprise!)
- p219 Reform "IP" - software patents provide too much protection
- p219 Prizes (for results) stimulate alrge private-sector investment
- p220 Infrastructure
- p225 tax externalities, tax land and superstar "rents"
- p237 "negative income tax" reward (don't tax!) income below a break-even point
p243 Mechanical Turk, TaskRabbit, Airbnb, Lyft
- p257 Technology is not destiny. We shape our destiny.
Reverse government policies that foster intellectual decay
- 1.) Discourage passive entertainment - make television difficult. Eliminate broadcast copyright, shorten copyright terms to 10 years. Television manufactures bad health and stupidity - if it was an industrial chemical its producers would be executed. 2.) Discourage mass marketing, which encourages a few "winner take all" products from a handful of "winner take all" companies.
- "Intellectual property tax". If you want the government to prevent others from thinking like you do, you must pay the government huge sums to do so.
- Crime should earn "repairable distrust", not only jail time