Manu Saadia on Trekonomics at Books Inc. in Berkeley :: June 15, 2016

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Manu Saadia: Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek http://amzn.to/28ZnBiD

Live from the Gamma Quadrant: Books Inc.: Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek: "Manu Saadia discusses Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek...

...What would the world look like if everybody had everything they wanted or needed? Delving deep into the details and intricacies of 24th century society, Trekonomics explores post-scarcity and whether we, as humans, are equipped for it. What are the prospects of automation and artificial intelligence? Is there really no money in Star Trek? Is Trekonomics at all possible? Manu will be in conversation with UC Berkeley economics professor Brad DeLong.


Rough Semi-Transcript:

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Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from 4 Yrs Ago/April Fools All Year/David Graeber Blogging: No, Silicon Valley Did Not and Does Not Partake of the Anarchist Utopian Nature. Why Did You Imagine It Did?

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Brad DeLong : No, Silicon Valley Did Not and Does Not Partake of the Anarchist Utopian Nature. Why Did You Imagine It Did?: I would be smarter if I read more Unfogged comment threads...

Courtesy of an unknown lurker informing the Mineshaft that "Graeber, on Twitter, sourced [his] Apple claim to his memory of a lecture by Richard Wolff", and of bjk commenting on More on Graeber, I am led to the… unusual opinions… of neo-Althusserian structuralist wingnut--and guy who made it pleasant to be at U.Mass--Richard D. Wolff:

Economic Crisis from a Socialist Perspective: Beginnings for the "reform plus" strategy: The contradictions of capitalism offer us partial yet useful examples of the democratization of enterprise advocated by this “reform plus” agenda. One of these, recurring in California for decades, can illustrate our argument.

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Review of Ben Friedman's, "The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth": Hoisted from the Archives from Ten Years Ago/The Honest Broker for the Week of November 30, 2015

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Hoisted from the Archives from Ten Years Ago: Ben Friedman's, "The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth": Ten years ago my review of Ben Friedman's very nice The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth http://www.amazon.com/exec/obido/asin/0679448918/braddelong00 was up at Harvard Magazine http://www.harvardmagazine.com/:

Growth is Good: An economist's take on the moral consequences of material progress

Economists have always been very good at detailing the material consequences of modern economic growth. It makes us taller: we are perhaps seven inches taller than our preindustrial ancestors. It makes us healthier: babies today have life expectancies in the seventies, not the twenties (and more than half that improvement is not directly related to better medical technology, narrowly defined). It provides us with leisure: eight-hour workdays (rather than ‘Man’s work is from sun to sun, and woman’s work is never done.’) It provides us with enough clothing that we are not cold, enough shelter that we are not wet, and enough food that we are not hungry. It provides us with amusements and diversions, so that there is more to do in the evenings than huddle around the village campfire and listen yet again to that blind poet from the other side of the Aegean tell the only long story he knows—the one about Achilles and Agamemnon. As time passes, what were luxuries become, first, conveniences, and then necessities; what were utopian dreams become first luxuries and then conveniences; and what was unimagined even in wild fantasy becomes first utopian dreams and then luxuries.

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Prolegomenon to a Reading Course on Karl Marx: The Honest Broker for the Week of December 12, 2014

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Over at Equitable Growth: These days, when people come to me and ask if I will run a reading course for them on Karl Marx, this is what I tend to say:

The world is divided into those who take Karl Marx's work seriously and those who do not.

On the one hand, those who do not take Karl Marx's lifetime work-project seriously are further divided into three groups:

  1. Those who ignore Marx completely.

  2. Those who use selected snippets from his work as Holy Texts, and

  3. Those modern "western Marxists" who find inspiration in the works that Karl Marx wrote exclusively before he was thirty. READ MOAR

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Telling the Real History of Twentieth-Century East-Central Europe Through Black Screwball Comedy Cozy-Catastrophe Farcical Tragedy: Watching Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel": The Honest Broker for the Week of April 5, 2014

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Over at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth:

In Alfred Hitchcock's (1938) The Lady Vanishes, the moment when the train is stopped in the countryside by armed fascists is the moment of revelation and clarity: all becomes clear, the adversaries reveal themselves, and the proper action heroics can begin.

In Wes Anderson's (2014) The Grand Budapest Hotel, the first moment when the train is stopped in the countryside by armed authoritarians is one of suspense broken by comic-opera comedy. Just as the militia have determined that the young Zero Moustafa's papers are not in order are going to pull him off of the train and take him away to an unknown fate, it turns out that their leader--Captain Albert Henckels-Bergersdorfer--is the same Little Albert to whom Zero's patron M. Gustave was "very kind" when as a lonely little boy he stayed with his parents at the Grand Budapest Hotel in Nebelsbad, Zubrowka: READ MOAR

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Assessing Alan Greenspan: Monday DeLong Self-Smackdown

Greenspan in Retrospect

Six years ago, I wrote a highly complimentary review of Alan Greenspan's The Age of Turbulence:

Brad DeLong (September 2007): Review of Alan Greenspan's "The Age of Turbulence": For nearly 20 years Alan Greenspan… was the most powerful economic central planner the world has ever seen…. Why should a central planner be setting interest rates? The only reason is that this system appears to work less badly than the alternatives we have tried…. Greenspan is world famous because he was very good and very lucky…. He made roughly 36 substantive decisions about the direction interest rates should go. Six times I disagreed with him. Five of those six times, he was right…. That is an amazing record….

I still think most of the review still holds up well[1]. But the very end is now very questionable:

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Two Ways of Looking at a Randite: Hermaneutics of Profound Suspicion vs. Hermaneutics of Goodwill Toward Alan Greenspan Weblogging

Alan Greenspan's publisher did not send me a copy of his new The Map and the Territory. So at the moment I am running on the two different books read by Larry Summers and Steve Pearlstein:

Larry Summers: The Map and the Territory:

It was my privilege to work closely with Alan Greenspan for the eight years I served at the Treasury during the Clinton administration. His new book, The Map and the Territory, brings me back to fond memories of our conversations over the years. I haven’t always agreed with my friend but he has always left me wiser and with something to ponder. I have been struck… by the way… his approach… draws both on commitments to an individualist, libertarian philosophy and on extensive and deep immersion in economic statistics…. The range of topics and arguments makes this book a very important statement, whether one ultimately agrees or disagrees with the author. I found myself doing plenty of both. Greenspan’s range, vision and boldness is especially important at a time like the present, when Washington is preoccupied with the political and petty….

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