Notes from “The Second Machine Age”

Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

A book by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee.

The value of this book lays in the multiple sources from which it draws. It covers a multitude of themes within the overall topic of the effects of technology on our economy.

To clarify its ideas, I’m posting below a detailed table of content that the book follows as well as a list of other books references that I found important:

Table of contents:

  1. The big stories
    1. The History of humanity in one graph
    2. Engines of Progress
    3. Playing Catch-up
    4. Where we Are
  2. The skills of the new machines: technology races ahead
    1. The new New Divisions of Labor
    2. Computers are good at following rules …
    3. … but lousy at pattern recognition
    4. So much for that distinction
    5. Good listeners and smooth talkers
    6. Digital fluency: the babel fish goes to work
    7. Human superiority in Jeopardy!
    8. The paradox of robotic ‘progress’
    9. Rethinking factory automation
    10. Coming soon to assembly lines, warehouses, and hallways near you
    11. More evidence that we’re at an inflection point
  3. Moore’s law and the second half of the chessboard
    1. It’s not a law: it’s a bunch of good ideas
    2. Charting the power of constant doubling
    3. Impoverished emperors, headless inventors, and the second half of the chessboard
    4. Second-half technologies
    5. Not just for computers anymore: the speed of Moore’s law
    6. Machine Eyes
  4. The Digitization of just about everything
    1. The economics of bits
    2. Business models when the first copy is still expensive
    3. What happens when the content comes freely
    4. Running out of metric system: the data explosion
    5. Binary science
    6. New layers yield new recipes
  5. innovation: Declining or Recombining
    1. Why innovation is (almost) everything
    2. Why we should be worried: innovations get used up
    3. General Purpose Technologies: the ones that really matter
    4. Why we shouldn’t be worried: innovations don’t get used up
    5. Digital technologies: the most general purpose of all
    6. Limited to recombinant growth
    7. What this problem needs are more eyeballs and bigger computers
  6. Artificial and human intelligence in the second machine age
    1. Thinking machines, available now
    2. Billions of innovators, coming soon
  7. Computing bounty
    1. Productivity growth
  8. Beyond GDP
    1. Music to your ears
    2. What GDP leaves out
    3. Free: good for well-being, bad for GDP
    4. Measuring growth with a time machine: Would you rather …?
    5. Consumer surplus: How much would you pay if you had to?
    6. New goods and services
    7. Reputations and recommendations
    8. Intangible assets
    9. New metrics are needed for the second machine age
  9. The spread
    1. How’s the median worker doing?
    2. How technology is changing economics
    3. A smaller slice of a bigger pie
    4. The three pairs of winners and losers
    5. Skill-biased technical change
    6. Organizational coinvention
    7. The skill set affected by computerization is evolving
    8. Labor and capital
  10. The biggest winners: stars and superstars
    1. Mind the gap
    2. How superstars thrive in the winner-take-all economy
    3. When relative advantage leads to absolute domination
    4. Why winner-take-all is winning
    5. Improvement in telecommunications: reach out and touch more people
    6. Networks and standards: the value of scale
    7. The social acceptability of superstars
    8. The power curve nation
  11. Implications of the bounty and the speed
    1. What’s bigger, bounty or spread?
    2. Technological unemployment
    3. The android experiment
    4. An alternative explanation: Globalization
  12. Learning to race with machines: recommendations for individuals
    1. Even though it’s checkmate, it’s not game over
    2. Eureka, something computers can’t do!
    3. Sensing our advantage
    4. To switch the skills, switch the schools
    5. Trailing college
    6. Tools to help you stand out
    7. The fuzzy future
  13. Policy recommendations
    1. A few things even economists can agree on
    2. Teach the children well
      1. Using technology
      2. A grand bargain: higher teacher salaries and more accountability
    3. Restart startups
    4. Make more matches
    5. Support our scientists
      1. Prizes
    6. Upgrade infrastructure
      1. Welcome the world’s talent
    7. Since we must tax, tax wisely
      1. Pigovian taxes
      2. Taxes on economic rents
  14. Long-term recommendations
    1. Please, no politburos
    2. Revisiting the basic income
    3. Avoiding the three great evils [boredom, vice, and need]
    4. Better than basic: the negative income tax
    5. The peer economic and artificial Artificial intelligence
    6. Wild ideas welcomed
  15. Technology and the future (“Which is very different from technology is the future”)
    1. The risks we’ll run
    2. Is the singularity near?
    3. Destined For … ?

Notable references:

  1. Ian Morris: Why the West Rules—for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future:
  2. Frank S. Levy, Richard J. Murnane: The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market.
  3. Ray Kurzweil: The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence.
  4. Carl Shapiro, Hal R. Varian: Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy.
  5. Joseph Alois Schumpeter: The Theory of Economic Development: An Inquiry Into Profits, Capital, Credit, Interest, and the Business Cycle.
  6. Bob Gordon: is the us economic growth over?
  7. Tyler Cowen: The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better.
  8. W. Brian Arthur: The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves.
  9. Martin L. Weitzman: Recombinant growth.
  10. Al Gore: The future: 6 drivers of global change.
  11. Erik Brynjolfsson:
    1. Wired for Innovation: How Information Technology Is Reshaping the Economy
  12. David Autor:
    1. Computing inequality, Have computers changed the labor market?
    2. The polarization of job opportunities in the US job Market:
    3. Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings.
  13. Daniel Crevier: AI: The Tumultuous History of the Search for Artificial Intelligence.
  14. Karl Marx: a Contribution to the critique of political economy.
  15. Alex Tabarrok: winner takes-all economics
  16. Robert H. Frank, Philip J. Cook: The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us.
  17. N. Gregory Mankiw: Defending the one percent.
  18. John Maynard Keynes: Economic possibilities for our grandchildren.
  19. Joseph E. Stiglitz: The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future.
  20. Michael Spence: The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World.
  21. Richard Arum: Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses.
  22. Claudia Goldin, Lawrence Katz: The Race between Education and Technology.
  23. Rajan Chetty, John Friedman, Jonah R. Rockoff: Measuring the Impacts of Teachers II: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood.
  24. Vivek Wadhwa, AnnaLee Saxenian, F. Daniel Siciliano: Then and now, America’s new immigrant entrepreneurs.
  25. Mariana Mazzucato: The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths.
  26. Peter Diamond, Emmanuel Saez: The case for a progressive tax: From basic research to policy recommendation.
  27. Jyotsna Sreenivasan: Poverty and the Government in America: A Historical Encyclopedia.
  28. Charles Murray: Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.
  29. Bruce Bartlett: The Benefit and The Burden: Tax Reform-Why We Need It and What It Will Take.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Nelly Jazra says:

    oui très bien

    Très instructif



    ________________________________ De : Political Writings Envoyé : mardi 17 janvier 2017 02:38 À : Objet : [New post] Notes: The Second Machine Age

    jazracherif posted: “Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies A book by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. The value of this book lays in the multiple sources from which it draws. It covers a multitude of themes within the overall topic of the ef”

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