Brad DeLong on economics and nanotechnology

Berkeley economist Brad DeLong has A Framework for the Economic Analysis of Technological Revolutions, with an Application to Nanotechnology up on his blog. While slightly confused on MNT ("if engines of creation are possible, hasn't evolution had enough time to build them yet?"), his conclusions about the need for the U.S. to encourage immigration in order to continue to play a key role in technology sound exactly right.

Digital Consumers Unions

PatGratton writes "Keeping in mind that digital technology has strong direct and indirect effects on the development of nanotechnology and other transformational technologies… How do we get what we want from the digital industry in regards to: openness, privacy, security, robustness, rapid development, intellectual property distribution, etc.?

To answer this question, I'm writing a book called "Digital Needs" which examines the next 10 years of consumer facing digital technology – from the consumer's point of view. It lays out consumer requirements for hardware convergence, digital publishing, privacy, etc. and then suggests how they might be implemented.

For example, for digital publishing, I require that: Once a consumer has bought a digital good (book, music etc.) from a publisher, he should be guaranteed that he'll be able to access that good for the rest of his life, regardless of: loss of original copy, damage to or destruction of viewing hardware, changes in technology (e.g., html replaced by xml replace by ???), or even demise of the company that sold him the good. I then describe a system that makes this guarantee possible.

To help enforce these requirements, I suggest that commercially motivated Digital Consumers Unions be formed – some focussing on the needs of private consumers, others focussing on the needs of corporate consumers.

That's the brief introduction. For more information, see the Digital Needs Homepage.

Read more for more detailed links.

Economics and Abundance

DavidMasterson writes "Being relatively new to the issues of nanotechnology, I have no story to offer, but I would like to see a greater discussion of the economics associated with a world of abundance that (supposedly) nanotechnology (and related technologies) will provide. In particular, I wonder what all the billions of people on Earth will do to "make a living" when their needs are taken care of through nanotechnology. It's obvious that there will be a small number of people who will be able to "profit" (for lack of a better word) from the development of nanotechnology, but what about the millions (or billions) of other people whose jobs will be displaced by nanotechnology? Where will these people make their living?"

Freitas on "Tangible Nanomoney"

from the ununquadium-standard dept.
RobertBradbury writes "In this article,"Tangible Nanomoney," Robert A. Freitas, Jr., the Zyvex Research Scientist and IMM Research Fellow, whom we all know as the paradigm defining author of Nanomedicine, outlines possible strategies for developing tangible nanomoney. Are his proposals feasible and desirable? Should we be planning the nanomints of tomorrow?
This was originally published in the Nanotechnology Industries Newsletter. Kudos to Robert Bradbury for helping make it available on the web. Read More for more questions.

Nanotechnology and The Experience Economy

from the dramatic-futures dept.

I bought Pine and Gilmore'sbook,The Experience Economy a few years ago, but only recently got around to reading it. I discovered something both more profound and more practical than I had expected. I keep seeing new relevance for their ideas about increasing demand for experiences and transformations, including thinking about the implications of nanotechnology. Comments invited. –Bryan

Read More for the review.

New book: Social policy bonds

from the funding-difficult-goals dept.
Senior Associate WillWare writes "Ronnie Horesh, an economist in New Zealand, has recently published a book on his notion of social policy bonds. The government issues bonds at a low price, redeemable at a high price when a social goal has been accomplished. This allows the government to set and fund social agendas while leaving the details of implementation to the free market."