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Highlights from Albert Wenger’s World After Capital

Capital is becoming abundant. So we should be able to provide everyone with enough capital to lead a decent life.

Argentina. In May sales lost 47.4% while Ram, JAC and Isuzu stood out
Tuesday June 09, 2020

Argentina Auto Sales showed a shy sign of revival in May, as national lockdown measures ended on May 10, leading to a 47.4% monthly drop at 15.039 units and Year to Date sales to 88.991 (-43.3%). Impressive performances scored by Ram, JAC and Isuzu.Argentina Auto Market in MayAfter reporting an awful performance in April, the […]

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Attention is replacing capital as the key finite resource. So we must learn how to better save and spend our attention.

Brazil. Vehicle market KO in May (-75.8%)
Wednesday June 10, 2020

Brazil Vehicles Market was almost frozen in May, as the vast majority of car dealers were closed due to a worsening health crisis. Indeed, registrations in May stopped at 56.663 sales (-75.8%), leading Year to Date figures to 640.950 (-25.3%).Brazilian Vehicles Market in MayBrazil is close to becoming the new global centre of the Covid-19 […]

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Knowledge is humanity’s most valuable collective asset. So we should do everything we can to create and share more knowledge (including creative knowledge like music and art).

Those are some of my takeaways from reading Albert’s book. It has echoes of Kevin Kelly’s writing (such as What Technology Wants), Jeff Booth’s predictions (from The Price of Tomorrow), and pmarca / a16z’s techno-optimism (build more stuff to eat the world).

Oh, it’s also free because it’s a work in progress. He’s writing the book in public.

Kazakhstan 2020. In May Ravon shone while the market immediately rebounded 20.7%
Wednesday June 24, 2020

Kazakhstan Vehicles Market went back on track in May, scoring an exceptional performance, while quarantine restrictions ended on May 11. Indeed, 7.141 units were sold in May, up 20.7%, pulling Year to Date figures on a positive trend (+4%) at 25.547. Ravon stood out thanks to the Nexia R3.Kazakhstan Vehicles Market in MayKazakhstan ended the […]

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Below are some interesting highlights, all verbatim:

What evolution is to DNA, critical inquiry is to knowledge: a process of mutation and selection that over time separates good ideas and good art from bad ones.

Capitalism, with its emphasis on markets, cannot be used to allocate attention due to intrinsic limitations. Prices do not and cannot exist for the most important activities we should be allocating attention to.

We are not far away from a point in time when we have enough capital for anyone in the world to learn anything. The binding constraint here is not capital but the availability of affordable content and the time to learn (and to teach).

One way to appreciate just how far we have come is to note that the first time smartphones became available was only in 2000. By 2017 over 8 billion smartphones had been produced and shipped and there are currently over 2 billion smartphone users in the world.

The second foundational issue is extreme uncertainty. Because prices aggregate information, they fail when no such information can exist. There are events that are so rare or have not occurred at all yet that we have essentially no information on their frequency or severity.

Knowledge is the essential human project. We are the only species on planet earth that has created knowledge. This is also why I include art and music in my definition of knowledge.

A study conducted at Princeton analyzes how much public support for a policy influences the likelihood of that policy being enacted in the United States. It turns out that for the bottom 90% of the population their preferences have no influence on outcomes. Only the preferences of the wealthiest 10% of the population matter. Even within the 10% whose preferences matter, there is a huge concentration.

the Industrial Age was full of negative externalities, such as pollution, which resulted in over production; the Knowledge Age is full of positive externalities, such as learning, which implies under production.

When you calculate how much money is required to provide a UBI for everyone in the United States based on the 2015 population size, you wind up with about $3 trillion annually. While that’s a huge number, it only represents about 17% of the size of the economy as measured by 2015 GDP

As citizens, we should be outraged that our own governments are spending our money to restrict our Informational Freedom. Imagine, as an analogy, if the government in an earlier age had come out to say “we will spend more taxpayer money so that you can call fewer phone numbers in the world.”

More generally, I believe copyright can be dramatically reduced in its scope and made much more costly to obtain and maintain. The only automatic right accruing to content should be one of attribution. The reservation of additional rights should require a registration fee, because you are asking for content to be removed from the Digital Knowledge Loop.

Hi! I write about habits and spirituality and random whatevers. Click here to see the daily habits that I track. Find me on Twitter @kgao.