Downton Abbey

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pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen


3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

It’s a contemporaneous show, she argues, because there is a “profound similarity between the vast economic, social, and political changes that drive the action in ‘Downton Abbey’ and our own time.”65 In our digital age of perpetual creative destruction, Freeland says, technology companies like Google, Uber, and Facebook are, on the one hand, enabling the vast personal fortunes of twenty-first-century Internet plutocrats like Mark Zuckerberg and Travis Kalanick; and, on the other, wrecking the lives of a woman like Pam Wetherington, the nonunionized worker at Amazon’s Kentucky warehouse who was fired after suffering stress fractures in both feet after walking for miles on the warehouse’s concrete floor. But there is one important difference between Downton Abbey and Silicon Valley, Freeland reminds us. “With their lavish lifestyles, the aristocrats of ‘Downton Abbey’ may seem like a 20th-century version of our own plutocrats, but they are not,” she says, because today’s “aristocracy of talent” have “all the perks and few of the traditional values” of the old Downton Abbey aristocracy.”66 And so, in the Silicon Valley of 2014, there are all the social and economic hierarchies of 1914 without any of what Freeland calls “the social constraints” of the old aristocracy. We have Downton Abbey reinvented as the Battery. We have secession fantasies and $130 million yachts as long as football fields and billionaire uberlibertarians with staffs of black-clad blondes and white-coated butlers.

CHAPTER FIVE THE CATASTROPHE OF ABUNDANCE The Narrow Stump I grew up in England. No, not the England of Winston Churchill’s exclusive gentleman’s clubs or Downton Abbey’s bucolic aristocracy and their unnaturally cheerful servants. Rather than a nostalgic costume drama, my England was London. And my London was Soho—the square-mile district in London’s West End that is not only the historic center of the city’s fashion business, but also the heart of its independent movie and music industries. As a kid growing up in the swinging London of the late sixties and seventies, I got to see a much more entertaining show in Soho than anything a Downton Abbey–style TV drama could muster. My family was in the rag trade and owned a store on the edge of Soho, so I had the good fortune to spend much of my adolescence wandering around its abundant clubs, cafés, and records stores, and its other, more adult attractions.

Little did Licklider imagine, however, that his intergalactic computer network would end up financing the building of an alien spaceship in downtown San Francisco. Chrystia Freeland, the author of Plutocrats64 and an authority on the rise of the new global superrich and the fall of everyone else, has a compelling explanation of why fantasists like Fulk find nostalgic dramas like Downton Abbey so seductive. It’s a contemporaneous show, she argues, because there is a “profound similarity between the vast economic, social, and political changes that drive the action in ‘Downton Abbey’ and our own time.”65 In our digital age of perpetual creative destruction, Freeland says, technology companies like Google, Uber, and Facebook are, on the one hand, enabling the vast personal fortunes of twenty-first-century Internet plutocrats like Mark Zuckerberg and Travis Kalanick; and, on the other, wrecking the lives of a woman like Pam Wetherington, the nonunionized worker at Amazon’s Kentucky warehouse who was fired after suffering stress fractures in both feet after walking for miles on the warehouse’s concrete floor.

pages: 82 words: 21,414

The Myth of Meritocracy: Why Working-Class Kids Still Get Working-Class Jobs (Provocations Series) by James Bloodworth


Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, cognitive dissonance, Downton Abbey, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, income inequality, light touch regulation, precariat, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, zero-sum game

From this apparently unimpeachable set of assumptions, several things are commonly deduced: social mobility has stalled or is in reverse; there was a higher level of social mobility after the Second World War; and the way to reverse this trend is to improve things like education for poorer pupils. It is mostly the left that makes the broader argument about social mobility going into reverse, though some on the right have hit upon the same point too. So Frances O’Grady, the General Secretary of the TUC, has described Britain as a ‘Downton Abbey-style society’ in which social mobility ‘has hit reverse’.23 The former New Labour minister Alan Milburn, chair of the government’s Child Poverty and Social Mobility Commission, similarly argued in 2009 that certain professions were a ‘closed shop’ where ‘birth, not worth, has become more and more a determinant of people’s life chances’. Like other commentators, Milburn contrasted an apparently worsening level of social mobility today with a period during the last century when ‘the professions created unheard-of opportunities for millions of men and women’.24 On the right, the former Conservative Prime Minister Sir John Major has similarly claimed that ‘in every single sphere of British influence, the upper echelons of power … are held overwhelmingly by the privately educated or the affluent middle class’.25 Sir John described this as a ‘collapse in social mobility’ which, rather predictably, he blamed on Labour.

Relative to other comparable nations, social mobility in Britain is poor. According to the OECD,36 Britain has some of the lowest rates of social mobility in the developed world. In the UK, a person’s earnings are more likely to reflect their father’s than in any other country. Whether this is a feature of the last thirty years or the last 300, it is no less shameful. 23 ‘Britain “becoming like Downton Abbey” says TUC leader’, Justin Parkinson,, 8 September 2014. 24 ‘Unleashing Aspiration: The Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions’, 21 July 2009. 25 ‘“Truly shocking” that the private-school educated and affluent middle class still run Britain, says Sir John Major’, Christopher Hope, Daily Telegraph, 10 November 2013. 26 ‘Intergenerational Mobility in Europe and North America’, Jo Blanden, Paul Gregg and Stephen Machin, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE, April 2005. 27 ‘Has social mobility in Britain decreased?

pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott


3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, Lyft, Network effects, New Economic Geography, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, women in the workforce, young professional

To be told you have more years of life, but that you will spend much of it working for longer when you already feel time-poor is a depressing thought. But if Keynes was right and people are working less, why do so many feel so time-poor? The Downton Abbey effect One part of the explanation is that while on average the hours of work have declined, not everyone is working fewer hours. Over the last century there has been an interesting switch. A century ago, the poor and the low-skilled worked longer hours. It was they who toiled in the factories created by the Industrial Revolution. In contrast, the rich and the highly skilled worked fewer hours. In its most extreme form this led to Veblen’s notion of the leisure class,3 so aptly portrayed in the popular TV series Downton Abbey. The switch between the poor and unskilled and the rich and skilled was completed by around the 1990s. At this point, those on lower wages worked fewer hours, and those on higher wages began to work for a little longer than the low-paid.

Index The letter f following an entry indicates a figure 3.0 scenarios here–here, here, here, here 3.5 scenarios here–here, here, here 4.0 scenarios here–here, here–here, here, here 5.0 scenarios here–here, here, here, here, here, here–here Acorns here activities of daily living (ADL) here adolescence here–here, here adult equivalence scales here age cognition and here–here corporations and here explorers and here–here government policy and here independent producers and here life stages and here–here, here–here portfolios and here predictability of here segregation and here–here, here–here, here, here–here age process algorithms here, here ageing process here, here ageism here, here agency here, here, here finance and here–here agriculture here–here Amazon here anxiety here appearance here Apple iPhone here reputation here Archer, Margaret here Artificial Intelligence (AI) here, here, here, here education and here human skills and here medical diagnoses and here–here, here skills and knowledge and here–here Asia here assets here, here see also intangible assets; tangible assets; transformational assets assortative mating here–here, here Astor, Brooke here Autor, David here–here, here Baby Boomers here–here beauty here Becker, Gary: ‘Treatise on the Family’ here, here–here, here behavioural nudges here Benartzi, Shlomo here benefits here–here see also welfare Bennis, Warren here birth rates, decline in here–here, here brain, the here–here, here–here cognition here Braithwaite, Valerie here Brontë, Charlotte: Jane Eyre here Buffett, Warren here–here Calico (California Life Company) here Calment, Jeanne here careers breaks and here changes and here–here dual careers here, here, here cell aging here centenarians here, here–here change here–here catalysts for here–here corporations and here–here, here education and here–here government policy and here–here, here identity and here–here inequalities and here–here mastery and here–here planning and experimentation and here–here rate of here–here Cherlin, Andrew here chess here children here, here–here, here Christensen, Clayton here Cloud Robotics here cohort estimate of life expectancy here, here, here companies here, here–here, here–here Amazon here Apple here–here change and here–here, here creative clusters here–here economies of scale and here–here Facebook here flexibility here–here, here–here reputation and here–here research and here small business ecosystems here–here technology and here–here Twitter here value creation here–here WhatsApp here compression of morbidity here–here computing power here–here, here–here see also Moore’s Law connectivity here–here consumerism here, here consumption complementarities here–here consumption levels here, here continuums here corporations here–here, here–here see also companies creative clusters here–here independent producers and here–here creativity here cross-age friendships here crucible experiences here–here Deep Learning here dementia here depreciation here developing countries life expectancy and here–here, here state pensions and here Dickens, Charles: Old Curiosity Shop, The here diet here Dimson, Elroy here disabilities here discounting here discretionary time here diverse networks here, here–here Doctorow, Corey: Makers, The here Downton Abbey effect, the here–here Doyle, Arthur Conan here driverless cars here, here dual career households here, here, here Dweck, Carol here–here dynamic/diverse networks here, here–here Easterlin’s Paradox here economy, the here–here agriculture and here–here gig economy here job creation and here–here leisure industry and here service sector and here sharing economy here, here stability and here education here, here–here, here–here see also mastery experiential learning here–here, here, here human skills and judgement and here ideas and creativity and here institutions here–here learning methods here mental flexibility and agility and here–here multi-stage life and here specialization here–here, here, here technology and here, here, here training here efficacy here, here, here–here elasticity here–here emerging markets life expectancy and here state pensions and here emotional spillover here employers here–here, here employment see also companies; employment changes age and here, here–here, here–here changes and here, here, here–here, here–here city migration and here–here creation here–here demographics and here, here–here diverse networks and here–here elasticity and here–here environmental concerns and here–here, here family structures and here–here, here, here–here, here, here, here–here flexibility and here–here, here, here–here, here–here, here–here, here hollowing out of work here–here, here, here home and here job classification here–here knowledge and skills and here levels here, here matches here–here mobility here multi-stage life and here office-based here paid leave here participation rates here–here, here pay here–here, here psychological contract here satisfaction here–here self-employment here–here specialization and here–here statistics here status and here supply and here–here technology and here, here–here, here–here, here, here, here–here, here unique human skills here–here, here vacancies here–here women and here–here working hours here–here, here working week here–here employment changes here, here, here–here companies and here–here industry sectors and here–here, here entrepreneurship here–here see also independent producers equity release schemes here experiential learning here–here, here, here experimentation here, here–here, here–here explorers here–here, here–here adventurers here age and here–here assets and here crucible experiences and here–here options and here–here searchers here, here exponential discounting here exponential growth here–here Facebook here families here, here, here–here, here children here, here–here, here dual career households here, here, here marriage here–here work and here, here finance here, here–here see also pensions age process algorithms here, here agency and here–here automation and here–here costs here–here efficacy and here–here equity release schemes here flexibility here governments and here–here, here, here–here health and here housing and here–here hyperbolic discounting here–here inheritances here–here investment here, here–here, here–here, here, here old age and here–here pay here–here, here pension replacement rates here–here, here, here–here portfolios here–here psychology and here–here retirement and here–here fitness and health here–here see also health Fleming, Ian here flexibility here, here–here, here, here–here, here–here, here corporations and here–here government policy and here–here working patterns and here flexibility stigma here, here Ford, Henry here Foxconn here Frey, Carl here Friedman, Stewart here–here, here Fries, James here, here Future of Work Consortium here future selves here–here future selves case studies Jane here–here, here–here Jimmy here–here, here galumphing here–here gender here, here see also women inequality here–here, here–here, here, here, here specialization of labour here, here–here, here, here, here–here Generation Y here generational attitudes here gerontology here Giddens, Anthony here, here gig economy here–here globalization here Goldin, Claudia here, here Google here governments here, here–here, here inequalities and here–here pensions and here–here rate of change and here–here Gratton, Lynda here Shift, The here growth mindset here–here Groysberg, Boris here Haffenden, Margaret here Hagestad, Gunhild here–here, here Harvard Grant Study here health here, here–here brain, the here–here chronic diseases here–here, here compression of morbidity here–here dementia here diseases of old age here–here finance and here improvements in here–here inequality here, here–here infectious diseases here public health here stress here–here healthy life expectancy here heterogeneity here hollowing out of work here–here, here, here home, work and here household here–here see also home economies of scale and here–here relationships here, here–here, here, here housing here–here imputed rent here, here ownership here HR policies here–here human skills here–here, here, here, here hyperbolic discounting here–here Ibarra, Herminia here identity here–here, here, here–here, here–here see also self-control; self-knowledge improvisation here–here imputed rent here, here income see also welfare distribution here growth and here inequalities here–here, here–here skills and knowledge and here–here income effect here–here independent producers here–here, here–here assets and here case study here–here creative clusters and here–here learning and here–here prototyping here–here reputation and curating and here–here India here–here Individual, the here Industrial Revolution, the here–here, here, here, here inequalities here–here gender and here–here, here–here, here, here, here government policy and here–here health here, here–here income here–here, here–here life expectancy and here–here, here–here, here infant mortality here intangible assets here–here, here–here, here case studies here–here, here–here, here corporations and here–here endowed individual characteristics here, here independent producers and here marriage and here productive assets see productive assets time and here transformational assets see transformational assets transitions and here–here vitality assets see vitality assets International Labour Organization (ILO) here ‘Women and the Future of Work’ here investment here, here–here, here–here, here Japan centenarians here–here life expectancy here, here–here,here–here, here pensions and here population decline and here job classification here–here job creation here–here job satisfaction here–here juvenescence here, here–here, here Kahneman, Daniel here Kegan, Robert here Keynes, John Maynard: Economic Possibilities of Our Grandchildren here knowledge see skills and knowledge Kurzweil, Ray here labour market see employment Lampedusa, Giuseppe : Leopard, The here law (occupation) here–here leadership here learning methods here leisure class here leisure industry here, here, here–here leisure time here, here, here–here, here–here, here–here Keynes, John Maynard and here life expectancy here–here, here see also long life best practice here, here calculating here–here, here chronic diseases and here–here cohort estimate of here, here, here developing countries and here–here diseases of old age and here–here government plans and here healthy life expectancy here historical here, here, here increase in here–here, here India and here–here inequalities in here–here, here–here, here infant mortality and here Japan and here, here–here, here–here, here limit to here–here period life expectancy measure here, here–here public health innovations and here South Korea here US and here–here Western Europe here life stages here–here, here–here age and here–here experiential learning and here explorers and here–here, here–here independent producers and here–here, here–here juvenescence and here, here–here multi-stage model here, here–here, here, here, here–here, here–here, here new stages here, here see also life stages case studies portfolios and here–here, here–here three-stage model here, here–here, here–here, here–here, here–here, here–here, here–here transitions and here life stages case studies diversity and here Jane here–here Jimmy here–here, here lifetime allowances here–here, here, here liminality here Linde, Charlotte here lockstep of action here–here, here London here–here London Business School here long life see also life expectancy as a curse here, here as a gift here, here Luddites, the here machine learning here marriage here–here Marsh, Paul here Marshall, Anthony here mastery here–here matching here–here Millenials here Mirvas, Philip here Modigliani, Franco here MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) here, here Moore’s Law here–here, here Moravec’s Paradox here, here morbidity here–here compression of here–here Morrissey, Francis here mortality here mortality risk here multiple selves here–here National Commission on Technology, Automation, and Economic Progress here neighbourhoods here neoplasticity here neoteny here, here new experiences here occupations here–here old age dependency ration here–here, here Ondine, curse of here options here, here–here Osborne, Michael here paid leave here Parfit, Derek here participation rates here–here, here peers here–here pension case studies Jack here, here–here, here, here Jane here, here, here–here, here, here, here, here, here–here Jimmy here–here, here, here–here, here, here, here–here, here three-stage life model here–here, here–here, here–here pension replacement rate here–here, here, here–here pensions here, here–here, here see also pension case studies amount required here–here funded schemes here goals and here government policy and here–here investment and here, here occupational pensions here–here Pay As You Go schemes here–here, here, here pension replacement rate here–here, here, here–here reform and here state pensions here–here, here period life expectancy measure here, here–here personal brands here pharmacy (occupation) here planning here plasticity here–here play here–here politics, engagement with here Polyani’s Paradox here–here, here population here–here, here–here portfolios (financial) here–here portfolios (life stage) here–here, here–here switching costs here transitions and here–here posse here–here, here possible selves here, here–here possible selves case studies Jane here–here Jimmy here–here, here Preston, Samuel here production complementarities here, here–here, here productive assets here–here, here case studies here, here, here–here, here, here, here, here–here, here, here marriage and here transitions and here professional social capital here–here prototyping here–here psychology here, here–here see also self-control age process algorithms here, here automation and here–here behavioural nudges here saving and here–here pure relationships here, here pyramid schemes here re-creation and recreation here–here, here–here recruitment here reflexive project, the here regenerative community here, here, here Relation P here relationships here–here, here, here children and here–here divorce and here–here, here dual career households here families and here–here, here–here friendships here, here–here household here, here–here, here, here marriage and here–here, here–here matches and here–here multi-generational living here–here, here options and here–here pure relationship here switching roles here, here, here, here–here reputation here–here, here–here, here–here retirees here–here retirement see also pensions age of here, here, here, here, here–here, here consumption levels and here corporations and here, here government policy and here–here stimulation in here, here risk here risk pooling here robotics here, here, here, here see also Artificial Intelligence role models here routine here routine activities here routine-busting here routine tasks here–here Rule of here here Sabbath, the here sabbaticals here–here Save More Tomorrow (SMarT plan) here–here Scharmer, Otto here second half of the chessboard here–here segregation of the ages here–here, here–here, here, here–here self-control here–here, here–here age process algorithms here, here automation and here behavioural nudges here self-employment here–here self-knowledge here–here, here finance and here–here service sector here sexuality here–here Shakespeare, William King Lear here sharing economy here–here, here, here short-termism here–here skills and knowledge here, here–here, here see also human skills earning potential and here professional social capital and here–here technology and here–here valuable here–here Slim, Carlos here smart cities here–here independent producers and here–here social media here, here–here society here spare time here see also leisure time standardized practices here–here Staunton, Mike here strategic bequest motive, the here–here substitution effect here switching here, here, here, here–here tangible assets here–here, here, here, here, here see also housing; pensions case studies here, here, here, here, here, here transitions and here taxation here, here–here Teachers Insurance and Annuity Assurance scheme here technology here, here see also Artificial Intelligence computing power here–here, here–here see also Moore’s Law driverless cars here–here, here education and here, here, here employment and here, here–here, here–here, here, here, here–here, here human skills and here, here innovation and here matching and here relationships and here teenagers here–here, here–here, here, here Thaler, Richard here thick market effects here–here Thomas, R. here time here, here–here see also sabbaticals discretionary time here flexibility and here–here, here Industrial Revolution, the here–here, here–here, here intangible assets and here leisure and here, here, here–here, here–here, here–here restructuring here, here spare time here working hours here–here, here, here–here working hours paradox here–here, here working week, the here–here, here time poor here–here trade unions here transformational assets here, here–here, here–here, here, here, here case studies here–here, here–here, here–here, here–here, here, here, here, here crucible experiences and here corporations and here transitions here, here–here, here–here, here corporations and here financing here–here government policy and here, here nature of here–here portfolios and here–here re-creating here recharging here–here tribal rituals here Twitter here Uhlenberg, Peter here–here, here UK, occupational pension schemes and here–here Unilever here universities here US here–here compression of morbidity and here occupational pension schemes and here Valliant, George here value creation here vitality assets here, here–here, here case studies here, here–here, here, here, here–here, here, here, here, here transitions and here–here website here week, the here–here weekend, the here, here weight loss here welfare here–here see also benefits Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania here–here, here WhatsApp here Wolfran, Hans-Joachim here women see also gender children and here–here relationships and here, here, here work and here–here Women and Love here work see employment working hours here–here, here, here–here working week, the here–here, here Yahoos here–here youthfulness here–here Bloomsbury Information An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 50 Bedford Square 1385 Broadway London New York WC1B 3DP NY 10018 UK USA BLOOMSBURY and the Diana logo are trademarks of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published 2016 © Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott, 2016 Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott have asserted their right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Author of this work.

pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Nate Silver, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

As Wood illustrated, by the late eighteenth century, much of America—particularly the colonies in New England—had evolved away from the “lord of the manor”–type community prevalent in Britain. The new social architecture centered more on ties that bound together the residents of individual towns and villages. Rather than have a local nobleman keep watch over a district, as in England, the cohort of Americans living nearby took joint responsibility for their collective well-being. Many colonists had moved away from the social architecture depicted later in Downton Abbey and toward something more like that portrayed in Little House on the Prairie.5 And because that sort of community wouldn’t abide the heavy hand of a monarch—communities working collaboratively were less interested in taking orders from on high—the founding generation designed and embraced an alternative kind of government, reflected in the Constitution, that was more appropriate to colonial American life.

Notes Introduction: From One Queen City to the Next 1 2Robert Wuthnow, Loose Connections (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998), 85–87. 3Pew Research Center, “Families Drawn Together by Communications Revolution,” February 21, 2006. 4Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (New York: Vintage, 1995), 6–7, 347–48, 365. 5Downton Abbey, it’s worth noting, is set at the beginning of the twentieth century and Little House on the Prairie during the late nineteenth. Both significantly postdate the American Revolution. Nevertheless, they represent two separate sorts of social architecture, a crucial distinction. 6Tocqueville wasn’t the first to use the term, but he leaned heavily on the concept in Democracy in America (first published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840). 7Thomas L.

., xiii, 194, 234 corporations, 16, 48, 101, 107, 132, 141, 165 Cowen, Tyler, 173–74 cowpox, 158, 159 creative class, 23, 83, 175 creativity, 61, 68, 158–66, 175, 237 Crick, Francis, 161–62, 173 crime, 56–57, 60, 83, 84, 87, 114, 150, 151, 216, 224 Cronkite, Walter, 188 culture wars, 69, 114 Cushing, Robert, 47–48, 147 Daily Show, The (TV show), 232 Dallas Mavericks, 8–11 data, 6–10, 13, 18, 37, 119, 161 dating services, 68–70 Davidson, Adam, 19 death, 57, 60, 199, 200, 205 premature, 58, 60 Death and Life of American Cities, The (Jacobs), 85–86, 166 debt, xv–xvi, 54 deliberative polling, 192–93, 195 democracy, 67, 179, 188, 192–95, 230 Democracy in America (Tocqueville), 80, 247n, 358n Democrats, 15, 37–38, 46, 182–86 demographics, 38, 68–69 growth of suburbs and, 129 health care and, 198, 210 shopping and, 39, 40 dependence, 29, 201, 208 de Posada, Joaquim, 215 desires, 13, 61–62, 66, 67, 71, 72, 73, 75, 120, 195, 212 affirmation and, 103, 107, 108 Detroit, Mich., 128, 175 digital revolution, xiii, 18, 20, 24–25, 50, 55, 129, 138 affirmation and, 103–4 Chinatown Bus effect and, 35–38, 41 discussion networks, 105, 119 disease, 57–60, 157–59, 199–200, 206–7 polio, 51, 52, 59 smallpox, 157–58 diversity, 72, 136, 165, 166, 171–72, 175, 217 see also social diversity divorce, 43, 69, 71, 105, 261n no-fault, 17, 30–31 Downton Abbey (TV show), xii, 247n Dr Pepper advertisement, 102–3 Drucker, Peter, 15 drug abuse, 56, 114, 215 drugs (medication), 58, 59, 147–48, 207 Dubner, Stephen, 133–34 Duckworth, Angela, 217 Dunbar, Kevin, 169 Dunbar, Robin, 91–98, 116, 142, 143, 145, 152 Dunbar’s number, 94, 98, 143, 145 Dunedin, New Zealand, 215–16 Dunham, Lena, 30 Dunkelman, Marc J. (author): at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, 136–37 childhood move of, ix–xi family shopping of, 38–39, 41 father’s hitchhiking and, 132–33 du Pont, Pierre, 187 dynamism, 165–77, 231, 232, 236 economic growth, xv, xviii, xix, 3, 56, 67, 153, 177–81 in Barbados vs.

pages: 268 words: 74,724

Who Needs the Fed?: What Taylor Swift, Uber, and Robots Tell Us About Money, Credit, and Why We Should Abolish America's Central Bank by John Tamny


Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, Carmen Reinhart, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, NetJets, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Uber for X, War on Poverty, yield curve

Put more plainly, the price of credit should be set in free markets. Markets are information personified, and as such they are quite capable of setting the rate of interest that most meets the needs of borrowers and savers. Prices set in free markets maximize the potential for transactions, including those between savers and borrowers. In my first book, Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey and LeBron James Can Teach You about Economics, I argued that when it comes to booming economic growth and immense prosperity, the answers are easy. That argument remains true. Also true is that just as the economics profession presents a major barrier to economic growth, its mysticism renders credit less attainable, by virtue of the credentialed presuming to set prices and intervene in markets in ways that wouldn’t take place if markets were free.

David Beckworth and Ramesh Ponnuru, “Monetary Regime Change,” National Review, June 12, 2012. 10. Alana Semuels, “Detroit’s Abandoned Buildings Draw Tourists instead of Developers,” Los Angeles Times, December 25, 2013. 11. Smith, Wealth of Nations, 370. 12. Nathan K. Lewis, Gold: The Monetary Polaris (Portland, Ore.: Create Space Independent Publishing Platform, 2013), 208. 13. John Tamny, Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You about Economics (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2015), 232–33. 14. Bret Swanson, “Permission Slips for Internet Innovation,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2015. 15. Isaac, “Upstarts Raiding Giants for Staff in Silicon Valley.” CHAPTER SEVENTEEN 1. James Osborne, “Price Slide Hurts Energy Deals” Dallas Morning News, December 27, 2014. 2. Jon Hilsenrath and Nick Timiraos, “U.S.

pages: 357 words: 98,853

Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome by Nessa Carey


dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Downton Abbey, Drosophila, epigenetics, mouse model, phenotype, placebo effect, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs

This was especially true for the studies where function was inferred either from the presence of epigenetic modifications or from other physical characteristics of the DNA and its associated proteins. Potential versus actual The sceptics argue that at best these data indicate a potential for a region to be functional, and that this is too vague to be useful. An analogy might help here. Imagine an enormous mansion, but one where the owners have fallen on hard times and the power has been disconnected. Think Downton Abbey in the hands of a very bad gambler. There could be 200 rooms and five light switches in each room. Each switch could potentially turn on a bulb, but it may be that some of the switches were never wired up (aristocrats are not known for their electrical talents), or the associated bulb is broken. Just because the switches are on the walls, and can be flicked between the on and off positions, it doesn’t actually tell us that they will really make a difference to the level of light in the room.

We agree, many textbooks dealing with marketing, mass media hype, and public relations may well have to be rewritten.15 The main criticisms from this counter-blast centred around the definition of function, the way that the ENCODE authors analysed their data, and the conclusions drawn about evolutionary pressures. The first of these applied to the problems we have already described, using our Jackson Pollock and Downton Abbey analogies. In some ways, these problems derive in large part from difficulties in separating mathematics from biology. The ENCODE data sets were predominantly interpreted by the original authors through the use of statistical and mathematical approaches. The sceptics argue that this leads us down a blind alley, because it doesn’t take into account biological relationships, and that these are critically important.

pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly


3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

Technologies that provided audiences with the ability to interact with stories and news—to time shift, play later, rewind, probe, link, save, clip, cut and paste—enabled long forms as well as short forms. Film directors started creating motion pictures that were not a series of sitcoms, but a massive sustained narrative that took years to tell. These vast epics, like Lost, Battlestar Galactica, The Sopranos, Downton Abbey, and The Wire, had multiple interweaving plotlines, multiple protagonists, and an incredible depth of characters, and these sophisticated works demanded sustained attention that was not only beyond previous TV and 90-minute movies, but would have shocked Dickens and other novelists of yore. Dickens would have marveled back then: “You mean the audience could follow all that, and then want more?

See also advertising commodity attention, 177–79 commodity prices, 189 communications and decentralization, 118–19, 129–31 and dematerialization, 110–11 and free markets, 146 inevitable aspects of, 3 oral communication, 204 and platforms, 125 complexity and digital storage capacity, 265–66 computers, 128, 231 connectivity, 276, 292, 294–95 consumer data, 256 content creation advertisements, 184–85 custom music, 77 early questions about, 17 and editors, 148–51, 152, 153 and emergence of user-generated content, 19, 21–22, 184–85, 269–74, 276 and Google search engines, 146–47 and hierarchical/nonhierarchical infrastructures, 148–54 impulse for, 22–23 and screen culture, 88 and sharing economy, 139 value of, 149 convergence, 291, 296 cookies, 180, 254 cooperation, 139–40, 146, 151 copper prices, 189 copying digital data and copy protection, 73 and creative remixing, 206–9 and file sharing sites, 136 free/ubiquitous flow of, 61–62, 66–68, 80, 256 generatives that add value to, 68–73 and reproductive imperative, 87 and uncopiable values, 67–68 copyright, 207–8 corporate monopolies, 294 coveillance, 259–64 Cox, Michael, 286–87 Craigslist, 145 Creative Commons licensing, 136, 139 crowdfunding, 156–61 crowdsourcing, 185 Cunningham, Ward, 135–36 curators, 150, 167, 183 customer support, 21 cyberconflict, 252, 275 dark energy and matter, 284 “dark” information, 258 Darwin, Charles, 243 data analysis and lifelogging, 250–51 “database cinema,” 200 data informing artificial intelligence, 39, 40 decentralization, 118–21 and answer-generating technologies, 289 and bottom-up participation, 154 and collaboration, 142, 143 of communication systems, 129–31 and digital socialism, 137 and emergence of the “holos,” 295 and online advertising, 182–85 and platforms, 125 and startups, 116–17 and top-down vs. bottom-up management, 153 Deep Blue, 41 deep-learning algorithms, 40 DeepMind, 32, 37, 40 deep reinforcement machine learning, 32–33 dematerialization, 110–14, 125, 131 diagnoses and diagnostic technology, 31–32, 239, 243–44 diaries and lifelogging, 248–49 Dick, Philip K., 255 diet tracking, 238 Digg, 136, 149 digitization of data, 258 directional sense, 243 discoverability, 72–73, 101 DNA sequencing, 69 documentaries, updating of, 82 domain names, 25–26 Doritos, 185 Downton Abbey (series), 282 drones, 227, 252 Dropbox, 32 drug research, 241 DVDs, 205 Dyson, Esther, 186 Eagleman, David, 225 e-banks, 254 eBay, 154, 158, 185, 263, 272, 274 ebooks and readers, 91–96 and accessibility vs. ownership, 112 advantages of, 93–95 bookshelves for, 100 fluidities of, 79 interconnectedness of, 95–96, 98, 99–100, 101–2, 104 and just-in-time purchasing, 65 liquidity of, 93 tagging content in, 98 and tracking technology, 254 echo chambers, 170 economy, 21, 65, 67–68, 136–38, 193 ecosystems of interdependent products and services, 123–24 editors, 148–51, 152, 153 education, 90, 232 Einstein, Albert, 288 electrical outlets, 253 email, 186–87, 239–40 embedded technology, 221 embodiment, 71, 224 emergent phenomena, 276–77, 295–97 emotion recognition, 220 employment and displaced workers, 49–50, 57–58 Eno, Brian, 221 entertainment costs, 190 epic failures, 278 e-retailers, 253 etiquette, social, 3–4 evolution, 247 e-wallets, 254 experience, value of, 190 expertise, 279 exports, U.S., 62 extraordinary events, 277–79 eye tracking, 219–20 Facebook and aggregated information, 147 and artificial intelligence, 32, 39, 40 and “click-dreaming,” 280 cloud of, 128, 129 and collaboration, 273 and consumer attention system, 179, 184 and creative remixing, 199, 203 face recognition of, 39, 254 and filtering systems, 170, 171 flows of posts through, 63 and future searchability, 24 and interactivity, 235 and intermediation of content, 150 and lifestreaming, 246 and likes, 140 nonhierarchical infrastructure of, 152 number of users, 143, 144 as platform ecosystem, 123 and sharing economy, 139, 144, 145 and tracking technology, 239–40 and user-generated content, 21–22, 109, 138 facial recognition, 39, 40, 43, 220, 254 fan fiction, 194, 210 fear of technology, 191 Felton, Nicholas, 239–40 Fifield, William, 288 films and film industry, 196–99, 201–2 filtering, 165–91 and advertising, 179–89 differing approaches to, 168–75 filter bubble, 170 and storage capacity, 165–67 and superabundance of choices, 167–68 and value of attention, 175–79 findability of information, 203–7 firewalls, 294 first-in-line access, 68 first-person view (FPV), 227 fitness tracking, 238, 246, 255 fixity, 78–81 Flickr, 139, 199 Flows and flowing, 61–83 and engagement of users, 81–82 and free/ubiquitous copies, 61–62, 66–68 and generative values, 68–73 move from fixity to, 78–81 in real time, 64–65 and screen culture, 88 and sharing, 8 stages of, 80–81 streaming, 66, 74–75, 82 and users’ creations, 73–74, 75–78 fluidity, 66, 79, 282 food as service (FaS), 113–14 footnotes, 201 411 information service, 285 Foursquare, 139, 246 fraud, 184 freelancers (prosumers), 113, 115, 116–17, 148, 149 Freeman, Eric, 244–45 fungibility of digital data, 195 future, blindness to, 14–22 Galaxy phones, 219 gatekeepers, 167 Gates, Bill, 135, 136 gaze tracking, 219–20 Gelernter, David, 244–46 General Electric, 160 generatives, 68–73 genetics, 69, 238, 284 Gibson, William, 214 gifs, 195 global connectivity, 275, 276, 292 gluten, 241 GM, 185 goods, fixed, 62, 65 Google AdSense ads, 179–81 and artificial intelligence, 32, 36–37, 40 book scanning projects, 208 cloud of, 128, 129 and consumer attention system, 179, 184 and coveillance, 262 and facial recognition technology, 254 and filtering systems, 172, 188 and future searchability, 24 Google Drive, 126 Google Glass, 217, 224, 247, 250 Google Now, 287 Google Photo, 43 and intellectual property law, 208–9 and lifelogging, 250–51, 254 and lifestreaming, 247–48 and photo captioning, 51 quantity of searches, 285–86 and smart technology, 223–25 translator apps of, 51 and users’ usage patterns, 21, 146–47 and virtual reality technology, 215, 216–17 and visual intelligence, 203 government, 167, 175–76, 252, 255, 261–64 GPS technology, 226, 274 graphics processing units (GPU), 38–39, 40 Greene, Alan, 31–32, 238 grocery shopping, 62, 253 Guinness Book of World Records, 278 hackers, 252 Hall, Storrs, 264–65 Halo, 227 Hammerbacher, Jeff, 280 hand motion tracking, 222 haptic feedback, 233–34 harassment, online, 264 hard singularity, 296 Harry Potter series, 204, 209–10 Hartsell, Camille, 252 hashtags, 140 Hawking, Stephen, 44 health-related websites, 179–81 health tracking, 173, 238–40, 250 heat detection, 226 hierarchies, 148–54, 289 High Fidelity, 219 Hinton, Geoff, 40 historical documents, 101 hive mind, 153, 154, 272, 281 Hockney, David, 155 Hollywood films, 196–99 holodeck simulations, 211–12 HoloLens, 216 the “holos,” 292–97 home surveillance, 253 HotWired, 18, 149, 150 humanity, defining, 48–49 hyperlinking antifacts highlighted by, 279 of books, 95, 99 of cloud data, 125–26 and creative remixing, 201–2 early theories on, 18–19, 21 and Google search engines, 146–47 IBM, 30–31, 40, 41, 128, 287 identity passwords, 220, 235 IMAX technology, 211, 217 implantable technology, 225 indexing data, 258 individualism, 271 industrialization, 49–50, 57 industrial revolution, 189 industrial robots, 52–53 information production, 257–64.

pages: 319 words: 90,965

The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey


Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, carbon-based life, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, declining real wages, deliberate practice, discrete time, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Downton Abbey, Drosophila, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google X / Alphabet X, informal economy, invention of the printing press, inventory management, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, Network effects, open borders, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, transcontinental railway, Vannevar Bush

A student taking an exam remotely while being simultaneously monitored by a video camera and having her keystrokes recorded, as some online students are, is being subjected to much more scrutiny than a terrestrial student who simply shows up at a large lecture hall. Accredible certs can also include testimony from peers. Sometimes the most powerful evidence you can communicate about yourself is the endorsement of other people. Anyone who’s watched Downton Abbey on PBS will recall various moments of high drama related to whether a servant will leave the household with a personal letter of recommendation from the head butler or lady of the house. That’s largely how formal credentials worked before mass higher education. They were personal recommendations from people whose positions or social class gave them authority. The rise of the hybrid university and the general bureaucratization of things transferred much of that authority to large organizations and the people who ran them.

., 125, 148 Democratic Party, 42 Demosthenes, 25 Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), 2, 37, 70, 221 Dev Bootcamp, 139–41 Dickens, Charles, 17 Digital Equipment Corporation, 168 DiMaggio, Paul, 50, 117 Disney-Pixar, 208 DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: USA, 164 DNA, 2, 37, 70, 221 Doctorates, see PhDs Doerr, John, 153 Double helix, 3 Downes, Stephen, 150 Downton Abbey (television series), 217 Drucker, Peter, 107 Duke University, 140, 161 Dunster, Henry, 22, 197–99 Eaton, Nathaniel, 198 eBay, 145 Edison, Thomas, 96 Education, U.S. Department of, 9, 36, 56, 99, 157, 252 edX, 11, 143, 163, 170–72, 176–78, 214, 223, 231 certificates of course completion through, 203, 219, 233 controversy at Harvard over, 180 cost of course development for, 228 expansion of consortium of, 204, 244 forums moderated by teaching assistants on, 88 Lander’s lectures and course materials posted on, see Introduction to Biology—The Secret of Life (7.00x) process of signing up for classes on, 13 Eight-Year Study, The, 90 Einstein, Albert, 45 Elective system, 30–31, 47, 49, 54, 146, 197, 226 laissez-faire approach of, 76, 241 Eliot, Charles William, 29–32, 47, 49, 54, 65, 76, 138, 185, 239 Elite private institutions, 53–55, 134–36, 229, 241, 253 admissions process of, 161, 195, 212–13, 215, 245 high schools, 90, 195 international, 143 online sharing of resources by, 170 status competition among, 165 See also specific universities Emergence of the American University, The (Veysey), 34 Engelbart, Douglas, 122–26, 156 Engels, Friedrich, 45 Enlightenment, 26 Equifax, 200 Ericsson, K.

pages: 197 words: 53,292

Isn't That Rich?: Life Among the 1 Percent by Richard Kirshenbaum, Michael Gross


Downton Abbey, McMansion, New Journalism, rolodex, women in the workforce

“I met her years ago, when she was married to her first husband. Poor young man. He married her against his mother’s wishes, given that she was a”—she lowered her voice and punctuated the word in a scandalous tone—“nanny. Not that there’s any shame in it, but no mother—especially a European—in my circle wants her son to marry the help.” “Was she a beauty?” I asked, thinking of TV shows I had grown up with like Upstairs Downstairs or the current Downton Abbey. “Healthy in that blond sort of way that young men find attractive. Glowing cheeks, right off the farm in the Midwest. No social background to speak of.” She raised an eyebrow. “Doesn’t sound out of the ordinary.” I lifted my Limoges teacup of Earl Grey as she declined the tapenade on the peppered cracker from the liveried servant. “It wouldn’t have been … if she stayed with him.

pages: 198 words: 52,089

Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It by Richard V. Reeves

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, circulation of elites, cognitive dissonance, desegregation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, knowledge economy, land value tax, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, positional goods, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working-age population, zero-sum game

George Orwell noted the lack of “servile tradition” in America; German socialist Werner Sombart noticed that “the bowing and scraping before the ‘upper classes,’ which produces such an unpleasant impression in Europe, is completely unknown.”3 This is one of many reasons socialist politics struggled to take root in the United States. A key attraction of socialist systems—the main one, according to Orwell—is the eradication of class distinctions. There were few to eradicate in America. I am sure that one reason Downton Abbey and The Crown so delight American audiences is their depictions of an alien world of class-based status. One reason class distinctions are less obvious in America is that pretty much everyone defines themselves as a member of the same class: the one in the middle. Nine in ten adults select the label “middle class,”4 exactly the same proportion as in 1939, according to Gallup. No wonder politicians have always fallen over each other to be on their side.

pages: 239 words: 73,178

The Narcissist You Know by Joseph Burgo


Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey,, financial independence, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Paul Graham, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, WikiLeaks

During one session, for example, he told me he was “shocked” that one of his professors had actually said “that’s a whole ’nother story.” It bothered him that so many people misused the word aggravate to express annoyance when it actually means “to intensify or make worse.” He took pride in speaking correctly and at times could seem pretentious. Though he had never been to Great Britain, he was a devoted Anglophile, with ideas about the English culled largely from Victorian novels and programs on public television such as Downton Abbey. Jesse felt he had been born in the wrong era, the wrong country, and the wrong class. During high school, he had begun to study French and continued during his first year in college. He regarded the ability to speak that language as a sign of sophistication. He also made a point of pronouncing French words imported into English with the correct native accent: rendezvous, hors d’oeuvre, amateur, et cetera.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport


8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey,, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

As we’ve understood since Marx, access to capital provides massive advantages. It’s also true, however, that some periods offer more advantages than others. As Brynjolfsson and McAfee point out, postwar Europe was an example of a bad time to be sitting on a pile of cash, as the combination of rapid inflation and aggressive taxation wiped out old fortunes with surprising speed (what we might call the “Downton Abbey Effect”). The Great Restructuring, unlike the postwar period, is a particularly good time to have access to capital. To understand why, first recall that bargaining theory, a key component in standard economic thinking, argues that when money is made through the combination of capital investment and labor, the rewards are returned, roughly speaking, proportional to the input. As digital technology reduces the need for labor in many industries, the proportion of the rewards returned to those who own the intelligent machines is growing.

pages: 221 words: 71,449

Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming


British Empire, colonial rule, Downton Abbey, financial independence, friendly fire, Skype

We lived in Nursery House, so called because it looked out on a tree nursery where seedlings were hatched and nurtured to replace the trees that were constantly felled and sent back to the sawmill that lay up the yard behind us. My father was in charge of the whole process, from the seeds all the way to the cut lumber and everything in between, as well as the general upkeep of the grounds. It was all very feudal and a bit Downton Abbey, minus the abbey and fifty years later. I answered the door to men who referred to my father as “The Maister.” There were gamekeepers and big gates and sweeping drives and follies but no lord of the manor, as during the time we lived there the place was owned by, respectively, a family shipping company, a racehorse owner’s charitable trust, and then a huge insurance company. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was living through the end of an era of grand Scottish estates, as now, like Panmure, they have been mostly all dismantled and sold off.

pages: 322 words: 99,066

The End of Secrecy: The Rise and Fall of WikiLeaks by The "Guardian", David Leigh, Luke Harding


4chan, banking crisis, centre right, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, Downton Abbey, drone strike, eurozone crisis, friendly fire, global village, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, Mohammed Bouazizi, offshore financial centre, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

The media and public were torn between those who saw Assange as a new kind of cyber-messiah and those who regarded him as a James Bond villain. Each extremity projected on to him superhuman powers of good or evil. The script became even more confused in December when, as part of his bail conditions, Assange had to live at Ellingham Hall, a Georgian manor house set in hundreds of acres of Suffolk countryside. It was as if a Stieg Larsson script had been passed to the writer of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes. Few people seem to find Assange an easy man with whom to collaborate. Slate’s media columnist, Jack Shafer, captured his character well in this pen portrait: “Assange bedevils the journalists who work with him because he refuses to conform to any of the roles they expect him to play. He acts like a leaking source when it suits him. He masquerades as publisher or newspaper syndicate when that’s advantageous.

pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason


Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, drone strike,, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wages for housework, women in the workforce

Widespread access to the finance system suited everybody: liberal politicians in the USA could point to the growing number of poor, black and Hispanic families with mortgages; bankers and finance companies got rich from selling loans to people who could not afford them. Plus it created the vast service industry that’s grown up around the wealthy – the florists, yoga teachers, yacht builders and so on, who provide a kind of fake-tanned Downton Abbey for the rich of the twenty-first century. And it suited the ordinary Joe, too: after all, who is going to turn down cheap money? But financialization created inherent problems; problems that triggered the crisis, but were not resolved by it. While paper money is unlimited, wages are real. You can go on creating money for ever but if a declining share of it flows to workers, and yet a growing part of profits is generated out of their mortgages and credit cards, you are eventually going to hit a wall.

pages: 297 words: 89,206

Social Class in the 21st Century by Mike Savage


call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clapham omnibus, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, deskilling, Downton Abbey, financial independence, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, income inequality, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, moral panic, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, old-boy network, precariat, psychological pricing, Sloane Ranger, The Spirit Level, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, very high income, winner-take-all economy, young professional

But we need to guard against the view that this new, wealth-elite marks a return to the aristocratic, landed and gentlemanly class which held sway in Britain until the later twentieth century. It is easy to be confused here by the prominence of old idioms and the relics of aristocracy which abound. The success of the National Trust and the ‘exhibitionary complex’ which places stately homes at the heart of British leisure habits exemplifies this ongoing fascination with the landed classes. Television shows from Brideshead Revisited to Downton Abbey continue to deploy a ‘gentry’ aesthetic, which circulates through brands such as Laura Ashley, Burberry, Hunter, Barbour and Jack Wills, which are still able to command a distinctive presence. The traditional private school and stately home continue to serve as default sites for so much English novel writing (recent examples being by J. K. Rowling, Sarah Waters and Ian McEwan). Yet, in fact, such idioms no longer give us a handle on the organization of privilege in Britain.

pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent


3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric,, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

The more labour is available at very low pay, the more extensive this low-pay service economy can become. In fact, we have a very good idea what mass employment in low-skill service work looks like, thanks to examples in poorer economies, where crowds of attendants work at dubious productivity levels in hotels and restaurants, and in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, when domestic payrolls, Downton Abbey-style, absorbed large numbers of workers. Low wages can also boost employment by discouraging firms from automating. Industrial manufacturing in parts of China and India uses many more workers than similar processes would in Europe or Japan, where labour costs are much higher. When wages are low enough it doesn’t make sense to replace cashiers with an automated checkout, or to use robots in logistical tasks in warehouses.

pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation by Satyajit Das


9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

American secretary of state Edward Stettinius told President Roosevelt that Britain had emotional difficulties in adjusting to a reduced international role after the war. Having been a leading player, Britain regarded such a position as a national right and took many years to recognize the benefits of the EU. Even today it remains equivocal, having chosen not to adopt the single currency. Britain plans to hold a referendum in 2017 on its continued membership of the EU. In the British TV series Downton Abbey, Cora Crawley wants to know whether she and her mother-in-law are friends. The dowager countess would prefer that they be allies, which, she argues, is much more effective. In the evolving world order, a similarly pragmatic approach will be required for nations to prosper. The shift in global trade and capital movements is also affected by changes in geopolitical relationships. Following the end of the Cold War, a relatively benign security environment aided the movement of goods, services, and capital.

pages: 383 words: 98,179

Last Trains: Dr Beeching and the Death of Rural England by Charles Loft


Beeching cuts, computer age, Downton Abbey, full employment, intermodal, price mechanism, railway mania, urban planning

Artist Frank Newbould and filmmaker Ismail Merchant, respectively seeking a backdrop for the wartime poster Your Britain – Fight for it Now and an imagined Edwardian idyll for A Room with A View, both chose this part of the world. It is the England of Tibby Clarke and Dr Beeching, East Grinstead neighbours. Other Englands are available, of course; but Horsted Keynes station is in the process of becoming the default image of the rural steam railway, as the local station for Downton Abbey, Eel Marsh House, Windy Corner, The Railway Children and Miss (Beatrix) Potter, among others.† The real Horsted Keynes station lies on the former Lewes and East Grinstead railway, once the least used part of a web of railways belonging to the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) based around a line which, diverging from the Brighton main line at Croydon, ran south-east to Oxted and eventually divided into three routes heading south towards the sea.

pages: 375 words: 106,536

Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Columbine, computer age, credit crunch, Douglas Hofstadter, Downton Abbey, East Village, Etonian, false memory syndrome, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Louis Pasteur, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Skype, telemarketer

The Pallwitzes’ fifth anniversary is approaching. “We’d like to go to the east of the state where we had our honeymoon,” Dennis says. “But”—he glances at Rebecca—“that would cost gas and food and a bed-and-breakfast stay, so maybe we’ll stick around here, save the gas money, and get a hotel room for a couple of days.” “You can’t afford to drive across the state?” I say in a startled screech. I sound like the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey. In fact, last night in New York City, I got to see something Frantz has never seen: the inside of a Capital Grille restaurant. (I’m guessing Dennis and Rebecca have never been to one, either.) It was delicious and I didn’t even think about what it cost. There were stag heads and sculptures of horses and fine oil paintings of generic earls and lords and foxhunts. The milieu was very English country gentleman, although an English country gentleman would never put an “e” at the end of the word “grill.”

pages: 335 words: 114,039

David Mitchell: Back Story by David Mitchell


British Empire, call centre, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Desert Island Discs, Downton Abbey, energy security

I don’t want to move on – I just want to carry on. And that’s an increasingly unacceptable aspiration in our age. People say, ‘If you’re not moving forwards, you’re moving backwards.’ Well, I’m not moving forwards any more. For the first time in a long while I’m standing still. Picture Section The ageing process is terribly cruel. The child of a thousand nervous faces You’d have to be a sneering Downton Abbey sceptic to spot the anachronisms in my beloved ‘eighteenth-century king’ get-up. Today, His Majesty is holding the royal secateurs. If you want to look cool, you first have to feel cool. You then have to do a lot of other things. Despite the smile, I am bitterly aware that this outfit is humiliatingly baggy. Here, I am guarding some nascent runner beans. The Kilburn High Road: ‘The closer you look, the better it gets.’

pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain


3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk,, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, peer-to-peer rental, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

While a rudimentary welfare state existed in Germany and Britain, social protections were generally minimal.518 Compulsory education for all was a novelty and the school leaving age in Britain was twelve. Lives were much shorter: life expectancy at birth was fifty-nine years in Denmark, fifty-two in Britain, forty-three in Germany and thirty-five in Albania.519 People were much poorer: income per person in Britain, the richest country in Europe, was lower than Jamaica’s today.520 Electricity, cars and the telephone were novel luxuries: remember the first season of Downton Abbey. Since even the richest did not have access to technologies that we take for granted, such as antibiotics, airplanes and television, their living standards were lower than today’s poor in many respects. By 1934, Europe was in the grips of the Great Depression, with millions unemployed and scarcely a social safety net (although the school leaving age in Britain had risen to fourteen). The working classes were flexing their muscles.

pages: 374 words: 114,660

The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton


Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, Columbian Exchange, creative destruction, declining real wages, Downton Abbey, end world poverty, financial innovation, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, John Snow's cholera map, knowledge economy, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, new economy, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, structural adjustment programs, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trade route, very high income, War on Poverty

Women have traditionally done many of these jobs, and this has put further pressure on the men whose jobs have been lost. The much richer people who have been doing really well (on which more below) also want services, from restaurant workers, daycare workers, nannies, doulas, dog walkers, cleaners, and personal shoppers all the way to private chefs, chauffeurs, and pilots. In this respect, we have recreated something like the old European aristocracy, in which great landowners employed armies of retainers—Downton Abbey in the Hamptons or Palm Beach.18 To the extent that these service groups remain at the bottom of the distribution, earnings and jobs have been polarized, expanding at the very top and at the very bottom, but not at all in the middle.19 Politics and Inequality Politics has affected wages among low-paid workers. The minimum wage is set by Congress—in 2013 it was $7.25 an hour or $14,500 for a two-thousand-hour year—and some states have their own minimum wages, eighteen of which are higher than the federal rate.

pages: 525 words: 153,356

The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 by Selina Todd


call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, credit crunch, deindustrialization, deskilling, Downton Abbey, financial independence, full employment, income inequality, manufacturing employment, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, Red Clydeside, rent control, Right to Buy, rising living standards, sexual politics, strikebreaker, The Spirit Level, unemployed young men, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, young professional

Her father, Fred Hirst, was a welder and her mother, Jean, had left the dole queues of inter-war Scotland with her best friend Nancy for the high life of shop work in Woolworths in Leeds. The Hirsts lived in Hunslet, the same industrial district from which Richard Hoggart, author of The Uses of Literacy, hailed. But their experience didn’t reflect the romantic idyll of respectability described by Hoggart, nor the stable society of Downton Abbey. The story I heard was one about the increasing economic and political clout of the working class – especially during and after the Second World War, when factory workers and soldiers became ‘the people’, and increasingly central to political debate and British culture. But it was also a story about fighting for everything you got, whether by escaping from domestic service in the 1920s; making sure you were in a reserved occupation so you didn’t have to fight ‘their’ war in the 1940s; or throwing orange peel and jeering at Winston Churchill when he appeared on cinema screens in the early 1950s, because it was Labour who had ensured that the ‘people’s war’ brought about a ‘people’s peace’ of welfare and full employment.

pages: 395 words: 116,675

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley


affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, altcoin, anthropic principle, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Corn Laws, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, endogenous growth, epigenetics, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, George Santayana, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hydraulic fracturing, imperial preference, income per capita, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, land reform, Lao Tzu, long peace, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Necker cube, obamacare, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, price mechanism, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce

On eighteenth-century liberalism, the lectures of Stephen Davies, online at are especially good. On the history of government, Micklethwait, John and Wooldridge, Adrian 2014. The Fourth Revolution. Allen Lane. On the politics of Adam Smith, see Rothschild, Emma 2001. Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet and the Enlightenment. Harvard University Press. On Hamilton and Jefferson, see Will, George 2014. Progressives take lessons from ‘Downton Abbey’. Washington Post 12 February 2014. On British liberal thinking, Martineau, Harriet 1832–1834. Illustrations of political economy. Also Micklethwait, John and Wooldridge, Adrian 2014. The Fourth Revolution. Allen Lane. On free trade, Bernstein, William 2008. A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World. Atlantic Monthly Press. Also Lampe, Markus 2009. Effects of bilateralism and the MFN clause on international trade – Evidence for the Cobden-Chevalier Network (1860–1875). dev3.cepr. org.

pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein


1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

For the rest of the afternoon, our tense discussions about the ethics of blocking the sun are periodically interrupted by loud cheers coming from next door. The reason for the cheering is, we are told, a corporate secret, but the team from Audi is obviously very happy about something—next season’s models, perhaps, or maybe sales figures. The Royal Society regularly rents out Chicheley Hall for corporate retreats and Downton Abbey–inspired weddings so the fact that these two meetings are taking place cheek-by-jowl in a country mansion is, of course, pure coincidence. Still, separated by nothing more than a thin sliding wall, it’s hard not to feel that the angsty would-be geoengineers and the carefree German car sellers are in conversation with each other—as if, more than anything, the reckless experiments the people in our room are attempting to rationalize are really about allowing the car people in the next room to keep their party going.

pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman


23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

Our Growing Digital World—What They Never Told You By 2013, Americans were spending more than five hours a day online with their digital devices. We read the news on Web sites run by CNN, the New York Times, and ESPN. We check our bank balances at Citibank and Wells Fargo. We shop at Amazon and Macy’s. We pay our ConEd and Comcast bills, make appointments with our doctors, and check our health insurance with Blue Cross. We watch House of Cards on Netflix and Downton Abbey on Hulu. And that’s just the beginning. Take a moment to think about how you used your smart phone today. Eighty percent of us check our mobile phones for messages within fifteen minutes of waking up. Did you provide a quick status update today to your friends on Facebook? You’ll probably get a “Like” or two or maybe a funny comment from a friend. And what about those selfies you sent your boyfriend?

pages: 775 words: 208,604

The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality From the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century by Walter Scheidel

agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, corporate governance, cosmological principle, crony capitalism, dark matter, declining real wages, demographic transition, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, John Markoff, knowledge worker, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, means of production, mega-rich, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population, zero-sum game

Variation in the coercive power of rulers and capital owners allowed plague to raise real wages in some societies but not in others; the world wars flattened the distribution of market incomes in some economies but encouraged ambitious redistributive schemes in others; Mao’s revolution wiped out “landlords” but promoted inequalities between cities and countryside. But there was always one Big Reason behind every known episode of substantial leveling. There was one Big Reason why John D. Rockefeller was an entire order of magnitude richer in real terms than his richest compatriots one and two generations later, why the Britain of Downton Abbey gave way to a society known for universal free healthcare and powerful labor unions, why in industrialized nations around the globe the gap between rich and poor was so much smaller in the third quarter of the twentieth century than it had been at its beginning—and, indeed, why a hundred generations earlier ancient Spartans and Athenians had embraced ideals of equality and sought to put them into practice.

pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon


3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser,, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

The small percentage of women who entered the labor market found themselves cordoned off into female occupations, working to manufacture apparel or as clerks, nurses, or school teachers. They were usually paid half of male wages. Employment in the market was more common for younger women who had not yet married, and this employment was primarily in domestic service, which occupied fully 8 percent of the labor force. This world of Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey created for many women jobs that were not dangerous as male blue-collar jobs but shared with them the unforgiving discipline of fixed and long hours of work and daily rites of subservience. The chapter traces how working conditions improved over time along multiple dimensions. The share of farm workers declined, hours of manufacturing workers declined, and workforce discipline became less tyrannical as workers protested and as the endless supply of immigrants was cut off by restrictive quotas in the early 1920s.