Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryEconomics

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Gale Pooley with George Gilder at COSM 2019

Pooley on Superabundance and the Time Price Revolution

We live with more and work less than ever before

Economist Gale Pooley is (half) responsible for the groundbreaking book Superabundance, which he co-authored with Cato Institute’s Marian Tupy. In today’s featured video from a past COSM conference, Dr. Pooley sits down with Discovery Institute’s Jay Richards to talk about how human knowledge and the “time price revolution” have led to an era of unprecedented abundance. Counter the dooms-dayers, Pooley shows how radically better off we are than our ancestors. The more innovation, the more material abundance. His ideas, expressed here in 2021, are as relevant as ever. (REGISTER NOW FOR COSM 2023) COSM is an exclusive national summit on the technologies remaking the world as we know it. The mission of the conference is to stimulate debate and deliberation Read More ›

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Prison. Prison wall with barbed wire. Law and justice

Martin Luther King Jr. on the Failures of Communism

The great advocate for justice saw, as George Gilder does, why materialism fails us

Technology futurist and economist George Gilder has a new book called Life After Capitalism. One of Gilder’s main points in the book is that knowledge is wealth; with increased human ingenuity comes advanced economic growth, but that’s all dependent on the recognition that mind, not matter, is preeminent, and is essential for the flourishing of society and culture. I’ve been reading some essays of the great social justice advocate Martin Luther King, Jr., and came across a piece he wrote on the failures of Communism as a worldview and political system. His comments sound remarkably akin to Gilder’s views on mind and materialism. Listing his first objection to Communism, King writes, First, Communism is based on a materialistic and humanistic Read More ›

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Frozen Section of Grocery Store

More Gale Pooley and More Population Growth

We're living in a time-price revolution

Countering the prevailing narrative of doom, economist Dr. Gale Pooley shows how the incredible power of learning curves has instead brought about an era of unprecedented abundance. Based on his research into time prices (the money price divided by one’s hourly income), Pooley demonstrates that virtually every commodity is substantially cheaper today than it was decades or centuries ago. We are truly in a time-price revolution. We’ve been sharing a number of lectures from past COSM conferences. This video is just one of many you can find at the Bradley Center’s YouTube page. There you’ll find several lectures, interviews, and panels dealing with issues that range from economics, Big Tech, and artificial intelligence. Notable speakers include 2022 Kyoto Prize winner Read More ›

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Planet earth from space, zoom in to the middle east, Saudi Arabia, world skyline, globe

Why So Blue? Look at the Progress We’ve Made

Even though there are reasons to celebrate, the mainstream narrative hides them

We’ve cited the groundbreaking book Superabundance several times here at Mind Matters, mainly in connection to its co-author, Gale Pooley, a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty, and a speaker at the 2021 COSM conference, the yearly technology summit that has attracted speakers like Carver Mead, Peter Thiel, and others. Pooley’s co-author, Marian Tupy, who lectured at COSM 2022 on the book, does work on human progress at the Cato Institute, and published a post showing the many ways humanity has benefitted over the last century. He stands opposed to the mainstream approximations of doom that declare our world’s swift-approaching expiration date, writing, The chance of a person dying in a natural catastrophe — earthquake, Read More ›

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Man Presenting to Group of People

New Review of “Life After Capitalism” Amplifies Book’s Core Themes

Returning to the "mind-centered economy" where knowledge is wealth

A new review of George Gilder’s latest book Life After Capitalism from Samuel Gregg highlights the need for the return of the “mind-centered economy,” in which governmental bureaucracies no longer hamper human creativity and imagination. When capitalistic, democratic societies fall for materialistic presuppositions of the world, they end up resembling socialist contexts in which the state is everything and individual men and women are squelched. Gregg writes at the Acton power blog, [Gilder]takes this notion of the free human mind as the decisive factor in driving economic growth and applies it across the board to economic theory, technology, and our understanding of money. Looking at the question of incentives, for example, Gilder points out that they would yield nothing in Read More ›

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Stack of Gold Coin on Black Background.

George Gilder on the Eric Metaxas Show: Wealth is Knowledge

Gilder proclaims loud and clear that human knowledge and innovation are the keys to economic growth

George Gilder, economist, venture capitalist, and author of the new book Life After Capitalism, appeared on the Eric Metaxas Show to discuss his new title and the overarching story of his life. Gilder co-founded Discovery Institute, the parent organization of Mind Matters and the Bradley Center for Natural & Artificial Intelligence, and his 1980 book Wealth & Poverty strongly influenced the economic policy decisions of President Ronald Reagan. In this interview, Gilder speaks with Metaxas about his upbringing, his ascendancy into the public policy sphere, and the philosophy that underpins his life work. Gilder proclaims loud and clear that human knowledge and innovation are the keys to economic growth, and that this points to the fact that the activity of Read More ›

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View from space of orbiting mother earth; view of China, South East Asia, India

You Can’t Have Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet…or Can You?

Busting the myths of population growth and economic scarcity

Wired recently came out with an interview with economics data analyst Gaya Herrington proclaiming the doom of humanity if we don’t “shift the paradigm” NOW. Herrington said, Very succinctly, we are at a now-or-never moment. What we do in the next five to 10 years will determine the welfare levels of humanity for the rest of the century. There are so many tipping points approaching, in terms of climate, in terms of biodiversity. So—change our current paradigm, or our welfare must decline. The Planet Can’t Sustain Rapid Growth Much Longer | WIRED Population alarmism is not a new chipmunk at the park. It’s been burrowing its nose into the popular imagination for decades now. But is the hype merited? Are we really Read More ›

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Closeup of Ben Franklin on a one hundred dollar bill for background IV

Life After Capitalism: Human Creativity Drives Economic Growth

Gilder once more rocks the archetypes of modern information theory and economics with a paradigm-shifting salvo of sheer brilliance

Author of national bestseller Life After Google and generation-defining Wealth and Poverty, venture capitalist, futurist, and pioneering thinker extraordinaire George Gilder pinpoints how the clash of creativity with power at the heart of economic systems leads to global cognitive dissonance and argues that the creation of the novel taps capitalism’s infinite promise and is humanity’s only path of escape from stagnation and tyranny. Gilder once more rocks the archetypes of modern information theory and economics with a paradigm-shifting salvo of sheer brilliance. The capitalist era is over — get ready for life after capitalism. For more than two hundred years, capitalism spread wealth around the globe, bringing unprecedented prosperity and progress, liberating human potential. But something has gone terribly wrong in the world economy. Read More ›

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population of a small planet

Gale Pooley on the Humanize Podcast

Are we really living on a dying planet?

Are we living on a dying planet? Are the doomsday prophecies of scarcity and widespread starvation due to population growth real? It’s the mainstream assumption, parroted by a number of influential voices. But not everything has taken the bait. Dr. Gale L. Pooley, senior fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty and co-author of the groundbreaking 2022 book Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing, talked with Wesley J. Smith on the Humanize podcast on his work in economics and the ideas behind the book. Pooley co-wrote Superabundance with Marian Tupy of the Cato Institute. Smith and Pooley enjoyed a conversation pushing back against the widespread pessimism that is inherent in the scarcity narrative. Their Read More ›

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Countering Doom with Superabundance

Marian L. Tupy challenges the ideology of scarcity and promotes a refreshing new perspective on human innovation and population

The idea that the higher the human population the scarcer earth’s resources become is prevalent and mainstream. It is behind many of the doomsday alarmist calls for population control and influences much of economic theory and practice. But what if it’s wrong? Marian Tupy, co-author with Gale Pooley of the 2022 book Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet, offers a different account. The earth’s resources and innovation actually increase the more people there are on the planet. Bringing their innovation and creativity to the table, joined with earth’s resources, humans find ways to create “superabundance.” Marian Tupy spoke at the COSM Conference back in November 2022, and his lecture on his Read More ›

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Congress Spending Your Money.

Celebrating My 2 Billionth Birth-Second: What Big Numbers Mean

Let’s see if we can give a clearer, sharper personality to these big numbers

I have lived for over two billion seconds. In 2013, I celebrated my 2 billionth birth-second. The party did not last long. Today US spending and deficits are going through the roof. References to billions and trillions of dollars of spending and deficit are everywhere. The late US Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois is purported to have said “A billion here, a billion there; pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” He said this in the middle of the last century. Today we can replace “billion” in Dirksen’s quote with “trillion.” Let’s see if we can give a clearer, sharper personality to these big numbers. A trillion is a thousand times bigger than a billion. If we scale a trillion Read More ›

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Newspapers and Laptop. Different Concepts for News -  Network or Traditional Tabloid Journals. Data Sources - Electronic Screen of Computer or Paper Pages of Magazines, Internet or Papers

Layoffs at Washington Post Show Direction of Mainstream Media

As their role has changed so much, they simply no longer have a mass popular base

The Washington Post has started layoffs and it isn’t pretty: The Washington Post’s all-hands meeting turned chaotic Wednesday after the newspaper’s publisher announced looming layoffs – and then left the room as concerned employees shouted questions. The Jeff Bezos-owned broadsheet will conduct a round of layoffs during the first quarter of 2023, publisher Fred Ryan announced during what was supposed to be an hour-long meeting. Thomas Barrabi, “Washington Post announces layoffs during tense town hall before publisher Fred Ryan storms out” at New York Post (December 14, 2022) This follows the CNN layoff of hundreds of staffers, announced at the end of November and described as a gut punch to the organization. The laid-off include such figures as Chris Cillizza, Read More ›

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Bitcoin cryptocurrency, virtual money concept

Has the Bitcoin Supply of Greater Fools Finally Been Exhausted?

It’s a bubble fueled by babble

The Declaration of Bitcoin’s Independence, endorsed by numerous celebrities, states that, We hold these truths to be self-evident. We have been cyclically betrayed, lied to, stolen from, extorted from, taxed, monopolized, spied on, inspected, assessed, authorized, registered, deceived, and reformed. We have been economically disarmed, disabled, held hostage, impoverished, enervated, exhausted, and enslaved. And then there was bitcoin. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are, in reality, not useful alternatives to cash, checking accounts, debit cards, credit cards, and the other components of the financial system that powers the economies of developed countries. Blockchain technology is slow, expensive, and environmentally unfriendly. In 2021, Cambridge University researchers estimated that bitcoin blockchains consume as much electricity as the entire country of Argentina, with only Read More ›

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Wheat field. Ears of golden wheat closeup. Harvest concept

Pesticides Bad, organics good! But how do we know it’s true?

Thinking that pesticides are bad and organic is good is thinking is ingrained into our common wisdom. Few question it

Josh Gilder, who worked with the State Department and was a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan (1911–2004 ), opened by quoting the 16th century Swiss alchemist Paracelsus, who reportedly said “The dose makes the poison.” For example, a very small amount of arsenic will have “no detectable physiological effect on you whatsoever,” whereas drinking too much water can kill you. (Recall the woman who tragically died in the “Hold your Wee for a Wii” contest.) The body produces electricity but “you get hit by a lightning bolt, you’re dead,” Gilder explained. These and innumerable other examples confirm the wisdom of Paracelsus.The relevance for us today, Gilder explained, is that many chemicals that are regulated or even banned — due to their Read More ›

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Crowd of people on the street. No recognizable faces

Living in a Superabundant Age

Marian L. Tupy talks economics, falling birth rates, and human creativity at the COSM conference

On November 10th, Marian L. Tupy, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, spoke at this year’s COSM technology summit on behalf of his new book Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet. Tupy co-wrote the book with Gale L. Pooley, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute and associate professor of business management at Brigham Young University-Hawaii. Their book takes a contrarian view of economics, scarcity, and the idea that an excessive human population diminishes the world’s resources. As the book’s title suggests, Tupy and Pooley take the opposite view: the world’s resources increase with population growth. During the COSM session, Tupy said, The caveman had the same natural resources at Read More ›

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Hipster breakfast at home

Tech bubble? Our Progress Towards Value to Users Has Slowed…

We should be wary of glowing forecasts when newer technologies don’t offer anywhere near as large benefits

Today’s new technologies, from virtual reality to nuclear fusion have recently received record investments from venture capitalists, but their revenues are not growing as fast as technologies of past decades. Startup losses are unprecedented — far larger than in past decades. Share prices and private valuations have also been collapsing in 2022. Optimists mostly focus on the good news and ignore these facts. They believe that the heavy funding for these new technologies is a good measure of potential and thus any criticism is unjustified. Here is their typical argument: Paul Krugman and other “experts” criticized the Internet, personal computers, and other technologies in their early years. But these technologies succeeded. Therefore, criticisms of the new technologies are unfounded — Read More ›

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Stock Trader Sleeping At Multiple Computer's Desk

More Hard Math Does Not Necessarily Mean More Useful Solutions

It is sometimes tempting to overemphasize the math and underemphasize the relevance

Math is said to be the language of science in that most (but definitely not all) scientific models of the world involve mathematical equations. The Pythagorean theorem, the normal distribution, Einstein’s energy-mass equivalence, Newton’s second law of motion, Newton’s universal law of gravitation, Planck’s equation. How could any of these remarkable models be expressed without math? Unfortunately, it is sometimes tempting to overemphasize the math and underemphasize the relevance. The brilliance of the models listed above lies not in mathematical pyrotechnics but, if anything, in their breath-taking simplicity. Useful models help us understand the world and make reliable predictions. Math for the sake of math does neither. Examples of mindless math are legion. I will give three very different examples. Read More ›

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Robot hand putting fresh cherry on top of the cupcake

As the Robot Fry Cook Takes Over the Kitchen …

… Jay Richards’ new short “Science Uprising” special dismisses philosophical claims that humans are mere “meat machines”

Science Uprising released an extra feature on Tuesday, following Science Uprising 10, in which philosopher Jay Richards discusses what underlies the myths of artificial intelligence: It isn’t a superior grasp of the technology involved that drives some (Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and others) to warn that AI will achieve superiority over human beings, drive us out of work, and finally out of existence. It’s the hidden premise that humans are just “meat machines” rather than spiritual beings in a creator’s image. If that were true, of course it would follow that other, faster machines would likely overtake and replace us. David Klinghoffer, “Jay Richards: Myths, Metaphysics, and Artificial Intelligence” at Evolution News (October 4, 2022) However it plays out among Read More ›

Statistics Carlos Muza on Unsplash 84523

The Hyper-Specialization of University Researchers

So many papers are published today in increasingly narrow specialties that, if there is still a big picture, hardly anyone can see it

The Bible warns that, “Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” Nowadays, the endless making of books is dwarfed by the relentless firehose of academic research papers. A 2010 study published in the British Medical Journal reported that the U.S. National Library of Medicine includes 113,976 papers on echocardiography — which would weary the flesh of any newly credentialed doctor specializing in echocardiography: We assumed that he or she could read five papers an hour (one every 10 minutes, followed by a break of 10 minutes) for eight hours a day, five days a week, and 50 weeks a year; this gives a capacity of 10000 papers in one year. Read More ›

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Is AI Sentient? Where’s the Economy Headed? Join Me at COSM 2022!

We’ll find out together from a remarkable lineup of insightful movers, shakers, and thinkers

Where is the U.S. economy headed in the next year? Is decoupling from China realistic, or even possible? Is our country ready for widescale electric vehicle adoption? And what are the cutting-edge technologies that will change the world? These are just a few of the questions we will grapple with at COSM 2022. Register now for COSM 2022, Nov. 9-11 in Seattle Another is whether AI will ever achieve consciousness. Remember the Google engineer who made national headlines a month ago for claiming that the company’s AI had become sentient? His name is Blake Lemoine, and he will be making his case — in one of his first public appearances — at COSM 2022 in November. We have also added Read More ›