Thinking About Technocracy

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Archive for the ‘Moral Sense’ Category

On the Commons discusses why housholds work

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Why do households work as collaborative organizations?  Perhaps they don’t.  Divorce rates are high.  But households remain a consistent venue for sharing and common use.  Why?  Princeton University Press has a new book out on the topic and a review is presented at On the Commons.

Written by ryanlanham

January 16, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Posted in Moral Sense

Ten things learned about transparency

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From the Skoll Foundation’s Social Edge blog: Ten things learned about transparency…  I certainly agree with Kjerstin Erickson on her first point…transparency is a value.

Written by ryanlanham

January 14, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Sneakiness as human nature?

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Whether one is much interested in the workings of the mind or related topics in cognitive science, Deric Bownds’ MindBlog is always fun to read and usually has something relevant to a manager, innovator, futurist or general dreamer. 

Yesterday his column disturbed me.  It’s basically about how larger brain sizes go with being sneaky.  No doubt it is true.  Evolution rewards a liar. 

One has to wonder whether evolution rewards collaboration in higher brain-sized species.  Of course packs and teams are prevalent in whales, dolphins, canines, and cats among others.  But what about planning for the future?  To my knowledge no creature but humans effectively plans for the future. 

I wonder if those plans are necessarily duplicitous?  Can we be open, collaborative and plan-oriented while still be honest?  Perhaps not.  Perhaps that will require machines, or machine-augmented humans that can easily smell a fib.

Written by ryanlanham

January 13, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Moral Sense

Steven Pinker takes on morality and whether humans are ready for it

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Pinker is always entertaining.  In the NY Times  Magazine recently he took on morality and whether humans are ready to deploy the tools evolution seems to have furnished to us.  From a governance standpoint, the answer would have to be a resounding no.

Written by ryanlanham

January 13, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Funny cartoon: Non Sequitur by Wiley on the Birth of Ideology

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Here’s one I liked that was run in the local Cayman paper:  The Birth of Ideology

Written by ryanlanham

January 11, 2009 at 2:34 pm

More excellent anti-economics by John Quiggin

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John Quiggin is quickly becoming a favorite read for me.  Great stuff here on the risk of moral arbitrage.

Written by ryanlanham

January 10, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Posted in Moral Sense

Shift of power from West to East?

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Asia Sentinel carries a Sarajit Majumdar article on the seeming power shift from West to East.  It’s happening at an accelorated pace to be sure, but Majumdar, like so many other economists, see technocrats as anti-liberty boogeymen.  Perhaps they are.  What never seems to come from the economist’s pen is the implicit political assumptions they make that are essential to their worldview.  Indeed economics is always political economy.  The underspoken deserves greater fleshing out.  Where are their boundaries?  What is a sine qua non of their liberty systems?  Human rights?  Free trade?  What about Singapore?  Switzerland?  Free?  Why or why not?  Economics seems to run from the discussion of necessary foundations.  As a science, that makes it weaker.

Written by ryanlanham

January 9, 2009 at 2:29 pm