The International Socialist Review In 1964

The answer to the last last tweetstorm is: 1964, in the International Socialist Review. Every single argument made by today’s “technology will eat all the jobs” brigade is in there, from 50 years ago. The claim that “this time is different”, that we finally reached the tipping point where the Luddite Fallacy would come true. Including the demand for massive additional government intervention in the economy to correct the resulting inherent structural flaw.

Of course, since 1964, an enormous number of new jobs have been created and the quality of life in the US is way up at all income levels. Identifying the fallacies and flaws in logic in the 1964 manifesto given the 50 years that followed is an interesting exercise and I propose, identical to identifying the fallacies and flaws in logic in the equivalent arguments today. Perhaps the most interesting change in the era: Advocates then were proud to call themselves Socialists. This is less so today, history is speaking to us.

Source Tweets: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Manifesto On “Technology Eats All The Jobs” Guess Who Wrote It and When

Here is a manifesto on “technology eats all the jobs” which I did not write. Guess who wrote it and when.

Computers and the Internet result in a system of almost unlimited productive capacity which requires progressively less human labor. The technology revolution invalidates the general mechanism so far employed to under gird people’s rights as consumers. Potentially unlimited output can be achieved by systems of machines which will require little cooperation from human beings.

 

As machines take over production from people, the men and women who are displaced become dependent on minimal government welfare. The existence of this paradox is denied or ignored by conventional economic analysis. Capitalist system designed to produce increasing quantity of goods; distribution of purchasing power would occur almost automatically.

 

Continuance of the income-through-jobs link now acts as the main brake on the almost unlimited capacity of a tech-based productive system. Adequate distribution of goods plus services, not how to increase production but how to distribute the abundance created by technology. Underlying cause of unemployment: the capability of machines is rising more rapidly than the capacity of many human beings to keep pace.

 

As a first step to a new consensus it is essential to recognize that the traditional link between jobs and incomes is being broken. We urge that the government undertake an unqualified commitment to provide every individual with a basic income as a matter of right. Distribution of abundance in technological society must have criteria strikingly different from economic system based on scarcity.

Bonus points: Identify the publication, and its ideological affiliation in which this manifesto first appeared.

Source Tweets: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13

Founding Fathers Arguably Designed US System Specifically To Be Dominated By Moneyed Interests

A common thing one hears in the US is the “Political system is broken; Founding Fathers never intended politics to be dominated by moneyed interests.” But in 1776, voting was “restricted to property owners—most of whom are white male Protestants over the age of 21″. In 1789, George Washington was elected President. “Only 6% of the population can vote.” Not until 1856 was voting expanded, even to all white men (eliminating property ownership requirement).

In 1868, voting was extended to former slaves (at least in theory), but still explicitly defined as male. Women could first vote starting in 1890 in Wyoming! In 1920, the 19th Amendment passed, giving women the right to vote throughout the US. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s,there were lots of battles for and against the rights of other groups e.g. Native Americans and immigrants to vote. Of course, the massive battles in the 1960’s to extend practical right to vote to African-Americans; some battles continue to this day.

Not until 1971 (year I was born) did the voting age get lowered to 18, despite 18-21 year olds being conscripted and sent to war throughout. Founding Fathers arguably designed US system specifically to be dominated by moneyed interests, aka white male Protestant landowners. We have far broader-based voting and political participation today than ever before, due to hard work by many activists over 200 years and we’re still by no means perfect. There is lots of progress yet to be made. But we’re leaps and bounds ahead of 50-100-150-200 years ago and no, I’m not watching the World Cup finals :-).

[tweet https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/488432907808026624 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/mcguirejpatrick/status/488428845750431744 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/StevenEJohnston/status/488429115368689665 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/danhudson007/status/488429219567763456 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/prchovanec/status/488429559256076288 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/josephjeong/status/488431360323764224 align=”center”]

Source Tweets: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12

Gallup Survey Shows Low Confidence Levels In Large Centralized Institutions

Gallup surveys on confidence in institutions are endlessly interesting.

High-trust US institutions (above or near 50%): Military, small business, police, churches.

Low-trust US institutions: Medical system, Supreme Court, Presidency, public schools, banks.

Almost-no-trust US institutions (<25%): Justice system, newspapers, organized labor, big business, Internet news, TV news, Congress.

The conventional glass-half-empty argument is the terrible erosion of trust and competency in key institutions, decline, and fall of the United States. An alternate glass-half-full argument: Large centralized institutions *shouldn’t* be highly trusted: monopolies/oligopolies let people down. A lack of trust in institutions motivates construction of competitive alternatives better attuned to we the people. Large centralized institutions were 20th century; flexible, responsive, accountable organizations for 21st century.

I don’t think the answers are at all straightforward. But I think this debate is going to inform a lot of the next 30 years of politics. It will be interesting to see how many large centralized institutions can win those arguments starting with such low confidence levels.

[tweet https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/483789403408441344 “align=center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/483790083590352896 “align=center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/483790189404246016 “align=center”]

Source Tweets: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

Harvard Business School Publishes New Study On The Interplay Between Diversity and Success In VC Investing

The Harvard Business School has published a new study on the interplay between diversity and success in venture capital investing in startups.

The more ethnic and educational affinity there is between two venture capitalists investing in a firm, the less likely the firm will succeed. Venture capitalists have a strong tendency to team with other venture capitalists whose ethnic and educational backgrounds are similar.

 

Two VCs from the same undergraduate school are 34.4 percent more likely to collaborate and increase by 39.2 percent if of the same ethnicity.

 

The odds of success of an invested company go down 17% if two VCs worked at the same company; -19% if the same undergrad school; -20% if the same ethnicity. The lack of success among similar investors seemed to lie in the decisions that *followed* the investment due to ‘groupthink’.

Side note: Last names of the three researchers who wrote the paper — Gompers, Xuan and Mukharlyamov.

[tweet https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/482586642205536256 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/482587132297363456 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/482587270424182784 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/482587429883236352 align=”center”]

 

Source Tweets: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Udacity Is Opening Up Higher Education To Far More People

We are very proud of portfolio company for going straight after opening up higher education to far more people.

For $200 a month, teach anyone basic programming skills for entry-level position at AT&T as a data analyst, iOS applications designer, etc. Harnessing the web to provide effective schooling to the many young Americans for whom college has become a distant, unaffordable dream. We are trying to widen the pipeline,’ said AT&T’s Charlene Lake. ‘This is designed by business for specific skills needed in business.

 

Education still offers children from disadvantaged families their best chance at climbing the ladder of success. One reason for enormous payoff from college degree (2x payoff vs 1979) is that too few young Americans ever earn one. Peter Lubbers, who runs MOOC developer training for Google says, ‘We want all the techniques we know about to get out to the market. The ‘NanoDegree’ offers a set of skills that can be clearly applied to a job–a chunk of knowledge and immediate motivation to acquire it.

 

Could offer a plausible path to young men/women who may not have time, money or skill to make it through 4-year or even 2-year degree. US students in bottom quarter of income distribution: college graduation rates only 9%, from 5% 20 years ago.” Not *nearly* high enough.

[tweet https://twitter.com/TheLejait/status/480464613180321792 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/rdoddala/status/480464919826280448 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/ValaAfshar/status/480465350564532225 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/DAllison24/status/480465936395169792 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/johndodds/status/480466845355745280 align=”center”]

Source Tweets: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

Cybersecurity Firm Tanium Receives $90M Investment

Today we’re thrilled to be able to talk about our newest investment,Tanium. We’re investing $90M. The first venture capital investment since it was co-founded in 2007. Collectively, partners at have maybe 200 years of experience in systems management; Tanium is a breakthrough like we’ve never seen. Tanium –> people responsible for large networks of computers and software, what Google –> people on the Internet. I don’t say that lightly.

The company is operating under the radar, but its customers could not be more enthusiastic. The product must be seen to be believed. It’s amazing. Tanium is a real-time query *and* control–100s of Ks of computers and virtual machines with natural language queries.

We are thrilled to be working with genius founders David and Orion Hindawi and their colleagues. Masters of the art and science of computing. More info: or email info@tanium.com

[tweet https://twitter.com/utekkare/status/480849907251548163 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/PeterVOrtho/status/480850167298809856 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/utekkare/status/480849907251548163 align=”center”]

Source Tweets: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7