Michael Garfield & Diane Coyle + Eric Beinhocker , COMPLEXITY: Physics of Life

Eric Beinhocker & Diane Coyle on Rethinking Economics for A Sustainable & Prosperous World (EPE 02)

06 May 2022 • 50 min • EN
50 min
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In the digital era, data is practically the air we breathe. So why does everybody treat it like a product to be hoarded and sold at profit? How would our world change if Big Tech operated on assumptions and incentives more aligned with the needs of a healthy society? Are more data — or are bigger models — really better? As human beings scamper around like prehistoric mammals under the proverbial feet of the new enormous digital monopolies that have emerged due to the Web’s economies of scale, how might we tip the scales back to a world governed wisely by human judgment and networks of trust? Would Facebook and Twitter be more beneficial for society if they were public services like the BBC? And how do we settle on the social norms that help ensure the ethical deployment of A.I.? These and many other questions grow from the boundary-challenging developments of rapid innovation that define our century — a world in which the familiar dyads of state and market, public and private, individual and institutional are all called into question. Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe. This week on Complexity, we speak with two researchers helping to rethink political economy: SFI External Professor Eric Beinhocker is the Professor of Public Policy Practice at the University of Oxford, and founder and Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the University’s Oxford Martin School. He is also the author of The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society. Diane Coyle is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, and co-director of the Bennett Institute, whose latest book — Cogs and Monsters: What Economics Is, and What It Should Be— was published by Princeton University Press last fall. In the first episode of this subseries, we spoke with SFI President David Krakauer about how the study of political economy has changed over the last two hundred years due to the innovation of new mathematical and computational methods.  In this episode, we examine how the technological milieu that empowered these changes has also transformed the subject of study itself:  digital surveillance architecture, social media networks, big data, and (largely inadequate) attempts to formalize econometrics have all had a profound impact on modern life. In what ways do new institutions beget even newer institutions to address their unintended consequences? How should we think about the complex relationships between private and public agencies, and what status should we give the data they produce and consume? What is it going to take to restore the trust in one another necessary for society to remain coherent, and what are the most important measures to help economists and policymakers navigate the turbulence of our times into a more inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable world? Subscribe to Complexity Podcast for upcoming episodes with an acclaimed line-up of scholars including Ricardo Hausmann, Doyne Farmer, Steven Teles, Rajiv Sethi, Jenna Bednar, Tom Ginsburg, Niall Ferguson, Neal Stephenson, Paul Smaldino, C. Thi Nguyen, John Kay, John Geneakoplos, and many more to be announced… If you value our research and communication efforts, please rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage. You can find the complete show notes for every episode, with transcripts and links to cited works, at complexity.simplecast.com. Thank you for listening! Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode. Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano. Follow us on social media: Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedIn Mentions and additional resources: Toward a New Ontological Framework for the Economic Good by Eric D. Beinhocker Complexity Economics: Proceedings of the Santa Fe Institute's 2019 Fall Symposium edited by W. Brian Arthur, Eric Beinhocker, Allison Stanger Socializing Data by Diane Coyle The Public Option by Diane Coyle Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership by Lewis Hyde Pitchfork Economics by Nick Hanauer The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves by W. Brian Arthur Geoffrey West on Complexity 35 Will A Large Complex System Be Stable? by Robert May Blockchain: Trust Companies: Every Company Is at Risk of Being Disrupted by A Trusted Version of Itself by Richie Etwaru Helena Miton on Complexity 46 The coming battle for the COVID-19 narrative by Sam Bowles, Wendy Carlin Recoupling Economic and Social Prosperity by Katharina Lima de Miranda, Dennis J. Snower Signalling architectures can prevent cancer evolution by Leonardo Oña & Michael Lachmann Why we should have a public option version of Google and Facebook (response to Diane Coyle) by James Pethokoukis Bryant Walker Smith on Complexity 79 “Premature optimization is the root of all evil." — Donald Knuth

From "COMPLEXITY: Physics of Life"

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