Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity

By Douglas Rushkoff

Why doesn’t the explosive progress of businesses like fb and Uber convey extra prosperity for everybody?
What is the systemic challenge that units the wealthy opposed to the negative and the technologists opposed to everyone else?

When protesters shattered the home windows of a bus sporting Google staff to paintings, their anger could have been justifiable, however it was once misdirected. the real clash of our age isn’t among the unem­ployed and the electronic elite, or perhaps the ninety nine percentage and the 1 percentage. quite, a twister of technological advancements has spun our fiscal application uncontrolled, and humanity as a whole—the protesters and the Google staff in addition to the shareholders and the executives—are all trapped by means of the implications. It’s time to optimize our economic climate for the humans it’s imagined to be serving.
In this groundbreaking booklet, acclaimed media pupil and writer Douglas Rushkoff tells us the best way to mix the easiest of human nature with the simplest of recent expertise. Tying jointly disparate threads—big info, the increase of robots and AI, the expanding participation of algorithms in inventory industry buying and selling, the gig economic system, the cave in of the eurozone—Rushkoff offers a severe vocabulary for our financial second and a nuanced portrait of people and trade at a severe crossroads.

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It has not anything to do with offering capital to becoming businesses, and every little thing to do with extracting worth from the funding economic system by way of undermining the very premise of open markets. it truly is gaming the procedure. inventory is meant to be an tool in which marketers can elevate capital for brand new companies or expansions. In trade for funds, the investor will get a section, or proportion, of the corporate. as soon as that preliminary transaction has been accomplished, in spite of the fact that, the remainder of that share’s trip is inconsequential. Any elevate in percentage price is going to the dealer, no longer the corporate. the single approach the corporate will get extra capital is through promoting or issuing extra stocks. nonetheless, the worth of a percentage of inventory is said to the fortunes of the corporate. If a firm grows, shareholders personal items of a larger pie; if the corporate makes enough gains, those are paid as much as shareholders as dividends. That’s why traders commonly make judgements in line with learn a few corporation, its administration, and the company stipulations surrounding it. unlike traders, who're seeking to develop cash over the years through assessing the genuine price of businesses, investors search to benefit from the altering costs of shares and bonds. The underlying worthy of a firm doesn’t actually matter. The dealer is asking at ebbs and flows, pattern traces and relocating averages, bubbles and crashes. For the dealer, the large quantities of information and processing services unleashed through electronic know-how are very important basically insofar as they give new methods of strategizing strikes within the online game. electronic publishers from Bloomberg to Yahoo Finance are more than pleased to fulfill the investors’ insatiable urge for food for charting and information visualization. appearing rather like algorithms themselves, investors hire stochastics and momentum oscillators to guess on volatility itself. in fact, their trades are without difficulty preempted by means of the true algorithmic traders—the algorithms themselves. these algorithms, in flip, conflict different algorithms, all competing to strategize on most sensible of every other’s concepts, in successive layers of by-product transactions, each extra abstracted from the final. those that play during this house, from person technical investors to the operators of algorithmic courses, suppose they've got gotten into the very center of the game—the rule writing itself. in truth, they're dominating the panorama of buying and selling, yet they're working on a airplane a ways faraway from the corporations and traders whose stocks they're leveraging. The super quantity of job they generate purely disconnects further—and extracts extra value—from the trade they have been initially created to gas. The sheer quantity of by-product finance dwarfs that of the true markets. In 2013, the price of the spinoff industry used to be expected at impending $710 trillion35—that’s virtually ten instances the scale of the nonderivative worldwide economy36 and forty-seven instances the dimensions of the U. S. inventory marketplace. 37 much less conservative estimates positioned the derivatives marketplace at $1.

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