THE ZERO MARGINAL COST SOCIETY

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The Zero Marginal Cost Society

Author : Jeremy Rifkin
ISBN : 9781137437761
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 26.55 MB
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In The Zero Marginal Cost Society, New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism. Rifkin uncovers a paradox at the heart of capitalism that has propelled it to greatness but is now taking it to its death—the inherent entrepreneurial dynamism of competitive markets that drives productivity up and marginal costs down, enabling businesses to reduce the price of their goods and services in order to win over consumers and market share. (Marginal cost is the cost of producing additional units of a good or service, if fixed costs are not counted.) While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring marginal costs to near zero, making goods and services priceless, nearly free, and abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. Now, a formidable new technology infrastructure—the Internet of things (IoT)—is emerging with the potential of pushing large segments of economic life to near zero marginal cost in the years ahead. Rifkin describes how the Communication Internet is converging with a nascent Energy Internet and Logistics Internet to create a new technology platform that connects everything and everyone. Billions of sensors are being attached to natural resources, production lines, the electricity grid, logistics networks, recycling flows, and implanted in homes, offices, stores, vehicles, and even human beings, feeding Big Data into an IoT global neural network. Prosumers can connect to the network and use Big Data, analytics, and algorithms to accelerate efficiency, dramatically increase productivity, and lower the marginal cost of producing and sharing a wide range of products and services to near zero, just like they now do with information goods. The plummeting of marginal costs is spawning a hybrid economy—part capitalist market and part Collaborative Commons—with far reaching implications for society, according to Rifkin. Hundreds of millions of people are already transferring parts of their economic lives to the global Collaborative Commons. Prosumers are plugging into the fledgling IoT and making and sharing their own information, entertainment, green energy, and 3D-printed products at near zero marginal cost. They are also sharing cars, homes, clothes and other items via social media sites, rentals, redistribution clubs, and cooperatives at low or near zero marginal cost. Students are enrolling in free massive open online courses (MOOCs) that operate at near zero marginal cost. Social entrepreneurs are even bypassing the banking establishment and using crowdfunding to finance startup businesses as well as creating alternative currencies in the fledgling sharing economy. In this new world, social capital is as important as financial capital, access trumps ownership, sustainability supersedes consumerism, cooperation ousts competition, and "exchange value" in the capitalist marketplace is increasingly replaced by "sharable value" on the Collaborative Commons. Rifkin concludes that capitalism will remain with us, albeit in an increasingly streamlined role, primarily as an aggregator of network services and solutions, allowing it to flourish as a powerful niche player in the coming era. We are, however, says Rifkin, entering a world beyond markets where we are learning how to live together in an increasingly interdependent global Collaborative Commons.
Category: Political Science

This Thing Called Theory

Author : Teresa Stoppani
ISBN : 9781315406244
Genre : Architecture
File Size : 55.89 MB
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In the age of post-digital architecture and digital materiality, This Thing Called Theory explores current practices of architectural theory, their critical and productive role. The book is organized in sections which explore theory as an open issue in architecture, as it relates to and borrows from other disciplines, thus opening up architecture itself and showing how architecture is inextricably connected to other social and theoretical practices. The sections move gradually from the specifics of architectural thought – its history, theory, and criticism – and their ongoing relation with philosophy, to the critical positions formulated through architecture’s specific forms of expression, and onto more recent forms of architecture’s engagement and self-definition. The book’s thematic sessions are concluded by and interspersed with a series of shorter critical position texts, which, together, propose a new vision of the contemporary role of theory in architecture. What emerges, overall, is a critical and productive role for theory in architecture today: theory as a proposition, theory as task and as a ‘risk’ of architecture.
Category: Architecture

Smart Metropolitan Regional Development

Author : T.M. Vinod Kumar
ISBN : 9789811085888
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 36.7 MB
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This book discusses the concept and practice of a smart metropolitan region, and how smart cities promote healthy economic and spatial development. It highlights how smart metropolitan regional development can energize, reorganize and transform the legacy economy into a smart economy; how it can help embrace Information and Communications Technology (ICT); and how it can foster a shared economy. In addition, it outlines how the five pillars of the third industrial revolution can be achieved by smart communities. In addition, the book draws on 16 in-depth city case studies from ten countries to explore the state of the art regarding the smart economy in smart cities – and to apply the lessons learned to shape smart metropolitan economic and spatial development.
Category: Political Science

Surrogate Humanity

Author : Neda Atanasoski
ISBN : 9781478004455
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 65.72 MB
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In Surrogate Humanity Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora trace the ways in which robots, artificial intelligence, and other technologies serve as surrogates for human workers within a labor system entrenched in racial capitalism and patriarchy. Analyzing myriad technologies, from sex robots and military drones to sharing-economy platforms, Atanasoski and Vora show how liberal structures of antiblackness, settler colonialism, and patriarchy are fundamental to human---machine interactions, as well as the very definition of the human. While these new technologies and engineering projects promise a revolutionary new future, they replicate and reinforce racialized and gendered ideas about devalued work, exploitation, dispossession, and capitalist accumulation. Yet, even as engineers design robots to be more perfect versions of the human—more rational killers, more efficient workers, and tireless companions—the potential exists to develop alternative modes of engineering and technological development in ways that refuse the racial and colonial logics that maintain social hierarchies and inequality.
Category: Social Science

Network Society And Future Scenarios For A Collaborative Economy

Author : V. Kostakis
ISBN : 9781137406897
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 48.65 MB
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This book builds on the idea that peer-to-peer infrastructures are gradually becoming the general conditions of work, economy, and society. Using a four-scenario approach, the authors seek to simplify possible outcomes and to explore relevant trajectories of the current techno-economic paradigm within and beyond capitalism.
Category: Political Science

Compromising The Ideals Of Science

Author : R. Sassower
ISBN : 9781137519429
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 24.94 MB
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This books examines the conditions under which scientists compromised the ideals of science, and elucidates these with reference to the challenges of profit motives and national security concerns. The book also offers suggestions for changing the political and economic conditions under which the integrity of science and its ethos can be practiced.
Category: Social Science

The Resilient Investor

Author : Hal Brill
ISBN : 9781626563391
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 68.71 MB
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If you want to build a better life and a better world—and really be prepared for any possible future in these turbulent times—you need to become a resilient investor! This trailblazing guide will expand your ideas of investing way beyond Wall Street. Your time, your energy, and the things you own are investments too, and you'll learn to diversify them in ways that move you toward your life goals. The Resilient Investment Map lays out all your assets—personal and physical as well as financial—and then provides three essential, timely strategies (Close to Home, Sustainable Global Economy, and Evolutionary Investing) that will help you grow each of them. The goal is to become more resilient: able to anticipate disturbance, rebuild as necessary, and improve when possible. You'll discover that the choices making you more resilient also enhance our communities, our economy, and the planet—building real wealth for all.
Category: Political Science

Economic Growth And Sustainability

Author : Karen L. Higgins
ISBN : 9780128031087
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 41.79 MB
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How to sustain our world for future generations has perplexed us for centuries. We have reached a crossroads: we may choose the rocky path of responsibility or continue on the paved road of excess that promises hardship for our progeny. Independent efforts to resolve isolated issues are inadequate. Different from these efforts and from other books on the topic, this book uses systems thinking to understand the dominant forces that are shaping our hope for sustainability. It first describes a mental model - the bubble that holds our beliefs - that emerges from preponderant world views and explains current global trends. The model emphasizes economic growth and drives behavior toward short-term and self-motivated outcomes that thwart sustainability. The book then weaves statistical trends into a system diagram and shows how the economic, environmental, and societal contributors of sustainability interact. From this holistic perspective, it finds leverage points where actions can be most effective and combines eight areas of intervention into an integrated plan. By emphasizing both individual and collective actions, it addresses the conundrum of how to blend human nature with sustainability. Finally, it identifies primary three lessons we can learn by applying systems thinking to sustainability. Its metaphor-rich and accessible style makes the complex topic approachable and allows the reader to appreciate the intricate balance required to sustain life on Earth. Highlights the application of system thinking in economics Identifies systemic leveraging actions for achieving sustainability Outlines a comprehensive and integrated plan for achieving sustainable stewardship in the future
Category: Business & Economics

Understanding The Social Economy Of The United States

Author : Laurie Mook
ISBN : 9781442663954
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 41.65 MB
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Understanding the Social Economy of the United States is a comprehensive introduction to the operation and study of organizations with social goals – public sector nonprofits, civil society organizations, social enterprises, cooperatives and other organizations with a social mission – under the rubric of the social economy. This text is rich in examples and case studies that explain the social economy framework in the context of the United States. The book not only highlights the differences between these organizations and traditional businesses, but also provides applied chapters on organizational development, strategic management and leadership, human resources, finance, and social accounting and accountability in social economy organizations. The perfect introduction to the social economy framework for students of nonprofit management, business, social entrepreneurship, and public policy, Understanding the Social Economy of the United States an invaluable resource for the classroom and for practitioners working in the social economy sector.
Category: Business & Economics

Smart Europe

Author : Jeremy Rifkin
ISBN : 9789286138331
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 62.34 MB
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A green digital economy could change the future of the Old Continent. The new Smart Europe will be based on three elements: new communication technologies, new sources of energy and new modes of mobility. But the transition will require a transformation of the continental infrastructure. Jeremy Rifkin, advisor to the European Union and main architect of the Third Industrial Revolution, has been promoting over the last few years the importance of this approach, enabling collaboration in "vast virtual and physical global networks to create a more ecologically sustainable and equitable quality of life". This is the fourth essay in the Big Ideas series created by the European Investment Bank.
Category: Business & Economics