stefaneichtwitter 9-2023 Polany’s Theory of Money
Joseph Dalibon Just ended this summer reading! Remarkable account of the politics behind monetary thinking! May have benefitted from more development of K. Polanyi’s work A must-read to engage the discussion over the reform of the international monetary system. Congrats @stefeich !
Stefan Eich Thanks so much! And yes, wish I had had more space for Polanyi’s interwar commentary on monetary politics. He followed all of this very closely as a Vienna-based financial journalist for Der Österreichische Volkswirt, the Austrian equivalent of The Economist.
LouisMosar – There is a chapter by Jerome Maucourant on Polanyi’s theory of money coming out in the forthcoming Routledge International Handbook to Polanyi. I like Maucourant’s work. I think it will be interesting.
nature.com 20-9-2023 Consciousness theory slammed as ‘pseudoscience’ — sparking uproar – Researchers publicly call out theory that they say is not well supported by science, but that gets undue attention. by Mariana Lenharo
The letter, signed by 124 scholars and posted online last week1, has caused an uproar in the consciousness research community. It claims that a prominent theory describing what makes someone or something conscious — called the integrated information theory (IIT) — should be labelled “pseudoscience”. Since its publication on 15 September in the preprint repository PsyArXiv, the letter has some researchers arguing over the label and others worried it will increase polarization in a field that has grappled with issues of credibility in the past….
doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-023-02971-1 References – Fleming, S. et al. Preprint at PsyArXiv https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/zsr78 (2023). Yaron, I. et al. Nature Human Behav. 6, 593–604 (2022).
theguardian.com 20-9-2023 AI-focused tech firms locked in ‘race to the bottom’, warns MIT professor – Physicist Max Tegmark says competition too intense for tech executives to pause development to consider AI risks – by Dan Milmo
>inequality, positioning, urbanisation
…The growing inequality within and between dynamic cities and other places means they are the target of a growing populist backlash against metropolitan elites. The answer to the growing divide is not to undermine the success of dynamic cities. Rather, it is in making them more affordable and accessible. This means investing in public housing and transport and in creating cleaner, walkable cities. We need to move away from the outdated model of sterile central business districts of offices that lay empty at night to create vibrant mixed residential, office, and entertainment neighborhoods. The conversion of surplus offices into residential accommodation offers an opportunity to fast-track these developments. The experience of extreme floods, fires, and heat in many cities also highlights the urgent need for transforming cities into our sustainable homes for the future. Cities, with their unbounded creative potential, provide a source of hope for the future. By working together to improve them, we can realize their potential to create a better life for all. – Ian Goldin is a professor at Oxford University and together with Tom Lee-Devlin a co-author of Age of the City: Why Our Future Will be Won or Lost Together.
scitechdaily.com 18-9-2023 MIT’s Game-Changing Hack: Energy-Efficient CO2 Capture & Conversion
…In the end, they found that what mattered most was not the type of amine used to initially capture carbon dioxide, as many have suspected. Instead, it was the concentration of solo, free-floating carbon dioxide molecules, which avoided bonding with amines but were nevertheless present in the solution. This “solo-CO2” determined the concentration of carbon monoxide that was ultimately produced. “We found that it’s easier to react this ‘solo’ CO2, as compared to CO2 that has been captured by the amine,” Leverick offers. “This tells future researchers that this process could be feasible for industrial streams, where high concentrations of carbon dioxide could efficiently be captured and converted into useful chemicals and fuels.” “This is not a removal technology, and it’s important to state that,” Gallant stresses. “The value that it does bring is that it allows us to recycle carbon dioxide some number of times while sustaining existing industrial processes, for fewer associated emissions. Ultimately, my dream is that electrochemical systems can be used to facilitate mineralization, and permanent storage of CO2 — a true removal technology. That’s a longer-term vision. And a lot of the science we’re starting to understand is a first step toward designing those processes.” – academic source DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.3c02500
theguardian.com 8-2023 Millennials don’t all suffer alike. What really divides them is privilege – It’s not the generation gap that counts: setting boomers against the younger cohorts just masks inequality – by Martha Gill
academia.edu 9-2023 Dollarization is a Neo-Mercantilistic Economic System – by Emilio José Calle Celi
This video shows how Dollarization is a Neo-Mercantilistic economic system, combining characteristics of both classical mercantilistic and modern capitalism. Concepts are presented, and the way several important economic variables are affected by this system is shown through comparative economics. Finally, an equation for hard seigniorage, or seigniorage without inflation, is presented and contrasted between Capitalism and Neo-mercantilism.
>Monetary Economics, Foreign Policy Analysis, Monetary theory, Dollarization and Euroization, Foreign Exchange Market, Capitalism, Monetary history, Political Economy of Monetary Policy, Monetary Policy, Mercantilism, Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate, Monetary Econo Mics, Inflation targeting, dollarization, Exchange Rates, Dollarization, Neomercantilism
>climate crisis, water
euronews.com/ 15-9-2023 Spain can help the rest of Europe learn how to tackle the water crisis – Faced with climate change in the Mediterranean and a massive threat to its national industries, Spain is undertaking a major and costly reform of its entire water system – by Jorge Molinero
theguardian.com 13-9-2023 Earth ‘well outside safe operating space for humanity’, scientists find – First complete ‘scientific health check’ shows most global systems beyond stable range in which modern civilisation emerged – by Damian Carrington
Their assessment found that six out of nine “planetary boundaries” had been broken because of human-caused pollution and destruction of the natural world. The planetary boundaries are the limits of key global systems – such as climate, water and wildlife diversity – beyond which their ability to maintain a healthy planet is in danger of failing. …
Scientists said in September that the world was on the brink of multiple disastrous tipping points. Prof Katherine Richardson, from the University of Copenhagen who led the analysis, said: “We know for certain that humanity can thrive under the conditions that have been here for 10,000 years – we don’t know that we can thrive under major, dramatic alterations [and] humans impacts on the Earth system as a whole are increasing as we speak.” She said the Earth could be thought of as a patient with very high blood pressure: “That does not indicate a certain heart attack, but it does greatly raise the risk.” The assessment, which was published in the journal Science Advances and was based on 2,000 studies, indicated that several planetary boundaries were passed long ago. The boundary for biosphere integrity, which includes the healthy functioning of ecosystems, was broken in the late 19th century, the researchers said, as destruction of the natural world decimated wildlife. The same destruction, particularly the razing of forests, means the boundary for land use was broken last century. Climate models have suggested the safe boundary for climate change was surpassed in the late 1980s. For freshwater, a new metric involving both water in lakes and rivers and in soil, showed this boundary was crossed in the early 20th century.
Another boundary is the flow of nitrogen and phosphorus in the environment. These are vital for life but excessive use of fertilisers mean many waters are heavily polluted by these nutrients, which can lead to algal blooms and ocean dead zones. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization data, three times the safe level of nitrogen is added to fields every year. The boundary for synthetic pollution, such as pesticides, plastics and nuclear waste, was shown to have been passed by a 2022 study. The Richardson-led analysis assessed air pollution for the first time, which affects plant growth and monsoon rains. It found air pollution has passed the planetary boundary in some regions such as south Asia and China, but not yet globally. Ocean acidification is also assessed as getting worse and being close to exceeding the safe boundary.
The scientists said: “This update finds that six of the nine boundaries are transgressed, suggesting that Earth is now well outside of the safe operating space for humanity.” Rockstrom said: “If you want to have security, prosperity and equity for humanity on Earth, you have to come back into the safe space and we’re not seeing that progress currently in the world.” Phasing out fossil fuel burning and ending destructive farming are the key actions required. The planetary boundaries are set using specific metrics, such as the level of CO2 in the atmosphere for climate change. The Earth’s systems are resilient to some level of change, so most of the boundaries have been set at a level higher than that which persisted over the last 10,000 years. For example, CO2 was at 280 parts per million until the industrial revolution but the planetary boundary is set at 350ppm. Prof Simon Lewis, at University College London and not part of the study team, said: “This is a strikingly gloomy update on an already alarming picture. The planet is entering a new and much less stable state – it couldn’t be a more stark warning of the need for deep structural changes to how we treat the environment.”
“The planetary boundaries concept is a heroic attempt to simplify the world, but it is probably too simplified to be of use in practically managing Earth,” he continued. “For example, the damage and suffering from limiting global heating to 1.6C using pro-development policies and major investments in adapting to climate change would be vastly less than the damage and suffering from limiting warming to 1.5C but doing this using policies that help the wealthy and disregard the poor. But the concept does work as a science-led parable of our times.” A related assessment published in May examined planetary boundaries combined with social justice issues and found that six of these eight “Earth system boundaries” had been passed. …
survivingtomorrow.org 9-2023 Declassified US Navy File Predicts 4°C Warming Within 17 Years- by Jared A. Brock
This decade-old declassified file from 2013 is an 87-page document containing a prediction by the United States Navy that humans would achieve 4 °C warming by 2040. You already know many of the security threats of a hotter future: forcible migration, damage to global ports, changing ocean currents, drought/flooding, stronger storms.
There is only a “tiny window” of hope remaining to prevent climate Collapse, and experts say we are entering “a new age of devastation” as El Niño pushes already-record temperatures even higher. Parts of Texas hit record highs and Phoenix hit a record high temperature for August: 117 °F (47 °C). Other scientists admit there is no stopping this. At least 20 people have died in wildfires in Greece, near the border of Bulgaria and Türkiye. The blazes still rage, and they have become the EU’s largest wildfire ever. Dozens of people were arrested for arson, but it remains unclear how the blaze really began. This visual guide is a quick summary of Greece’s wildfires. Scientists know that wildfires are becoming more intense and widespread. The Lower Darling — Australia’s 3rd longest river — has practically run out of Murray cod, a native fish whose population crashed after a terrible drought several years ago. Efforts to repopulate the species failed. China is finishing a summer of climate devastation, caused by heat waves, drought, and regional flooding. Grain & rice fields in China’s northeast province were heavily damaged. And China is still approving two new coal plants every week… In India, similar floods wiped out neighborhood homes and displaced many. What would you do if your house was swept away by a mudslide and you received no insurance payout? This interesting article explains a bit more about the prevention of a titanic oil spill from the FSO Safer, deflecting blame and…
theguardian.com 12-9-2023 ‘Beginning of the end’ of fossil fuel era approaching, says IEA – Forecast downturn still ‘nowhere near steep enough’ to limit temperature rise to 1.5C, says watchdog – Jillian Ambrose
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has projected for the first time that fossil fuel consumption will peak before 2030 and fall into permanent decline as climate policies take effect. However, the forecast downturn is still “nowhere near steep enough” to put the world on a path to limiting temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrialised levels, which is considered crucial to avoiding a climate catastrophe. …Fatih Birol, the IEA’s head, wrote in the Financial Times on Tuesday that the projections would show that “the world is on the cusp of a historic turning point”. …
dailymail.co.uk 9-2023 Horror graph finally settles the boomers vs millennials housing struggle argument – by Zak Wheeler
A new study may have finally disproved an old boomer theory that millennials are unable to save money; houses were simply more affordable back in the 1980’s.The research, published by the Reserve Bank of Australia, explores how Australians experienced saving for a home over several different decades. A graph included in the 10-page report revealed that it took prospective buyers only two years of moderate saving in 1985 to have enough for an initial deposit. …
Affordability now sits at its ‘worst level’ in 30 years, with an average income household only able to consider 13 per cent of homes on the market. In the 90’s that same household could consider roughly 31 per cent of the market. Today average-income households need to save at least 20 per cent of their income for more than half a decade to secure a 20 per cent deposit on a median priced home, according to Proptrack’s newest housing affordability report. Lower income homes face the toughest hurdles, with a $64,000 annual salary only providing access to three per cent of homes on the market. …
>knowledge consciousness philosophy psychology
psychologytoday.com 11-9-2023 An Overview of the Leading Theories of Consciousness
Organizing and comparing the major candidate theories in the field – by Ralph Lewis M.
- Leading theories of consciousness include HOT, GWT, IIT, re-entry, and predictive processing theories.
- Other well-developed theoretical approaches to consciousness involve attention, learning, and affect.
- Many theories seek to solve the “hard problem” of consciousness, but not everyone agrees the problem exists.
>greenwashing – ESG
euronews.com 5-9-2023 EU ‘Green Claims’ directive will tackle greenwashing’s crafty cousin, circular washing,too – by Ana Birliga Sutherland
If passed, the law will ban generic claims — from “environmentally-friendly” and “eco” to “natural” and “biodegradable” — from being made without evidence. This is a much-needed step in the right direction, Ana Birliga Sutherland writes. Regulators are finally cracking down on advertisers making false green claims, in a series of moves dubbed the end of the “greenwashing era”. These claims — from the vague (“all natural”) to the hard-to-verify and seemingly omnipresent (“carbon neutral”)—often mislead increasingly climate-conscious consumers. The desire for more environmentally friendly goods is growing rapidly, with nearly 90% of Gen X consumers willing to spend more on sustainable products, compared to 34% in 2020. And at the same time, the circular economy — an economic model that designs out waste, cuts material use and keeps materials in the loop for as long as possible — is becoming increasingly mainstream. This begs the question: as greenwashing is kicked to the kerb, does this allow space for its more insidious cousin — circular washing — to creep in? Keen to profit from consumers’ changing ethos, brands are adding circular claims to their arsenals. These can be even more harmful: what’s branded as “circular” isn’t always good for the environment, especially if it features an over-reliance on recycling rather than substantial cuts in material use.
A 2020 study found that a massive 53% of green claims were vague, misleading or unfounded, with a further 40% entirely unsubstantiated. …The EU’s move to tackle greenwashing has drawn attention from proponents and critics alike: the proposal for the new “Green Claims” directive was voted in plenary with a huge majority, setting the foundation for a finalised law in the coming months. If passed, it’ll ban generic claims — from “environmentally-friendly” and “eco” to “natural” and “biodegradable” — from being made without evidence, requiring brands to verify their products’ merits through third-party certification schemes. This is a much-needed step in the right direction: a 2020 study found that a massive 53% of green claims were vague, misleading or unfounded, with a further 40% entirely unsubstantiated. But will the directive take on circular washing — and consequently encourage true circularity as well? The Green Claims directive will cover all manner of sins — circular washing included…
thelancet.com 9-2023 Is green growth happening? An empirical analysis of achieved versus Paris-compliant CO2–GDP decoupling in high-income countries – by Brockway PE Sorrell S Semieniuk G Heun MK Court V
Scientists have raised concerns about whether high-income countries, with their high per-capita CO2 emissions, can decarbonise fast enough to meet their obligations under the Paris Agreement if they continue to pursue aggregate economic growth. Over the past decade, some countries have reduced their CO2 emissions while increasing their gross domestic product (absolute decoupling). Politicians and media have hailed this as green growth. In this empirical study, we aimed to assess whether these achievements are consistent with the Paris Agreement, and whether Paris-compliant decoupling is within reach.
Methods – We developed and implemented a novel approach to assess whether decoupling achievements in high-income countries are consistent with the Paris climate and equity goals. We identified 11 high-income countries that achieved absolute decoupling between 2013 and 2019. We assessed the achieved consumption-based CO2 emission reductions and decoupling rates of these countries against Paris-compliant rates, defined here as rates consistent with national fair-shares of the remaining global carbon budgets for a 50% chance of limiting global warming to 1·5°C or 1·7°C (representing the lower [1·5°C] and upper [well below 2°C] bounds of the Paris target).
Findings – The emission reductions that high-income countries achieved through absolute decoupling fall far short of Paris-compliant rates. At the achieved rates, these countries would on average take more than 220 years to reduce their emissions by 95%, emitting 27 times their remaining 1·5°C fair-shares in the process. To meet their 1·5°C fair-shares alongside continued economic growth, decoupling rates would on average need to increase by a factor of ten by 2025.
Interpretation – The decoupling rates achieved in high-income countries are inadequate for meeting the climate and equity commitments of the Paris Agreement and cannot legitimately be considered green. If green is to be consistent with the Paris Agreement, then high-income countries have not achieved green growth, and are very unlikely to be able to achieve it in the future. To achieve Paris-compliant emission reductions, high-income countries will need to pursue post-growth demand-reduction strategies, reorienting the economy towards sufficiency, equity, and human wellbeing, while also accelerating technological change and efficiency improvements.
>ESG, green washing, socio-eco metrics, governance
theconversation.com 20-8-2023 A new approach to environmental, social and governance policies is needed before it’s too late – by Daniel Tsai, Peer Zumbansen
This summer has proven how destructive climate change can be. We have been plagued by harrowing images of Maui, Hawaii in ashes, news about wildfires spreading smoke across Canada and the United States and record-breaking heat waves worldwide. It’s clear we are facing a crisis on a planetary scale, requiring immediate political, social and economic action. Corporations and governments have rushed to declare their commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles in response to the climate crisis. One of the issues with ESG is how difficult it is for investors, consumers and the public to assess how effectively companies have implemented it. In addition, the lack of government leadership and the fragmentation of the ESG landscape has created uncertainty about its future. Many firms don’t know if they should lead by example or wait to follow the pack.Several large investors and corporations in the U.S. — most notably BlackRock — have recently become targets of the “anti-woke” movement, adding further uncertainty and hesitancy to committing to ESG.
The public debate around ESG, stakeholder governance, sustainability and responsible investment continues to gain momentum in the midst of all this. In response, McGill University’s CIBC Office of Sustainable Finance hosted academics and experts from 11 countries to confront the issues of ESG, climate change governance and democratic politics. The resulting impact paper proposes several policy recommendations for governments and corporations to work together to transform ESG standards into practice. Despite recurring financial crises and staggering socio-economic inequality, corporations find themselves conflicted by the need to maximize profits with ESG. But profit can still coexist alongside a significant business and investment shift towards sustainability. A fully transparent and publicly available ESG and sustainability index for financial institutions and corporations would improve transparency, accountability and address the demand for ESG. If large public corporations were required to report universal ESG metrics, it would lead to healthy competition…
- Climate change – Sustainability – Green policy – green policies – Environmental, Social and Governance – ESG – esg policies
>inequality tax wealth
newstatesman.com 9-2023 Britain’s great tax con – The UK’s tax system entrenches inequality, stymies growth, and rewards a few at the expense of the many – by Harry Lambert
newstatesman.com 2-9-2023 The making of EP Thompson – The historian was driven by the mystery of his brother’s death fighting with anti-fascist partisans – by Madoc Cairns
When they told Frank Thompson they would shoot him he told them he was proud. I’m ready to die for democracy, he told them, as they led him out to the barren hills above Sofia. I’m proud to die in the fight against fascism, he told them, sixteen hundred miles from home. I give you the salute of freedom, said Major Frank Thompson, 23 years old. He raised his right fist. When Edward Palmer Thompson asked what happened to his brother, people told him this: he died so well that grown men wept.
Frank Thompson died a hero. His brother spent his life wondering why. As more details emerged, more seemed missing. Frank was a liaison between the British army and Bulgarian anti-fascist partisans. Their mission, which led to his capture and execution in 1944, was badly planned, poorly supported, sent out in “conditions of almost impossible difficulty”. None of the family’s questions received any answer from the state. Frank’s brother had to do his own research. In the process he became the most influential British historian of the past half-century: his Making of the English Working Class created an entire field. But before he wrote history, EP Thompson made it.
heguardian.com 29-8-2023 central-banks-will-push-economies-into-recession-says-jeremy-hunt-adviser-karen-ward
>eco crisis climate
theguardian.com 29-8-2023 Young climate activist tells Greenpeace to drop ‘old-fashioned’ anti-nuclear stance – Swedish teenager Ia Anstoot says group’s ‘unscientific’ opposition to EU nuclear power serves fossil fuel interests
youtube 8-2023 The beauty of collective intelligence, explained by a developmental biologist – by Michael Levin
scitechdaily.com 8-2023 Mindfulness Myth? Philosopher Challenges Its Core Principles ->Meditation Mental Health By UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN – FACULTY OF HUMANITIES AUGUST 20, 2023
theguardian.com 22-8-2023 bacteria-that-eats-methane-could-slow-global-heating-study-finds
independent.co.uk 19-8-2023 Trader who predicted 2008 financial crisis bets $1.6bn on stock market crash by end of 2023 – Michael Burry, played by Christian Bale in the movie ‘The Big Short’, is putting his money on another financial disaster – by William Mata
theguardian.com 26-8-2023 scientific-journal-retracts-article-that-claimed-no-evidence-of-climate-crisis
nypost.com 2-8-2023 It’s only a matter of time until the ESG movement will R.I.P. – By Charles Gasparino
essentiafoundation.org 2-7-2023 How a neuroscientist came to embrace the reality of acausal synchronicities Reading | Metaphysics – by Laleh K. Quinn
bigthink.com 24-8-2023 The entire quantum Universe exists inside a single atom- By probing the Universe on atomic scales and smaller, we can reveal the entirety of the Standard Model, and with it, the quantum Universe.
newstatesman.com 8-2023 The human era is ending – Artificial intelligence poses a profound challenge to our humanness. By John Gray
reuters.com 21-8-2023 New find throws light on life of slaves in Ancient Rome’s Pompeii
theguardian.com/ 17-8-2023 /helen-skelton-honesty-work-kids-radical-truth-family-life
bbc.co.uk 14-8-2023 Back to the future for India’s rice farmers – By Priti Gupta
dailymail.co.uk 15-8-2023 Sociology is outstripping traditional A-level subjects
Sociology is outstripping traditional A-level subjects as more teenagers show an interest in activism. Social sciences are booming in popularity with psychology now the second most popular A-level. While Sociology has also risen to become the fifth most popular – up from ninth five years ago. But analysis of private schools shows traditional and classical subjects are still the subject of choice at fee-charging schools, The Times reported. Professor Alan Smithers of Buckingham University suggested the rise in interest in sociology was because the subject offers an ‘understanding of the structure of society and ways to change it, which makes it very attractive to activists’.
He told the paper: ‘Psychology has burgeoned. One can speculate that this great appeal has something to do with it appearing to offer insight into some of the great mysteries such as the nature of consciousness, what lies behind human behaviour, and making sense of human interaction. ‘Access to the meaning of life has become ever more important with the loss of religious faith in much of the western world.’ Analysis of last year’s figures broken down by subject shows private schools accounted for 89 per cent of candidates studying ancient Greek. They also reportedly accounted for 89 per cent of candidates studying ancient Greek, 79 per cent in history of art and 74 per cent of Latin.
>slavery hidden history fems
Acemoglu and Johnson give an incisive analysis of the economics of labor and technology, along with a trenchant critique of the ‘techno-optimism’ of corporate visionaries…a stimulating call for social and political action to ensure the rising tide of innovation lifts all boats. Publishers Weekly
[I]nsightful…A convincing attack on today’s dysfunctional economy plus admirable suggestions for correcting matters. – Kirkus
One powerful thread runs through this breathtaking tour of the history and future of technology, from the Neolithic agricultural revolution to the ascent of artificial intelligence: Technology is not destiny, nothing is pre-ordained. Humans, despite their imperfect institutions and often-contradictory impulses, remain in the driver’s seat. It is still our job to determine whether the vehicles we build are heading toward justice or down the cliff. In this age of relentless automation and seemingly unstoppable consolidation of power and wealth, Power and Progress is an essential reminder that we can, and must, take back control. – ABHIJIT BANERJEE AND ESTHER DUFLO
economist.com 4-23 Yuval Noah Harari argues that AI has hacked the operating system of human civilisation. Storytelling computers will change the course of human history, says the historian and philosopher
>consciousness, evolution, human nature
economist.com 28-6-2023 Thousands of species of animals probably have consciousness – A group of scientists are trying to track down how it works in the brain
The amygdaloids sound like one of the aliens-of-the-week from “Star Trek”. In fact, they are a rock band from New York University (nyu), whose singer, lead guitarist and moving spirit is Joseph LeDoux. Dr LeDoux is one of the world’s top authorities on the amygdalas, a pair of almond-shaped structures in the brain that are responsible, among other things, for generating fear in response to threats. But he is also president of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (assc), which held its 26th meeting at nyu between June 22nd and 25th.
The Amygdaloids were merely the warm-up act. Top of the bill was the announcement of the result of a so-called “adversarial collaboration” between proponents of two hypotheses about the nature of consciousness. This involved running a series of experiments, begun in 2020, to …
entrepreneurshandbook.co 23-8-2023 WeWork, WeBroke, WeOver. The sorry end to the WeWork story draws near – by Stephen Moore
bbc.co.uk 1-9-2023 What a doctor’s death in a lift may tell us about Africa’s debt crisis – By Joe Inwood, Nkechi Ogbonna
thisismoney.co.uk 30 -8 2023 Recession fears after the UK’s money supply stops growing for first time in 13 years – By CALUM MUIRHEAD
The UK’s money supply has stopped growing for the first time in 13 years in a warning sign that a recession could be looming. Bank of England data showed money supply was no larger in July than in June. This is in stark contrast to a flood of money printed during the pandemic, which monetarists argue was behind the surge in inflation once lockdown restrictions eased and the economy restarted. But the stalling supply raises fears of recession and deflation, or falling prices, which could encourage the Bank to be more cautious in continuing to raise interest rates to avoid shifting the economy into reverse…
spectator.co.uk `1-9-2023 Is printing too much money the real cause of inflation? – By Julian Jessop
Every month, the Bank of England publishes new data on the flows of money and credit around the UK economy. Most commentators focus on the ‘credit’ part – particularly the amount of mortgage and credit card borrowing. In contrast, the ‘money’ part rarely gets a mention. This is understandable. After all, good luck explaining what ‘M4ex’ is down the Dog and Duck. (If you must know, it is essentially the notes, coins, sterling deposits, and short-dated bonds held by UK households and non-financial companies). But the failure to discuss ‘money’ is worrying. Even the Bank of England acknowledges that money growth is an ‘important indicator of developments in the economy’. If anything, inflation is fuelling wage rises, rather than the other way around. I would go further. Changes in the supply of money are key to understanding what has happened to inflation – and where it might be heading.
Here the recent news is mostly good – on inflation at least. The latest figures, published on Wednesday morning, show that the annual growth of the Bank’s preferred measure of broad money (which is what I mean by ‘M4ex’) has slowed to zero – so no more extra money is circulating in the economy. This should drag inflation down further over time. To illustrate this, here is a simple chart comparing the growth rate of broad money and the annual rate of inflation. The former appears to lead the latter, with a lag of about 18 months. I’m not ready to die on a hill for the precise relationship implied here, but hopefully you get the idea. Similar charts work just as well for the Euro area and the US.
Most people instinctively understand that inflation is something that happens when too much money is chasing too few goods and services. Despite this, you would be hard pressed to find a single reference to the money supply in any policy statements from the Bank of England. Most oddly of all, the Bank’s public explanations for its policy of ‘quantitative easing’ (QE) focus on the impact on bond yields and the positive wealth effects from increases in other asset prices. There is just a passing reference to the impact of this extra money floating around the system. Some central bankers have even downplayed QE as simply an ‘asset swap’ (cash for government bonds) which only affects the economy through its impact on interest rates, and which is not really ‘money printing’ at all. But surely the clue is in the name: ‘quantitative easing’ works, at least in part, by increasing the quantity of money.
An honourable mention here must go to Professor Tim Congdon and Dr Juan Castañeda at the Institute of International Monetary Research (IIMR), based at the University of Buckingham. They correctly predicted in 2020 that excessive monetary growth (largely as a result of how central banks helped to finance government borrowing and spending via QE) would cause an inflationary boom. This message was echoed by members of the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC), hosted by the Institute of Economic Affairs. But we were in a small minority.
Instead, the usual narrative is that inflation has been driven by higher food and energy prices, with the implication that these increases are what has caused inflation to take off. More recently, the focus has shifted to higher pay, with many worried that a ‘wage-price spiral’ has now set in.
Monetarists would say that this is missing the wood for the trees. Supply shocks – such as Covid restrictions, the fallout from the Ukraine war, or Brexit – might explain why some prices are rising faster than others. But if these shocks had not happened, the inflationary pressure from excessive monetary growth might simply have popped up somewhere else. Indeed, we have already seen this in the way that measures of ‘core’ inflation that strip out energy and food have risen. The concept of a ‘wage-price spiral’ doesn’t hold much water, either. For a start, wages are only just beginning to catch up with prices. If anything, inflation is fuelling wage rises, rather than the other way around. More fundamentally, wage rises simply shuffle money around the economy and so cannot affect the overall level of prices – unless the central bank prints more money to pay for them.
Finally, worrying about strong wage growth makes even less sense when there are labour shortages. Wages are a price like any other and need to be allowed to adjust to balance supply and demand. Admittedly, even monetarist economists disagree on some crucial points. We cannot even always agree on which measure of ‘money’ is most significant, or the relative importance of interest rates and quantitative easing (or tightening) as monetary policy tools.
Either way, though, there should be much more discussion of monetary variables, including monetary growth, when assessing the outlook for inflation and economic activity. Appointing someone to the Monetary Policy Committee who has a much stronger grasp of monetary economics than me would be a genuine improvement in diversity. As it is, groupthink means that the role of money is repeatedly overlooked, making further forecast errors and policy mistakes much more likely.
nature.com 25-7-2023 ChatGPT broke the Turing test — the race is on for new ways to assess AI – Large language models mimic human chatter, but scientists disagree on their ability to reason – by Celeste BieverI
The world’s best artificial intelligence (AI) systems can pass tough exams, write convincingly human essays and chat so fluently that many find their output indistinguishable from people’s. What can’t they do? Solve simple visual logic puzzles.
Photonics Experiment Resolves Quantum Paradox – A team of researchers from the University of Twente has successfully illustrated that quantum mechanics and thermodynamics can coexist by using an optical chip with photon channels. The channels individually showed disorder in line with thermodynamics, while the overall system complied with quantum mechanics due to the entanglement of subsystems, proving that information can be preserved and transferred. Credit: University of Twente
It seems quantum mechanics and thermodynamics cannot be true simultaneously. In a new publication, University of Twente researchers use photons in an optical chip to demonstrate how both theories can be true at the same time.
In quantum mechanics, time can be reversed and information is always preserved. That is, one can always find back the previous state of particles. It was long unknown how this could be true at the same time as thermodynamics. There, time has a direction and information can also be lost. “Just think of two photographs that you put in the sun for too long, after a while you can no longer distinguish them,” explains author Jelmer Renema.
There was already a theoretical solution to this quantum puzzle and even an experiment with atoms, but now the University of Twente (UT) researchers have also demonstrated it with photons. “Photons have the advantage that it is quite easy to reverse time with them,” explains Renema. In the experiment, the researchers used an optical chip with channels through which the photons could pass. At first, they could determine exactly how many photons there were in each channel, but after that, the photons shuffled positions.
Entanglement of subsystems – “When we looked at the individual channels, they obeyed the laws of thermodynamics and built up disorder. Based on measurements on one channel, we didn’t know how many photons were still in that channel, but the overall system was consistent with quantum mechanics,” says Renema. The various channels – also known as subsystems – were entangled. The missing information in one subsystem ‘disappears’ to the other subsystem. …
finance.yahoo.com 8-7-2023 Wharton professor says ‘things that took me weeks to master in my PhD’ take ‘seconds’ with new ChatGPT tool – By Stephen Pastis
Now, anyone with $20 can have a personal A.I. assistant skilled in data analysis. Code Interpreter—a new OpenAI tool for ChatGPT that can run code, work with uploaded files, analyze data, create charts, edit files, and perform math—was released Friday for all subscribers to the $20-per-month ChatGPT Plus service. For Ethan Mollick, an early adopter of A.I. and management professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, it might be the most useful, interesting application of the technology so far—and the strongest case yet for a future where artificial intelligence is a valuable companion for sophisticated knowledge work. “Things that took me weeks to master in my Ph.D. were completed in seconds by the AI, and there were generally fewer errors than I would expect from a human analyst. Human supervision is still vital, but I would not do a data project without Code Interpreter at this point,” Mollick writes in a blog post published Friday. …
psychologytoday.com 7-7-2023 Redefining Psychology in the Light of Quantum Physics – A Personal Perspective: Revolutionizing our understanding of consciousness. -0 ByAlan J. Steinberg
This post is in response to Quantum Effects In the Brain By Robert Lanza
- Psychology and physics each offer a unique and important perspective in our quest to comprehend consciousness.
- Dream theory, traditionally in the realm of psychology, may help quantum physics understand the Big Bang.
- Psychology and quantum physics can help each other move forward in their quests for answers and relevancy.
- Psychotherapy, when invigorated by the insights of quantum physics, may become even more healing.
Quantum physics, arguably our most sophisticated scientific method for understanding the universe, has been consistently challenging the traditional boundaries of various disciplines, including psychology. As quantum physics explores the perplexing realm of consciousness, it raises profound questions. Could physics and psychology become entwined in their quest to comprehend consciousness?
Three Pillars of Quantum Physics – To grasp the scope of this question, we should first examine three generally accepted principles of quantum physics. When taken together, I argue that these principles suggest a revolutionary perspective: everything in the universe is composed of a singular, unified consciousness. The first principle states that the collapse of an object’s wave function requires a conscious observer. Secondly, quantum physics contends that the universe is interconnected in its entirety and instantaneously, leaving no room for separateness. Lastly, it posits that our reality is observer dependent. …
telegraph.co.uk 1-7-2023 Bank of England ‘must stop creating money out of thin air’ – Leading economists pile pressure on Andrew Bailey and Jeremy Hunt to shake up monetary system and help savers – By Will Hazell
theatlantic.com 7-2023 THE COMING HUMANIST RENAISSANCE – We need a cultural and philosophical movement to meet the rise of artificial superintelligence. By Adrienne LaFrance
vanityfair.com 29-6-2023 “We Have Built a Giant Treadmill That We Can’t Get Off”: Sci-Fi Prophet Ted Chiang on How to Best Think About AI – Amid an explosion of panic about artificial intelligence, ChatGPT, and runaway algos, the celebrated writer has entered the chat. FYI: A potential Terminator situation is the least of his concerns. – by By Delia Cai
Lately, Chiang has been thinking about this current reality: Via viral essays for The New Yorker, he’s been wading into this year’s public discourse to explain ChatGPT and generative AI in terms any smartphone-wielder can actually process. For a species forever at odds with our own imaginative powers, the sci-fi author has become the most lucid voice in the room—a credit as much to that compact Chiangian prose as much as it is to the utter chaos of the 2023 technological landscape. Some time in between Marc Andreessen blogging about how AI will save the world and the release of the new Black Mirror season, Chiang and I sat down over Zoom to discuss our current moment in tech and the metaphors we use to make sense of it all.
decrypt.co 27-6-2023 Bank of England Says ‘Britcoin’ CBDC Might Not Be on a Blockchain – The English Central Bank is looking at a plethora of options for a CBDC it has yet to determine is viable. – By André Beganski
nature.com 24-6-2023 Decades-long bet on consciousness ends — and it’s philosopher 1, neuroscientist 0
Christof Koch wagered David Chalmers 25 years ago that researchers would learn how the brain achieves consciousness by now. But the quest continues.
businessinsider.com 17-6-2023 ‘Fundamentals still matter’: A portfolio manager at a firm managing $17 billion warns stocks are due to sink 15% as AI hype fuels the current rally and drowns out recession alarm bells – William Edwards
crypto-news-flash.com 17-6-2023 Cardano Creator Charles Hoskinson: $7 Trillion BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Approval to Flood the Market with Fresh Money – BlackRock application for Bitcoin ETF can stir an imbalance in the crypto world. Cardano Founder Charles Hoskinson believes BlackRock’s move is not worth celebrating. – By Godfrey Benjamin
medium.com 16-6-2023 Gaia And The Climate Emergency – On the need for a new consciousness – by John Pearce
positivenews.org 15-6-2023 Positive tipping points could save the climate – this man is showing us how – by Sarah LaBrecque Positive tipping points – Professor Tim Lenton was one of the scientists sounding the alarm on the climate crisis decades ago. Today, instead of focusing on what doom might lie ahead, he’s pioneering a new line of research on the positive tipping points that might actually save
fortune.com 13-6-2023 Forget the ChatGPT ‘doom-hype cycle.’ Evidence shows humans are just as unoriginal when it comes to language. BY Brendan H. O’Connor
popmatters.com 13 -6-2023 WE CAN ONLY IMAGINE: THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF PHYSICS – Physicist Ulf Danielsson’s The World Itself pins the powerful, slippery imagination and its impressive ideas about consciousness to matter’s messy, impermanent state. – By R.P. Finch
theguardian.com 13-6-2023 Whisper it, but the boom in plastic production could be about to come to a juddering halt – A plastics treaty is on the cards – and it could join the rescue of the ozone layer as a landmark success in environmental diplomacy – by Geoffrey Lean
dailynous.com 13-6-2023 The Rigor of Philosophy & the Complexity of the World – By Justin Weinberg
“Analytic philosophy gradually substitutes an ersatz conception of formalized ‘rigor’ in the stead of the close examination of applicational complexity.” In the following guest post, Mark Wilson, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, argues that a kind of rigor that helped philosophy serve a valuable role in scientific inquiry has, in a sense, gone wild, tempting philosophers to the fruitless task of trying to understand the world from the armchair.
fortune.com 8-6-2023 ‘ESG’ is dead. Long live E, S, and G. By Peter Vanham
The tale of ESG in corporate America is one of an extraordinary rise and an almost-as-extraordinary fall. Less than a decade ago, barely anyone outside the impact investing world used the term ESG. Today, the acronym is everywhere in corporate America. But almost as quickly as it came, ESG is bound to disappear again and be replaced by its constituent parts, having become politicized and polarized.
That is my conclusion from this week’s Fortune Impact Initiative call, which gathered over 40 ESG executives under the Chatham House rule. Few executives defended continuing to use the term. But rather than bury the acronym’s themes—environmental, social, and governance issues—most said they are doubling down on them in practice. Put another way: Nothing is changing about our plans, those on our call agreed. But they are increasingly avoiding using the term “ESG” per se because it’s become divisive and distracting.
“We don’t talk about ‘ESG,’ but about the specific actions we are taking,” one participant said, a sentiment echoed throughout the discussion. “Eliminating waste, reducing water consumption,…those are all good business decisions,” another participant said. “There is no arguing about that. But we are taking a step back to think about what [the term] ‘ESG’ was meant to do.” …
blog.daviskedrosky.com 8-6-2023 Jared Diamond: A Reply to His Critics – Rescuing Guns, Germs, and Steel from its worst detractors – by Davis Kedrosky
newscientist.com 7-6-2023 The uncomfortable reality of life on Earth after we breach 1.5°C – Passing 1.5°C of global warming isn’t just a political disaster, it will have dire consequences for us all, as those living on the front line already know – By Madeleine Cuff
thecollector.com 5-6-2023 Walter Benjamin on the Philosophy of History (and the End of it) – How does Walter Benjamin use the insights of Marxism and theology to conceptualize history and the future? – By Luke Dunne
elpais.com 1-6-2023 Seven of the nine thresholds that allow for human life on earth have already been crossed – A new report quantifies the climatic, natural and pollutant limits that ensure the safe and orderly maintenance of civilization
academia.edu pdf 2016 A wealth of possibilities: Alternatives to growth – by Aaron Vansintjan
Economics, Sustainable Development, Green Policy, Post-Growth – This study, commissioned by the Greens in the European Parliament and the Green European Foundation, catalogued post-growth practices and policies in six fields: 1. Job creation 2. Basic and maximum income and job guarantee 3. Tax collection 4. Financing the social safety net 5. Monetary system and banking 6. International equality
peacon.net/pdf 31-3-23 real-world economics review 103
- How to Make the Oil Industry Go Bust by Blair Fix
- Technological Change and Strategic Sabotage: A CasP Analysis of the US Semiconductor Business – by Christopher Mouré
- Do copyrights and paywalls on academic journals violate the US Constitution? by Spencer Graves
- Mainstream economics – the poverty of fictional storytelling by Lars P. Syll
- Why do economists persist in using false theories? by Asad Zaman
- Revisiting the Principles of Economics through Disney by Junaid Jahangir
- On the Employer-Employee Relationship by David Ellerman
- Why is yield-curve inversion such a good predictor of recession? by Philip George
- Book Review: Thomas Picketty, A Brief History of Equality by Junaid Jahangir
- Book Review: John Komlos, Foundations of Real-World Economics, 3rd Edition by Alan Freeman
3-5-22 Sanctions: Beginning of the End for the Dollar?