My consigliere doesn’t let me miss much.
“Did you see the report on what Jack Ma said at Davos? You need to read it – whole thing – because its about where the world is going and it’s the same view we’ve been talking about for years…”
It sure as hell is: “Tech revolution may cause World War III, warns Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma ..”
The key point in his speech was this part:
““The First World War was because of the first technology revolution. The second technology revolution caused World War II,”
What my consigliere and I agree on is that technology waves are critically important to the future of humankind. We’re not the only ones saying it. Plenty of great academics are telling us the same story. A few examples? Sure…
One name few are familiar with is Cesare Marchetti. He’s the godfather of the “S-curve theory.” Interviewed him (back when) and some of that is in the archives *Master Index” on the Peoplenomics side of the house.
The blood and guts of S-curves is simple: As a new technology is introduced, and goes mainstream, a simple cumulative total of “units” will roughly describe an “S” over time. What’s more, as you approach the top of one “S”, the replacement technology will usually be found just beginning it’s big move of mass adoption. This is how waves of innovation overlap.
Along the way, Marchetti discovered something else – which you can find in Wikipedia under the heading “Marchetti’s Constant’:
Marchetti’s constant is the average time spent by a person for commuting each day, which is approximately one hour. The term is a misnomer, because Italian physicist Cesare Marchetti himself attributes the “one hour” finding to transportation analyst and engineer Yacov Zahavi.
Marchetti posits that although forms of urban planning and transport may change, and although some live in villages and others in cities, people gradually adjust their lives to their conditions (including location of their homes relative to their workplace) such that the average travel time stays approximately constant. Ever since Neolithic times, people have kept the average time spent per day for travel the same, even though the distance may increase due to the advancements in the means of transportation.
For further reading, Marchetti’s 1985 piece “Swings, Cycles, and the Global Economy” is foundational reading among those of us who strive to understand (OK, and profit from) economic cycles.
The second name I’ll drop is Andrew Odlyzko, who – sayeth the Wikipedia – “…is a mathematician and a former head of the University of Minnesota’s Digital Technology Center and of the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. He began his career in 1975 at Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he stayed for 26 years before joining the University of Minnesota in 2001.”
If you’re going to remain clear in your Big Picture outlooks, Odlyzko’s papers are all worthy of review. But a grand starting point is his “Isaac Newton, Daniel Defoe, and the dynamics of financial bubbles, ” Another tasty morsel is his “The forgotten discovery of gravity models and the inefficiency of early railway networks…” Odlyzko nailed the growth in SMS messaging, among his many calls…
Works of both gents confirms that there is usually a cyclical (whether Elliott, S-Curves, or technology replacement/succession) angle to most historical examples of massive change. And with those, worries Jack Ma, odds of war go way up.
Trust you saw where “U.S. Sails Warships Through Taiwan Strait, Challenging China”?.
Ma, oh Ma…his concern – and we admit to sharing it: The “New Technology” wave (AI) will increase potential for massive economic displacement by Artificial Intelligence.
Efficient markets might offer that a shortage of resource will reverse the “longage” of humans and wars (and plagues) are just dandy scale-balancers.
When I began writing about this, years ago, it seemed like a far-away and distant problem. Yet, a review of the day’s news flows (once you get past Stone and Trump and Nancy and the Wall) reveals stories like these:
- Information wars endanger civilization, say ‘Doomsday’ experts.
- Soros Warns China Uses Algos to Find Threats to One-Party Rule.
- Will robots take your job? Quarter of US workers at risk.
- ‘AI’ to hit hardest in U.S. heartland and among less-skilled: study.
- Is Big Tech Merging With Big Brother? Kinda Looks Like It.
- Who owns your face? Social media mobs raise new privacy concerns.
- And to top it off? “Artificial Intelligence WARNING: AI ‘capable predicting and manipulating YOUR future’.” Although, so is a biased media…
While most of the MainStreamMedia is focused on Roger Stone’s arrest, there’s a very important Big Picture here that will demand everyone’s attention in the future at much higher levels than the indictment and arrest of a political figure. Such things are usually transient, but they are “the news” as well…so let’s deal with?
Popping Roger Stone
Arrested in Florida following a seven count grand jury indictment (which you can read online here and skip the hysteria of Trump-hating media), the question we’re really interested in getting answered is “Who is the radio host named as a person in the indictment?”
With anti-Trump fever back in the headlines, we continue to ask why there’s been no one going after Hillary Clinton for her campaign-related issues (including funding and promoting “opposition research” but let’s see if the Mueller inquiry can deliver more than a political operative…
Oh, and there are also questions being raised on Alex Jones’ site here about whether the FBI was “in bounds” by apparently tipping-off CNN so they could video tape Stone’s arrest…
With the amount of apparent bias both on the prosecutorial, as well as the media side, we wonder if anyone can get a “fair trial” on claims made. We’ll just make another batch of popcorn, and wait to see what’s next…
Wall Battle’s Third Strike?
Dueling Senate bills have failed to pass and thus, the shutdown is into day 34. See CNBC’s “Shutdown continues: Senate blocks bills to fund government amid fight over Trump border wall” for additional details.
Itg’s axiomatic around here that Trump will only be patient with the congress (and Nancy the Canceler) for just so long. Then, he will use the “nuclear option” by declaring a National Emergency.
Since the markets are up in the pre-opening action (+160 on the Dow futures 90 minutes from the bell) we wouldn’t expect anything to be announced during market hours.
It’s worth mention that in the weekly Federal Reserve H.6 Money Stocks, report out after the close last night, the rate of increase of m1 on a three months basis (annualized) was down to 4.7%, which as we see it, may slow the market as there are higher costs for following when rates go up…which they tend to when the money creation rate slows…but, we shall see.
Meanwhile, the MarketWatch story on Bank of America pegging global economic growth at ZERO is in the ‘must read’ pile.
Last, but not least, the Durable Goods orders likely won’t so again, investors will be doing more seat-of-the-pants and trying to figure out how the “data wave” we have been warning about at the end of the shutdown (whenever the hell that comes) will impact markets.
For now, just another day, unless you hate Trump, in which case try to remember the saying about grand juries. They can “indict a ham sandwich.” Planning a parade?
Coming this weekend: A dissertation on how to restore an old ham radio transmitter (two parts, Sat. and Sun.) while on the Peoplenomics side, we’ll be presenting Ch. 2 of Power in the Second Depression. This chapter focuses on sources of power and where the risks are…
Come on by Monday, if you’re too busy to catch the weekends…promises to be an interesting one with Housing Data coming Tuesday…
Off to apply my ViseGrips to both forearms: I’m not sure how the market goes up with government shut down and global grow is zero. Would drug-testing fail Wall St?