Book Summary – The second machine age

  • This current progress – hardware, software and network at their core
  • took generations to improve and modification
    • Moore’s law
  • When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind, Lord Kelvin
  • Search terms volume increase positively correlates with housing sales and prices three months from now
  • data and statistics is the sexy job for the next 10 years
  • Innovation: recombining of existing things in new ways
  • 5 – 7 years before full productivity of firms making investments
    • time required to make complementary investments
  • Of importance in the forthcoming age
    • ideas not things
    • minds not matter
  • Technological unemployment – two competing school of thoughts
    • don’t worry things will sort themselves out – Daron Acemoglu and Hames Robinson
    • need to worry – John Maynard Keynes
  • study hard using technology and all other available resources or MOOCs

Two main barriers to AI

  • Polanyi’s paradox – we know more than we can tell
    • we are really good at taking information through our 5 sense
    • we are really good at spotting patterns
    • we are very bad describing how we do it
  • Moravec’s paradox –
    • easy to have machines behave like adults and do complex things
    • impossible to give them perception and mobility of one year old


  • Why the west rules – For now, Ian Morris
  • The New Division of Labor, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane
  • The age of spiritual machines, When computers exceed human intelligence, Ray Kurzweil
  • The Nature of Technology, Brian Arthur
  • Why nations fail, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
  • Economic Possibilities for our grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes
  • Academically Adrift: limited learning on college campuses, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa
  • How college affect students, Ernest Pascarella and Patrick Terenzini
  • Brain gain: rethinking U.S. immigration policy

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