*Machine Platform Crowd*

The authors are Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, and the subtitle is Harnessing Our Digital Future.  Arguably McAfee and Brynjolfsson have become America’s leading authors of business/management books (with an economic slant).  This one is due out June 27, I am eager to read it.


Good guys to follow on Twitter for AI news and economic implications.

Andrew McAfee (@amcafee): https://twitter.com/amcafee

Erik Brynjolfsson (@erikbryn): https://twitter.com/erikbryn

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Is this damning by faint praise from TC? No it's not. But I will stir the troll pot and point out that Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson stole TC's ideas. You be the judge:

Title: The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen, Publisher: Dutton (January 25, 2011)

Title: Race Against the Machine by Erik Brynjolfsson et al, Publisher: Digital Frontier Press; 58895th edition (January 23, 2012)

Coincidence that the latter work was a year later? Or rotten plagiarism?

Of course econ historian Robert J. Gordon may have a beef with both authors: Title: Productivity Growth, Inflation, and Unemployment: The Collected Essays of Robert J. Gordon, Published: Dec 15, 2003

And I recall an article in New Scientist or some-such that back in the 90s claimed diminishing returns for science.

Nothing new under the sun, which is used sometimes by anti-patent types to deny anything is new, novel and unobvious. After all, splitting the atom is just a form of releasing energy stored in a molecule not unlike the explosion of dynamite (saltpeter, found naturally in bird guano and in the Chilean Atacama desert), and anyway uranium is a substance found in nature so you should be able to patent it (so the anti-authorship, anti-inventor argument goes)

Well it seems the Brynjolfsson book was in fact inspired by TC's book, from the preface. I read both of them but forgot about them.

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Our earlier comments were here:


Damn, time flies. I was posting here almost four years ago? Wow. I should retire.

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No.... actually the book that Brynjolfsson and McAfee ripped off was "The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future" by Martin Ford.

That was published in 2009 and they came with "Race against the Machine", which basically copied it in 2011. Ford later wrote "Rise of the Robots", which won the Financial Times Business Book of the Year.

Lights in the Tunnel is a good book.

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Ford is on Twitter too, though I find his output a little more (wait for it) robotic.

Martin Ford (@MFordFuture): https://twitter.com/MFordFuture

As far as "who was first," I am not sure it is a fair question. Practitioners were first. Everyone else is watching the same parade. I like McAfee and Brynjolfsson for their (what I regard as shrewd) commentary, YMMV.

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"Arguably... have become America’s leading authors of..."

TC, please make the argument. I was unimpressed by their previous book.

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