Come read “The Code Economy: A 40,00 Year History” with us

I don’t think the publishers got their money’s worth on cover design

EvX’s Book Club is reading Philip Auerswald’s The Code Economy: A 40,000 Year History looks at how everything humans produce, from stone tools to cities to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, requires the creation, transmission, and performance of “code,”  and explores the notion that human societies–and thus civilization–is built on a mountain of of encoded processes.

I loved this book and am re-reading it, so I would like to invite you to come read it, too.

Discussion of Chapter 1 Jobs: Divide and Coordinate, will begin on May 23 and last as long as we want it to.

Here’s Amazon’s blurb about the book:

What do Stone Age axes, Toll House cookies, and Burning Man have in common? They are all examples of code in action.

What is “code”? Code is the DNA of human civilization as it has evolved from Neolithic simplicity to modern complexity. It is the “how” of progress. It is how ideas become things, how ingredients become cookies. It is how cities are created and how industries develop.

In a sweeping narrative that takes readers from the invention of the alphabet to the advent of the Blockchain, Philip Auerswald argues that the advance of code is the key driver of human history. Over the span of centuries, each major stage in the advance of code has brought a shift in the structure of society that has challenged human beings to reinvent not only how we work but who we are.

We are in another of those stages now. The Code Economy explains how the advance of code is once again fundamentally altering the nature of work and the human experience. Auerswald provides a timely investigation of value creation in the contemporary economy-and an indispensable guide to our economic future.

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3 thoughts on “Come read “The Code Economy: A 40,00 Year History” with us

  1. “…structure of society…We are in another of those stages now…”

    I don’t know if I’ve recommended this here or not yet but you should read it. It a power-point from Dennis M. Bushnel chief scientist at NASA Langley Research Center about Defense and technology. Don’t miss it, it’s short and to the point but very eye opening.

    “Dennis M. Bushnell, Future Strategic Issues/Future Warfare [Circa 2025] ”

    https://archive.org/details/FutureStrategicIssuesFutureWarfareCirca2025

    Page 70 gives the computing power trend and around 2025 we get human level computation for $1000. 2025 is bad but notice it says,”…By 2030, PC has collective computing power of a town full of human
    minds…”.

    The whole thing is completely mind blowing. It’s not extopian technolust either. It’s based on fairly well known trends. It’s difficult to think about.

    One of the extrapolations I see from this is widespread disorder and the break down of centralized control. There was a book that influenced me greatly, “The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age” (1999)” which I mentioned here before. The authors say the structure of Governments and society is due to the technological balance of power between offense and defense. When offense is more powerful you get large States with mass armies like now. This is falling though. Defense is gaining ground rapidly due to the microprocessor and all the advances that come with it. Can’t remember where but some government official was recently complaining about how 3D manufacturing would allow people to make guns. It would also allow them to make anti-tank weapons. Any decent anti-tank weapon can defeat most armor today. Especially if you can shoot the tank in a weaker spot.

    This all leads up to disorder. Good reason to stock up on food.

    Like

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