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tv   After Words  CSPAN  June 15, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm EDT

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ultimately holding everybody prisoner. the drug trade, the public schools, the media, the municipal government and the police. and so, what you're primarily seeing is the way in which you cannot ever hope to address education without also paying attention to these other things. so to the extent that people start to actually start to demand and hold our elected officials more accountable to assist the systemic policy approach we are going to be struggling for a while and i realize that it's lik is like tt and the most quick thing to say as a final point, but in that sense there really are no shortcuts. ..
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i'm starting to s-sierra when i'm the best questions that might actually get us closer to the vision with her splayed us out over 200 years ago. thank you all so much for coming. the book is available on
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i hope you're interested in buying it, but if not, please follow up with me. thank you for coming. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> up next on booktv, "after words" with guest host said two, author of "the googlization of everything." this become a best-selling author, jeremy rifkin in his latest book, "the zero marginal
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cost society." and i commend the european union pfizer argues capitalism is on its way out in the combined communications, energy and much of styx internet slowly to its demise by increasing production and distribution and effectively eliminating corporate profits. the program is about an hour. >> host: hello, jeremy rifkin is with us today. i am siva vaidhyanathan from the university of virginia. we are going to discuss his new book, "the zero marginal cost society." it is also his 20th book, which is quite a few in a method cells. this book takes the entire world as a subject that has a tremendous amount of focus on the current state and perhaps immediate future suited the u.s. economy as well. and so, it ranges across so many
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topics. i'm sure we'll have a rich set of discussions that will link together quite nicely. i was hoping you could explain the title. that's a good way to start. "the zero marginal cost society." what do you mean by zero marginal cost? >> guest: i think we are just getting to glimpse the outline of a new economic system country known to the world stage. this is the first economic system to reverse and sad anticapitalism and socialism in the early mac team century. it is a remarkable historic event with long-term implications for office around the world. this great economic transformation ascent pain called zero marginal cost. let me explain. there's a paradox deeply embedded in the heart of the capitalist market watch has been responsible for the great success of the invisible hand over two centuries ago. the irony is the paradox is that
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in the ultimate triumph of capitalism, but the triumph will lead to the demise of the primary economic system in the world. in a capitalist market, sellers are continually probing for new technology is they can increase product dignity, reduce the marginal cost of a put out a cheaper project, wendover market share and bring back their investors. marginal cost of the cost of producing additional unit of a good or service after the fixed costs are covered. you never anticipated a technology revolution whose productivity is so extreme that it can actually reduce the marginal cost of producing and distributing goods and services to near zero, making goods and services essentially or nearly free can no longer subject to market forces. that is what is beginning to happen in nature way across the global economy. you know because of what you
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teach. we saw a 20 marginal cost phenomenon affect the information over the last 10 years. first we saw napster and the people who find ways to create software to share music files, bypassing the capitalist market in the recording industry didn't pay the royalties and it brought the recording industry to its knees. that is zero marginal cost phenomenon started to affect the news or magazine of the fishing industry. millions of consumers became proceeding began to produce and share their knowledge and information in wikipedia, new spot, people shared knees together and of course the publishing people started putting out their e-books for free. this meant newspapers are not a business. magazines bellied up into the omission industry has been devastated by free e-books and most recently and of course you can speak to this from the university point of view,
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massive up in all my courses. we now have six, 7 million students taking the free online courses that operated to euro marginal cost top by some of the best professors in the world and the receiving credit. this is now forcing universities to rethink the business model. in the last 10 years have not been academic. peer the zero marginal cost would affect information to, but it would not move over from the virtual world to the physical world and set the firewall wouldn't be breached. they are now expanding to an internet of things. it will now allow us to produce energy and products after zero marginal cost.
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>> host: it sounds in itself paradoxical many people. the internet to her general way of thinking is about the flow of information, the flow of data. a distributed noncontrolled flow of data that seems to touch everybody knew an interesting interesting ways every day. how at the supply two cars, two airplanes, two collections of everyday materials you would buy at wal-mart. >> guest: the information internet is just now beginning to converge with the energy internet in europe and now in china and also beginning to converge their fledgling automated transport and logistics. the information internet company energy in her neck, the automated transport and logistics internet creating the internet of things and they are
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placing centers across the economic system to monitor the flow of data. we have sensors now connecting resource flows. we have sensors feeding data from production line, warehouses, distribution centers. we have sensors on martin, sensors connect to the electricity grid so we know what the appliances are doing them in a moment. sensors connecting vehicles and offices and stores it that big data coming in across the economy to these three internet, communication, energy, internet which is its internet is providing a wealth of data about what goes on any given moment across the economy. we now have 14 billion sensors out there now in ibm says in 202,050,000,000,000 sensors connecting everything with everyone. it's exhilarating and
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challenges. what's interesting from the opportunity, millions of perceivers can now do with physical things that they did with information. they can know an expanded of things in the years that had been a combined debate data coming through on their own vocals with their own apps and with that come into the system, they can use analytics and create their own algorithms like google and facebook today and dramatically increase their own productivity, reduce marginal cost and just like they now reduce the marginal cost of information goods of the traditional internet. it's only the first few years, but it's a tremendous shift in the economy. >> host: used the word or sooner. can you explain what that is? >> guest: it's been used 25, 30 years ago. that is consumers.
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consumers become prosumer. they consume or share their own prison services. let me give you two examples of how this affects the physical world and turn solidness. renewable energy, 3-d printed products. we now have millions and millions of early adopters in your actually producing their own green electricity with solar panels on the roof or wind turbines on their property and their producing added near zero marginal cost. the technology for harvesting solar and wind is still a little pricey, but it's on an exponential curve. just like we saw with computer chips in the computer industry, with a 20 or exponential curve with solar and wind. a solar watt cost $60 to produce in 1970. it continues to go down.
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even before the six costs are paid back for harvesting technologies, the marginal cost of producing a unit of sun, solar to see when his near zero. you just have to capture. the window side of the building is free. you just have to capture it. millions of people are now reducing their own electricity, sharing it with each other on the emerging energy internet in europe and to show you how fast it is moving, china has taken a the plan as outlined and now we are working on the new book. i visited the chinese leadership last year. after my visit ans $80 billion for your commitment. to begin today at the energy internet at this internet of things to millions of chinese people produce thereof solar and wind electricity and distributed across china.
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by contrast, china's putting up 3.5 billion, which is centralized, not distributed over a 20 year period. europe and china are quite far ahead. >> host: people making their own stuff, durum expressions in their own energy apparently. how are they able to find markets? how are they able to find consumers for their products? and how are they able to work together collaboratively to forge new works. wikipedia comes to mind for instance. >> a good example is in terms of the collaboration. this hazardous as a storm in the last two years prepared hundreds of thousands of pockets of dozens of small and medium-sized enterprises printing out the physical products, just the use printers for software and information goods. if you are a small 3-d printer,
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you can go unexpanded internet can download free software and print out your product or then you can use cheap recycled material as your feeds.tuesday's recycled plastic around the neighborhood, recycled paper, even sand and gravel is melted down for feedstock. and then you can power your 3-d printer materials renewable energy from the emerging internet in your and then you can take your product and transported in the future on the logistics internet with electric and fuel cell vehicles that operated near zero marginal cost to vehicles that operated with low marginal costs. this is an example where everyone can become a prosumer and sheer surfaces with each other over an emerging collaborative comment. what's happened here is we are
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starting to see a debate unfold and that is it is obvious that the zero marginal cost effect is pretty significant. the question is what kind of economic system and what would we need to envision for millions and hundreds of millions can produce not only derive information good, different energy is your marginal cost, during manufacturing products that allow them to bypass the market because you would be beyond profits. so what can a in which he made? the economists are somewhat befuddled because they believe there's two ways to organize the economy. private enterprise or the government or some combination between pure capitalism, socialism or in your social market economy. what economists forget is there is a third to two should we rely on all of this command millions of people around the world every day to provide an entire array
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of goods and services that are provided by the market cannot provided by the government and are beyond profits noticed. am i this a social comment, the civil society, the not-for-profit sectors. lance of organizations involved in education, health care services, assisted living for the elderly, takes care center, spores could our battle groups in the economists don't pay much attention, but it is a huge sector in terms of revenue. it accounts for 2.2 million in revenue and is growing faster than the private marketplace. it's probably not a very fast clip and in the u.s., canada and u.k., it is growing while the traditional private enterprise market is shriveling. it's quite interest him. so what i think we see is the emergence of a collaborative, in the social economy. the trigger for that is zero
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marginal cost infrastructure because it is like this only for people who want to share things in a community because the internet is designed to be distributed, collaborative come up your and lottery scale so encourages lots of people to bypass big global companies, come together to radically and produce and share with each other and you eliminate all the middlemen of these big huge global companies who market the profit margin. you mentioned sharing. we see millions of people now must read up on this. they are not sharing information goods in renewable energy and 3-d printed products. they are sharing cars. they share homes, clothes. in past weeks we have been hearing about your pmb and couch surfing. we now have millions of people sharing their apartments and homes on this collaborative comments. for air bnp is zero marginal
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cost. they've really done to the hotel industry. once you have your fixed costs in place and you set up your website, the marginal cost of putting it all in there who wants to set the property is zero. if you have a home or an apartment and you have to lease it out, you've heard it covered your fixed costs and not is your mortgage is being paid come your property taxes are paid. the marginal cost of renting out your apartment or home to travelers is near zero. so in new york about my, air bnp was responsible for eliminating 1 million hotel nights in hotels because millions of travelers rented out spaces put up a small apartment owners and homeowners. we now have 800,000 people in the united states sharing cars rather than buying cars.
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whether they have access to the car, not ownership. what is happening now for every car you share common that takes 15 cars off the road. imagine the long-term impact to the auto industry when the millennial generation comes of age in their sharing cars. that means reducing 14 out of 15 cars on the road. that has impacts on the auto industry. >> host: are you sure it is zero-sum? are you sure there's a car subtracted or attracted for every car share to make sure that's a million hotel rooms that did get objective side were taken off the grid rather than an expansion of the supply? >> guest: that's an interesting point. there's a small supply, but with the gdp growing slowly, we see a shrink and the growth of gdp. in fact, what it's doing is taking the traditional exchange economy and moving to the
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shareable economy so that means less business. interesting enough, it was the whole way we measure economic or asperity. we measured gdp as the amount of output of goods and services that doesn't differentiate between negative and positive, building prisons are involved in aircraft for the military for cleaning up toxic waste. here, when people move to the collaborative comments, their economic well-being is increasing, but it doesn't count in the gdp. if you're a pro summer producing and consuming your own products or if you share your car or home in a zero marginal cost, that's a reduction in gdp. it's a completely different measure of economic wells. part of the reason gdp is going down as this collaborative comments is coming up in people are moving beyond the market economy. it's not measured in gdp.
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>> host: you bring us all these big ideas. zero marginal cost, the collaborative commons and a general sense of the findings of an economy driven by opponents rather than one charging for scarcity. is your book, "the zero marginal cost society," a prediction or an exercise in advocacy? >> guest: i think it is looking at the trend lines. we did a very thoughtful review and they said the difference between deus is what i do as i take a look at the existing trendlines of what is happening now in its trajectory breaths and coinage of the future and coming back. so i think received a transplant is very clear. we see what happened to information goods. with experience in the last 10 years of devastation of newspapers from the magazine, book publishing from near zero marginal cost. we are now seeing it clearly in
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renewable energy in places like germany rose 25% great electricity. most of the players are consumers and small businesses producing the new great electricity at near zero marginal cost. we just beginning to see it in 3-d printed products. but they say the wildcard here is food and water. that price is not going down. even affordable to reduce the marginal costs zero and have a potential sustainable by name, climate change is the elephant in the room because with climate changes change is dramatically affecting the wider circle the planet, we get more winter snows, more prolonged and dramatic dress in the summer and now the price of climate change we see a drop in the decline of food production. so if they can't tackle climate change and the price of food and water becomes prohibitive, this shift to a near zero marginal cost would be rather irrelevant.
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the good news is the internet of things creates a revolution in the last is to use less resources more efficiently move to renewable energies and greatly mitigate climate change if we get there quick enough. i just don't know if we we will get there quick enough. >> host: this reminds me of three previous predictive moments. he mentioned in the book a couple times john entertains and his prediction he made in the 1920s automation and technological advances would of course create fictional job loss and perhaps suffering, but over the long-term we would be so liberated from the treasury of labor that would have her creative processes freed in lieu of the live in a world of cultural primacy. you probably had no way of imagining the varieties of abundance you outlined here. he seemed to say at the end the chance wasn't wrong, he was just
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early. >> host: he wrote the essay to screen children in 1930. everyone was depressed about the depression and that there is the plunger that happen. he said look, i know everyone is depressed. he said you hear a new term called technology, technological unemployment. in these machines are replacing human beings than they are more efficient and cheaper. he said he sounds like agnews, but in the long run is good news because it will liberate the human race. let the machines do the heavy lifting kitties that i can imagine my great grandchildren's generation people being able to be liberated from the soil and blue-collar and white-collar jobs in the technology will create or traditional goods and services and most of us will be engaged in work, social, and with the more meaningful aspects of the community and using the mind in a more explicit way.
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what is interesting about this is the zero marginal phenomenon is really affect your neighbor. the marginal cost of labor is going towards the road because we are introducing it to analytics. these algorithms, artificial intelligence, robotics across the system and we are just eliminating nice wage labor. every ticket that would have been in the end of work in 1995. now i notice the economist saying they got that spot on in terms of the trendlines. it is obvious. he just needed to be said. we have virtual retailers, eliminating the salesforce. we have white-collar service industries wiped out by technology displays meant and not the knowledge workers are a risk. we don't need all the lawyers, the accountants for radiologists. we have analytics to do the job much quicker, much cheaper. so we are headed towards nearest euro marginal cost.
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we have vehicles on the road within five to 10 years. that is going to replace hundreds of thousands of truck drivers and bus strivers, and better. we are already testing them on the road in california. the question is if we are headed towards zero marginal cost labor, what does it say about teens prediction? what do they do? how to redefine the human journey? how are people employed in this zero marginal cost society? in the short run, there is a silver lining. i think we have a 30 year interregnum where we have to build up the internet of things, the plot or for the industrial revolution. that will be labor intensive. we have to convert our entire energy use to renewable energy requires millions of jobs, thousands of new businesses. we have to transform all the buildings in the world to your own power plant seed can generate green electricity in
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your buildings. they become their power plants. we do that now in europe and china. we have to sorrell be energies that can be used when we need it and that requires millions of jobs. we have to put in an energy internet. we have to transform the good of the road to a distributed energy internet. that is a 30 year buildout, lots of jobs. finally we put in a logistics grid. over the next 30 years, we've got two generations who can still be involved in a nice guilt, skilled and professional work to lay out the of things. if this comes in, it is smart, intelligent. it can program itself with a small supervisory workforce will have to ask what do we do then. much of the employment already is now quickly migrating from the marketplace to the collaborative commons. that is because the social economy of social capital that requires humans to engage
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acumen, not machines. the last 15 years, the employment on the social comments, the not-for-profit sector has gone up in employment in the traditional marketplace down, down, down as technologies have displaced workers. so more people migrate to these more expensive types of jobs creating social capital, which is a much higher calling than machines. my suspicion to brownness office because by 2050 if this isn't derailed then anything could upset the whole development near zero marginal cost, in 2050 or grandchildren might look back and they might he repulsed by the idea that their grandparents told for eight or nine or 10 hours a day in dead-end jobs producing goods and services because they will be living in a more automated world where the machines do that work and they will see the last of human value in the 20th century and mass
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labor with the same repulsion we see slavery and serfdom pain what a terrible loss of human value. the sound people will grow up in 2050 in an automated world but they cannot with the more transcendent aspects of life writing social capital on collaborative comments. i'm glad you pointed out it may be the most poignant forecast even that was the least thought of at the time. >> on the other hand come you could describe a world in which we are all asked to build her coffin and a garland graves in the process of land to raise the very sorts of activities from which we derive social cohesion, a sense of accomplishment, a sense of value in the world and a sense of being able to care for her progeny. there are semi-positive values in the ethic of hard work and the ethic of work as part of a team and the ethic of building something great, whether it's commercial or noncommercial. to anyone who's watching who's an accountant or lawyer and just
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been rendered potentially unemployed by this prediction, why should we take this? we after all can choose our policies, our leaders in the products we buy. why should we put the brakes on. >> guest: economists have believed the most efficient economies where you sell it at marginal cost they never thought of it is here and there for no more problems and you have nearly free goods and services. when i say this is too sweet a deal, if we can produce sustainable abundance at near zero marginal cost him enough for everything, but a wide range of information goods, energy and products, why not? is the most sustainable economy. right now the u.n. panel came out with his fist assessment. governments don't want to set carbon targets. they don't want to benchmark stood up to renewable energy economy and we are stalled.
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but we need to realize here is what i said in the book, zero marginal cost is the most efficient, sustainable framework you can have because it means we are producing the minimum input of materials, energy, labor. so we can produce at the minimum use of our staff. for example, if you are car sharing and you take 15 cars off the road, that is the reduction in co2 emissions in a huge amount of material. if millions of people share their close on other networks, that means instead of buying more clothes, which uses a lot of resources, more people share fewer costs or if people are sharing their existing domiciles rather than as a new hotels, that is an emission of co2 and less resource is used. a perfectly sustainable economy is zero marginal cost society. in terms of incentive, economists have argued should
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not use incentives. there's a whole younger generation who doesn't believe that. the business schools around the world are producing new generation of use their creativity, their entrepreneurial goes to advance these collaborative networks because their primary goal was not market capital, it is social capital and they are becoming as created a notch purgatorial on the market place in 20 century. the company people have criticized her, new forms of entertainment that videos on youtube, new kind of news blogs. it goes on and on and they've done it with the thrust a notch purgatorial thrust at least as significant as the marketplace but it's not social entrepreneurs on the collaborative comments. so it doesn't end incentive. it just changes the economic framework in which incentive is created. >> host: with sounds like the winners are those who are technologically adept, highly
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educated, cosmopolitan outlook because they have the ability to collaborate across great distances and languages. is this a recipe for further concentration of wealth and power and income inequality overtime? >> actually it is the exact opposite. the reason a lot of the traditional global companies or that of the worried about this to say the least if this is a democratization of the economy. this internet allows millions of us to democratize communication, which we have. if s.a.t. in 198924 years later 40% of the human race with cheap cell phones and desktop computers would be producing around news, making available to each other at near zero marginal cost at the speed of light, what would you have said? so dearly centralized institutions in newspapers and magazines, publishing which i am involved in would have to suffer
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the consequences of a democratization in communication. as we move from the internet to the more expansive internet of things, we now have millions of people producing and sharing their own clean renewable energy, bypassing the utility companies. we have hundreds of thousands of young people producing their products, bypassing the companies. the real losers here are the vertically integrated global corporations of the 20th century. i say in the zero marginal society, they were the best we could do given the circumstances of the 19th and 20th centuries. centralize communication forced us to create vertically integrated corporations that put everything under one roof. applying distribution to create cheaper products. now the internet because it's lateral allows millions of smaller players have a social entrepreneurs and consumers to come together directly and eliminate the middleman and
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democratize the rest of their lives. so it's going to have its biggest impact in the developing world and we are starting to see back in indiana and parts of africa and china and asia. >> host: or the same 24 years they seem remarkably in receiving income inequality, especially in this country, but also western europe and we should say if we look ahead three or four years, this wild west democratization experiment that we have seen with the internet could very well be over. not a trial is for the most part over, which means they're no longer is a level playing field for communication united states although you're just decided to adopt it. we don't have anything like an open internet turkey or india or china are there places in the world. one could say we just experimented with that democratization. although this time as we've seen the shift to the financial
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effect or, more and more of our resources are now in financial gain and much more is invested in a variety of information activities. we've also seen an evacuation of robust middle class of the same period of time. why should we believe you would get better anytime soon? just code you have been out of it and i'm familiar with your work and you've done a lot of work in this area. there is no guarantee here. what i have outlined is the possibility of a new economic system, the collaborative comments operating near zero marginal costs which could democratize around the world and create a sustainable planet where we use the resources in a more humane way and hopefully we flourish. that is what we could go toward. on the other hand you've got the problem, which is in trench interest from the 20th century, the cable companies,
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they are trying to thwart this process. network neutrality you mentioned is critical. the whole framework for the internet was based on network neutrality. we created the world wide web designed to be network neutral so anyone could pay a small amount of money and be treated like everyone else. your left at the end of the line. you were discriminated on pricing data was not used against your interests. network tetralogy. that's what made this success and democratize information. now a lot of the traditional brick-and-mortar industries are moving from the communication internet to the more expansive internet of things. communication internet, energy, logistics start to say wait a minute, we're not sure about network tetralogy. different histories go to near zero marginal cost and there's no more profit, we are out of business. in january, the u.s. court of
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appeals, the second highest court issued a judgment say the federal communications commission protocol network neutrality was null and void because it wasn't under mandate. so now the federal communications commission is stuck without network tetralogy. they say look we created the pipes. you are using our pipes come as we want to charge different prices. we want to put some at the front of the line. we may also want to control some of this data. we can use it with third parties are advertising, and better at. it's not just the cable and telecom years now we've got to be concerned about the internet companies we love. our favorite spirit google, facebook, twitter, amazon. i use all of them. i google every day. it's the magic rocks. it gives me the knowledge of the world. we begin to see the internet companies that create the social comment that can get us to zero marginal cost are now starting
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to look families like the new global monopolies and they start to look like social utilities, meaning if you have to go to google for all your knowledge, it sounds like monopoly. google controls two thirds and the u.s. in 90% of the research market in china and europe and their 6 billion queries on google a day. they got 50 billion revenue last year. facebook, will almost one out of every 16 and infamous planet is on facebook and they control a lot of the social media. so what i'd suggest the mess we have to have a collegial, but robust global conversation between the investor capitalists and the commoners on the collaborative comments. i'm how we can have the best of the social utilities, but understand they need some form of global governance and the stakeholders need to be a civil society and not-for-profit doctor, not just private
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enterprise and government and we have to find a way to get the best out of these internet companies, but it sure it allows us to democratize the economy and had to collaborative comments. >> host: you describe three internets. without a really good ride with it. as we've discussed, it may be over for that. his account creation of power involved with the internet and network neutrality seems that in the water in the united states and much of the world anyway. >> host: although i should say europe is going with it aggressively. as you know advise the european union. >> host: the extent to which europe is making certain policy decision in the united states is not. each of these policy decisions informed by politics can yield very different results in terms of various issues you describe. the other two internet things,
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the internet of things in the energy internet you describe nuc the early stirrings, disbrow said the spartans coming. how can we know that those two won't be corrupted, privatize love her still radically controlled, either by the oligarchy commercial interests or by oppressive state because we've seen both of those things happened with the first internet. >> host: i advised the european union and have for a long time and i was privileged to be a principal architect of their five pillar 30 industrial revolution plan, which means the internet of things forward. they commit the european commission and member states and of us advice you are merkel in germany where they are really pushing this forward. we have some history in germany. the big utility companies like
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eon, the global companies were decimated in less than six years on terror so that alliance of small players to produce their own solar and wind energy. over 25% in germany as solar and wind and that is in seven years and we had to 35% by 2020 and guess who's producing a? million and millions of small players. they produce less than 1% of transition and just last week, the board of directors said we can't compete with zero marginal cost. the recording industry and the power utility companies. once one is a small players come together, it wipes out centralized power. so as you mentioned, there may be countries to try to thwart this because they want to keep oligarchic control over energy. europe, the largest economy in the world in terms of gdp at least as setting a framework and now i'm reasonably hope full
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about china premier league the new premier for my last book, third industrial revolution in bush would've done the energy internet and $80 billion for your commitment means billions of chinese people will produce around green electricity so there are some rays of hope. the u.s. and canada are the outliers right now. they are stuck in the 20th century show class class in the u.s. and woefully behind this transition to a collaborative comments in a zero marginal cost society. >> host: you also have right now the koch brothers, for instance, pushing lies in state to the fees and taxes on solar panels. in addition in virginia where it live, the previous governor and legislature introduce a factual access path on hybrid vehicles. in both cases using the argument
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people who institute these other energy forms in their lives are free riding on the system. if you're not paying gasoline taxes in virginia are free riding on the highways. the current governor and legislature has repealed that tax. what you have is tremendous political opposition to so much of what you've outlined here. in europe it fascinates me that you raised the influence in germany. she has a thing hooked up to an internet. that thing is her cell phone. it turns out her cell phone was being monitored by the u.s. intelligence for many years. so under that condition, isn't there sick sick and -- a significant challenge in terms of the values we choose and the policies we choose to create a set of systems that can fulfill
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our hopes. in other words, your predictions might not be so simply achieved. >> i agree with you. look, what i've outlined here is the possibilities. to see a trend. we see the projections. it's not academic. however, it could be stalled yet it could be derailed. there are so many entrenched interests would not like to see democratization in the economy and a shift to a new economic position. the capitalist system isn't going to disappear. now, i thought to the wharton school for a long, long time and i'm a believer in the market. the market will now become an aggregator of network services and solutions. it will be a partner at the emerging collaborative comments, but not the primary by midcentury. it would be a partner with the new collaborative comments. but there are a lot of interest that. people ask me why is it so
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behind, and is shifted to zero marginal cost society. well, the big energy companies and other corporate special interests helped finance the elections. they provide money to the candidates. in europe we have public financing about the big companies are at the table, they can't write the legislation because they have to vie with other groups. the regents, national government, ngos, et cetera. so until we've dealt with this by an elections in the u.s., they will continue to fall further behind. it may come up with new ideas but if you are in an old energy system and a centralized economy based on vertically integrated companies, it's possible the u.s. and canada will be second-tier countries in europe we wrestle with all these issues. we say they have to undercut the generation. they can't own the distribution because it has to act like an internet.
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in europe we are now having a huge discussion about data security and protecting people's privacy. we all want the internet so we can create a collaborative world, but we want to make sure i did a decent used by third parties against our interests come as we begin to develop very detailed protocols to make sure privacy is secure. that is not happening here. >> host: there were two previous predictions i would like to ask you about. one for the 1950s and one from the 1960s. this country and many other countries around the world invested tremendous amount of honey and your energy. the idea of being on the rhetoric at the time sounds familiar to which you outlined at the idea of being a dear 2000, electricity would be effectively free, marginally free. we think billions of dollars into the plants. we saw the technological problems along the way because we had a few decades to do that. ultimately, energy would flow into peoples houses including
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including the developing world out of marginal cost of zero. the second one is the great revolution of the 1960s. we actually found for biotech elegy of various sorts and new ways of cultivating that the price of corn and wheat and soybeans actually has strapped to send enclosed zero propped up by massive government subsidies and creating tremendous dislocation of farmers to developing nations so people slipping northward from mexico because it takes a lot less labor on a farm in mexico to make a bushel of corn. so how do you look at those examples and say we are not about to write the same deferred dreams? >> guest: they said it would read too cheap to meter. we now know with renewable energy is near zero. in other words than academic in the future as nuclear powers that we now know there are millions and millions of
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players, homeowners, electricity cooperatives, small businesses and large businesses producing green electricity at near zero marginal cost. they are already there. so that issue is off the table. renewables deliver millions and millions of people right now kameny or zero marginal cost for electricity. the food issue is interesting. you might know i fought my info in the bid science companies on intellectual property. we now have a generation of genetically modified seed than the actual seed our patented so they are controlled and owned by a handful of large science companies and we have no record to show the yields have been dramatically increase. by the contrary we have every evidence of small farmers now cannot have available to then other types of seeds and they
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can't afford to lease out the seeds that are on this intellectual property. so there is an example where an agriculture we have to turn it around. we need to move towards organic agriculture, ecologically sustain agriculture, land reform and allow people to begin to turn from pesticides to organic treatment. it's a big jump. in europe we are doing it. parts of asia they are heading towards a more agriculturally sustainable system. we are not doing it here in the u.s. >> host: one of those sections of the big concession to near zero marginal cost. i was struck because when i think about internet users, i never believe what i use is free. i pay comcast hundreds of dollars per month and i pay at&t hundreds of dollars per month and i pay any number of other
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companies for the devices in the software to interact with the flow data. nothing about the internet is free. syllabus or something cause but every month i write a check to comcast. post or every 10 minutes in the buckeye state near zero. there's no such thing as zero marginal cost. i spend a lot of sections of the society of the book on the cost we still have to pay for internet communication. the energy costs, the excess costs, infrastructure costs. but what i see as we head toward near zero marginal cost and where the ballots are areas we done that. what does it cost you an i.t. but make you on the internet and make it available to 40% of the human race. the service provider, cell phone fixed cost is about it. as a say in the book, will have oratory zero marginal cost. no such thing as a free society. what is happening now is the reason prices are still high for sunday's vertically integrated corporations are so many
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middlemen in the process they keep marking of the transaction cost by the time it gets the end-user, we paid more than the production and distribution the product would want. that is 50 marginal cost is the ultimate test of the decent sustainable society. people want a metric to measure how you create a just, sustainable world coming to you you had to zero marginal cost, not gdp because that allows us to produce and share goods and services at the cost of production. people also said to me, if you have abundant, won't that create even more uses resources in the worse the planet? probably not. the reason we have so much overconsumption, overindulgent because his mere scarcity. the market capitalism is based on scarcity. we all have to get ours to make sure the other doesn't get tears and we are constantly in a
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struggle to court against a rainy day because tomorrow may bring back news. in a society where most people's basic energy, basic goods and services are provided if not all of them, there'd be less fear of scarcity, less need to horde of things are available in a sustainable way and you have some control over the process as a prosumer. status differentiations for many things are free is not much status/between the haves and the have us because everything is readily available. i suspect it changes society from scarcity which create the idea of overconsumption is to sustainable abundance, which gives us the idea we have what we need him we don't need to do more than that. >> host: so, one area that is consistently or at least in the near future is real estate. if you look at silicon valley or the ideas flow freely in san
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francisco, there is a massive civil war breaking out over the high cost of the basic apartment in the area. so in that situation you rich people getting richer on the information economy. rich people getting richer, educated people getting richer on the various elements that will feed into the zero marginal cost society and the people who work in the deli some liquor stores and that the hotels are unable to rent a decent place anywhere near their work. police officers, firefighters and teachers as well. so at that point, there are certain things that cannot be zero marginal cost, right? how do we deal with? >> we always assume there's no way to the economy unless there's a profit incentive. how can you move the economy, and therefore just doesn't make sense. how would people share thing for
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free? billions of people doing it today. it's called cooperatives. we don't tend to recognize this in the u.s., but literally billions of people are involved in food cooperatives, banking cooperatives, housing cooperatives, all sorts of cooperatives not based on a profit motive. they come together, pool their resources. this cooperative s. comments and there's no direct profit. for example, in the united states when you go to the grocery store, a lot of the food you get is from the electricity comes from electricity cooperatives. they provide 17% and almost half the transmission lines. it's not a profit-based system. in new york we have housing cooperatives. in europe and asia and around the world, more people banking cooperatives than they do and their big players.
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again, we are so blinded to the idea there's only the capitalist market that we don't even see around us the other reality of cooperatives and nonprofit organizations. and they say one thing. economists say the social commons is a parasite. it relies on government grants and entitlements and private philanthropy in order to sustain itself. wrong. a study was done of four countries at john hopkins university and what they found is half the revenue not-for-profit organization for services rendered. only 34%, 35% comes from government and only 12% is philanthropy. so we have this collaborative, and that is now going to move from the shadows of dissenters age because the internet of things will allow millions of people to bypass parts of the capitalist market and become sub six, share their goods and
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services and eliminate the middleman and directly engage with each other and create institutions that are by far and away beyond the traditional capitalist profit-making institutions. there'll be two systems. capitalist market in a collaborative comments. i suspect by midcentury the collaborative comments will be the dominate economic engine. the capitalist market will still be a strong player but in each partner. >> host: have these housing cooperatives helped firefighters pay their rent in new york? >> guest: cooperatives have helped that. they can fix the cooperatives determine what they're going to be doing that their members. they can fix this to some extent. i'm not saying that the whole world is going to move towards a zero marginal cost society. understand large parts of the human race are moving some economic activity onto the internet, onto the collaborative
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comments. if nothing else, this is the best news in my lifetime. i never thought in my lifetime we would see the emergence of a new economic system, a collaborative comments so different from the traditional socialist capitalist systems we now have. so how we develop it, the challenges involved as we move towards that are quite interesting and they will be difficult for sure. but the fact we actually have a new possibility, a new economic journey ahead of us, a system to look forward to is quite encouraging. getting there is a real test of our will. going back to the 20th century in a world that is unequal, with the rich are richer, poor getting poorer, where climate change is falling, our planet is not a viable alternative. let's move this to zero marginal cost citing and create a more sustainable society for a case. >> host: well jeremy rifkin, author a "the zero marginal cost society", thank you for the
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conversation. >> guest: thank you. >> the university of north carolina said to a tv to discuss her book, apostles of grecian, this half-hour interview is part of the tedious college series.
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>> host: molly were than as a history professor at the university of north carolina at chapel hill. >> guest: i teach a big survey course on the history of religion in north america. i teach a course on modern american intellectual has tree. one of the most fun courses they teach is sin and evil in modern america, which is a small research seminar. you can imagine the things getting too in the class. >> host: you're also the author of the crisis of authority in american evangelicalism published by oxford. what is evangelicalism? >> guest: that's a great question. any scholar or observer who tries to explain what's going on in modern american politics and religion has to contend with the slippery term. some scholars have tried to define evangelicalism in terms of a checklist of shared


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