tv After Words CSPAN August 20, 2014 11:59pm-12:56am EDT
-- and. >> host: are we idolizing technology? >> guest: when i allowed it to be the first thing that i interact with in the morning and the last thing that i do 9i have allowed it to order monday. from the monks actually invented the clock as a way of the mechanical clock as a way of ordering our days so that we would understand there is a time for work and prayer and food. so now we are allowing our smart phones to sort of dictate the hours of our day. and i wonder if our relationship is a little too intense, it is our closest companions. do we need to turn it off occasionally, to take back the power in our lives, perhaps to power down in order to power up. >> host: do you power down? >> guest: yes. my family, i think, loves to
leave our phones behind. we live here in california. and so it's an station might be to take it to the beach. we live here in california and so the temptation might be to take that phone to the beach but isn't that supposed to be a time away, a time apart, time to think, time to not be interrupted, time to wander. there's a need for space in our lives, too i guess make room to be surprised by what's in front of us rather than this thing that is sort of telling us what's next. >> host: is setup to do? >> guest: oh it's hard to separate ourselves from technology. i have an assignment in class where i asked the students to put it away for 24 hours, to have no cell phone use, put away their computers in their laptops in a television set and it
almost drives them crazy. they are like how can i possibly do this? my parents will wonder what am i doing, where am i? get what they discover is they might begin that activity feeling very hairy but as they turn off they actually have more space and they suddenly get a little more clear and focused. they might do a weeks worth of homework in one afternoon because they suddenly are able to concentrate on one thing rather than being fragmented and distracted. >> host: are there students who can do it? >> guest: well all the students are supposed to do it. some of them confess how hard it is that they might've sneaked a peek and kind of picked up a little bit of an update when i heard that click but what i find is that they end up kind of remarkably relieved, a little bit freed by this thing that's always beckoning them and i think they start to wonder if
there's the possibility of recovering a bit of an electronic set up, putting a pause on our lives. >> host: craig detweiler is it possible to be a good -- and also tech focused? >> guest: i am. i'm on facebook and i'm on twitter. nobody interacts with social media more than i do and yet i'm just trying to help us to refocus, to appreciate the genius of the igods. they have redefined our world in amazing ways. they have helped to solve the problems of abundance, of too much information, of too many songs into many friends. they have helped us i think bring order to the chaos of our world and yet life still feels a little chaotic.
i guess i'm trying to challenge all people not necessarily just people of faith but all people to question to what degree we may technology and idle and perhaps to realize the limits of what he can and can't do for us. >> host: you point out here and i want to know the significance that steve jobs and jeff bases didn't know their real fathers. bring that up? >> guest: it's an interesting thing. you have such talented, in a sense superior and driven people to find these companies. why is it that apple and amazon, the visionary behind these companies were so relentless and restless in their pursuit. it's interesting that both bezos and jobs didn't know their fathers. i feel like in a sense they have all become our fathers now in a sense the fathers of technology
and just had this relentless pursuit to be at the top, to be number one. i respect them but i also wonder at what point they will be satisfied and at what point will they be happy? >> host: you have the subject in your called the problem with like, the facebook like. what is the problem? >> guest: one thing with the facebook like his there's really not a dislike button so even if you have bad news to share peoples only option is to like it and say yes, i agree you lost your job. we are not supposed to like that. what do i do so at sort of forces you to make all your news positive or even if it's something bad you have to frame it in a way that people say oh i like that and i think that's a little bit of a problem on a limited human emotions and possibilities in a certain kind
of way. perhaps that's the power of the hashtag that allows us to comment on the thing that might be bad into sort of play with it. the software facebook itself forces you to be positive. and share something that deserves a thumbs up and deserves a light. >> host: is a college professor here at pepperdine is technology interfering with teaching? >> guest: every teacher i think wrestles with what to do with technology in the classroom. the students if they are taking notes on their laptops they are also getting those updates, they are getting that twitter feed. and so you are constantly competing for their attention. even an exam situation the possibility of students accessing their information via their cell phone is very high. the temptation to cheat is ever-present. wonder why i have dealt with it, i'm teaching media and yet i
allowed no media in the classroom. no laptops, no cell phones. they have to be fully present both to the discussion and to each other. i might use media on the screen. i might have a laptop that's bringing a powerpoint slides and showing videos but i don't want them fragmenting themselves out there. when it comes time for exams they are allowed to have all media access possible. >> host: why? >> guest: because there will never be a time in their workplace where they are cut off from those resources so detest them by saying what can you remember from your head or what have you memorized is not actually real test. the moment kids are in they have access to all information so the question is how can you sort through too many options and limited timeframe? isn't that the challenge of the workplace now? given all the options how do you see through things? how do you analyze?
how do you make wise decisions given almost too many options. >> host: craig detweiler you close "igods" with the question is technology enslaving us? what is the answer? >> guest: i guess we will come to see technology like smartphones is something every day. it's already moving into glass, google class. i think we will come to see it like a fork, like a spoon, like a pair of glasses. it won't be anything special but at this point it's so captivating and so magical that i think we can give ourselves to it a little too boldly and uncritically so my book "igods" is an effort to push pause long enough to just think and gain a little perspective, gain a little distance, make sure that those tools designed to serve us are not enslaving
us. >> host: so the book is kind of a warning shot across the bow? >> guest: i think "igods" is a deep appreciation for the people who have created these technologies. i appreciate how they have helped us to manage abundance and too much but it's a chance to say, be careful. you have them placed too much faith in technology and ascribes too much magic to something that is really meant to serve us rather than to drive us. >> host: "igods" is the name of the book how technology shapes our spiritual and social lives. craig detweiler of pepperdine is the author. the up next on booktv "after words" with guest host siva vaidhyanathan author of the googlization of everything. this week best-selling authors jeremy rifkin and his latest book, "the zero marginal cost society." in that the european union advisor argues that capitalism is on its way out with combined
communications energy and logistics internets will lead 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 me today. i am siva vaidhyanathan from the university of virginia and we are going to discuss his newest book, "the zero marginal cost society." it's also his 20th book which is quite a feat in and of itse itself. this book takes the entire world as its subject but has a tremendous amount of focus on the current state and perhaps the immediate future state of the u.s. economy as well and so it ranges across so many topics. i'm sure we'll have a very rich set of discussions that will link together quite nicely. jeremy 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: let me put it in context. i think what is happening is we are just beginning to glimpse the outline of a new economic system entering onto the world stage stage, at collaborative commons. this is the first economic system to emerge since the advent of capitalism and socialism in the early 19th century so it's a remarkable historic event with long-term implications for all of us around the world. the triggering agent with this great economic transformation is something called zero marginal cost. let me explain. there is a paradox deeply embedded in the heart of the capitalist market which has been responsible for the great success of the invisible hand over two centuries. the irony is this paradox is now leading the triumph of capitalism but that triumph will lead to primary economic system in the world.
here's the paradox. in a capitalist market, sellers are continually probing for new technologies. they can increase productivity. reduce marginal cost of a can put a cheaper products, win over consumers and market share and bring back profits to their investors. marginal costs are the cost of producing an additional unit of a good or service after your fixed costs are covered. people have always wanted to reduce marginal cost. they simply never anticipated a technology revolution is productivity was so extreme that it could actually reduce those marginal cost of producing and distributing goods and services to news -- near zero making goods and services nearly free abundant and no longer subject to market forces. that is what is beginning to happen in a major way across the world economy. you know because of what you teach. you spend a lot of time with special media. we saw the zero marginal costs for mama affect the information
industry over the last 10 years. devastating for businesses. first we saw young people began to find ways to create software to share music files bypassing the capitalist market in the recording industry and didn't pay any royalties. they brought the recording industry to its knees. then the zero marginal cost for mama started to affect the newspaper magazine and book publishing industry. millions of consumers became prosumers and they began to produce and share their own knowledge of information. wikipedia, people shared knowledge, news blogs people shared in his together in the publishing people started pointing out their own e-books for free in this meant newspapers went out of business, magazines bellied up the book publishing 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 massive open on line courses. we have now six or 7 million students that are taking these
free on line courses that operated at a near zero marginal cost top by some of the best professors in the world than they are receiving credit. this is now forcing universities to rethink their business model. in the last 10 years the zero cost phenomena has devastated an entire information industry but economists thought it would be a firewall. they thought okay the zero marginal cost would affect information but it would not move from the virtual world to the physical world to the brick-and-mortar world of energy and manufactured products so that firewall wouldn't be breached. it's now being breached because the internet is now expanding to an internet of things, and more expensive internet that will know what allow us to produce more energy and products as zero marginal cost. >> host: the idea of internet of things in itself sounds paradoxical to many people. the internet to our general way of thinking is about the flow of
information, the flow of data, a distributive noncontrolled flow of data that seems to touch everybody in new and interesting ways every day and structures the whole world. how would this apply to cars, two airplanes, two collections of everyday materials that you would buy at walmart? >> guest: the information internet which we are all very familiar with is just now beginning to converge with the nascent energy internet in europe and now in china and also beginning to converge with a fledgling automated transport and logistics so the internet is expanding to three internets, the information internet, the energy internet and the automated transport and logistics internet. they are creating one superintendent called the internet of things in these three internets are placed in sensors across the entire economic system to monitor the flow of data. so we have sensors now
connecting resource flows. we have sensors feeding data in from production lines, warehouses, distribution centers. we have sensors on smart roads, sensors connecting the electricity grid so we know what the appliances are doing at any moment. we have sensors connecting vehicles and offices and stores. that big data coming in across the economy to these three internets, communication energy and logistics internet is providing a wealth of data about what goes on at any given moment across the economy. we now have 14 billion sensors out there now and ibm says in 2,050,000,000,000 systems and by 2030 perhaps 100 trillion sensors connecting everything with everyone. i know later on we talk about data security so it's exhilarating and frightening at the same time. there's a lot of possibilities and challenges that was interesting from the opportunity perspective millions of
prosumers can now do with physical things they can do with information things. they can expand the internet of things in the years ahead and mind that big data coming to run their own multiples with their own apps and with the data coming through the system they can use analytics and craig their own algorithms like google and facebook and dramatically increase their own productivity reduce marginal costs and produce their own energy in their 3-d printed products just like they now have reduce marginal cost of information goods on the traditional internet. it's a tremendous shift in the economy. >> you have used the term prosumer. >> guest: 25 or 30 years and now it has come into practice. that's that's consumers only say consumers become prosumers, prosumer's produce, consume and/or share their goods and
services. let me give you two examples of how this internet of things affects the physical world and turns all of this from consumers to prosumers. renewable energy, 3-d printed products. we now have millions and millions of early adopters in europe who are actually producing their own green electricity with solar panels on the roof or wind turbines on their property and they are producing at a 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 we have had a 20 twenty-year exponential curve with solar and wind. a solar watch cost $60 per one watt. 66 cents a walk today and continues to go down. even before the fixed costs are paid back for these harvesting technologies for solar and wind the marginal cost are producing a unit of solar electricity and
wind is near zero because the sun is free. the wind coming off the side of your building is free. you just have to capture it. we have millions of people who are now producing their own electricity at near zero marginal costs and they are sharing it with each other on the emerging energy internet in europe. to show you how fast this is moving china has taken up the plan that i've outlined in my last book and now we are working on the new book. i visited the chinese leadership last year and after my visit they announced $80 billion, four-year commitment to begin to lay out the energy internet of the internet of things the millions of chinese people can reduce their own solar wind and electricity and distributed across china. by contrast the u.s. is putting up 3.5 billion for its energy internet which is centralized and distributed over a
twenty-year period. europe and china are quite far ahead on this. tesco people and making their own stuff and making 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. >> guest: a good example is 3-d printed products. this has hit us as a storm in the last few years. we now have hundreds of thousands of hobbyist and thousands of social and prices that are printing out their own physical product just like we use printers for software and increasing our information grids. if you are a small 3-d printer you can go up on the expanded internet of things and download free software to print out your product.
then you can use cheap recycled material is your feedstock using recycled recycled plastic they can find around the neighborhood. recycled paper paper and even sand and gravel is being melted down for feedstock. then you can power your 3-d printer with your own renewable energy from the emerging energy internet, at least in europe and then you can take your product and transported in the future on the logistics internet with electric and fuel cell vehicles that operate at near zero marginal cost and soon with driverless vehicles that operate at a low marginal cost. this is an example where everyone can become a prosumer and not only consume their own goods that share their surpluses with each other over an emerging collaborative commerce. commons. we are starting to see a debate unfold and that is it's obvious that this near zero marginal
cost effect is pretty significant. the question is what kind of economic system, and this is what i think you are getting at, what kind of economic system would we need to envision what in a world where hundreds of millions people could produce not only their own information goods there on energy at near zero marginal cost them their own manufacture products that would allow them to bypass the market because you would be beyond profits. what kind of system would you need? economists are somewhat befuddled because there had believe there are only two ways to organize the economy their private enterprise the government or some combination in between. capitalism socialism or europe and the social market economy. what economists forget is there's a third institution we rely on, all of us. millions of people around the world every day to provide an entire array of goods and services that are provided by the market are not provided by government and beyond the profit
motive. we call this the social commons. a civil society, the not-for-profit sector. millions of organizations in health care assisted-living sports daycare environmental groups and the economist don't pay much attention to this sector but it's a huge sector in terms of revenue. it accounts for 2.2 trillion in revenue in 40 countries surveyed and it's growing faster than the private marketplace. it's growing at a very fast clip and the u.s. candidate and u.k. is over 5.5% of the gdp. what i think we are seeing is the emergence of the collaborative commons in the social economy. the trigger for that is the zero marginal cost infrastructure because it's like a soulmate for people want to share things in
the community. this internet of things is designed to be distributed, collaborative, it's peer production and it's latterly scaled so it encourages millions of people to bypass big global companies, come together directly and produce and share with each other and eliminate all the middlemen of these big huge global companies who market the profit margin. you mentioned sharing. we are seeing millions of people moving up on this collaborative common. they're not sharing information goods and renewable energy and 3-d printed products they are sharing cars. they are sharing homes. they are sharing clothes. in past weeks we have been hearing about couch surfing. we now have millions of people who are sharing their purpose and their homes on this collaborative commons. for air bnb it's zero marginal cost. if they have done to the hotel industry what cloud sharing did to the recording industry if you were air bnb once you are fixed
costs in place in you set up your web site the marginal cost of putting in an additional apartment or home who wants to lease their property is near zero. if you have a home or or apartment anyway to lease it out for short-term rental you have already covered your fixed costs and that is your mortgage's main page, your property taxes are being paid to the marginal cost of renting out your apartment or home to travelers is near zero. so in new york alone last year at air bnb was responsible for eliminating 1 million hotel nights in hotels because millions of travelers rented out spaces put up by a small apartment owners and homeowners. car sharing, we now have 800,000 people in united states sharing cars rather than buying cars. they would you rather have access to the car, not ownership so what is happening now is for every car you share that takes 15 cars off the road. imagine the long-term impact to
the auto industry what are the biggest industry in the world when the millennial generation comes of age and they are sharing cars. that means reducing the 14 out of 15 cars on the road. that has impact on the auto industry. >> guest: are you sure it's zero-sum? are you sure that's 1 million hotel rooms that didn't get occupied and were taken off the grid than an expansion of the supply? >> guest: that's an interesting point. there's a small expansion of supply but much of it is the gdp is growing slowly. we are seeing a shrinking of the growth of gdp around the world so you can take a little bit off the edges there because the gdp is growing but it's a slower and slower rate. what is doing is taking the traditional exchange economy and moving to the shareable economy so that means less business. interestingly enough it throws off the whole way we measure economic prosperity.
we measured gdp as a mound of the output of goods and services and it doesn't differentiate between negative and positive. building prisons or building aircraft for the military are cleaning up toxic waste dumps. that all goes to gdp. here when people move to the collaborative come their economic well-being is increasing but it doesn't count for gdp. if you are prosumer consuming your own products or if you are sharing a car or a home at near zero marginal cost that's a reduction of gdp. so it's a completely different measure of economic wealth. part of the recent gdp is going down a small part is this collaborative commons is coming up and people are moving beyond the market economy. it's not measured in gdp. >> host: you bring us all these big ideas, zero marginal cost, the internet of things, the collaborative commons and a
general sense of abundance and economy driven by abundance rather than measuring and charging for scarcity. future book "the zero marginal cost society" a prediction or an exercise in advocacy? >> guest: it's looking at the trend lines. financial times did a nice long thoughtful review of the book and they said the difference between this and features is what i do as i take a look at the existing trendlines of what is happening now in its trajectory rather than going in the future and coming back. we see this trendline is fairly clear. we have experience in the last 10 years of devastation of newspapers, magazines and book publishing and a lot of entertainment industry to near zero arsenal cost. we are now seeing clearly renewable energy in europe and places like germany where it's 25% green electricity. most of the players are consumers and small businesses
but they are producing new green electricity is zero marginal cost. we are just beginning to see it in 3-d printed products. let me say the wildcard here i is -- because that price is not going down soon if we are able to reduce or marginal cost to near zero and have a potential sustainable abundance of economy climate change is the output of the world because climate change is dramatically affecting the water cycle of the planet. we are getting more blockbuster winter snows and more prolonged spring floods, more dramatic drops in the summer and because of climate change we are seeing a drop in decline of food production and water availability. simply can't tackle climate change and the price of food and water becomes prohibitive to shift to a zero marginal cost society and collaborative commons will be rather irrelevant. the good news is the internet of things creates a third industrial revolution and allows
us to use less resources more efficiently, move to renewable energies and greatly mitigate climate change if we can get there quick enough. i just don't know if we will get there quick enough. >> host: this reminds me of three previous predictive moments. you mention in the book a couple of times john maynard keynes and his prediction he made in the 1920s that automation and technological advances would have course create frictional job loss and perhaps suffering but over the long term we would be so liberated from the judge or if labor that we would have our creative processes freed and we would live in a world of at least cultural abundance. we probably have no way of imagining the righties have bought you outline here and you say at the end keynes was wrong. he was just early. >> guest: he wrote that essay to his grandchildren in 1930. everyone was pretty depressed about the depression.
he said look i nor for one is depressed and he said you are going to hear new term called technology displacement, technological unemployment. it means that machines are replacing human beings and they are more efficient and cheaper. he said this sounds like bad news but in alarm when it's good news because as you say it's going to liberate the human race. let the machines do the heavy lifting and i can imagine mike grandchildren sang great grandchildren's generation people being able to be liberated from the toil and jobs both blue-collar and white-collar jobs in the technology will create our traditional goods and services and most of us will be engaged in the social commons with a more meaningful aspects of creating community and using the mind and a more explicit way. what's interesting about this is the zero marginal cost phenomena
is really affecting labor. the marginal cost of labor is going towards the road because we are introducing now advanced analytics. we are introducing algorithms, artificial intelligence, robotics across a system and we are eliminating mass wage labor. i predicted it would happen in a book called the end of work in 1995. controversial at the time but now i notice the economist magazine and other saved mr. rifkin got that spot on in terms of the trendlines. we have virtual retail eliminating a lot of the sales force. we have white-collar and service agencies wiped out by technology and now the knowledge workers, we don't need all the lawyers and all th the accountants, alle radiologists. we have analytics that can do the job much quicker and much cheaper. we are headed to a near zero marginal cost labor. we have driverless vehicles that will be on the road within five to 10 years. that will replace hundreds of thousands of truck drivers and
bus drivers etc.. that's not 20 years away. we are already testing them on the roads in california. the question is if we are heading toward near zero marginal cost labor what's it say about keynes prediction? what do we do quite federally defined the human journey? how are people employed in this collaborative commons and the zero marginal cost society? in the short-run i think it's the silver lining. i think we have a 30-year interregnum where we build out the internet of things, platform for this third industrial revolution. that will be labor-intensive. we have have to convert their entire energy use from fossil fuels and nuclear to renewable energy. that requires millions of jobs and thousands of new businesses. we have to transform all the buildings in the world to power plants or you can generate green electricity in your buildings. they become your power plants. we are doing that in europe and china. we have to store that energy so i can be used for many than that
requires millions of jobs. we have to put in an energy internet so we have to transform the entire electricity grid of the world to a distributed energy internet. that's a 30-year buildout with lots of java and finally an automated transport and logistics grid. i think over the next 30 years or 40 years we have two generations who can be involved in semiskilled, skilled and professional were and professional or to and professional were to lay out this internet of things but as this internet of things comes and it's smart. it's intelligent. you can program itself with a small supervisory work for so we 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, the social economy. that's because the social economy is social capital and a requires humans and not machines. in the last 15 years the employment on the social commons the not-for-profit sector has gone up in employment in the
traditional marketplace down, down, down as technologies have displaced workers just the way canes outlined. more people are migrating to these more expansive types of jobs creating social capital which is a much higher calling than simply attending to machines. my suspicion around this office by 2050 if this isn't derailed and anything could upset this whole development to a near zero marginal cost worldcom in 2050 or grandchildren might look back as keynes said and they'd might be repulsed by the idea that their grandparents toiled for eight, nine or 10 hours a day in dead-end jobs producing goods and services because they are going to be living in a more automated world where the machines do that work and they are going to see that loss of human value in the 20 century of mass labor with the same repulsion we see slavery and serfdom before the industrial age and say what a terrible loss
of value. these young people will be growing up in 2050 and an automated world where they can get on with the transcendent aspects of life creating social capitalism on a collaborative commons. it may be his most poignant forecast. >> host: on the other hand it could be describing a world in which we are all paying asked to build our own coffins and dig their own graves in the process of laying to waste the very sorts of activities from which we derived derive social cohesion, sense of accomplishment, a sense of value in the world in the sense of being able to care for her tragedy. there are so many positive values embodied in the ethic of hard work and the ethic of working as part of a team and the ethic of part of building something great whether it's commercial or noncommercial into anyone is watching who is not an accountant or lawyer and has just been rendered potentially foi by this prediction, why should we invite this?
we after all can choose their policies, our leaders and the products we buy. why should we put the brakes on? >> guest: economists have always believed that the most efficient economy is where you sell your product at marginal cost. they just never thought marginal cost would be zero and therefore no more profits than you would have nearly free goods and services. what i'm saying this is too sweet of the deal for the human race to turn down. if we can produce sustainable abundance at near zero marginal cost not for everything but for a wide range of our information goods energy and products why not? is the most sustainable economy. right now we are addressing climate change and the u.n. panel came out with its fifth assessment report is a very grim story. governments onto said carbon targets and benchmarks to move to renewable energy economy and we are stalled. but we need to realize and this is what i say in the book "the zero marginal cost society" zero marginal cost of samosas
sustainable framework we can have for economy because we are producing the minimum input of materials, energy and labor so we can produce with the minimum use of our stuff. for example if you are car sharing and taking 15 cards off the road as a reduction of co2 emission and a huge market share because of the car. millions of people are sharing their clothing on other networks instead of buying more clothing which uses resources and makes a lot of global warming gases more people are sharing fewer close. if people are sharing their existing domiciles rather than building new hotels that an emission of co2 and less resources being used. i think the perfectly sustainable economies is zero marginal cost society. in terms of incentives the economists have argued up have argued that to know you are going to lose incentive. there's a whole young generation that doesn't believe that. they're calling themselves social entrepreneurs and the
business schools around the world are producing new generations who use their creativity, their entrepreneurial skills to advance this collaborative networks because the primary goal is not market capital, it's social capital and they are becoming as creative in on entrepreneurial as is this on the marketplace in 20 century. look at how many people are freely created software to new forms of entertainment videos on youtube new kinds of news blogs and it goes on and on and they have done with the creative thrusts and entrepreneurial thrust at least as significant as this on the marketplace but it's now social entrepreneurs on the collaborative commons beyond profit. it doesn't and incentive that changes the economic framework in which incentive is created. >> host: is something the winners in the society are those that are technologically adept, highly educated cosmopolitan outlook because they have the ability to collaborate across great distances and perhaps even across languages. isn't this a recipe for further
concentration of wealth and power and income inequality over overtime? >> guest: you just threw me a softball. actually it's the exact opposite. the reason a lot of the traditional global companies are little but worried to say the least, this is a democratization of the economy. this internet of things allows millions of us to democratize communication which we have. if i had said to you in 1989 that 24 years later and this was before the world wide web, 24 years later 20% with cheap deslondes and desktop computers would produce their own news at that the speed of light what would you have said? the elite centralized institutions of book publishing more time involved in they have had to suffer the consequences of a democratization of communication. what i'm saying is as we move from the internet to the expansive internet of things we
have millions of people producing and sharing their own clean renewable energy on microgrids. we have now hundreds of thousands of young people producing their three the 3-d printed products bypassing big companies. the real losers here are the vertically integrated global corporations of the 20 century and i say in the zero margin society they were the best we could do given the circumstances in the 19th and 20th century. centralized energy centralize communication forced us to create these vertically integrated corporations that put everything under one roof. supply and distribution to create cheaper products. now the internet of things because of collateral allows millions of smaller players social entrepreneurs and consumers to come together directly and eliminate all the middlemen of these big fertil fertile -- vertical companies and democratize. it's going to have his biggest impact in the developing world and we are starting to see that
in india and parts of africa and china and asia. >> host: over the same 24 years we have seen a remarkable increase in income inequality especially in this country most acutely in this country would also to a degree in western europe and we have seen we could say if we look ahead three or four years this wild west democratization we are seeing with the internet which means they're no longer is a level playing field for communication in the united states although europe just decided to adopt it. we certainly don't have anything like an open internet and turkey india or china or many other places in the world. one could say we just experimented with that democratization. nonetheless over this time as we have seen a shift in resources to a financial sector as more and more of our resources are in financial gains and much more of
it is invested and affrighted information activities we have also seen an evacuation of a robust middle class. why should we believe do you would get better anytime soon? >> guest: i'm very familiar with your work and you have done a lot of work in this area. there is no guarantee care. what i have outlined is the possibility of a new economic system, a collaborative commons operating at near zero marginal cost that could democratize and create a sustainable planet where we use resources and more just and humane way and hopefully we flourish. on the other hand i think you hit the problem and that is we have an interest from the second industrial revolution of the 20th century the telecom, the cable companies in the big power utility companies. they are trying to thwart this process. network neutrality you mention is critical.
the whole framework for the internet was based on network neutrality. anyone could pay a service provider small amount of money go on the internet and be treated like everyone else. you weren't left at the end of the line. you want to discriminate in terms of price and the data was not used against your interest. network neutrality is what has made a success of democratize. we are moving from the communication and add to the more expansive internet of things. communication internet energy internet logistics in and there are certain say wait a minute we are not sure about network neutrality because of our interest is going to the near zero marginal cost and there's no more profit we are a business. in january the u.s. court of appeals for the second highest court as you know issued a judgment saying the federal communications commission their
protocol and network neutrality was null and void because it was not in demand so now the federal communication is stuck without a mandate on network utility. the telecom and cable companies are saying we create the pipes. they are using our pipe so we want to charge different prices and hold back some customers if we have special business relationships. we will may want to control this data and use it for third parties for advertising etc.. it's not just the cable and telephone companies. now we have to be concerned about the internet companies that we love. our favorite google facebook twitter amazon. i use all of them. i'm a big fan of google. i google every day and it's a magic box. it's the knowledge of the world that we are beginning to see these internet companies which helped create the social commons that potentially could get us to near zero marginal costs are starting to look in some ways like the global monopolies and they are starting to look like so she utilities meaning if you
have to go to google for on knowledge that sounds like a monopoly. google controls about two-thirds of the free search engine market and 90% of the research market engine in europe. there are 6 billion queries on google a day. they got 50 billion in revenue last year. facebook almost one out of every six human beings on this planet is on facebook and they control a lot of the social media. twitter we have 650 million people tweeting so what i'm suggesting is we have to have a collegial blood robust conversation between the investor capitalists and the commoners on the collaborative commons. on how we can have the best of the social utilities but understand they need some form of global governance and the stakeholders needs to be a civil society and not for-profit sector and not just a private enterprise and government and they will have to find a way we can get the best out of these internet companies that make sure it allows us to democratize
the economy had to near zero marginal cost on a collaborative commons. >> host: describe three intranets. first the information in the other we are familiar with. we have had a pretty good ride with it and as we discussed it may be over for that. there's a concentration of power involved with the internet and certainly network neutrality seems dead in the water in the united states and much of the world anyway. >> guest: europe is dealing with it very aggressively. as you know i advise the european union. >> host: that's takeaways from the book. europe is making policy decisions in the united states is not. china is making a different set of policy decisions and each informed by politics can yield very different results in terms of the various issues you describe. the other two internet to things or the other two internets the internet of things in the energy internet you have described, and you see the early stirrings and
the sprouts of these gardens coming. how can we know that those two won't be corrupted, privatize, leveraged and radically controlled either by oligarchic commercial interests or by impressive states because we have seen both of those things happen with the first internet. >> guest: i've advised the european union and have for a long time and i was privileged to be a principle architect of their five pillar industrial plan which moves this internet of things forward. it's our formal plan and i've also advised chancellor merkel in germany where they are really pushing this forward. we have some history of germany. in germany the big power utility companies like ion are big global companies. they were decimated in less than six years when tariffs allowed
millions of small players to produce their own solar and wi wind. over 25% of germany now as solar and wind and that is in seven years and we are heading to 30% by 2020. and guess who is producing at? millions and millions of small players. the big power companies are 7% in last week the board of directors week the board of directors that i am simply can't compete with these cost the what happened the recording industry wants millions of small players come together to produce their own energy and wipes out federalize power so we have that history however there may be countries who will try to thwart this because they want to keep and oligarchic control over energy but europe which is the largest economy in the world in terms of gdp at least as setting a framework. now i'm reasonably hopeful about china. the new premiere read my last book in english and instruct in
the federal government to move on energy internet and that 80 billion-dollar for your commitment means millions of chinese people will produce their own green electricity so there are rays of hope. the u.s. and canada are the outliers. they are stuck in the 20th century with tar sands in canada shale gas in the u.s. and woefully behind is the transition to collaborative commons in the zero marginal marginal cost the city. >> host: you also seem united states the koch brothers for instance pushing laws in states to put fees and taxes on solar panels. in addition in virginia where i live the previous governor in previous legislature introduced a special excise tax on alternative fuel vehicles and hybrid vehicles using the argument argument, and argument, in the book using the argument that these people to institute these energy forms in their lives are free-riding on the system so if you're not paying
gasoline taxes in virginia you are free-riding on the highways with the argument behind it. the current governor and the legislature repealed the tax on hybrids that you have in this country tremendous political opposition to so much of what you have outlined here and in europe it fascinates me that you raised the influence of president merkel in germany. she has a thing that is hooked up to an internet. that thing is her cell phone and it turns out her cell phone was being monitored by u.s. intelligence for many years. under that condition isn't there significant, a significant challenge in terms of the values we choose and the policies we choose to create a set of systems that can fulfill our hopes? in other words your predictions might not be so simply achieved
given the study. >> guest: what i have outlined here is the possibilities. we see a trend, we see the protections. not epidemic however it could be stalled, it could be derailed. there are some money entrenchments to a shift to a new system. the cap the system isn't going to disappear. i talked to the worn school and i'm a believer in a market. the market will become an aggregate of network services and solutions. it will be a partner of the collaborative commons but it's not going to be the primary arbiter. it will be a partner with a new collaborative commons but there are a lot of interest the foot. you mention the u.s.. people asked me why zizo behind this third industrial revolution this shift to the zero marginal cost society. the big energy companies and other corporate special
interests can help finance the elections. they provide the money to the candidates. in europe we have public financing of elections allow the big companies are at the table in brussels they can't write the legislation because they have to vie with other groups. the region's national governments ngos etc. so until we have dealt with this whole question of companies buying elections in the u.s. the u.s. is going to continue to fall further behind. it may come up with new ideas but if you are an old energy system and an old centralized economy based on vertically integrated companies it's possible the u.s. and canada will be second-tier countries. in europe we are wrestling with these issues. on power they told the power utility companies you have to decouple. it has to act like an internet and allow everybody equal access. in europe we are now having a huge discussion about data security and protecting people's privacy. we all want the senate had a thing so we can create
collaborative world but we want to make sure our data isn't used by third parties against our interests that we are beginning to develop very detailed protocols to make sure that privacy is secure. that's not happening here. >> host: there are two previous predictions i would like to ask you about. one for the 1950s and one for the 1960s. in the 1950s this country and many other countries around the world invested a tremendous amount of money nuclear energy the idea being in the rhetoric at the time sounds very familiar with the idea of being by the year 2000 electricity would be effectively free marginally free. we would sink millions of billions of dollars into these plans. we would solve the technological problems along the way because we have ways to do that but ultimately energy would be able to flow into peoples houses throughout the world including the developing world and a marginal cost of zero. the second one is the green revolution of the 1960s.
this one we actually found through biotechnology of various sorts and new ways of cultivating that the price of corn and wheat and soybeans actually has dropped to something close to zero propped up by massive government subsidies and creating tremendous dislocation of farmers in developing nations. people flooding northward from mexico because it takes a lot less labor on a farm in mexico to make a bushel of corn. how do you look at those two examples and say we are not going to invite the same deferred dreams? >> guest: in terms of nuclear power that nuclear power that it would be power too cheap to meter. it is not academic sometime in the future that will happen. we now know in europe there are millions and millions of players, homeowners, consumer cooperatives rural electricity
cooperative small businesses, large businesses that are producing green electricity at near zero marginal cost. they are already fare there so that issues off the table. we knew it was delivered to millions of people right now. the food issue is interesting and you might know that i fought monsanto and the big life science companies around intellectual property controlling seeds. we now have a generation of genetically modified seeds and the actual seeds are patented so they are controlled by a handful of large life 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 them other types of seeds and they can't afford to lease out the seeds that are on this intellectual property by the life science comes