If you meet bleak people not from here, on a Monday, reach for The Economist

The Economist

Received from Lee Vandervis
Friday(!) at 9:37 a.m.

“What if?”: The joy of hypotheticals

Today The Economist launches the 2017 edition of The World If, our annual collection of scenarios. Some of last year’s predictions proved to be uncannily close to what actually transpired, so readers may be tempted to search our latest batch for future surprises. Yet the point of asking “what if” questions is not to make predictions. It is to stretch thinking. Some of our speculation is deadly serious, but escaping reality can also be fun.

Note, The Economist [signs as]:
Published since September 1843 to take part in “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.”

PS. Today Monday I find Dunedin is warmer than brittle Jafas in bad spirits, who left their manners other side of Cook Strait.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

1 Comment

Filed under Baloney, Economics, Fun, Hot air, People, What stadium

One response to “If you meet bleak people not from here, on a Monday, reach for The Economist

  1. Diane Yeldon

    A really interesting ‘What If?” from The Economist: “What if blockchains ruled the world?”
    Quoting: “Without lists that keep track of people and things, most big organisations would collapse. Lists range from simple checklists to complex databases, but they all have one major drawback: we must trust their keepers. Administrators hold the power. They can doctor corporate accounts, delete titles from land registries or add names to party rolls. To stop the keepers from going rogue, and catch them if they do, society has come to rely on all sorts of tools, from audits to supervisory boards. Together, list-keepers and those who watch them form one of the world’s biggest and least noticed industries, the trust business. Now imagine a parallel universe in which lists have declared independence: they maintain themselves. ”


    What would this mean for local government? DCC charges ‘administrative services’ at $76 per hour. This is often for collating or finding public information which you are not allowed access to in order to search for it yourself. In other words, local bodies like DCC have somehow managed the contradiction of ‘owning’ public information. But this ‘administration’, also ‘regulatory functions’ and much more could be done differently, more transparently, efficiently and cheaply.

    Quoting from article below:
    “Government’s ability to marshal this technology in service of its citizens – providing an accessible and self-verifiable source of truth for citizen-state interactions – is worth exploring, and many governments are doing just that.”


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