The Lights In The Tunnel

The Lights In The Tunnel

3.4 10
by Martin Ford
     
 

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What will the economy of the future look like?

Where will advancing technology, job automation, outsourcing and globalization lead?

This groundbreaking book by a Silicon Valley computer engineer explores these questions and shows how accelerating technology is likely to have a highly disruptive influence on our economy in the near future--and may well already be

Overview

What will the economy of the future look like?

Where will advancing technology, job automation, outsourcing and globalization lead?

This groundbreaking book by a Silicon Valley computer engineer explores these questions and shows how accelerating technology is likely to have a highly disruptive influence on our economy in the near future--and may well already be a significant factor in the current global crisis.

THE LIGHTS IN THE TUNNEL employs a powerful thought experiment to explore the economy of the future. An imaginary "tunnel of lights" is used to visualize the economic implications of the new technologies that are likely to appear in the coming years and decades.

The book directly challenges conventional views of the future and illuminates the danger that lies ahead if we do not plan for the impact of rapidly advancing technology. It also shows how the economic realities of the future might offer solutions to issues such as poverty and climate change.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781448659814
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
09/22/2009
Pages:
262
Sales rank:
638,431
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.59(d)

Meet the Author

MARTIN FORD is the founder of a Silicon Valley-based software firm. He has over twenty-five years experience in the fields of computer design and software development. He holds a computer engineering degree from the University of Michigan and a graduate business degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The brilliance of the book lies in the imagery Ford creates with his description of the lights in the tunnel. He is able to successfully depict the global mass markets in terms that any reader, regardless of their level of economic sophistication, can understand. He changes from white to green lights representing the change from free market economy to his new model of incentive based income. This makes the concept stick in the readers mind. Ford also does a thorough job dismissing the myth that technology creates jobs. He provides charts of traditional jobs that have existed throughout the ages and make up the bulk of wage paying jobs in the United States today. Jobs which employ more than a million workers each make up 40% of all workers in the United States. These jobs coupled with “knowledge workers” are very much at risk of being off-shored and then automated according to Ford’s thesis. The fact that none of the jobs are newly created because of technology makes for a compelling argument that technology does not create jobs. Therefore, the conventional wisdom that technology will create new jobs is exposed as a false doctrine. However, Ford falls short in his discussion of technological “singularity”. When graphing technologies progress (the y-axis) over time (the x-axis) the curve inclines significantly and quickly – much as one could imagine based on Moore’s Law. At the point where the line becomes nearly vertical, technological singularity is achieved. This representation is at odds with the graph of the average workers ability to perform complex tasks presented earlier in the book. While the average workers’ ability graph follows the beginning trends as the technological singularity chart, it is important to note that the resulting end line never becomes vertical when it comes to human’s capability to perform complex tasks. Rather, its curve flattens drastically after a significant and quick incline. It follows then that a similar flattening of the curve will occur when it comes to technology and time, thus rendering the concept of technological singularity null and void. This would cast significant doubt on the entire premise of the book. The author also fails to take into account a growing middle class population in the “BRICS” nations. Ford indicates that U.S. mass markets account for the majority of consumption in the global mass market. However, this theory can be discounted as developing nations expand their middle class and an increased demand for consumer goods follows. Ford’s belief that U.S. consumerism is the primary driver of the global economy will be proven wrong as the global economy becomes powered by a rising middle class in the “BRICS” nations. His doomsday theory of declining consumption by workers in the U.S. displaced by first off-shoring and then automation fails to take into account such a rising middle class. Ford’s book is a valuable read for both economists and technology aficionados. He provides some compelling discourse around the pace of change in the world of technology and couples it with a fascinating take on the economic future of a global society. Whether or not one agrees with the premise of the book, one cannot argue that the pace of technology is in fact changing our global economy and has prompted society to evaluate the ramifications automation has on the job market and consumerism.
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