Glen Weyl is the co-author, with Eric Posner, of Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society. Despite its subtitle, the book is decidedly pro-market, arguing that price mechanisms are invaluable tools for allocating resources and building healthy societies. But those markets have to be carefully designed to achieve that goal.

Glen Weyl

The book argues, among other points, that large-scale private property actually distorts the function of markets, and that public goods like land should be managed through structures that benefit everyone (like auctions). The ideas, as the authors acknowledge, are in many ways a 21st-century update of the work of Henry George, who campaigned against private monopolies of natural resources, and in favor of collectively-owned systems like public transit. The book has been greeted with something close to rapture: Harvard economist Ken Rogoff called it “perhaps the most ambitious attempt to rethink democracy and markets since Milton Friedman.”

The book has attracted another big-name fan: Vitalik Buterin. The Ethereum creator saw “multifaceted and plentiful” connections between the book’s ideas and the goals of his smart contract platform. Buterin and Weyl have since worked together on papers refining the book’s ideas, and to start RadicalxChange, a conference and growing organization.

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Stupid About — Blockchain

A Smart Guide to the Emerging Technology Wilderness: 1.01

The rules of blockchain:

Rule #1 — You probably don’t need blockchain

Rule #2 — You probably won’t be able to live without blockchain

Rule #3 — By the time you need blockchain, you won’t know you’re using blockchain

I once had to brief the leaders of a large enterprise on “this blockchain thing.” Their customers were asking about it, and they needed answers. I spent hours with them. They managed to figure out how to spell it, but they weren’t getting it. I don’t think they ever really did. How “stupid,” right?

But here’s the thing. Those leaders are wickedly smart about getting 200,000 people to work together without running amok. They are smarter about that subject than I may ever be. (Not ruling it out.) Weiterlesen