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Thought Pieces

How unequal? Insights on inequality

Friday, 27 April 2018


Australia has experienced its longest period of economic growth in history during the last quarter century. Yet, there is growing debate about the benefits of this economic growth and their distribution, and the extent to which inequality is increasing in Australia.
These are important issues because significant inequality can weigh on future economic performance and undermine social cohesion.
CEDA’s report How unequal? Insights on inequality aims to examine:

  • The distribution of benefits from Australia’s prolonged period of economic growth
  • whether inequality has increased in Australia during this period
  • where policy interventions could assist.

In particular, the report looks at the impact of key factors such as education, employment and location on inequality.
It also examines intergenerational inequality and potential drivers of increased inequality in the future, from technology advances to changes to traditional employment through the emergence of, for example, the gig economy

Read the full report


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Ci2017: A Post-Conference Policy Directions and Reflections Paper for Australia’s Future

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Prepared by Terry Barnes
Policy consultant and media commentator

For three days in November 2017, people from around the world gathered in Melbourne for the latest in the Creative Innovation conference series, Ci2017.

Over 600 delegates and more than 40 speakers joined together at the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins. They came from business, government, academia, not-for-profit organisations, the media and the arts. Over 15 nationalities were represented, and all were treated to a challenge to the mind, to the senses and to the world in which we live.

The theme of Ci2017 was Human Intelligence 2.0: Thriving in the Age of Acceleration. And from the start it was clear to everyone that the future is accelerating at a startling rate.
Moore’s Law of computing says that computing power doubles every two years. In 1982, Buckminister Fuller outlined his knowledge doubling curve: until the 20th century, human knowledge doubled every century; by 1945 it doubled every 25 years; and by 1982 every 12 months. Now, IBM predicts that, because of the “Internet of Things”, human knowledge will double every 12 hours.

Read the Ci2017 Policy Directions and Reflections Paper (PDF)

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The Harm in Merely Knowing: Privacy, Complicity, Surveillance, and the Self

Monday, 16 April 2018

Robert H. Sloan
University of Illinois at Chicago

Richard Warner
Chicago-Kent College of Law


Current critiques of governmental surveillance focus on the government’s use of information to discourage and prevent behavior of which it disapproves. We focus on what the government knows, not on how it uses what it knows. We argue that massive governmental knowing puts at risk people’s ability to realize those aspects of themselves with which they identify and which they think of as constituting their identity. This is a current, ongoing harm that most people now suffer. The argument in outline: Adequate self-realization requires adequate privacy in public. Adequate privacy in public requires that people voluntarily limit their knowledge of each other as they interact. That requires constant and complex coordination. Shared informational norms facilitate that coordination. Governmental surveillance can, and does, undermine the norm-based coordination on which privacy in public depends and thereby undermines prospects for self-realization.

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The Automation of Society is Next: How to Survive the Digital Revolution

Friday, 13 April 2018

Dirk Helbing
ETH Zürich – Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (GESS)


The explosion in data volumes, processing power, and Artificial Intelligence, known as the “digital revolution”, has driven our world to a dangerous point. One thing is increasingly clear: We are at a crossroads. We need to make decisions. We must re-invent our future.

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The Metaspace Economy

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The Future Hunters


Most people refer to the recent economic turmoil as a “recession.” But what we’re going through is a fundamental global economic transformation. This transformation is similar to those that catapulted us from the Agricultural era into the Industrial,
from the Industrial into the Post-Industrial, and then, in the early nineties, into yet another type of economy (which we named “The Emotile Economy” [a combination of emotion and motility] and we projected that it, too, would be transformed beginning
around 2005).

Why are we undergoing this transformation?

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What’s Next for Humanity: Automation, New Morality and a ‘Global Useless Class’

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura
The New York Times

LONDON — What will our future look like — not in a century but in a mere two decades?

Terrifying, if you’re to believe Yuval Noah Harari, the Israeli historian and author of “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus,” a pair of audacious books that offer a sweeping history of humankind and a forecast of what lies ahead: an age of algorithms and technology that could see us transformed into “super-humans” with godlike qualities.

In an event organized by The New York Times and How To Academy, Mr. Harari gave his predictions to the Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman. Humans, he warned, “have created such a complicated world that we’re no longer able to make sense of what is happening.” Here are highlights of the interview.

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