This past weekend I presented at the Southern Economics Association annual conference a paper I have been working on for some time, titled “Seeing (Platforms) Like a State.” The paper plays off of James C. Scott’s book, “Seeing Like a State.” I argue that the lessons from Scott’s book are relevant to the governance of tech platforms.
The paper will be up in full soon-ish over at Lawfare. But the presentation is available below.
Robert Murphy, Choice, Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action, p112.
Economic calculation, by its very nature, can attach monetary values only to those elements of our lives that are sold against money. Many things are quite valuable subjectively but do not enter the market nexus directly and consequently cannot be quantified in dollars and cents. Nonetheless, economic calculation is still an indispensable mental tool of action because it shows individuals – with as much precision as possible, given the nature of the situation – the monetary implications of various possible choices. This makes it possible for the individuals to focus their attention on the tradeoffs involved between the monetary and nonmonetary elements of their decision.
Yesterday, I participated in the D.C. node of the 2018 Computational Law and Blockchain Festival and had a great time talking about the importance of computational thinking in law and policy, how F.A. Hayek and the Lego Movie show computational thinking can’t solve everything, and the importance of regulatory humility and analytical egalitarianism. Slides below. Video should be available soon.