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About the Author

Martin Ford is the founder of a Silicon Valley-based software development firm. He has over 25 years experience in the fields of computer design and software development. He holds a computer engineering degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a graduate business degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.



The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future

Table of Contents

Detailed Table of Contents  - You can also read the Introduction

Introduction    1

Chapter 1: The Tunnel    7

The Mass Market  10

Visualizing the Mass Market   12

Automation Comes to the Tunnel   18

A Reality Check    21

Summarizing    25

Chapter 2: Acceleration     27

The Rich Get Richer   28

World Computational Capability   39

Grid and Cloud Computing    41

Meltdown    44

Diminishing Returns    47

Offshoring and Drive-Through Banking    55

Short Lived Jobs    57

Traditional Jobs: The “Average” Lights in the Tunnel   58

A Tale of Two Jobs    63

“Software” Jobs and Artificial Intelligence    67

Automation, Offshoring and Small Business    74

“Hardware” Jobs and Robotics    75

“Interface” Jobs    80

The Next “Killer App”    81

Military Robotics    85

Robotics and Offshoring    86

Nanotechnology and its Impact on Employment   87

The Future of College Education    90

Econometrics: Looking Backward    93

The Luddite Fallacy    95

A More Ambitious View of Future 
     Technological Progress: The Singularity

A War on Technology     103

Chapter 3: Danger    107

The Predictive Nature of Markets   107

The 2008-2009 Recession    110

Offshoring and Factory Migration   113

Reconsidering Conventional Views About the Future    115

The China Fallacy    117

The Future of Manufacturing    124

India and Offshoring    127

Economic and National Security Implications 
     for the United States

Solutions     131

Labor and Capital Intensive Industries: 
      The Tipping Point

The Average Worker and the Average Machine     135

Capital Intensive Industries are “Free Riders”    138

The Problem with Payroll Taxes    140

The “Workerless” Payroll Tax    142

“Progressive” Wage Deductions    144

Defeating the Lobbyists    146

A More Conventional View of the Future    148

The Risk of Inaction    152

Chapter 4: Transition   156

The Basis of the Free Market Economy: Incentives    158

Preserving the Market   159

Recapturing Wages   162

Positive Aspects of Jobs    168

The Power of Inequality    169

Where the Free Market Fails: Externalities   170

Creating a Virtual Job    172

Smoothing the Business Cycle and Reducing 
      Economic Risk

The Market Economy of the Future    179

An International View   182

Transitioning to the New Model    184

Keynesian Grandchildren   188

Transition in the Tunnel   191

Chapter 5: The Green Light    193

Attacking Poverty    195

Fundamental Economic Constraints    200

Removing the Constraints    201

The Evolution Toward Consumption    203

The Green Light   206

Appendix / Final Thoughts    208

Are the ideas presented in this book WRONG? 
      (Opposing arguments with responses)

Two Questions Worth Thinking About   222

Where are we now? Four Possible Cases   223

The Next 10-20 years: Some Indicators to Watch for    226

Outsmarting Marx   236

The Technology Paradox   238

Machine Intelligence and the Turing Test    240


About / Contacting the Author     245


 Table of Contents Copyright    by Martin Ford, 2009.  All Rights Reserved 



Is Economists' belief in the Luddite fallacy still reasonable in the face of exponentially advancing information technology?

What are the economic implications of the Technological Singularity