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How to get to the Next Level Economy?

There are a number of influential people who see the days of our current form of capitalism ending sooner or later. What the economy of the future is, how it works, or even how it should be called are still pretty much open questions. Due to the lack of a consensus on what the next economic system looks like, I’ll tentatively call it “Next Level Economy”, or NLE for short (I’m tempted to geek out and call it “E++”, but no, I won’t use that term unless you all think it’s a really good idea).

I’m assuming that we will handle economics in the NLE a bit differently from how we handle them now. So, people will need to adapt to something different. People will need to learn that the new way of doing things is better than the old way of doing things. That will take a lot of time and effort. Such a big change won’t happen instantaneously. It will be a gradual transformation.

Now let’s assume that we from Fractal Future somehow manage to figure out how the NLE would actually work best. What then? How would we go about convincing the rest of the world that if they actually listened to us, and implemented our ideas, they would be better of? What’s the most effective way to deploy a new economic system? That’s after all a big … societal task. Who has enough influence to initiate such a transition to the NLE? Politicians? Billionaires? Bankers? Economists? Celebrities? Best seller authors? Movie makers? Entrepreneurs? It might be interesting to rank those groups according to their societal influence when it comes to changing the way that society operates in reality. I know, this is terribly hard to quantify, but it’s an interesting research subject in any case.

I guess that when it comes to upgrading the economic system that economists might potentially be regarded as rather influential. Is that assumption correct? Do other influencers really listen to economists, or do they just do what they want to do anyway and just pretend to listen to the economists who happen to share the views they already hold? Do corporations and billionaires “buy” the economists who speak in their favour (and use them as lobbyists)? Is that how real decisions get made today? Are more “idealistic” economists ignored?

It would be nice, if I got answers to these questions, because I’m considering becoming an economist in order to be better able to figure out and implement the NLE. If my more cynical concerns turn out to be true, this might not be the best course of action.

If you merely consider it as means to increase your own ability to influence, it’ll probably fall short. However, I suspect the things you’d have to learn in the process will help in discovering the NLE, as well as the ability to speak the language of economists.

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Go live on island. Invite lots more peoples. Show that it works.

Or make a game showing it works.

Well, discovering how the NLE should work is a job that at least someone should do. And I think that I am relatively well suited for that task, since I have the motivation to think about new forms of economics and am able to think on a sufficiently mathematical and abstract level.

Speaking the language of economists will be useful for embedding reputation economics, for example, into the realm of economics.

Yes, I think that’s one of the most promising routes. I already have some ideas. The game might be about entrepreneurs and startups creating innovative products. It could actually be used to train the next generation of entrepreneurs, while at the same time spreading the ideas of a reputation based economy.

I have been thinking about this seriously. What I need is more credibility as expert in economics. Otherwise I won’t be effective at presenting myself as architect of a Next Level Economy. So, I will have to study economics comprehensively in one way or another. The question is whether I should achieve a formal degree in economics. Of course, I will have to consider the value and cost of obtaining such a degree. What I deem to be very likely is that I will be ignored pretty much, if I attempt to present myself as architect of a NLE without having at least a PhD in economics, since people would use the lack of such a degree as argument for my lack of rigorous and comprehensive expertise. And I can’t blame people for thinking like that. A PhD is still at least a somewhat good indicator of comprehensive expertise, even though people with PhDs still can hold kinda crazy and uninformed views – it’s just less likely that they do.

Is there a possible disvalue to having such a degree? Yes, I think there is. There is the danger that I will be perceived as conformist and as assimilated by our current system. This perception can be counterbalanced however by my publicly visible work on reputation economy systems and my advocacy of innovative economic approaches like basic income. So, while there may be an a priori disvalue to having a PhD, together with my necessary and publicly visible work on alternatives, that disvalue can be effectively minimized a posteriori.

What about the cost of obtaining such a degree? While the net (opportunity) cost in pursuing a PhD in economics (or higher) seems to be quite high, the gross cost might not be too high, if I can in parallel pursue the development of Quantified Prestige and similar systems as part of my studies, papers, or theses. A significant cost however is that pursuing such a degree would make it extremely hard to act as entrepreneur in parallel who could build up a reputation economy ecosystem, or something comparable. Possibly, it might be an option to alternate phases of academic studies with phases of entrepreneurial activity, although the challenges of that approach seem to be extreme. The best “compromise” might be to get a PhD and then focus on entrepreneurial activity entirely afterwards.

In any case, we need many people to work on the project of implementing a Next Level Economy. We need people in academia. We need entrepreneurs. We need coders. We need an engaged user base. We need the media to spread the message. We need politicians to pave the way. We need investors to fund the work of many of those groups. It can’t work in any other way expect as broad societal movement for a NLE. As one of the pioneers and leaders of that movement I will require a serious level of credibility, so it would seem like a pretty serious requirement for me to have a PhD in economics sooner or later.

Or do you disagree with some points of my analysis? Have I ignored some crucial point?

isn´t that the best argument against a reputation economy?

At the moment this is not even an argument at all.

Apparently, there seems to be a problem with academic economists not really being listened to – for various reasons, some of which might very well be justified.

Here are some opinions on that issue:

So, what’s the value of having an academic title as economist, if everyone who is not also an academic economist just ignores it anyway, or only listens to you, if you happen to only say what the others already believe and want to hear? I mean, it’s not like the world is getting better if serious economics remains an ivory tower discipline. It’s important to get right thoughts in economics out there and tested out.

It seems that economics as science is so little respected, that the value of getting a degree in economics isn’t really clear, unless you want to get a certain kind of job. But that’s not my plan. I actually want to improve the world, not get some moderately satisfying amount of money by working for some big company or organization.

Anyway, as a science, economics is still interesting and provides some value, so I will study it on my own without necessarily aiming at official credentials.

There’s a nice introduction to economics on YouTube, which I can recommend very much. It’s the Crash Course Economics:

I’ve already watched all the 24 episodes that have been made so far.