GLEN WEYL ON TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL INNOVATION

WIRED | 10/15/2018 | Nitasha Tiku
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Social movements have spurred major transformations in society, from the end of slavery to universal suffrage, the rise of labor unions, and universal education. Yet somehow after decades of economic stability, we began to rely on technological rather than social tools to remake the world, says Glen Weyl, a principal researcher for Microsoft.

While technology flourished, we “did not allow our social wisdom and social infrastructure to balance that out,” says Weyl. “I think it's killing equality and structure of our society, so I think we need to regain that spirit of being open to those fundamental social innovations.”

Weyl - WIRED25 - Festival - Sunday - Panel

Weyl spoke at the WIRED25 Festival on Sunday, during a panel that explored the ideas in the book he co-authored, Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society. The book argues that markets, radically reimagined, are the best place to combine social innovation with technology and then disseminate those changes to the masses.

WIRED cofounder Kevin Kelly, who was moderating the panel, asked Weyl why he seemed so confident that the world needs to try his sophisticated, but rather mathematical ideas.

Weyl - Faith - Theory - Evolution - Age

Weyl says his faith in economic theory comes from his own political evolution. At age 10, he was a socialist, but that gave way to Ayn Randian libertarianism in his teens. “By the age of 18, I realized that I had inhabited these two completely contradictory ideologies,” and yet believed in both. For Weyl, the puzzle pieces only fit together when when he was studying for a PhD in economics. Deep inside economics were “all these really powerful ideas for transforming the world,” which “allowed me to reconcile my randianism and my socialism,” he said. Finally he was able to connect...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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