Smart Links 23 April 2012

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Digital manufacturing.

The earth just moved.

The Economist is featuring the digitalisation of manufacturing as its cover story this week. We have referred to this in the past in the context of our focus on ‘disruptive technology’.

Economist -- The third industrial revolution
The digitisation of manufacturing will transform the way goods are made—and change the politics of jobs too.

Remember this.

“Now a product can be designed on a computer and “printed” on a 3D printer, which creates a solid object by building up successive layers of material.”

What it is.

Ted -- Lisa Harouni: A primer on 3D printing
2012 may be the year of 3D printing, when this three-decade-old technology finally becomes accessible and even commonplace. Lisa Harouni gives a useful introduction to this fascinating way of making things -- including intricate objects once impossible to create.

How it works.

Economist -- A factory on your desk
Manufacturing: Producing solid objects, even quite complex ones, with 3-D printers is gradually becoming easier and cheaper. Might such devices some day become as widespread as document printers?

Thinking through the consequences.

Economist -- A third industrial revolution
As manufacturing goes digital, it will change out of all recognition, says Paul Markillie. And some of the business of making things will return to rich countries.

 

 

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Twin Virtues

Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.

The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.

When too few get too much everybody loses.

Feminism is about women living their lives on their own terms, marshaling the resources of the society to make that possible, and men embracing this as vital to a successful society and their own liberation.

Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?

Economics must be a 'moral enterprise' as much as politics claims to be. Economic outcomes need to be framed in terms of right and wrong not just efficiency if only because these often align in surprising ways that are good for society and the economy.

My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.

Tax policy should be founded on the principle of generating steady tax revenues sufficient to maximise environmentally sustainable economic growth in order to fund fair government.

Public policy should be designed to decrease inequality before the law and increase equality of opportunity.

Capitalism is not the problem; the problem is what we do with capitalism.

Content is always more difficult to argue than conspiracy.

Let the state regulate and the market operate (most things).

Welfare strategies are best designed as a hand up, not as a hand out.

Political debate should not be fact free fighting.

Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.

Always favour empowerment over dependency.

The most enduring public figures are embraced for the causes they fought for and not the concept of themselves they hoped others would remember them by.

Find your voice and don't be the echo of somebody else.

It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.