Yoda: Peer-to-Peer Energy — Distributed, Open, Ethical

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

An Airbnb or Uber for the Electricity Grid?

How DERs prepare the power sector to evolve into a sharing economy platform

As Thomas Friedman reported in the New York Times, the shared economy is booming, with companies like Uber and Airbnb continuing to disrupt the incumbent taxi service and hotel sectors. The Ubers and Airbnbs of the world tap the huge value of underutilized assets and create millions of dollars of value for users in the process. Shared economy companies unbundle existing assets and enable value exchange out of those assets, with close to zero marginal capital cost since the users themselves own the actual physical assets, whether a car or a home. Could the electricity grid be next to go the way of a sharing economy?

For more than a century, the electric grid has relied almost exclusively on centralized infrastructure, such as large power plants and long-distance transmissions lines. But distributed energy resources (DERs)—and the customers buying, installing, and using them—are changing the economic landscape for the power sector. Energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation such as rooftop solar, distributed storage such as batteries, smart thermostats, and more are poised to become the front lines of a sharing economy revolution for the grid. Shared economy solutions will help to increase asset utilization rates and improve consumer and overall system economics, just as they have for other sectors.

Read full article.

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Sep 5

SchwartzReport: BP Gulf Spill “Gross Negligence” – $18 Billion Fine? Does Corporate Accountability Begin Now?

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

Here is some excellent news about the Gulf oil spill. A major court decision has seriously placed the blame and responsibility where it belongs. And the court also made it clear what it thinks about BP, Transocean, and Halliburton ethics and behavior.

‘Worst Case’ BP Ruling on Gulf Spill Means Billions More in Penalties
MARGARET CRONIN FISK, LAUREL BRUBAKER CALKINS and JEF FEELEY – Bloomberg

BP Plc acted with gross negligence in setting off the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, a federal judge ruled, handing down a long-awaited decision that may force the energy company to pay billions of dollars more for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster.

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Sep 5

Rethinking Economics: Lord Adair Turner

Categories: 03 Economy,YouTube
Tags:

Rethinking EconomicsFor all those who have missed the Rethinking Economics conference held in London this summer, and those of you who came but want a refresher on the need for radical change in the economics curriculum, Lord Adair Turner’s opening keynote speech is now online. Click below to watch and stay tuned for more videos!

See Also:

BOOK: Economics After the Crisis: Objectives and Means (2012)

Event: 12-14 SEP NYC Rethinking Economics

Rethinking Economics @ PhiBetaIota

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Aug 29

Jean Lievens: Sharing Economy Sucking Chest Wounds…

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

The Unbearable Loneliness Of The Sharing Economy

by Brian S Hall

August 25th, 2014

The sharing economy promises the potential for riches, personal empowerment, new modes of work, and fear, the kind of fear that swells from a livelihood dependent upon algorithms, star ratings, and the feedback of strangers.

When we imagined the future, certainly starting from the point when the smartphone was born, few of us expected a world where in-kind tips and real time number crunching might determine where we live, how well we ate, the size of our home, the composition of our dearest friends.

Of course, in a world where billions are virtually connected, all fighting over the same job, the same task, the same dollars to be made by sharing our rooms, our cars, our talents, can we have any real friends? Or does everyone morph into some 21st century amalgamation of customer-competitor?

The billions of dollars fueling Uber, Airbnb and the sharing economy appears to generate as much fear as it does potential, and rightly or no, the great minds and deep pockets of Silicon Valley are failing to address these fears.

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Aug 29

SchwartzReport: Market Basket — Board Fires Progressive CEO, Boomers Go on Strike to Reinstate — Mutuality Economics from the Bottom-Up

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

This is a lovely story of how capitalism could be run. It illustrates very clearly the difference between the vampire capitalism that dominates our economy, and the compassionate capitalism we could have.

Market Basket: The Return of Boomer Activism
LAUREN STILLER RIKLEEN – Forbes

Workers at the Market Basket supermarket chain just successfully undertook a high-risk job action with potentially historic repercussions. But this was more than just a fight for leadership control. It was also a story about boomers standing up for workplace values.

. . . . . . .

Arthur T. ran Market Basket with a straightforward and progressive management philosophy: treat its 25,000 employees (and customers) with respect and attention; promote from within; provide great pay and retirement benefits and continually invest in your staff. As a result, he developed an extraordinarily devoted workforce of people who grew up at the company and remained for decades and took great pride in making the stores so successful.

Over time, though, Arthur T.’s pension programs and above-market salaries were criticized by the board, who felt such generosity depressed shareholder dividends. On June 23, the board ultimately voted to remove Arthur T. as president.

The Employees Push to Bring Back Their Boss

That’s when the chain’s employees – many of them boomers – rose up in revolt. Some went on strike; others played key roles in protests including rallies attended by thousands.

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Aug 29

Stephen E. Arnold: Free Law Textbooks — and the Fight to Liberate Intellectual Property Law from Entrenched Corporations with Armed with Lobbyists

Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Free Law Textbooks Challenge Copyright Maximalism

August 28, 2014

The article titled Duke Professor Looking To Make Legal Texts Affordable; Kicking Off With Intellectual Property Law on Techdirt refers to the work of James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins. Both work in the Center of the Study of Public Domain at Duke Law School and hoped to mitigate the prices of textbooks for college students. They have already released their Intellectual Property Statutory Supplement (free to download, about $10 to print). They are quoted in the article,

“We are motivated in part by the outrageously steep cost of legal teaching materials, (and the increasing restrictions on those materials — such as the removal of the right of first sale). This book is intended for use with our forthcoming Intellectual Property casebook (coming in the Fall) but can also be used as a free or low cost supplement for basic Intellectual Property courses — at the college, law school or graduate school levels.”

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Aug 28

Eagle: Misery Index 2.0 – Real Unemployment, Real Income, Labor Share, Money Velocity (Charles Hugh Smith)

300 Million Talons...

300 Million Talons…

The New Misery Index

Charles Hugh Smith

The Status Quo is desperate to mask the declining fortunes of those who earn income from work, and the Misery Index 2.0 strips away the phony facade of bogus unemployment and inflation numbers.

The classic Misery Index is the sum of unemployment and inflation, though later variations have added interest rates and the relative shortfall or surplus of GDP growth.

Since the Status Quo figured out how to game unemployment and inflation to the point that these metrics are meaningless except as a meta-measure of centralized perception management, the Misery Index has lost its meaning as well.

I propose a Misery Index 2.0 of four less easily manipulated (and therefore more meaningful) metrics:

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Aug 25

Jean Lievens: Isabelle Stengers on on user movements and systems of horizontal apprenticeship

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Isabelle Stengers on on user movements and systems of horizontal apprenticeship

Andre Ling introduces the importance of the the Belgian philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers:

“She is a truly remarkable philosopher and currently one of my favourites. While she has written some very solid books on the philosophy of science (such as The Power of Invention, Cosmopolitics, and others), her more recent books are shorter, highly accessible and powerful. The titles of her two most recent books that I especially want to share with you are:

* Capitalist Sorcery: Breaking the Spell

* Au temps des catastrophes: Resister a la barbarie qui vient (currently only available in French, but due to be translated, I am told, in open access format in English)

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Aug 24

Jean Lievens: Sharing Economy Precariat — Brokering Labor to the Bone — While Neglecting True Costs and Redesign

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Check App. Accept Job. Repeat.

In the Sharing Economy, Workers Find Both Freedom and Uncertainty

EXTRACT

Ms. Guidry, 35, earns money by using her own car to ferry around strangers for Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, ride services that let people summon drivers on demand via apps. She also assembles furniture and tends gardens for clients who find her on TaskRabbit, an online marketplace for chores.

Her goal is to earn at least $25 an hour, on average. Raising three children with her longtime partner, Jeffrey Bradbury, she depends on the income to help cover her family’s food and rent. That has become more unpredictable of late. Uber and Lyft, her driving mainstays, recently cut certain passenger fares. Last month, TaskRabbit overhauled the way its users select their helpers; immediately after the change, Ms. Guidry’s stream of new clients dried up.

“You don’t know day to day,” she said. “It’s very up in the air.”

Read full article.

Phi Beta Iota: Anything less than a dollar a mile (50 cents for wear and gas, 50 cents for labor, home base door and return) is a losing proposition — to clear $25 an hour one must drive at least 50 billable miles in that hour. To make the $50,000 a year that $25 an hour would normally add up, one must have eight full revenue hours. Very few people achieve this, dog walkers being a possible exception. There are two sharing economies — perhaps many more. The first leverages existing assets and created variable income increases. The second leverages labor, and appears to be a losing proposition for most. What we see is a dearth of analytic models and a dearth of data — we see a desperate need for the rethinking and redesign of entire communities and cities to achieve cost of living reductions on the order of 50%, while optimizing the time-energy composition of the constituent individuals in any given community.

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Aug 18

Jean Lievens: Millenial Economy Scrubbing Redundancy and Waste Out of Vampire Capitalism

Categories: 03 Economy
Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Millennials Are Renting Instead Of Buying And The Retail Industry Is Freaking Out

“Never mind buying a second home when you can rent a chateau in France on Airbnb for $200. Why hire a chauffeur when they don’t come with an app that tracks their relative location to yours, like Uber?” she says. “Even owning the latest album of your favorite band feels a lot less appealing when you can stream it immediately on and offline with a Spotify pro membership, without taking up any space on your hard drive.”

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Aug 17