"My topic today is ‘digital economies and the insights they harbour on the future of markets, money, corporations and democratic politics’.
"We seem to be besotted with technological change, which is, of course, understandable. Technological change performs for society the role that mutations play in biology, disrupting adaptation and giving the wheel of history another twirl.
"Having said that, it is incumbent upon me to warn you, right at the outset that I am no evangelist for digital economies. If anything, I am a ‘sceptical enthusiast’ – a contradiction in terms, I know, but then again, I am used to being a living, breathing contradiction. After all, ladies and gentlemen, I am a… Greek Economist!
"Seriously now, — technological fixes to time-honoured problems are all the rage in our days.
- Bitcoin is meant to fix money
- social media are seen as the tyrants’ worst enemy
- networked robots are to help countries like Japan deal with demographic declines
- the Internet is often portrayed as the solution to our flagging democratic processes
- studying videogame or other digital economies is promoted as an alternative to tired old economic analyses of mainstream markets.
These claims are fascinating. Alas, they are also dubious. My task today is to try to highlight important insights, while exposing the many phoney promises."