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The Interesting Thing About Interest Rates

Money represents human productivity, but the interest on money represents risk. This means that the lender collects interest because that represents the risk that they assume in departing from their money. Meanwhile productivity fluctuates naturally and can be affected by a many external forces.

The problem is that risk can never be negative, therefore interest rates can never be negative – that is called “breaking he buck”. Risk is a measure of volatility, or, “deviations from what is considered normal”. While there is certainly good deviations and bad deviations, there can never be a “negative” deviation from normal – it is a mathematical impossibility, a glitch.

The result is that productivity must always be driven up and up and up – sometimes in unnatural ways, such as forcing consumption. Constant production is unacceptable – it must always increase. Vacations, free time, family time, and leisure are not acceptable. What if we had a currency that could accommodate a negative interest rate?

What is the Secret Sauce of Innovation?

Most studies on Innovation study the to 99th percentile human in the hope of discovering the “secret sauce” of wealth creation. One such study identifies 5 discovery skills and conclude that the top innovators are also in the top percentile for all these skills. What a surprise that the top university would conclude that they – and people like them – were the secret sauce of all wealth creation.

But what about the rest of the world? What about the individuals and teams of people who actually carry out the plans of those great people? Are they relegated to the footnotes or is there a way for two or more people to simulate the attributes of a 99th percentile person?

This video argues that a 6th discovery skill is the ability to recognize one’s weaknesses AND the strengths of another person. This takes humility and an knowledge inventory of one’s community. Given the ubiquitousness of the persistent economic crisis, ostensibly managed by those paragons of intellect, the masters of the 5 discovery skills – we may need a new way of building so-called “consensus” about what innovation is and who the innovators are.

(I did fail to point out in this discussion that the ability to network with similar people is a distinctly different than the ability to network with dissimilar people. As such, the 5th discovery skill and the 6th are distinct)

Social Currency And The Innovation Bank

'Innovation and Growth, Chasing a New Frontier' book launch(2)The real estate market is trashed, money markets are unstable, commodities are in the tank, the banking system is corrupted to the core, inflation is looming around every corner, and the politicians are engorging themselves in a game of Cerebral Gridlock.

Literally, there is no safe place to put your money. Instead, people are investing their productivity in social media – social media is simply a storage device for knowledge assets. Soon it will become a stock exchange for knowledge assets. Investors should not take this lightly – the best place to store your money is in the real productivity of real people.

People are trading knowledge assets in social media. This exchange is denominated by a conversational currency. If we consider the structure of conversations and compare that to both the structure of social networks AND the structure of our financial system, we see a huge opportunity to develop an alternate financial system that can capitalize and securitize knowledge assets in social media.

Ingenesist.com

Music by Phil Felicia

A Community of Knowledge Assets

A Community of Knowledge AssetsOur culture organizes itself around winners and losers. Corporations reflect this competitive nature to the core of their Capitalist doctrine. Sports analogies abound across the enterprise straight through to the HR department always on the lookout for the most amount of superstar for the least amount of money.

Social media has every industry trying to understand the concept of community. Among the most difficult ideas to grasp is that knowledge assets in a community live on a bell curve, not in winner and loser columns. Everyone is an expert at something and nobody is an expert at everything. Someone who is not performing adequately is simply a misallocated asset, not flotsam subject to jettison at the next layoff or outsource “opportunity”.

A Community of Knowledge Assets

Like most assets, there is a perfectly legitimate market for everyone in a community – nobody need be excluded, marginalized or laid off. Social Media is turning the tables on the hierarchy and old winners who don’t play by the new rules quickly become the new losers. Maybe we ought to run our economy like a community instead of losing so badly at trying to be a winner.

A Community of Knowledge Assets

Breaking The Monopoly on Money

Hundreds of community currencies are forming across the globe. Gaming currencies are jumping back into reality. Europeans communities are calling for the authority to print their own money arguing that the fractional reserve system is like trying to recover from a war by waging more war (a novel thought).

Many people doubt that the dollar has more than a decade or so of steam left as the interest on debts mythically exceeds the total amount of money on Earth (at least in my world). Yet banks march on, heading straight for the cliff.

Governments are polarized against themselves (and in cooperation with other governments) to solve the problem – except by reducing services to the people. But isn’t this why Governments exists in the first place? Are they suggesting their own elimination? Of course not, so they issue press releases worth about as much as the photons they are printed with.

Meanwhile, corporate media is trying to dominate (and subdue) social media….ultimately, the end game will be the other way around. This short video invites the status quo to look at what people are “doing and saying with their productivity”

Social Media as a Vetting Mechanism

unhq

Where the vetting mechanism fails, the system fails. This has happened in countless instances from the current financial crisis to nearly every product, market, environmental calamity, or political failure in recorded history – the referees who were supposed to keep their eye on the ball, did not. Likewise, where a vetting mechanism is effective, the system is efficient.

EBay does little more than defend the vetting mechanism (feedback system) and entrepreneurs do the rest. The credit score allows companies and people to capitalize and securitize assets. The US legal system keeps the game of commerce as fair as practical. Police officers and school boards keep our society safe and smart. We often overlook the importance of vetting in our communities.

Today, we find severe problems in finance and government and people are investing their knowledge assets in social media as the place to “store and exchange” their present and future productivity – instead of debt. As such, social vetting is taking many different forms to validate, qualify, and quantify those assets.

While the progression may not be noticeable, there will be a tipping point where the medium has built enough trust that it can support a currency. This new currency needs to be only a little bit more “trustworthy” than the currency it will replace. This is the point where knowledge becomes tangible.

Video: The Calculus of Global Outsourcing

calculus-failPicture credit

The knowledge economy is a completely different asset than the industrial revolution’s Land, labor, Capital economy. Yet, our modern accounting systems and even our definitions of terms such as innovation, work, employment, education, are built from industrial era or military logistic roots.

Modern Globalization is a system – it must be analyzed like a system. Data, Information, knowledge, and Innovation are profoundly related in a system. If you take away one of the components, the others become worthless.

When we outsource our knowledge economy, the innovation economy is exterminated. The Ingenesist project specifies an Innovation Economy built on social media which will capture the knowledge inventory of communities – let’s hope that we have not forgotten how to build an ….

Video; Will Social Capitalism Replace the Corporation?

mysocialnetwork Meet the new Org Chart

A corporation is simply a legal entity – otherwise, it is fictitious. A corporation is made up of people who have a social agreement among themselves to do what is in the best interest of the legal entity.

There is very little about a corporation that cannot be duplicated in social media. This calls into question the nature of social media vs. the nature of corporations.  Here we uncover a third pillar to the US economic recovery; Social Capitalism.

Video: America; A Next Developed Country

Industrial Revolution cartoonAmerica is stuck in the Industrial Revolution. A loose paraphrase from Seth Godin points out “our entire education system is designed to prepare people to work in factories, consume stuff, and believe this makes us happy”

Now that the factories are gone and the rest of the World has copied all of our tricks (while not copying our mistakes) it is time to move on. What is that next watershed economic paradigm? Who is going to figure this one out? The one who does will define the new meaning of “A Most Developed Country”

Dollar vs Rallod-A Mirror Image Economy

The problem with the American Dollar is that it is backed by future productivity in the form of debt – that is, our “promise” to pay off the debt. We know this because if America signaled that it was not willing or able to pay it’s debt, the dollar would cease to be used as Dollar vs Rallod-A Mirror Image Economya trading mechanism.

Innovation is also a promise backed by future productivity. By innovating in a new processes, method, system, or product today you are making a promise to increase productivity tomorrow.

Therefore, debt and innovation are blood brothers or mirror images of the other – they are both “currencies” (means of storing value) backed by future productivity. We can build a new economy around this concept which effectively weeds out the bad parts and keeps the good parts of the institutions and infrastructure that are already in place.  After all, two currencies backed by the same underlying asset  would be fully convertable

After all, the definition of a crook is someone who steals someone else’s productivity. May the best currency win.

Dollar vs Rallod-A Mirror Image Economy

Update: 03/2015  I recently stumbled upon this definition in a Gamification Wiki concerning the Rallod.  Thanks for the shout out!!

Rallod (Dollar spelt backwards) is concept developed by Dan Robles as a social capital currency which is based on the future productivity of innovation. He uses the Bizarro world featured in DC superman comics to provide an explanation of how his concept works. He distinguishes between normal economics revolving around Land, Labour and Capital and social capital which revolves around intellectual, social and creative capital. What is tangible in the normal world is intangible in the Bizarro world and vice versa. Robles believs the two worlds are mirror images of each other.

Visit www.badgeville.com to learn about the global gamification leader

Video; You Can’t Make a Bet Without Odds

C14Dec09_290x390Entrepreneurs won’t make a bet without odds. So when it comes down to assembling knowledge assets into an innovation enterprise, how can entrepreneurs predict the likelihood that they will be successful? The short answer is that they cannot.

The simple truth is that humans have not evolved to the point where they will organize themselves as knowledge assets in a financial system – they still need to use a proxy for their productivity controlled by a master, a corporation, an idealism. It’s called money, politics, and fear.

This is the greatest constraint on economic growth that America faces, not inflation, debt, taxes, or regulation….entrepreneurs have simply run out of info juice. This is the greatest challenge of our times. What are the odds that we’ll figure it out?

Where is The Knowledge Inventory?

Knowledge marketsThere is no knowledge inventory of our communities. The is a STUNNING omission for a country whose only hope at climbing out of economic hardship is sequestered within the innovative minds of its people.

If done correctly, knowledge can behave as an asset of trade. This must first start with a comprehensive knowledge inventory. Like the human genome project, the knowledge inventory project must be a sustained effort.

Link to specification document

The Old Economic Paradigm Breaks Down

childmillworkerAs the economic crisis unfolds before us and a paralyzed government, we must seek to understand the forces still acting upon all of us. When cause and effect have become a “complete mystery” to our most prominent thinkers and leaders, they need to look at history.

Does the Merchant Class allocate land Labor and Capital to the a great extent in an Innovation economy? The accepted statistic is that 70% of a company’s value comes from human capital and the creative solutions that they produce.

Land, labor, and capital are ineffective proxies for human creativity and intellect – end of story. The road to new monetization is not paved upon on the roadmap of the industrial revolution.  Something new needs to happen:

The simple truth is that humans have not evolved to the point where they will organize themselves as knowledge assets in a financial system – they still need to use a proxy for their productivity controlled by a master, a corporation, an idealism. It’s called money, politics, and fear.

The reality is that opportunities are endless if we can simply shift away from history and build a new future; a new economic paradigm.

Video: Tangible Knowledge; The Holy Grail of Social Media

Accounting Balance sheets have tangible assets and intangible assets. Unfortunately, intangible often means invisible and those on the dark side of the moon wind up in the unemployment line.

What if knowledge assets were tangible? What if you owned your knowledge like a company owns a structure or specialized machinery? What if it could be quantified and qualified so that it resembles all other tangible assets? Easy answer…entrepreneurs will trade it, like money.

Video: The Last Mile of Social Media

Sure Bro…Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are great for broadcasting across the Ocean, but how good are they for meeting your neighbors? As wonderful as all this global chatter appears, nothing tangible happens until the rubber meets the road.

Don’t Worry, Be Neighborly…

The following video describes how the components of the next economic paradigm must act locally, but share globally. For anyone wondering what to do next or where the great opportunities are, think about building out the Last mile of Social Media.

Video: Currency Must be Backed by Productivity

We must all be engaged in the process of Innovation. We must all be engaged in the process of increasing each other’s productivity – in whatever form that may be, that’s the objective. Anything that wastes time needs to go away. It’s that simple.

The following video discusses what the dynamic of an innovation economy will look like. Not glass walled towers and obscure think tanks, but real productivity – yours and mine. That’s the basis of the new global currency. It’s that simple.

Share Me

Rising Tide Floats All Boats

beachedWow, stunning.

You know that the time is right for a disruptive technology when nobody can agree what’s floating the World Currency. Will there be deflation, Inflation, or a new currency altogether?

We believe that a new currency will emerge.

It will be called a Rallod (dollar spelled backwards), similar to a dollar, except corrected to represent real human productivity. It will be exchanged in a new social media application and supporting institutions will be crowd sourced. If you think we’re nuts, you haven’t been reading this blog long enough. If we don’t succeed, there will be someone behind us trying.

Never, ever, ever underestimate the cloud; the source of all rain upon which rising tides float all ships, yadda, yadda, etc…..

Conversational Currency

Imagine people owning their knowledge assets like real property? Imagine that people trade knowledge assets like financial instruments? Imagine if they can bundle and securitize knowledge assets like the WS glory days did with debt (debt is really just a future contract on knowledge assets)? Far off? Think again….

In the mean time; here are some interesting articles aggregated by McKinsey:

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As the US economy emerges from the crisis, there’s little consensus on what lies ahead. Economic forecaster David Levy says chronic high unemployment will lead to, at worst, slight deflation. While former Fortune writer and financial adviser Al Ehrbar says, not so fast: with the Federal Reserve having flooded the market with dollars, massive inflation is likely.

Read Here

Plus: What Matters continues the conversation on the fate of the dollar:

GENG XIAO: Why the Chinese will not bail out the dollar by allowing the renminbi to appreciate

Read here

BENN STEIL: There are steep downsides to both a strong dollar and weak dollar policy

Read here

GERARD LYONS: Whether or not the dollar will topple isn’t in doubt, only its speed of decline is

Read Here:

MARTIN GILMAN: Now that the United States is a debtor nation, its currency can no longer dominate

Read Here:

CHARLES WYPLOSZ: The dollar is the worst international currency, except for all the others

Read Here:

TIM ADAMS: The dollar’s share may shrink, but it will continue to dominate

Read Here

MICHAEL MANDEL: Beware of a dollar crash if the United States loses its innovation edge

Read Here

JEFFREY GARTEN: The question isn’t if the dollar will be replaced–it’s when and how

Read Here

Join the conversation at WHAT MATTERS

Here

Video: Money vs. Productivity

The questions are:

1. What is money? 2. Why is it important? 3. Why is it all so confusing?

The answers are:

1. You are money. 2. You are important. 3. You’re not supposed to know this.

This video provide an easy way to find the truth among the high-fiber ambiguity that has become our political morass. Oh Yeah, they want you to be confused because they don’t want you to act any differently.

Calculating The ROI of Social Media

This video introduces a new way of looking at social media valuation. People find value in social media otherwise they would not do it. How is that value expressed as a financial instrument? If you engage your clients in the same currency that they are trading among themselves, the greater the likelihood you will realize the value of the new media phenomenon.

Pssst … Wanna Get Wasted?

dont_worry_get-stoned

Many Social Media Gurus are espousing a new culture that their clients should forget about blogging (adding meaningful content) in favor of the ubiquitous widespread “updates”.

Using automated apps, you no longer need to waste time creating content that teaches or expresses, you can populate across social media space carefully wedged in between someone else’s creative content. I find this appalling.

The new marketing mantras go something like these:

  • “Go where your customers congregate”.
  • “Gain their trust by sharing your stuff”
  • “Soon, you can start to influence their behavior”
  • “Once hooked, they will do your deed for freeeee!!”

This is starting to sound more like the neighborhood drug dealer than any sustainable economic paradigm.

Slavery on Steroids

Slavery is a term characterized in part by the coercion of another person to perform or act without compensation. The effects of slavery are not only physical, but mental as well.  The effects of oppression manifest themselves in addictive behaviors.

Social acceptance is an extremely powerful psychotic that can be cleverly turned against any person. The techniques of social media are getting increasingly sophisticated in hijacking and consuming the social capital of others.

Green Marketing

It does not take long to see that the marketing professions are defining the social media space regardless of what anyone says about user-generated content.  The danger is that social media will become just as unsustainable as the economy that it replaces.  People will soon lose the ability to produce the currency that the media demands to support itself.

Ban advertising

t would be high temple sacrilege for any social media monetization strategist to suggest that advertising of any kind must be banned.  Well, not exactly, but the objective of advertising can be redefined if there were a means to do so.

The only sustainable monetization strategy (of which there are terribly few current examples) are the deployment of social media applications that empower people to discover their own individual talents, to pursue what they are naturally best at and enjoy doing most – while also eliminating the clutter and irrelevant messages that distracts them from their personal life goals.

This means that brands should communicate more and not less.  They should identify, educate, and promote the talents and abilities of a million customers instead of 1 superstar athlete or celebrity.

The proverbial sports analogy:

Advertisers should sit in the bleachers and cheer on their favorite customer, but they should not be in the game, blowing the whistle, or running the scoreboard.  Let them pay admission, see my logo, and buy my overpriced beer.  Let them sell to each other on their own dime – but under no circumstances should they be allowed on the field, in the schools, or in the home without explicit and expressed permission of the customer.

What is the Quality of Conversation?

conversation1As we build the Next Economic Paradigm we seek to define the quality of conversations.

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, (CEFR), is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe.

Here is the twist.

We propose the use of a language proficiency standard as the conversational quality standard for any subject. Why?, Because every subject has it’s own language and related subjects have related languages. Try to bridge the philosophical chasm for yourself by reading the descriptions and drawing the analogy to the subject of your expertise, lack of expertise, or your interests and intension!

As such, for conversations about any subject matter in the world, past present or future, the following also holds true for subject matter proficiency:

Basic Proficiency

A1: Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

A2: Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance. Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

Intermediate Proficiency

B1: Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

B2: Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

Advanced Proficiency

C1: Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

C2: Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.

The Monetization Mystery

maritimeMystery

OK, the social media buzz is getting a little stale folks.

  • Yes we know that social media is valuable.
  • Yes we know that lots of folks are doing it.
  • Yes we know that the predictive web is predicted.
  • Yes we all know that all this activity will mysteriously “monetize”

Show me how everyone is related and I’ll show you a new economic paradigm. Here is how they are not related:

  • They are not related by “earning” people’s trust today so you can shove your product down their throat tomorrow.
  • They are not related to collecting thumbnails.
  • They are not related to giving the g00gle alg00rithm an 00rgasm.
  • They are not related by “The 6 Steps to [Fill in The Gap]”.

The next economic paradigm is related to transformation.

  • People transform data into information
  • People transform information into knowledge
  • People transform knowledge into innovation
  • People transform innovation into data

Under a set of fundamental assumptions that:

  • All people are socially talented
  • All people are intellectually talented
  • All people are creatively talented
  • All people are good at something
  • Nobody is good at everything

This is how value is generated. This is where the mystery of monetization hides.

Using Social Currency To Fight Terrorism

conversations2-500x351Given the events of the last several weeks, it’s time to for the aviation industry to get serious with Social Media.   This article demonstrates how an alternate currency can be used to severely reduce or eliminate terrorist risk in commercial aviation.  Think I’m kidding, read on.

Obviously an airline will not let you board an airplane if you don’t have the financial currency sufficient to buy ticket.  Why should an airline let you board an airplane if you do not have social currency sufficient to fulfill your social obligations while in the air?

People with extreme social currency deficiencies are routinely stripped of their rights by a jury of peers and isolated from society for a period of time (where they would not board an airplane anyway).  While there are many systems in place to manage the various degrees of social currency deficiency, none appear to be able to identify a terrorist without also violating the rights of non-terrorists.

Human Writes

However, many people are willing to share information about themselves to associates with whom an economic benefit is shared or exchanged.  This happens a billion times per week on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter – why not among fellow passengers?  After all everyone is already connected by 6 degrees.

What would a terrorist’s Facebook profile say about them?  Do they have a lot of referrals on linkedin?  Do they post great work on Flikr? Is their community orchestra featured on My Space? Are their posts popular on twitter?

Should a social currency credit score become imperative to social transactions as the financial credit score is for financial transactions?

Banks and Insurance companies already rely on a highly invasive “Credit Score” to establish financial risk profile as a means of protecting their selves and their other clients. Why wouldn’t an airline use a social credit score to establish a social risk profile as a means of protecting their selves and the lives of their other clients?

Ruse and lose

Sure, the bad guys can adapt to social media as they have adapted to all other measures.  The problem is that the greater the size and scope of their social media ruse, the more difficult it is to maintain the ruse.  A threshold score could be set to nearly eliminate this possibility.  Those folks can then simply opt into the full body scan.

The Paradigm Shift

As the saying goes, the attacker needs to be successful only once, while the defender needs to be successful every time.   The concept of a Social media credit score flips this paradigm on it’s head. The attacker’s social credit score needs to be successful every time.  The defender needs to be successful only once.

Social Media and Foreign Direct Investment

FDIIn the broadest definition, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is an investment outside the economy of the investor. It usually refers to a measure of foreign ownership of productive assets, such as factories, mines and land. Increasing foreign investment can be used as one measure of growing economic globalization.

The Disruption

Social Media has the effect of defining an economy not by an international border, but rather, by associations between people and their conversations. Investment is in the form of time and the exchange of ideas, experience, and knowledge. Ownership is expressed in the form of reputation, search placement, social ranking, hits, etc.

Social FDI

Therefore, FDI in social media refers to an investment applied outside the economy of the investor where:

  1. The outcome is derived simply from who is talking to whom.
  2. Combining different people in conversation results in alternate outcomes.

Likewise, increasing Social FDI can be used as one measure of growing economic socialization. For business, this means that Social FDI would then include investments in people who are not your customers.

For Example:

I recently wrote a post for Plane Conversations – a blog serving the private aviation industry. Thousands of private airplanes that once served the corporate market are grounded because of the financial crisis. The jist of the article was that the private aviation industry could help communities to stave off commercial aircraft expansion by empowering local entrepreneurs to compete with commercial aircraft industry by selling “lift products” provided by the private aviation industry, hence, Citizen Airlines, LLC.

The paradigm shift …

…is that a company that sells corporate jet services would engage, cooperate, and empower people who are not their customers in order to compete more effectively. Who saw that one coming? Can it happen everywhere? Can it happen in every single industry imaginable? What if everyone did it in their personal lives? Can it create entirely new industries altogether?

This is not trivial.

FDI in all forms induces a sharing of risk between the host economy and the investing economy. This provides a stronger stimulus to economic growth in host economies than other types of capital inflows. FDI is more than just capital; it is access to diverse technologies and management knowhow.

Welcome to conversational currency.

Many people who read the title of this post would conclude that the article is about the 100 million dollar Russian investment in Facebook, or how countries outside the US are using Linkedin and Twitter. Perhaps some repackaged assessment of well worn forecasts. Guess what, that is exactly what the article is about.

Innovation Economics 101

Innovation is largely the practice of connecting two useful ideas resulting in a third. Innovation leading to increased productivity is the fundamental source of increasing wealth in an economy. Innovation is the most important thing for the human survival.

Political Memoirs; The Money Shot?

political-memoirsOne must seriously ask, how exactly do political memoirs increase human productivity?

2009 marked the resurrection of the infamous “Book Deal” with lovely Ms. Palin and entourage leading the charge. However, books are not the actual product; it is the kindling (amazon pun intended) that they provide for endless fodder for the mainstream and new media.  It’s the money shot.

Entering a mid-term election year with the future of our country in the balance, the onslaught of meaningless dribble will be epic. The national pundits will go wild fueling local media coverage as the authors engage in their cross-country tours of duty performing the perfunctory act of accomplishment.

There will be a wide audience of Americans asking themselves the same question:

Should the past be used to predict the future?

Karl Rove

Former deputy White House chief of staff’s book Courage and Consequence will be published on 9 March by Simon and Schuster’s Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint. Deal reported by US media at $2m.

Donald Rumsfeld

To be published in the autumn by Sentinel, an imprint of Penguin. No advance for the former defense secretary, share of proceeds to go to charity.

George W Bush

Autobiography, tentatively titled Decision Points, is to be published by Crown. Deal estimated at $7m.

Laura Bush

Her memoir is due in the spring from Scribner. Laura’s deal may be worth more than her husband’s. US media put it at $8m.

Dick Cheney

Scheduled for spring 2011, the former vice-president shares publisher with Rove. His deal is estimated at $2m.

What if this conversation has no currency?

What if we are reaching a tipping point? What if nobody cares anymore? What if none of this makes any sense to anyone? What if we can more accurately use the future to predict what really happened in the past?

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