Reflections are only that, reflections, nothing more nothing less. Often these reflections are related to books I read, but occasionally also other things. These are often written very late, very fast,  using notes from my mobile phone, so the grammar and spelling is horrible.

Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy, by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson

This is not a groundbreaking book in anyway, but it is a good book that summarizes a lot of the discussions about digitalization as the main driver for the (American) economy. It is howecer important to remember that the focus of the report is the (American) economy and nothing more.

With a clear focus on the economy they capture many of the main arguments that other books spend 100's of pages in less than 60 pages (on an iPad with normal typeface). It is well written and has sources for most of the issues covered. So it is book that I could see people handing out to people before a meeting where these kinds of things will be discussed so that everyone is on the same page. I would even say that if you do not already know the things this book covers, you should get it and read it now, but….  And this is a big but… As mentioned above the book only talks about parts of the world, thematically (only economy) and geographically (only the US).

With such a narrow focus the clarity of the book also tend to create more confusion that understanding in many important areas. Global aspects are gone, redistribution/equity questions are gone, but more than anything thing the reason we have an economy is not to ensure productivity or employment, it is to create something we want. Through most of human history we wanted "more" to satisfy our material needs. In a connected society where material needs are not only satisfied, but over satisfied, there is a need to move beyond simplistic perspectives. This book could have been so much better if it acknowledged its own limitations.

To its credit the book touch on some fundamental ideas, such as the possibility to focus more on General purpose Technologies (GPT) not economic GDP, but it is within a very narrow framework. Still it is probably as challenging as most mainstream organisations can cope with and therefore it is a valuable contribution.

So in conclusion: the world would probably be a better place if the traditional economists and experts at least took the time to read this “Connected Economy for Dummies”.