Inevitable Economics

  1. It seems unavoidable that for economic efficiency to be maximised, databases need to be maximally aligned with the simplest possible uniformity - and yet for innovation to be maximised, databases need to deviate from simply aligned uniformity.

  2. It seems that “intellectual property” rights incentivise innovation by specifically rewarding individuals involved in performing valuable intellectual labour, yet they simultaneously require measures to restrict the spread of the use or even knowledge of intellectual innovation beyond its most direct creators, and they even encourage restrictions in allowing access to the means to communicate “owned” information.

I would argue that the practicalities of bettering intellectual innovation thereby results in a proportional rise in admin work.

Yet it’s only on the one hand that the less synchronicity there is between databases, the more human work (and error) is required to bridge the gaps between them, as well as to monitor and enforce such property rights.
On the other hand is the Kafkaesque alternative that intellectual innovation is not rewarded by such rights as “intellecual property”, which also requires a proportional amount of admin to monitor and enforce simple uniformity between databases.

Is, therefore, administrative work an inevitable byproduct of economic growth tied to intellectual and informational innovation?
Is it the case that however information is treated, some kind of human admin work is required to deal with it, and thereby no matter how much we all benefit from intellectual innovation, we cannot “work ourselves out of” the requirement for human labour?

The same point will even go for any rise in AI technology to feign replacement of this seeming human admin requirement, as any mention I’ve made above of human intellectual labour will simply be replaced by AI efforts - including the efforts to monitor and enforce “intellectual property” rights to benefit and incentivise creators: AI will be required to outsmart other AI in its attempts to access and homogenise databases, to restrict efficiency in the name of incentivising human intellectual innovation.
It’s therefore only by sacrificing the opportunity for humans to innovate that we could eliminate the need for human admin work.
The alternative would be a life of creativity for its own sake, or none at all - neither of which satisfy a human sense of purpose. So admin is here to stay.

I think you could have both. Innovation springs I think from the serendipitous alignment of otherwise unlikely ideas. And as you say, for this to be expedited, you need a little noise in the system. But you could have an “add noise” button, this is electronic media, and a database isn’t really conceptually any different from a music playlist on your phone. Shuffle button. :smiley:

Sure. I think there is often lag though - while the administrative system comes to grips with whatever the innovation is, and more importantly its knock-on effects, which are often initially hidden. Innovation is an emergent event, and its eventual uses are also emergent in nature sometimes. Perhaps an ‘emergent cascade’ is a better conceptualization. Viagra the heart medicine->viagra the pocket-rocket->middle age sexual revolution :smiley: for example, any emergent event is by its nature, impossible to predict entirely, and therefore impossible to administrate with complete effectiveness.

Technically yes, there would be plateaus though. But as you say…

Admin work is basically meaningless hell. So yep, yoke those AIs to the plough.

I think you have an unrealistic idea of how recognizably ‘smart’ AIs are or will be. Unless we are talking far far future. And I think this paragraph leaps all over the place. Access yes, homogenize yes but only at the foundation levels. Algorithms for sorting, contextualizing and connecting otherwise disparate bodies of knowledge would create wildly different meta-architectures above this foundation.

AIs work at insane speeds - what, in machine terms, could be labelled as inefficiency, would probably be unnoticiable at human processing speeds. And also, why should innovation be solely a human pastime…? Why not build an AI which is tasked to auto-generate ‘innovations’ by randomly slapping together existant tech/theoretical applications in however unlikely combinations, and throwing them up on screen for human purview…?

The true burden of administration is always more concerened with regulation and logistics than reward I think. And we must also note the field of administration is not exempt from innovation. :smiley:

Why do you suddenly jump from AI admin to human admin in the last sentence…?

I think the rewards of intellectual property are far more alluring at a corporate level than at the level of the individual. Without the enforcement of intellectual property rights then yes, corporate sponsored innovation would diminish, but not go extinct. The lag between invention and widespread adoption would always mean the original producer of said innovation would have the jump on its competitors logistically. The profits would lie there. We would see a huge rise in secrecy and espionage as corporations struggled to maximize this period of lag, which yes I suppose, would have a negative effect on innovation on a worldwide level.

At the singular human level though, well, we just like new stuff. Getting rich off it is secondary.

I think we should also differentiate between corporate-driven innovation and individual origin innovation. Because of the investment risk involved corporations are very leery of anything not already tried and tested, which is the antithesis of innovation. Corporate research is vastly biased toward tweaking already existent tech, rather than going out on a limb with something utterly new.

This is the key premise. If the rewards are solely money, then yes, administration is inevitable, and hobbling. If the rewards were other, less tangible assets, esteem, social status and social influence/power etc. then less so. We’ve by and large relegated old-style religion to the dumpster in the developed world eh, kinda anyway, now we really need to dump the new religion - capitalism, economic growth, money - too.

My “key premise” is that to uphold and utilise the incentivising effects of “intellectual property” rights, admin is an economic inevitability.

Any “emergent” minimisation of any “knock-on lag in admin innovation”, via whatever new “algorithms for sorting, contextualising and connecting unlikely ideas / otherwise disparate bodies of knowledge to create wildly different meta-architectures” is intrinsically obstructed by constant efforts to uphold any incentivising benefits to individuals (or corporatations) for performing intellectual labour and coming up with innovations.

You can see this in laws against, for example, web-scraping and web-crawling.

Human admin could be cut down on considerably through the use of scripts and programs to automatically extract data of interest, but the terms and conditions of websites owned by individuals or corporations holding the largest amounts of the most influential data usually explicitly prohibit such practices. They have a case for conserving the physical resource of their own bandwidth, and protecting private and sensitive personal data, but other than that it’s solely to put barriers in the way of others using their competitive advantages that they get from their “private” intellectual innovation, which they would necessarily have gained through deviating from any “industry standard”, which would make their data easily accessible for the benefit of others (whether financial or otherwise) if they stuck to it. The result of these barriers is human admin work - the task of having to manually navigate the many and varied systems of others in only the specific ways allowed by the individual entity or corporate entity that holds it.

I only brought up AI because I was second-guessing somebody coming along and lazily hand-waving the concept at the topic, when any level of AI - whether current or in the far far future - would do nothing to overcome this inevitable economic issue. It would just share the human problem in equal ways with machines.

For as long as intellectual innovation is incentivised and protected by “intellectual property” rights for individuals or corporations, human manual admin is here to stay and society as a whole will never work its way out of it via any degree of innovation.
The only way to progress from this economic stalemate of at least some people having to perform what you describe as the “meaningless hell” of admin is indeed by dumping what you call the “new religion”: “capitalism, economic growth, money”.

That was a lot of quotation marks. They weren’t my intellectual property. :smiley:

Ok, so, are you saying this inevitable need for human admin is good, bad, or some kind of limiting factor…?

Limiting factor.

Quotation marks were of my terms or yours.

So kids, admin, a secure career choice.