Blockchain and tokenization to fight inequality

Hi @Andrea and @tim_m, what do you make of the following article? Do you think we could work together to break the content down into small junks and use them to create a series of TOEIC based reading comprehension texts? The ideas covered are absolutely vital and we need to spread the word about this to ESL community. Please let me know if you agree:

As a matter of fact, I shared my thoughts on some of those questions quite a while back here:

3 Likes

I read the article and what I found most interesting about it was the proposed state-owned investment agency. Incentivizing wealthy investors under this model could be a good start towards the redistribution of wealth (which goes directly to the heart of the article). Having debt-tokens and national-tokens as a way of maintaining transparency is also important, too. I think a series of TOEIC texts on “fighting wealth inequality” is be a great idea, but I am a bit hesitant as to how many texts we could make from just this article alone. Perhaps a few. But reading the article reminded me of other areas besides just business economics where people are proposing solutions to wealth inequality. Take the private prison system here in America: Capitalizing on Mass Incarceration: U.S. Growth in Private Prisons | The Sentencing Project. Or big money funding our politics, which was discussed in the article you posted and here: Public Funding for Electoral Campaigns | Demos. My point is that wealth inequality is the root of so many societal problems. I think we might be doing a disservice to our ESL community if we didn’t have some variety among this series of texts. However, here’s a potential issue with my suggestion: the articles I posted here require innovative solutions but may be lacking in “new technology” content that we are striving for. Perhaps “Democracy Dollars” as Andrew Yang calls them (Democracy Dollars - Yang2020 - Andrew Yang for President) could take advantage of tokenization as well, but I haven’t seen anyone propose publicly funding political campaigns with cryptocurrency; they’ve historically come in the form of vouchers. Take a look at Seattle’s new program, for example: Democracy Voucher Program - DemocracyVoucher | seattle.gov. Maybe we could start by breaking down and organizing @Torsten’s article first? Then decide if we want to source more content on wealth inequality for additional texts.

3 Likes

Hi Tim, you are right, creating some kind of roadmap for this project is a great idea. We can identify the main points we going to cover and then source articles for reference.

What we want is a balance between texts that cover new technologies on the one hand and texts that describe the transformation of our society and its value system on the other. It’s very important to stress that the fact that new technologies need to lead to a higher form of societal development. Only if the vast majority of people benefit from emerging technologies and business models will they be ready to embrace them. For example, here is an articles that describes a better alternative to the ‘winner-takes-all’ principle current unicorn startups are based on: Start-ups shouldn't try to be unicorns—they should be zebras — Quartz

Only a tiny percentage of people will every be able to create unicorn (out of whom most are white males from the US) so how can get the majority of our potential readers exited about unicorns? However, the zebra approach makes much more sense because it based on fairer principles such as #humanity_first

Here is a quote from Mara Zepeda’s article:

Why zebras?

  • To state the obvious: unlike unicorns, zebras are real.

  • Zebra companies are both black and white: they are profitable and improve society. They won’t sacrifice one for the other.

  • Zebras are also mutualistic: by banding together in groups, they protect and preserve one another. Their individual input results in stronger collective output.

  • Zebra companies are built with peerless stamina and capital efficiency, as long as conditions allow them to survive.

Let’s see what @Andrea and @Sumejja think :wink:

3 Likes

Yes, that’s a great idea. :wink: I think it’s important to make a list because then it’s more specific. There is so much out there, so we need to decide which aspects are best.

2 Likes

Here are some areas I think are worth addressing in this series (including @Torsten’s first article). I’ve also included some interesting articles we might be able to source from as well. We may need to add or detract from what’s here, but this will at least get the ball rolling on this new series :+1: :grin:

2 Likes

Hi @Tim, @Andrea, @Donnyrachy1, @Elida and @Sumejja, I hope it’s okay with you Tim, if I post your roadmap here on the forum rather than using Google Drive. This way we can keep things simpler and even more open source. I’ve made this post into a Wikipost, which means anyone with an invite can edit it. (just hit the ‘edit’ button at the bottom).

According to a recent study by 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer | Edelman more than 73% of all Germans are afraid of losing their jobs within the next few years due to automation, AI, robotics and other technologies.

One of the reasons why the Germans are so afraid of the future is that the German car industry is in decline.
This means our goal should be to keep a balance between covering those new technologies on the one hand and new approaches to our value system, especially our current economic model on the other. That’s why I like your Roadmap very much so far, Tim. Thanks a lot for sharing it. Let’s see if we can turn this into the first project we all contribute to…
Blockchain and tokenization to fight inequality

Cryptocurrency and political campaign financing

Automation (how to overcome massive job loss)

Lack of regulation of our personal data: getting paid for your data?

Addressing the problems in the sharing economy (work conditions, job loss)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-council-votes-to-restrict-airbnb-in-nations-capital/2018/10/02/9431979a-c652-11e8-b1ed-1d2d65b86d0c_story.html

Technology and gender inequality (equal job opportunities and equal pay)

Technology and education (literacy is essential for the Internet to be a useful tool)

https://www.worldremit.com/en/stories/story/2019/11/14/edtech-africa

Breaking up the power of big tech companies to deliver more opportunities for new competition (perhaps zebra companies).

2 Likes

These articles are great! Can I use the last two/three articles to create texts? I’d love to write about gender inequality and tackling literacy. Thanks!

4 Likes

Hi Elia, let’s see what @tim_m says but I’d say if you like the articles please do go ahead and create exercises based on them. If Tim or anyone else wants to use those articles too they can do so since it’s perfectly fine to create more than just one exercises based on any given article since they the texts and questions will vary from author to author any way.

3 Likes

I agree! We should be able to create different texts based on the same/similar articles, but first I would like to hear what @tim_m thinks. :slight_smile: Thanks!

3 Likes

You can absolutely use them, @Elida. And @Torsten is right that our texts will vary. Not to mention some of the articles (e.g., the one on gender inequality published by Singularity Hub) are loaded with different examples of how technologies are being used to overcome wealth inequality. So the articles themselves can be broken down into multiples texts as well.

4 Likes

Excellent! Thanks, @tim_m :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Hi all! Great articles, thank you @tim_m for collecting these! For myself, I’d love to make a few reading comprehension tests based on these. What say you, @Torsten?

2 Likes

Hi @Sumejja, sure you can go ahead and create reading comprehension tests as long as you also write a summary of each article since we can’t link to external sources. In other words, you can create reading comprehension exercises of the same format Elida and Tim have used. Please let me know if this makes sense. By the way, if you like you can also create other types of exercises as long as you choose from the list we have on our site.

1 Like

Can you please tell me what this format looks like, in terms of style, length etc? Thanks!

2 Likes

Hi again @Sumejja, the TOEIC based reading comprehension exercises have this format: Co-Living in Hong Kong | english.best

As for other formats, please browse our site to see which kinds of exercises we have since all of them are supported by our CMS so you can pick those formats you like most and create materials with them. Please let me know if this makes sense. Many thanks.

1 Like

I am going to tackle the cryptocurrency, personal data, and home sharing (Airbnb) articles for my next texts. I’ve also sourced a few other interesting articles unrelated to this thread’s series that I may write texts for as well.

Some of those unrelated medical tech articles are here:

Cellular Reprogramming

Nootropics

Technological doping in athletics

3 Likes

Based on the road map, here are some potential TOEIC Reading Comprehension Topics I’d be working on.

  1. Man-made disasters: why technology and organizations (sometimes) fail

  2. Paperless office and its effects on workers

  3. An attempt to balance the relationship between man and technology

  4. Effects of low birth rate on European economy

  5. Are we developing or regressing?

  6. What is considered healthy to eat?

  7. Rethinking office automation

  8. Human development with a focus on comfort

  9. Role of Live Facial Recognition in crime reduction

  10. A simplified approach to economic collapses

3 Likes

Hello Rachel, all these topics are very interesting and valuable so I look forward to reading your texts. Please do let me know if you need anything to make your working process even more easy. Best regards, Torsten

3 Likes

Replacing Rethinking office automation with Negative Effects of Electronics on Health

2 Likes

Hi Rachel, this sounds interesting. Can you please elaborate?

2 Likes