The world loves America, Twitter's self-destruction, the "richcession" continues, more decoupling, permitting reform in California, and backtracking on patent reform
The thing that must be stressed is that the public interest in a patented invention is a secret about the invention, usually the secret of how it is made. The public agrees to let the inventor with the secret take monopoly profits in exchange for the secret -- without the patent the inventor would just rely on secrecy for their trade advantage, and when the inventor is hit by a bus, the secret could be lost to the world for all time. Almost all 'look and feel' and 'business method' patents don't contain any secret that the public would consider paying a bent nickel for. Rounded corners aren't a secret -- everybody can see them, and any computer graphics library can paint your screen any way anybody wants. Deep down in the past the person who invented the screen did something that very likely was a secret, but from then on it is just 'use the thing the way it is expected to be used'.
Even more encouraging from CA is that the less-publicized law enabling more strip-mall redevelopment has gone into effect.
We probably won't see a huge wave of projects like with Builder's Remedy, but it's basically HUGE for infill. America is full of struggling and abandoned strip malls with underutilized parking lots. A study in Boston showed that even redeveloping only the top 25% of them into multistory-mixed-use (those abominable things buildings we all know and hate) would satisfy the region's housing needs for the next decade.
CA's law... makes something like 80-90% of its strip malls eligible. There's potential for insane growth here, and it'll be interesting to watch what CA does with it.
Without doubting that de-coupling is going on, let's not forget that to the extent it reduces the increase in global wealth and income, it is not a GOOD THING per se, not for China, not for the US, not for the rest of the world.
On #6, curious what you think of http://www.rocrastination.com/thoughts/2011/3/27/proposal-new-conditions-for-patentability.html. Wrote way back when; not sure if "societal benefit" filter is a good idea or could even work ... but looking back at this 11 years later having worked in both startups and bigco's in tech throughout, I do still think a "non-triviality" condition corresponding to the Higher Barriers to Entry point makes sense and is practicable
And then there is Larry Summers, true to form, consistently wrong. He’s a sort of counterintuitive lagging indicator:
Do you have a Threads account? I can't find
Suggestion for 5 interesting things.
George Orwell may be my favorite person of all time. Orwell describes the 1930s with an uncanny resemblance to the 2020s. As always, I find what Orwell has to say completely inspiring.
"Our Lying Problem and how George Orwell can stop it"
JUN 29, 2023
I am a patent lawyer who was involved in the 2014 Alice case—and have had clients who both benefited from and have been hurt by it ever since—so let me try to give a little more color. Under the current "abstract idea" law, it is hard to predict what courts will do, and there isn't a discernible connection between what survives and what is beneficial for innovation. It does cut down on the number of bad patent suits, particularly in the Internet/tech industry, but at times it does so a bit like requiring every plaintiff win a hand of poker at the beginning of the case. And it's spilled from "business methods" to the tangible worlds of proteins and gears.
Part of the challenge (and a complication in the politics) is that the patent system works much better in some industries than others—an issue worthy of economic study unto itself. Whatever one thinks of the pharmaceutical industry, the Hatch-Waxman Act (which balances patent protection with incentives for generic competition) seems to do a pretty good job of fostering research and preventing free-riding on expensive clinical development, while weeding out bad patents. On the other hand, the patent system often seems like an expensive irrelevancy in the Internet world. The Alice case is probably helpful to minimize the downsides of the latter, but it's creating a mess in other fields.
If you believe the patent system has a role in fostering innovation, some kind of legislative reform seems prudent. I am not sure the Tillis-Coons bill is the answer, but if it's not, neither the effects nor the motivations are as simple as "Alice cut back on bad patents and this will resurrect them."
It's @n0ahpinion for those looking.
To what extent is the richcession perhaps a reflection of increased automation (which we expect to affect highly paid knowledge workers more than cheaper physical labor)?
Seems like a pretty small and non random sample of developing countries. They didn't really survey any of the ones that people cite as places where the populace is more favorable to Russia. Not sure how informative this is.
1,2,4 and 5 are very positive. Like seeing these trends.
More of this Noah - this is great stuff!
Improvements in lower income workers earnings is such a great shift...now if we could just get housing costs under control - biggest source of inequality as scarcity makes homeowners/landowners rich and bleeds renters,
For #5, CEQA reform - I’ve looked at leg text of SB 423 and unless I missed it, did not find the litigation time limits in there - can anyone point me to it? Maybe it dropped out in amendments, but even so would be interesting to see the original text.
I'm not sure having the other dominant social media company in the world owning the "town square" is any better than a petty electric-car making, billionaire owning it.
"the world needs more than one town square"
It's a nice sentiment, but this actually doesn't work in either the real and virtual worlds.
As a contribution to topics: Can we get the collective intellectual heft of this Substack :) onto the issue of Treasury issuing intermediate tenor TIPS. Their 5 year TIPS says that participants in that more today think inflation will average 2.22% over the next 5 years and 2.27% over the next 10 years. Wouldn't it be nice to know what the expect over 1, 2 or 3 years?
Also to issue securities denominated in Trillionths of GDP in the year of maturity. In other words the nominal yield is the nominal rate of GDP increase.