Fifty years ago, the four most valuable U.S. companies employed an average of 430,000 people with an average market cap of $180 billion. This year, the four largest U.S. companies employ an average 120,000 people with an average market cap of $334 billion. The titans of 2011 have twice the the value of their 1964 counterparts with a quarter of the employees.
(via The Atlantic)
The empheraliszation of work means that software and other machinery has replaced a great deal of human dudgery. What happens when the machines become creative?
What sort of a world if 90% of all labor becomes obsolete, and nearly no one needs to work? Society will need a dramatic rethinking if we aren’t to split into an increasingly small elite that run businesses and government, and everyone else.
Who is to benefit from massive increases in productivity?
And here is the final case for social currency (or currencies). Whuffie could be a way to sustain people, reward brilliance, and hard work. In a world that no longer directly pays for hard work it will be needed or no one will have incentive to do really difficult things.