Average is Over in The Second Machine Age

Prolific smart guy Tyler Cowen recently wrote some very kind words about The Second Machine Age, the book Erik Brynjolfsson and I wrote as a follow-up to Race Against the Machine2MA (as we’re calling it) comes out soon from Norton, and Tyler is looking forward to it:

It is due out January 2014, self-recommending, and it is likely to be the best and most important economics book of the forthcoming year.

The Second Machine AgeAverage Is Over

This (unsolicited) blurb is particularly meaningful because while there’s a lot of overlap in our views, we and Tyler don’t see eye-to-eye on all the issues relating to technological progress and its economic implications. Erik and I don’t think that there’s been a recent Great Stagnation (even though Tyler’s book of the same name did inspire us to write Race Against the Machine) and we’ve both debated Tyler on the subject: Erik at Techonomy 2011, and me at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival.

Recommendations from people who see things exactly as you do are certainly nice, but ones from those who disagree with you are really gratifying because they show that your ideas are being taken seriously.

So thanks, Tyler. And let me return the favor. Cowen’s new book is called Average is Over: Powering America in the Age Beyond the Great Stagnation. I haven’t read it yet but it’s going on my Kindle right away. From the title and what I know so far of its contents it seems that Cowen has reached a lot of the same conclusions as Erik and I about the technologically astonishing economy we’re quickly creating. I can’t wait to read exactly what he has to say about it.

I think we’ll have less to debate this time…