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Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World Hardcover – July 9, 2009
Based on seven years of reporting from over a dozen countries, writer Tom Wainwright takes you on an extraordinary journey into the business of being a drug lord. Learn more.
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Top Customer Reviews
If I understand Cowen, creating your own economy is what you can now do in the world of the internet and new technology, where the number, diversity and accesibility of goods and services has sky-rocketed, particularly those goods and services related to the production of information. You can today decide to listen to very select songs on your I-Pod; read only blogs and receive feeds that suit your very unique tastes; and participate in online groups and activities that also satisfy your own individualized, quirky and even eccentric tastes, all at a fantastically reduced cost and ease of access. At the same time you can contribute to this hyper-personal economy by adding goods and services to it via your own input and participation, like by writing book reviews on Amazon.com, I suppose. As far as I understand it, that's what creating your own economy is about.Read more ›
What exactly is this book about, and what has it got to do with economics? The main thread of the book is that "autistic cognitive style", by which is meant an ability to focus on details and ordering or arrangement bits of information, is an under appreciated virtue. Cowen suggests that most formal education is about inculcating that approach anyway. Cowen further suggests that a number of real and fictional people (like Sherlock Holmes) are extreme users of that cognitive style and have been very successful. What is the connection with economics? Very little indeed. Cowen touches upon behavioral economics, mainly to suggest that Adam Smith, the father of modern economics might have been a tad autistic and that autistics are less prone to make irrational choices. As regards how to use this style to make a living, well Cowen doesn't have much to say about that, although as a self-diagnosed "autistic" he makes a good living as an economist.
Firstly I do not buy the idea that people who are good with ordering their universe must have an autistic cognitive style. This presumes that people cannot use this style for work and other styles for other activities. There are an awful lot of scientists and engineers who are very good at what they do, yet would not be characterized as being more autistic overall than the average person in the population.
Secondly, does this idea of autistic style actually translate into something useful? While there is a lot of talk about the value of data analysis, to a large extent much of it is relatively easy to do, and hence automate. This means that jobs in this area will be transferable to low wage countries.Read more ›
Most exciting for me was the idea that internet, far from making us more impatient, may allow us to assemble long and valuable narratives from 'small bits'. This idea changed how I think about my time spent online. Rather than feeling vaguely guilty about the time I 'waste' reading blogs, I am thinking about the stories that each individual blog post adds to.
Cowen's notes that the internet (and computers, ipods, etc.) are exceptionally good at helping us to organize information. Intriguingly, Cowen argues that this may in a positive sense be making us all more autistic. Far from a being a distraction, the internet may be enabling us to appreciate culture in individual ways that were not previously possible. (For the economists out there, you need to read the book to see how much of this is explained by the most important theorem you've probably never heard of: the Alchian-Allen theorem.)
Whether or not you agree with all of Cowen's arguments, this book is likely to make you see the world - and yourself - differently. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
horrible title. Cowen doesn't actually call himself autistic, but he clearly knows his stuff and has done his research.Published 9 months ago by 4lunch
According to Tyler Cowen, it's a great time to be alive. And who could disagree with that? Thanks to the digital economy we have more choices when it comes to what to consume and... Read morePublished on August 8, 2013 by Greg Linster
I was so naive when I picked up this book. I actually thought the author was going to offer PRACTICAL insights on how to create your own economy and find prosperity in the midst... Read morePublished on July 8, 2013 by Love the Library
Tyler Cowen, a George Mason University economics professor, writes for the popular blog, "The Marginal Revolution. Read morePublished on December 5, 2011 by Scott Sundsvold
This book has nothing to do with its title. Halfway through, I found myself wondering, "Why did he write this book? Read morePublished on September 7, 2011 by Michael
This entire book could have been condensed to a Tweet.
Embrace your autistic side and bring order to your life.
What a waste of $3.65. Read more
This book was interesting, but I was pretty disappointed when about halfway through the book I realized the book had trailed off from the topics that had been most interesting to... Read morePublished on August 10, 2010 by Ninakix
As others have noted this book's title is misleading. The paperback version has been re-titled "The Age of the Infovore." Perhaps a more apt title. Read morePublished on July 21, 2010 by Tom Tom
How can you survive in a bad economic time? Will you surrender or change the way you lived? How can we improve our internal worlds to lead a better life? Read morePublished on April 26, 2010 by Yanxi Zhou