Skills for the 21st Century in Latin America and the Caribbean (Directions in Development)

The Inequality Story in Latin America and the Caribbean: Searching for an Explanation
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These processes are meticulously designed to produce ignorance by circumventing individual awareness and thus eliminate any possibility of self-determination. It has no foundation in democratic or moral legitimacy, as it usurps decision rights and erodes the processes of individual autonomy that are essential to the function of a democratic society. The message here is simple: Once I was mine. Now I am theirs.


Education has proven to have many spillovers related to productivity increases and diversification, allowing societies to reduce their dependence on weather-sensitive activities. Latin American countries must work hard to realize a payoff during this relatively short window of opportunity—one they have not really taken advantage of until very recently. First, he rejected monarchism, continued to regard individual rights as natural, and subscribed to the doctrine of the social contract. J Dev Econ — Wage growth by sector in commodity-boom and no-boom countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, circa —

SZ: During the past two decades surveillance capitalists have had a pretty free run, with hardly any interference from laws and regulations. Democracy has slept while surveillance capitalists amassed unprecedented concentrations of knowledge and power.

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We enter the 21st century marked by this stark inequality in the division of learning: they know more about us than we know about ourselves or than we know about them. These new forms of social inequality are inherently antidemocratic.

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First, surveillance capitalists no longer rely on people as consumers. Instead, supply and demand orients the surveillance capitalist firm to businesses intent on anticipating the behaviour of populations, groups and individuals. Second, by historical standards the large surveillance capitalists employ relatively few people compared with their unprecedented computational resources.

General Motors employed more people during the height of the Great Depression than either Google or Facebook employs at their heights of market capitalisation. Finally, surveillance capitalism depends upon undermining individual self-determination, autonomy and decision rights for the sake of an unobstructed flow of behavioural data to feed markets that are about us but not for us. This antidemocratic and anti-egalitarian juggernaut is best described as a market-driven coup from above: an overthrow of the people concealed as the technological Trojan horse of digital technology.

On the strength of its annexation of human experience, this coup achieves exclusive concentrations of knowledge and power that sustain privileged influence over the division of learning in society. It is a form of tyranny that feeds on people but is not of the people. JN: Our societies seem transfixed by all this: we are like rabbits paralysed in the headlights of an oncoming car. This does not mean, however, that we are foolish, lazy, or hapless.

On the contrary, in my book I explore numerous reasons that explain how surveillance capitalists got away with creating the strategies that keep us paralysed. These include the historical, political and economic conditions that allowed them to succeed. Other significant reasons are the need for inclusion, identification with tech leaders and their projects, social persuasion dynamics, and a sense of inevitability, helplessness and resignation.

The result is that the choice mechanisms we have traditionally associated with the private realm are eroded or vitiated. There can be no exit from processes that are intentionally designed to bypass individual awareness and produce ignorance, especially when these are the very same processes upon which we must depend for effective daily life. So our participation is best explained in terms of necessity, dependency, the foreclosure of alternatives, and enforced ignorance.

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SZ: The tech leaders desperately want us to believe that technology is the inevitable force here, and their hands are tied. But there is a rich history of digital applications before surveillance capitalism that really were empowering and consistent with democratic values. Technology is the puppet, but surveillance capitalism is the puppet master. Surveillance capitalism is a human-made phenomenon and it is in the realm of politics that it must be confronted.

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The resources of our democratic institutions must be mobilised, including our elected officials. GDPR [a recent EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the EU] is a good start, and time will tell if we can build on that sufficiently to help found and enforce a new paradigm of information capitalism. Our societies have tamed the dangerous excesses of raw capitalism before, and we must do it again. While there is no simple five-year action plan, much as we yearn for that, there are some things we know.

Despite existing economic, legal and collective-action models such as antitrust, privacy laws and trade unions, surveillance capitalism has had a relatively unimpeded two decades to root and flourish. But what is the point of owning data that should not exist in the first place? All that does is further institutionalise and legitimate data capture.

Data ownership also fails to reckon with the realities of behavioural surplus. Surveillance capitalists extract predictive value from the exclamation points in your post, not merely the content of what you write, or from how you walk and not merely where you walk. Another example: there may be sound antitrust reasons to break up the largest tech firms, but this alone will not eliminate surveillance capitalism. Instead it will produce smaller surveillance capitalist firms and open the field for more surveillance capitalist competitors. So what is to be done?

In any confrontation with the unprecedented, the first work begins with naming.

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My hope is that careful naming will give us all a better understanding of the true nature of this rogue mutation of capitalism and contribute to a sea change in public opinion, most of all among the young. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Technology The Observer. With IFs, the Pardee Center focuses on exploring past development trends, understanding the complex interrelationships that drive development outcomes, and shapingpolicies that communicate and achieve a clear development strategy. The IFs database contains nearly 4, country-level data series that inform and underpin forecasts across human, social, and environmental systems; they help develop scenarios, evaluate policy trade-offs, and explore alternative futures.

IFs frame uncertainty with forecasts across critical human development systems, including: demographics, economics, health, education, agriculture, energy, governance, government finance, international politics, environment, technology, and infrastructure. They are dynamically connected across time, enabling users to simulate how changes in one system lead to changes across the others. Using data from trusted global sources, IFs help users understand dynamics within and across global systems, enabling them to think systematically about potential futures and to create more reasonable development goals and targets.

There are three main avenues for analysis in IFs: historical data analysis cross-sectional and longitudinal , Base Case analysis how systems seem to be developing , and alternative scenario development exploring if-then statements about the future. While there are limits to any modeling endeavor, forecasting is still important. Thinking systematically about the future, with input from experts and quantitative models, creates a platform for anticipating the future more effectively. When forecasts are explicit and transparent, the analysis becomes even more useful.

The IFs software provides that transparency, helping policy-makers think critically about trade-offs and make better strategic choices in an uncertain global environment. Looking ahead to , seven major questions should be asked about the region, the answers to which will go a long way toward defining how its future will unfold.

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In futures studies, these questions are often called uncertainties—events, developments, or shocks that have the potential to alter or disrupt the trajectory of a country, a region, or the world. Uncertainties can be social, political, geopolitical, economic, environmental, or technological. An example is shale gas, a technological breakthrough that upended global energy markets, altered national economic trajectories, and reshaped global geopolitics.

Figures 2 and 3 list the big questions that will shape Latin America and the Caribbean out to These questions resulted from extensive outreach to stakeholders from Latin American and Caribbean countries and within the Inter-American Development Bank, as well as from analyses provided through the IFs model. Figure 2 poses global questions how uncertainties at the global level might shape the region , while figure 3 poses domestic questions how uncertainties within the region might shape the future.

This question concerns the levels and patterns of global economic growth through , and how those patterns will affect the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean.

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There are four interrelated aspects: the overall rate of growth, the volatility of that growth, the direction from which growth will come, and the relative productivity of the global economy compared with the region. All of these things are uncertainties. Lower than expected global growth rates will have the reverse effect, dampening regional growth and making it harder for governments to raise revenue and pay for their obligations.

Long-range projections tend to forecast average global growth rates ranging from 2 percent to 3 percent per year—numbers that could be considered the new normal. Higher global growth also means more foreign direct investment FDI will flow into the region from both private and public sources. Consistent rates of growth—high, low, or otherwise—are unlikely to characterize the next fourteen years.

Volatility of global growth is more likely. Both the United States and the European Union are likely to remain important trading partners, but emerging markets, especially in Asia, should become even more critical in the future. China has been an especially important growth driver and is likely to continue to be an important export destination. At the same time, rapidly growing Indian cities could take up the slack for construction materials such as copper for electricity grids.

Finally, productivity growth is a major question for both the global economy and for the region. Given the slowdown in global population growth sub-Saharan Africa is a major exception , economic growth increasingly must come from productivity improvements. Aging in East Asia and Europe will be particularly rapid.

Growth rates are not the only economic uncertainty in the global environment.

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Skills for the 21st century in Latin America and the Caribbean (English) Directions in development ; human development. Washington, DC. Skills for the 21st Century in Latin America and the Caribbean the Caribbean. Directions in Development ; human development. World Bank.