The LA Times recently ran an op-ed by Bryan Dean Wright advocating for the creation of a Data Mining Royalty Fund — in part as a way to provide a basic income to people whose jobs will be eliminated in the near future by robots and artificial intelligence.

Jaron Lanier and others have advocated similar schemes. In my opinion, they miss the point. The point isn’t “can we monetize” our private information instead of only “others” monetizing our private info. The point is: how do we “steer ourselves as a community most effectively.”

This author’s proposal is most accurately thought of as a community subsidy.
A subsidy doesn’t help us steer. In fact, it inhibits steering. And trading privacy away for sheckels isn’t Continue reading