Thursday, April 19, 2018

Skills Arbitrage Exacerbates the Knowledge Use Dilemma

Skills arbitrage as the prime means of monetary compensation, is creating problems for the marketplace structure of both healthcare and educational institutions. Increasingly, as governments grapple with national debt burdens, the consequent revenue limits have encouraged an excess focus on core elements, as if "one size fits all" patterns were appropriate for the use of knowledge and skill.

Unfortunately, a "one size fits all" response doesn't align well, with the realities of students, customers, patients, or providers - especially given the experiential nature of time based product. One result of the present dilemma, is undue focus on metrics for the measurement of system outcomes. However, this approach encourages not only those who game the system, it sometimes leads to losses in what might have been productive approaches for knowledge and skill.

Consider how secondary market organizational patterns have impacted supply side sources for services generation at a general equilibrium level. For instance, it's unrealistic to expect public education to leave no child "behind", given the problems that creates for individual learning and the fact many workplaces now mostly seek the "best" human capital available. There's far too many potential workers who are currently being left behind, yet formal education mostly part of the problem insofar as it's been kept separate from workplace and marketplace realities for too long. No amount of formal educational access is going to create an inclusive society, if workplaces are solely organized as exclusive realms of knowledge application and endeavour.

Even though it's obvious that skills arbitrage isn't representative of aggregate human capital potential, until now we've lacked means to address this problem directly. Alas, when healthcare and education are dependent on external revenue sources, they can become caught in a secondary market status which makes it difficult to expand from core sets of knowledge use and skill, when general equilibrium capacity becomes weighted towards non tradable sector dominance. Once non tradable sectors establish these patterns in complex economic settings, societies need the additional option of organizing for knowledge use as a wealth generating primary market.

Unlike skills arbitrage, time arbitrage - as a primary market for time value - would seek to improve the human capital prospects and wealth generating potential of all individuals. However, economic time value is internally organized in local group settings, so that time and skill preferences can be personally managed in relation to group preferences. By utilizing economic time as a commodity or natural resource, it becomes possible to generate time based services as a defined equilibrium - one which aligns available resource capacity into a negotiable group context.

No one would need to be limited to core knowledge or skills choices with others in these settings, as is now frequently necessary in formal education at multiple levels. Another considerable benefit, is that more individuals would gradually be able to offer "peripheral" or experiential learning/application options, as they assume more personal responsibility for core learning via the digital realm.

The purchase of time with time, creates wealth at the outset - indeed, in a similar manner to the resource reciprocity of tradable sector activity. Ownership of our own time in relation to others is a powerful economic option. After all, once this form of activity is established and understood, participants need not wait indefinitely for the stars to align, or for outside political groups or corporations to provide money for challenges and endeavour which people are anxious to put into motion now. Importantly, the most important metrics for time based product in these settings, are the ones that mutually benefit the individuals involved. In other words, it's not about how many patients receive treatment, or how many students receive the best grades, but about how many individuals in any given group, are able to create and access the kinds of service product which are meaningful to them.

Time arbitrage makes it possible to utilize valuable knowledge and skill, without constantly having to rely on human capital investment cost as the most important reference point for all concerned. This particularly matters, since AI is already well on the way to achieving deep learning outcomes. Many aspects of AI deep learning could eventually make extensive costs for human capital investment, unnecessary. With time arbitrage as a focal point in our economic relationships, not only could we productively respond to structural unemployment and knowledge use supply side limits, we gain the ability to work with AI in a peer to peer relationship - one with a real chance to reduce unnecessary knowledge use hierarchies and their extensive human capital risks.

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