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We are the Sci-Fi Economics Lab. Inspired by science fiction, we nurture and support new, radical ways to think about the economy and economic policy.

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Introduction

Economists, politicians and business leaders, it seems, have given up on trying to imagine completely different economic systems. But we have not.

And neither has a small group of brainy, visionary science fiction authors: Cory Doctorow (peer production and abundance in Walkaway), Bruce Sterling (nomads + cheap open source technology + reputation servers in Distraction), Neal Stephenson (phyla in The Diamond Age), Peter Watts (tons of insights from biology in the Rifters trilogy), and others.

We organize a meeting of minds where we can learn from each other what future economies might look like. And maybe even how we can help bring them into the world.

Gallery





Long-Termism

We are part of the Deep Demonstration on Long-Termism. This is an initiative by EIT Climate-KIC, aimed at showing what a long-term thinking society (and economy) could look like.

https://vimeo.com/370568766

Viable Mutants

We are on the lookout for “viable mutants”: economic models different from your usual late-stage capitalism, that can nevertheless survive and thrive in a late-stage capitalist economy. We wish to study them, and understand if they can be building blocks for a more humane economy.

This study is highly participatory. You can take part in it by engaging in discussion on our forum, and participating in our series of webinars.

Projects

Worldbuilding Academy

We engage in collaborative worldbuilding for a speculative fiction setting, paying extra attention to the economic behavior, dynamics and institutions of the worlds we build…


Long-Termism Deep Demonstration

We are part of the Deep Demonstration on Long-Termism. This is an initiative by EIT Climate-KIC, aimed at showing what a long-term thinking society (and economy) could look like…


Finding the Viable Mutants

We research viable mutants: economic models different from, yet about that to, survive and thrive in a late-stage capitalist economy as building blocks for a more humane economy…


Conferences, Labs and workshops

We organise and participate in a range of event formats ranging from international conferences to workshops and labs…


Research & SSNA

We conduct research on what people long for, what they fear, what they are building. We have developed a methodology called Semantic Social Network Analysis, which is a great fit for it.

Stories

These short stories are “catalysts”, openings that help introduce the setting and can be taken to inspire a wide range of different ideas. Enjoy!

Cor Animae

“My voice is silent,” Medea said. “Nobody will know I was ever here. But I come carrying Verbum Dei, and that is your ship’s soul. You will begin writing your liturgy"…


A Hill To Die On

“In the Assembly, she would have been gently shepherded by now into the nearest commune that could take her in, given a hot meal, a change of clothes, a shower”…


The Winged Woman

“In the Covenant, they had a minimally invasive procedure that only took three hours. In Hygge, they had managed to do over 80% of the procedures in one hour."


Unidentify Yourselves, Please

“In the Assembly, she would have been gently shepherded by now into the nearest commune that could take her in, given a hot meal, a change of clothes, a shower”…


A Trick of the Light

“All jobs recommended by the Meaningful Solidarity Dispenser, a sign at the Institute’s entrance pointed out, were meaningful: they had a certified benefit to others.”

Books & Authors

Forum

The Lab has its own online forum, animated by a small, but active and friendly community. To join it, simply head here and reply to any topic. You will be prompted to create an account on the edgeryders community platform.

Table (from tagged topics)

Table (from inline table)

title author publisher date text
Distraction Bruce Sterling Spectra 2011 This novel focuses on politics, but the action happens against a backdrop of economic semi-collapse, where only about a third of people participate into the mainstream economy, and many of them do so by forming parts of the retinues of rich people (“krews”). Many people are nomads, and live on cheap-and-open tech and biotech. Nomad society is organized around “reputation servers” storing reputation as a currency. The book also contains a funny (but chilly) conversation in which one of the character, a car industry executive, explains why radical innovation is bad for business.
Makers Cory Doctorow Tor Books 2018 A near-future novel centered on Schumpeterian creative destruction, as enacted by a movement called New Work. New Work is all about very small, networked business units working as independent companies within large corporates (who no longer have a viable business model, but who do have viable plumbing and cash from the good old days). These companies dream up new products, build them on top of cheap, open source components, immediately get imitated and undercut by others, and move on to the next product, surfing the wave of novelty and high margins. The movement gets eventually busted by Wall Street pulling the plug on something it does not understand. Many ideas generated in economics are floating around Makers beside creative destruction: Bertrand competition, building-blocks technical innovation, Arrow’s paradox and others. @alberto wrote a complete review from the point of view of an economist.
Walkaway Cory Doctorow Tor Books 2017 Depicts an economy entirely based on DIY production, in the book made cheap at an arbitrarily small scale by advanced 3D printing and biotech. Production is organized like a Wikipedia-style project. The book makes the argument that reputation bookkeeping (kudos, karma etc.) invites gaming of the system, and is an inferior way to organize production to a pure gift economy (given some key abundances). It also makes the case for defection from mainstream society (exit in Hirschman’s terms) as a viable strategy when cheap, open tech is available.
Autonomous Annalee Newitz Tor Books 2018 It’s a far future, earth-bound scenario with advanced biotech, under a corporate rulership primarily powered by extreme intellectural property rights. She goes deep in the debate between master-servant relationships, as the world features both classic human indebted servitude and autonomous artifically intelligent robots as well as into piracy, open knowledge, addiction and freedom.
The Webs of Varok Cary Neeper 2013 In the book a woman from Earth is adopted into an alien family on a world which has a green, steady-state economy. (Mild spoiler) The villain of the book is somebody who doesn’t want to abide by the economic restrictions. Dr. Neeper (PhD in Microbiology, not Economics) uses the book to envisage what a steady state economy might be like unencumbered with Earth’s political history. She posts about her sources for the economics on her website at http://ArchivesOfVarok.com. The book interesting, but questions remain about how productivity growth (the economy of Varok devotes a large portion of is research to science) would effect the steady state economy.
Red Plenty Francis Spufford Graywolf Press 2012 A mix of history and fiction, it is a sort of docudrama on the Soviet Union’s 1960s attempt to upgrade its economic planning using computers and scientific methods. The main economic concept called into play is that of shadow prices. These are estimates of the cost of a product or service based on the willingness to pay, that is, what the relevant economic actor is willing to give up to obtain that product or service. A group of Soviet economists attempts to reform the way the economy works: now factories are supposed to pursue a “shadow profit” made by meeting their objectives while using preferentially those inputs that have a lower shadow price. The reform collides with the “folk” ways in which these decisions have traditionally been made, and finally fails. This book is rich in insight about the nuts-and-bolts of a deep economic reform. Also discussed in the thread below, especially this post.
Numbercaste Yudhanjaya Wijeratne Independently Published 2017 A near-future novel where a Silicon Valley corporation replaces credit scoring with a quantification of their influence, scraped from social media. Sold with a bottom-up microservices model, the company integrates the use of this system into every customer-facing aspect of life - from restaurants to banks to nightclubs. Also examines a similar system being constructed in China but pushed using top-down methods. A key theme is how this quantification of social influence eventually cripples upward mobility (except in those who can game the system), due to children inheriting the social networks of their parents. A late-stage concept is how this ‘stick’ in turned into a ‘carrot’ - by means of an app that will now tell people who to talk to, who to mingle with, who to know based on the likelihood of it increasing their Number.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Cory Doctorow Macmillan 2003 Explores the idea of a reputation-based economy.
Metagame Sam Landstrom Amazonencore 2010 Describes a world rebuilt on a more or less clean slate after a pandemic wiped out most of the population. As a new starting point, Landstrom has chosen Mihaly Cskiszentmihalyi’s idea of Flow. Since Flow is achieved in play, it follows that a total gamification of the economy leads to the maximally efficient outcome. For example, a minor character works (or rather “plays”) as an operator of small robots who clean public spaces such as tunnels and hallways. To him, he is playing a game (itself a part of the economy-wide Game), where he earns points for clean surfaces, but he has to spend points to rent the robots. Points are used as the system’s currency. In a sense, this is a Coaseian world where hierarchies have no reason to exist, because the Game brokers between players’ supply and demand schedules. On the other hand, he does imagine s form of collective production unit: the Great Houses, large families with thousands of members, that have replaced corporations. The author explains they grew out of civil unions, after some activists successfully fought for the right to have civil unions between more than two people.
New York 2140 Kim Stanley Robinson Hachette UK 2017 The Villain: Soul-devouring stage-5 capitalism/ The Heroes: You and me/ Their Weapons: Pitchforks and mortgages/ The Dramatic Twist: An oligarch’s change of heart/ The Princess: Post-capitalist utopia
Utopia Five A. E. Currie 2019 Utopia Five, by A. E. Currie. Depicts a post-event, capitalist surveillance economy, where surveillance data have become public record. Entrepreneurs like the main characters build profit-making applications on those data including games, search engines, social credit, and law enforcement systems. These are then operated under the constant threat of a form of nationalisation. The day-to-day operation of the world is loosely based on Cuba and its reimagey from the special period of the 1990’s, which was characterised by sudden severe shortages of hydrocarbon energy sources and necessitated a complete overhaul of the country’s agriculture, diet and transport. The novel is clearly influenced by the current high levels of private and state surveillance, particularly in the UK and China, and the uses to which that data is put.
2312 Kim Stanley Robinson 2014 Set in a later epoch in the same future history as the Mars trilogy and New York 2140. It depicts a solar system economy, with a fully terraformed Mars, Venus, Titan and Triton well on their way to their own full terraforming, colonies on Mercury, Luna and other moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and plenty of hollowed out asteroids. The economy is dual. “Space” meaning everything except Earth and Mars, is run by the Mondragon Accord. This is a network of space settlements, which started out their economies as scientific stations (and so as planned economies). As these economies grew in size and complexity, they drew inspiration by Mondragon (“a small Basque town that ran an economic system of nested co-ops organized for mutual support”). The Mondragon Accord is depicted as a more sophisticated planned economy, run by quantum computers making real-time adjustments in production schedules. Markets and capitalism are still there, but they “tended to be private unregulated individual enterprises in nonessential goods. Capitalism was in effect relegated to the margin, and the necessities of life were a shared commons exchange between Earth and individual space colonies was on a national or treaty-association basis, thus a kind of colonial model”. Earth is still run by late-stage capitalism; Mars has withdrawn from the Mondragon Accord and is described as a “planetary social democratic economy”.
The Culture Series Iain M. Banks McFarland 2018 These novels are set in the far future. The economy they depict is one of post-scarcity, sustained by technologies of inconceivable power (“handwavium”). The Culture is a galactic polity whose citizens are both biological and non-biological sophonts. Humans predominate among biologicals. AIs, many of which embodied in ships, are vastly smarter and more powerful, and do most of the societal heavy lifting. The most important economic concept deployed is that a post-scarcity society which is leisure-oriented. Culture people (and AIs) focus on “serious fun” elaborated games, art forms, extreme sports, re-enactments of past events, and so on. In this sense, Banks is following up on the Keynes’ famous 1930 essay, Economic possibilities for our grandchildren. His contribution consists in giving an “architect’s rendering” of what it would feel like to live in a post-scarcity world. He agrees with Keynes’ strategy of boosting the arts as a way to keep people engaged and happy in a world without work.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Robert A. Heinlein Hachette UK 2014 The Moon is a former penal colony, where convicted criminals have been deported and left there with a skeletal surveillance crew. Escape being all but impossible, authorities are unconcerned about what prisoners and their descendants do, as long as they keep farming grain and shipping it to an overpopulated Earth. In this situation, a free market “Randian” economy has evolved. Everything is purchased on the market, including health care, insurance (from bookmakers) and oxygen. The book has some an unusual attention for economic matters, but according to this editor (@alberto) its economic system is familiar (as an abstractiion) with anyone who’s been through Economics 101.
Freedom ™ Daniel Suarez Penguin 2010 Suarez imagines a market economy based on “darknet credits”. It looks like prices of different things as denominated in darknet credits are determined by market mechanisms, but it’s hard to say. The darknet economy emerges in two steps: first, a complicated scheme enacted by a weak (but very effective) AI extracts money off large financial corporations, funding the transition to the new economy (a pretty bloody one, that entails eliminating some plutocrats and violently wiping out drug cartels). Second, the fledgling economy turns out to be very efficient, because it wastes much less energy in corporate bullshit and does not care about IPRs. The critique of the inefficiencies of late capitalism is sharp enough, but there is no real explanation for why the agents of the darknet economy do not become extractive and bullshitting like those of the mainstream economy.
Infomocracy Malka Older Tor.com 2016 More political than economic but placing here for high relevance
Neptune’s Brood Charles Stross Penguin 2013 Loose sequel to Saturn’s Children and inspired by Debt: The First Five Thousand Years. “Neptune’s Brood invents an economic framework for space colonization, complete with fast, medium and slow cryptocurrencies. Because colonizing a star system is an insanely large investment that takes an insanely long time. Stross discusses his economic thinking on his blog.

Podcasts (from topics)

Q&A

Question 1

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras volutpat aliquet pretium. Donec ornare hendrerit lectus, eget lobortis purus fermentum et. Cras blandit purus a massa malesuada, ut posuere ligula mattis. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Maecenas eu lectus est. Aenean a consectetur ante, a blandit nisl. Donec molestie efficitur ex sit amet euismod. Aenean iaculis commodo pretium. Vivamus enim sem, vestibulum nec consectetur ac, efficitur vel quam. Sed sapien augue, feugiat vel tincidunt nec, scelerisque ut ex. Curabitur auctor facilisis magna, et auctor felis varius vel. Donec commodo lorem justo, vitae faucibus arcu sollicitudin in. Sed interdum nunc quis libero aliquam, ut imperdiet sem rhoncus.


Question 2

Proin ipsum eros, dignissim quis finibus a, luctus ac magna. Cras lorem dui, ullamcorper vel aliquam quis, suscipit at enim. Sed aliquet odio egestas libero rhoncus, facilisis accumsan metus venenatis. Praesent tincidunt finibus purus vitae viverra. Vestibulum ullamcorper auctor enim, tristique blandit tellus scelerisque eu. Vivamus euismod turpis a efficitur pharetra. Cras in velit nisl. Nam nec sem nibh. Pellentesque blandit urna consequat urna lobortis sagittis in malesuada turpis. Vivamus ut mattis eros. Donec consequat diam vitae lobortis ultricies.


Question 3

Etiam sed tortor eget nisl vulputate ullamcorper eget ac ligula. Mauris egestas ante dapibus, porta est in, auctor ipsum. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Proin id porta felis, vel porttitor arcu. Nam quis feugiat orci, id cursus orci. Mauris ac vehicula ante. Nam feugiat nisl in velit porttitor fermentum. Vivamus eu arcu pellentesque, faucibus arcu ut, ornare mauris. Aliquam in ipsum sit amet orci tempor mollis. Mauris venenatis ullamcorper porta. Etiam cursus urna vel mi tincidunt mollis. Sed finibus posuere hendrerit. Nullam egestas nibh suscipit cursus malesuada. Nam cursus augue urna, vel iaculis neque gravida ac.


Question 4

Integer congue nulla sed nulla blandit pharetra. Aliquam viverra imperdiet metus, ac tincidunt ante accumsan vel. Proin condimentum sit amet mauris id vestibulum. Donec semper, libero vel fringilla hendrerit, nulla lectus commodo dolor, at eleifend nunc mi vel nisl. In facilisis ipsum in lorem varius volutpat pretium sit amet metus.

Aliquam fermentum eget ligula vel dictum. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Integer sem massa, lacinia consequat rhoncus sed, varius vel neque. Nulla facilisi. Aliquam tellus risus, suscipit sed mi vitae, eleifend ullamcorper orci. Ut mollis, orci quis mollis ultrices, dui massa hendrerit massa, non ultrices leo nisl ut lacus. Donec erat velit, rhoncus vitae libero quis, elementum auctor lacus. Sed sed vehicula nisi, a iaculis ex. Nulla neque ex, efficitur in euismod eget, bibendum at leo.

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title author publisher date text
Distraction Bruce Sterling Spectra 2011 This novel focuses on politics, but the action happens against a backdrop of economic semi-collapse, where only about a third of people participate into the mainstream economy, and many of them do so by forming parts of the retinues of rich people (“krews”). Many people are nomads, and live on cheap-and-open tech and biotech. Nomad society is organized around “reputation servers” storing reputation as a currency. The book also contains a funny (but chilly) conversation in which one of the character, a car industry executive, explains why radical innovation is bad for business.
Makers Cory Doctorow Tor Books 2018 A near-future novel centered on Schumpeterian creative destruction, as enacted by a movement called New Work. New Work is all about very small, networked business units working as independent companies within large corporates (who no longer have a viable business model, but who do have viable plumbing and cash from the good old days). These companies dream up new products, build them on top of cheap, open source components, immediately get imitated and undercut by others, and move on to the next product, surfing the wave of novelty and high margins. The movement gets eventually busted by Wall Street pulling the plug on something it does not understand. Many ideas generated in economics are floating around Makers beside creative destruction: Bertrand competition, building-blocks technical innovation, Arrow’s paradox and others. @alberto wrote a complete review from the point of view of an economist.
Walkaway Cory Doctorow Tor Books 2017 Depicts an economy entirely based on DIY production, in the book made cheap at an arbitrarily small scale by advanced 3D printing and biotech. Production is organized like a Wikipedia-style project. The book makes the argument that reputation bookkeeping (kudos, karma etc.) invites gaming of the system, and is an inferior way to organize production to a pure gift economy (given some key abundances). It also makes the case for defection from mainstream society (exit in Hirschman’s terms) as a viable strategy when cheap, open tech is available.
Autonomous Annalee Newitz Tor Books 2018 It’s a far future, earth-bound scenario with advanced biotech, under a corporate rulership primarily powered by extreme intellectural property rights. She goes deep in the debate between master-servant relationships, as the world features both classic human indebted servitude and autonomous artifically intelligent robots as well as into piracy, open knowledge, addiction and freedom.
The Webs of Varok Cary Neeper 2013 In the book a woman from Earth is adopted into an alien family on a world which has a green, steady-state economy. (Mild spoiler) The villain of the book is somebody who doesn’t want to abide by the economic restrictions. Dr. Neeper (PhD in Microbiology, not Economics) uses the book to envisage what a steady state economy might be like unencumbered with Earth’s political history. She posts about her sources for the economics on her website at http://ArchivesOfVarok.com. The book interesting, but questions remain about how productivity growth (the economy of Varok devotes a large portion of is research to science) would effect the steady state economy.
Red Plenty Francis Spufford Graywolf Press 2012 A mix of history and fiction, it is a sort of docudrama on the Soviet Union’s 1960s attempt to upgrade its economic planning using computers and scientific methods. The main economic concept called into play is that of shadow prices. These are estimates of the cost of a product or service based on the willingness to pay, that is, what the relevant economic actor is willing to give up to obtain that product or service. A group of Soviet economists attempts to reform the way the economy works: now factories are supposed to pursue a “shadow profit” made by meeting their objectives while using preferentially those inputs that have a lower shadow price. The reform collides with the “folk” ways in which these decisions have traditionally been made, and finally fails. This book is rich in insight about the nuts-and-bolts of a deep economic reform. Also discussed in the thread below, especially this post.
Numbercaste Yudhanjaya Wijeratne Independently Published 2017 A near-future novel where a Silicon Valley corporation replaces credit scoring with a quantification of their influence, scraped from social media. Sold with a bottom-up microservices model, the company integrates the use of this system into every customer-facing aspect of life - from restaurants to banks to nightclubs. Also examines a similar system being constructed in China but pushed using top-down methods. A key theme is how this quantification of social influence eventually cripples upward mobility (except in those who can game the system), due to children inheriting the social networks of their parents. A late-stage concept is how this ‘stick’ in turned into a ‘carrot’ - by means of an app that will now tell people who to talk to, who to mingle with, who to know based on the likelihood of it increasing their Number.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Cory Doctorow Macmillan 2003 Explores the idea of a reputation-based economy.
Metagame Sam Landstrom Amazonencore 2010 Describes a world rebuilt on a more or less clean slate after a pandemic wiped out most of the population. As a new starting point, Landstrom has chosen Mihaly Cskiszentmihalyi’s idea of Flow. Since Flow is achieved in play, it follows that a total gamification of the economy leads to the maximally efficient outcome. For example, a minor character works (or rather “plays”) as an operator of small robots who clean public spaces such as tunnels and hallways. To him, he is playing a game (itself a part of the economy-wide Game), where he earns points for clean surfaces, but he has to spend points to rent the robots. Points are used as the system’s currency. In a sense, this is a Coaseian world where hierarchies have no reason to exist, because the Game brokers between players’ supply and demand schedules. On the other hand, he does imagine s form of collective production unit: the Great Houses, large families with thousands of members, that have replaced corporations. The author explains they grew out of civil unions, after some activists successfully fought for the right to have civil unions between more than two people.
New York 2140 Kim Stanley Robinson Hachette UK 2017 The Villain: Soul-devouring stage-5 capitalism/ The Heroes: You and me/ Their Weapons: Pitchforks and mortgages/ The Dramatic Twist: An oligarch’s change of heart/ The Princess: Post-capitalist utopia
Utopia Five A. E. Currie 2019 Utopia Five, by A. E. Currie. Depicts a post-event, capitalist surveillance economy, where surveillance data have become public record. Entrepreneurs like the main characters build profit-making applications on those data including games, search engines, social credit, and law enforcement systems. These are then operated under the constant threat of a form of nationalisation. The day-to-day operation of the world is loosely based on Cuba and its reimagey from the special period of the 1990’s, which was characterised by sudden severe shortages of hydrocarbon energy sources and necessitated a complete overhaul of the country’s agriculture, diet and transport. The novel is clearly influenced by the current high levels of private and state surveillance, particularly in the UK and China, and the uses to which that data is put.
2312 Kim Stanley Robinson 2014 Set in a later epoch in the same future history as the Mars trilogy and New York 2140. It depicts a solar system economy, with a fully terraformed Mars, Venus, Titan and Triton well on their way to their own full terraforming, colonies on Mercury, Luna and other moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and plenty of hollowed out asteroids. The economy is dual. “Space” meaning everything except Earth and Mars, is run by the Mondragon Accord. This is a network of space settlements, which started out their economies as scientific stations (and so as planned economies). As these economies grew in size and complexity, they drew inspiration by Mondragon (“a small Basque town that ran an economic system of nested co-ops organized for mutual support”). The Mondragon Accord is depicted as a more sophisticated planned economy, run by quantum computers making real-time adjustments in production schedules. Markets and capitalism are still there, but they “tended to be private unregulated individual enterprises in nonessential goods. Capitalism was in effect relegated to the margin, and the necessities of life were a shared commons exchange between Earth and individual space colonies was on a national or treaty-association basis, thus a kind of colonial model”. Earth is still run by late-stage capitalism; Mars has withdrawn from the Mondragon Accord and is described as a “planetary social democratic economy”.
The Culture Series Iain M. Banks McFarland 2018 These novels are set in the far future. The economy they depict is one of post-scarcity, sustained by technologies of inconceivable power (“handwavium”). The Culture is a galactic polity whose citizens are both biological and non-biological sophonts. Humans predominate among biologicals. AIs, many of which embodied in ships, are vastly smarter and more powerful, and do most of the societal heavy lifting. The most important economic concept deployed is that a post-scarcity society which is leisure-oriented. Culture people (and AIs) focus on “serious fun” elaborated games, art forms, extreme sports, re-enactments of past events, and so on. In this sense, Banks is following up on the Keynes’ famous 1930 essay, Economic possibilities for our grandchildren. His contribution consists in giving an “architect’s rendering” of what it would feel like to live in a post-scarcity world. He agrees with Keynes’ strategy of boosting the arts as a way to keep people engaged and happy in a world without work.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Robert A. Heinlein Hachette UK 2014 The Moon is a former penal colony, where convicted criminals have been deported and left there with a skeletal surveillance crew. Escape being all but impossible, authorities are unconcerned about what prisoners and their descendants do, as long as they keep farming grain and shipping it to an overpopulated Earth. In this situation, a free market “Randian” economy has evolved. Everything is purchased on the market, including health care, insurance (from bookmakers) and oxygen. The book has some an unusual attention for economic matters, but according to this editor (@alberto) its economic system is familiar (as an abstractiion) with anyone who’s been through Economics 101.
Freedom ™ Daniel Suarez Penguin 2010 Suarez imagines a market economy based on “darknet credits”. It looks like prices of different things as denominated in darknet credits are determined by market mechanisms, but it’s hard to say. The darknet economy emerges in two steps: first, a complicated scheme enacted by a weak (but very effective) AI extracts money off large financial corporations, funding the transition to the new economy (a pretty bloody one, that entails eliminating some plutocrats and violently wiping out drug cartels). Second, the fledgling economy turns out to be very efficient, because it wastes much less energy in corporate bullshit and does not care about IPRs. The critique of the inefficiencies of late capitalism is sharp enough, but there is no real explanation for why the agents of the darknet economy do not become extractive and bullshitting like those of the mainstream economy.
Infomocracy Malka Older Tor.com 2016 More political than economic but placing here for high relevance
Neptune’s Brood Charles Stross Penguin 2013 Loose sequel to Saturn’s Children and inspired by Debt: The First Five Thousand Years. “Neptune’s Brood invents an economic framework for space colonization, complete with fast, medium and slow cryptocurrencies. Because colonizing a star system is an insanely large investment that takes an insanely long time. Stross discusses his economic thinking on his blog.