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How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity

3.9 (28 ratings)
15 mins

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Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus by Douglas Rushkoff explores why the current economic system is failing and how we can rethink it for a better future. Rushkoff argues that focusing on growth at all costs is hurting society and suggests alternative approaches.

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    Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus
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    The greed for growth has driven elites to exploit the working classes since the Medieval period.

    There was once a time when a person had to either make or sell any product on the market. If you sat down at a restaurant, for example, you had to order your meal from a waiter. These days, you can go to McDonalds and order a burger from a self-service stand.

    What does that mean for employees? People all over are losing their jobs. A company’s relentless pursuit of growth is essentially taking jobs away from people.

    Computers are often scapegoated for the decline in jobs, but really, it’s our greed for growth that is to blame. Businesses are so eager to expand that they replace people with cheaper machines whenever possible.

    How did we get here? Why do we as a society rely on such a small number of rich companies for employment and economic prosperity?

    The answer to this question starts with the Middle Eastern bazaar system, an open market for exchanging goods and ideas. Europeans who took part in the Crusades brought this market idea back with them to Europe.

    The introduction of open markets led to rapid economic growth in Europe as well as the expansion of a merchant class, people with the ability to exchange products and services directly, without middlemen.

    A craftsman, for example, could go to a market and buy oats directly from a peasant for a price equal to its real value, since there was no longer the need to pay a commission to a grain dealer.

    As the merchant class grew wealthier, however, the aristocratic class started to lose both wealth and clout. So they developed monopolies, which led to the top-down economic system we still use today. They essentially killed the open market by granting certain companies exclusive rights in the industry in exchange for a share of their profits, curtailing trade in the bazaars.

    This eventually led to our modern system of markets, in which workers earn wages from market-controlling companies, rather than trading directly from one another.

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    What is Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus about?

    Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus (2013) explores society’s unhealthy relationship with money, as it transformed from a means to facilitate trade to a goal in itself. The rise of digital markets has done little to improve the situation. These blinks explore the history of money and offer practical solutions to help local communities make money work again for everyone.

    Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus Review

    Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus (2016) is a thought-provoking book that explores the dark side of our digital economy and offers alternative solutions. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides a fresh perspective on the disruptive nature of technology, shedding light on the unintended consequences of unchecked growth.
    • With in-depth analysis and well-researched arguments, the book challenges the status quo and calls for a more sustainable and equitable economic system.
    • Through engaging storytelling and concrete examples, it captivates readers, making complex economic concepts accessible and engaging.

    Best quote from Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

    Instead of selling their wares, people now sold their hours.

    —Douglas Rushkoff
    example alt text

    Who should read Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus?

    • Workers concerned about losing a job to a machine
    • Students exploring sociology, history, economics or politics
    • Entrepreneurs

    About the Author

    Douglas Rushkoff is a bestselling author, teacher and documentarian, and won the Media Ecology Association’s first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity. He is a professor of media theory and digital economics at CUNY Queens and a technology and media commentator for CNN.

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    Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus FAQs 

    What is the main message of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus?

    The main message of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus is that we need to rethink the values of our digital economy.

    How long does it take to read Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus?

    The reading time for Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus is a thought-provoking read that challenges our assumptions about the digital economy. It's worth exploring for anyone interested in the impact of technology on society.

    Who is the author of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus?

    The author of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus is Douglas Rushkoff.

    What to read after Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh
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    • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    • MicroSkills by Adaira Landry & Resa E. Lewiss
    • Just the Good Stuff by Jim VandeHei
    • The Diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett
    • The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman