One interesting point, not expanded up on, is this:
One writer chalks this concern up to a bunch of “conspiracy theor(ies)”.
Balding dismisses this by citing Premier Li Keqiang, but I think this objection illustrates a deeper problem with the way the phrase "conspiracy theory" is used. It's frequently used to dismiss any suggestion that someone in authority is behaving badly regardless of whether an actual conspiracy would be required.
Let's look at what it would take for Chinese economic data to be bad. The data is gathered by the central government by delegating gathering the data to appropriate individual branches, by province, industry, etc. So what happens if someone at that level decides to fudge with the data for whatever reason (possibly to make his province and/or industry look better). The aggregate data will be wrong. And that's just one person on one level. In reality, of course, there are many levels in the hierarchy and many corrupt people in all of them.
Recently moridinamael wrote about diswashers: As a pampered modern person, the worst part of my life is washing dishes. (Or, rinsing dishes and loading the dish washer.) How long before I can buy a robot to automate this for me?
Imagine what it was like before the dishwasher.
Wikipedia for example creates a lot of value with being structured as a network.
Which fails completely when the subject is in any way political or controversial. And by fail completely, I mean produces articles which anti-correlate with reality.
Yeah, part of what I was intending in the scenario would be that everyone realizes that we could make much faster technological advances (At least, that's the theory) if we didn't bother with keeping track of who owes who.
Except you need to keep track of who (or which algorithm if we want to be sufficiently abstract) is doing the most to contribute and being most efficient so that his success can be repeated in other parts of the system.
Informationally equivalent = plays a role in the flow of information within the system that is equivalent to the role of money in the flow of information within economy.
Ok, I don't see how that applied to the examples in question unless you expand the meaning of "equivalent" so broadly that it becomes meaningless.
I'd be even more suspicious of someone telling me that it's not that simple.