May 112007

I just sent off the following letter to The New Yorker regarding the new economy:
Steven Shapin, reviewing David Edgerton’s The Shock of the Old, (May 14, 2007)  cites the revenues of the largest corporations to argue there is no new economy. Sorry, that’s an old-economy measure, not unlike pointing to Queen Elizabeth II’s descent from ancient royal families to prove the old feudal system still dominates in England. People who measure economies don’t know how to notice the new one, so they falsely conclude it’s not here. As I have argued for some time, the real new economy revolves around seeking, paying and sometimes receiving what is truly scarce now — the attention of other people. Money, corporations and material goods are all quite secondary.

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