Jan 082010

I just sent the following  comment to the NYTimes: “The presumed perpetrator on the plane [i.e., the 12/25 incident on the Amsterdam -Detroit flight ] is now set to be arraigned tomorrow for “attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction”. This is an absurd and unnecessary conflation of terms. “WMD” originally meant something like a nuclear weapon, which could have killed many thousands of people. Now, setting off an explosive on a plane is [...]

Mar 052009

To continue my study of the causes and possible cures of the meltdown, I want to discuss how there have seemed to be three different routes to making money. I do this in the context of my general prediction for  over a decade, which  has been that the attention economy will eventually replace the money-industrial economy, in all variants, including capitalism. This means that money will eventually be outmoded. For an early version of this [...]

Feb 272009

Re blogged from Wednesday, August 30th, 2006 with very slight changes: This blog focuses on the coming of the Attention Economy. Every so often, I shall remind new (and even old) readers of what I mean by this term. The basic idea is that we are moving toward a new kind of economy, wildly different from any before. An economy in this sense is system of actions and transactions of some kind involving scarce but [...]

Jan 122009

How should companies operate when appearing to be an attention payer as well as being an attention getter is crucial for their survival. Not this way. A service that shall remain nameless sent me a notice that I would soon be billed for year’s worth of service I had already paid for. The very lengthy “chat”  recorded   here ensued.  Here are some observations of how not to pretend to pay attention that this expereince [...]

Dec 242008

In ancient Athens’s Agora, in medieval Venice’s Rialto neighborhood, and in small village market squares everywhere, the marketplace for ideas — that is where attention was exchanged —commingled with the market for goods. Socrates wandered around the Agora talking with his disciples and enemies, according to Plato. But he and they spent little time trying out or examining the wares, or in bargaining over goods. Others, say in Cairo’s souks up until today, spend much [...]

Oct 312008

Having discussed the new strangeness of money as such, I will now turn the most money-dependent sector— finance. But before getting into details, let me make a point about banks and attention. Money flows in the same direction as attention does, and so, right now stars — that is, large scale attention getters — generally have high monetary incomes. But having money incomes doesn’t lower the net attention they have, because attention itself can be thought of [...]

Oct 232008

In the previous post, I pointed out that money is of great importance  only when the world is dominated by standardized goods and services. One essential of standardization is  that goods or services of a certain type are interchangeable. This ton of wheat equals that one, this 100 watt lightbulb equals that one, this kwh of electricity equals that one, and so on. In some cases (actually even in these cases) one has to specify [...]

Oct 152008

SUCCESS REACHES ITS LIMITS In my previous post on the crisis, I claimed that we are suffering from too much savings and not enough consumption. The worldwide pool of money seeking growth investments is too large to be sensibly invested in any sort of production or service-providing corporation. The reason for that is that consumption is just too low, and is not likely to be able to rise to the levels needed to sustain such [...]

Oct 092008

As I write, the stock market is flatlining, credit has seized up, no one seems to know what to do, and bad times seem in store. What caused it? Not what you think. Not, basically, greedy Wall Streeters, ordinary consumers taking on loans they could not pay off, bad accounting requirements, faulty credit ratings, failures of regulators to regulate, nor a formerly too rosy outlook from the Fed. These were all surface phenomena. What lay [...]

Sep 262008

When I wrote about Palin shortly after McCain chose her, I said she did not have enough time to gain fan loyalty in order to have a significant positive effect on McCain’s votes. I think I was right on that, despite her obviously having gotten a big bump in popularity, simply by being a novel sort of candidate. I wouldn’t be surprised, after seeing her disastrous interview with Katie Couric on CBS news, if she [...]