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 [...]

Feb 192009
 

[Note: this is another entry in my attempt to make sense of the crash and see how it is tied to the Attention Economy. Some earlier entries are here, here, here, here and here.] I attended an informative, thought-provoking and amusing talk by Prof. Brad DeLong of UC Berkeley on Tuesday on the financial crisis “of 2007-2009” (he expects the crisis to have diminished by the end of this year). (The talk was part of [...]

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 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 122008
 

The Hyperlinked Society, the book I’ve referred to before, is a  book which shares the common faults of printed versions of conferences. Though the very word “conference” suggests the possibility of a rich dialogue among participants, the printed version tends to suggest no attention paid to each other. Here, for instance, there are two chapters on maps and the Web — the second much better than the first — each covering much the same topics, [...]

Jul 282008
 

Why should we elect Obama? One obvious reason is the mess the American Economy (as traditionally defined) is in right now.  Does this mean that Obama and his economic advisors will come up with good plans for reviving the economy and preventing a further slide? I suspect they would do better than McCain and his crew, but also that they will not be very well equipped themselves to understand the real problems. They come from [...]

Apr 122008
 

Crash-free No Longer In a recent post, I discussed the current problems re sub-prime mortgages and the credit crunch in connection with ignorance in high finance and in general. The complex entities that are investment banks, which were supposedly highly knowledgeable as organizations, actually were quite in the dark, quite ignorant in fact, when it came to the mortgage problems. I argued that someone has to be knowledgeable and interested for a problem to be [...]

Feb 282008
 

Lately, much has been written about the “dilemma” of too much e-mail. See Zeldes et al., or Krill for instance) Some write on this from the perspective of firms. They suggest that “knowledge workers” are spending too much time on e-mail, time when they could be being “productive.” The writers claim that we must deal with the “problem” of “information overload” or “infomania” as if this were something new, and as if there were a [...]