March 3, 2013

ALL YOU DO IS CONSUME:

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier: review : A call to rebalance the information economy intrigues Matt Warman (Matt Warman,  03 Mar 2013, The Telegraph)

Corporations such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, PayPal, eBay and many more are apparently becoming unendingly profitable thanks in part to the amount of data they are gathering about us.

Lanier argues that we need to rebalance this information economy. For every little bit of data we provide a business with, we should be compensated, he argues. Just as a market research company might pay you £50 to take part in a focus group, so he claims we are all, effectively, one giant focus group upon which internet profits are based.

Lanier conjures images of us each being remunerated by ever-cleverer technologies: if you're a great customer of a casino, why shouldn't it decide it's in its economic interest to fix your heart condition?

In essence, however, he claims the logical extension of the current digital divide, between the tech-savvy and the less so, is that a decreasing number of people will gather to themselves the knowledge that comes from owning giant databases, and consequently take the profits. Online, he says, we are all consumers, and only some of us are employers. These are economic changes on an unprecedented scale.


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Posted by at March 3, 2013 7:55 AM
  
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