Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Saturday, October 21, 2017 03:49:27 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

The other side of digital highway

By
26th-Mar-2014       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Joel Schlosberg :
Joe Nocera devoted a recent column ("Will Digital Networks Ruin Us?" New York Times, January 6) to Jaron Lanier's "universal theory" that the tendency of "network efficiencies" to benefit but also destabilize large organizations are the root cause of a host of problems in domains with nothing else apparently in common. Such brittleness and dysfunction is everywhere, from the National Security Agency to social media networks to Wal-Mart; from the job market to finance; to globalization, which Lanier calls merely "one form of network efficiency."
The remedy for all these disparate crises is thus to slow down network effects, with a universal micropayment royalty system increasing transaction costs for all forms of intellectual property. Any similarities to Bastiat's satirical proposals such as "a railroad composed of a whole series of breaks in the tracks" are presumably unintentional. But in each of Lanier's examples, over attributing the role of network effects extenuates another common factor: The distorting effect of state subsidy on the economy.
A basic insight of Coasean firm theory is that organizations tend toward the size where scaling up's total benefits most outweigh its inevitable costs. Thus network effects, like any other lowering of transaction costs, will indeed generally benefit larger organizations that require more internal transactions in their operation. But fallout ensues when network effects are caused by subsidies that offload transaction costs instead of lowering them.
The distortion of price signals causes malinvestment. Apparently neutral infrastructure, from highways to telecommunications to financial markets, turns out again and again to have been tailored for big businesses with lobbying pull. Smaller-scale alternatives that are more adaptive, and even more efficient when transportation and other distribution costs are factored in as per Borsodi's Law, are crowded out. Organizations become entrenched and unresponsive to individuals, whether customers, job seekers or investors. And excessively large organizations simply become too cumbersome to function well.
The 10,000-fold decline in organizational size from Kodak to Instagram, lamented by Lanier and Nocera for eliminating middle-class jobs, is what happens when the "what was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa" bubble pops and GDP-dwindling ephemeralization runs its course. Undistorted by cronyist favoritism, it would reduce the cost of living just as dramatically, obviating the need for Fordist propping up of salaries.
Even at the height of 20th-century industrialism, Kodak-scale R&D was never necessary for key technological innovation. Ralph Nader notes that "[t]he firms which introduced stainless steel razor blades (Wilkinson), transistor radios (Sony), photocopying machines (Xerox), and the 'instant' photograph (Polaroid) were all small and little known when they made their momentous breakthroughs."
The digital age's behemoths are every bit as much creatures of the state - and every bit as obsolete - as was Ma Bell.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Football »

Giroud`s overhead kick gives Arsenal 1-0 win at Red Star


Agency :Olivier Giroud scored late in the second half for Arsenal to maintain its perfect Europa League campaign with a 1-0 win over 10-man Red Star Belgrade on Thursday.Five minutes after Milan Rodic was sent off for a second yellow card, Giroud struck with an overhead kick five minutes before ...

Entertainment »

Ali Fazal and Shriya Pilgaonkar come together for Web Series


Shriya Pilgaonkar who was appreciated for her Hindi film debut as Shahrukh Khan’s love interest in Fan and for her viral short film Jai Mata Di, is now going to be seen in a web show called Mirzapur produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani for a global online platform ...

Editorial »

Flood victims yet to get enough support


GOVERNMENT and aid agencies have provided emergency relief for flood victims but not sufficient to settle flood victims as per media reports quoting Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) researchers who tried to figure out the distribution system in the Haor areas. Over 37 lakh people were affected in the floods ...

City »

Islami Andolon Bangladesh brought out a rally in the city on Friday in protest against price hike of gas and electricity.


.

International »

Iranian Army chief, Assad discuss joint military strategy


Reuters, Beirut :Iran's military chief met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday during a visit to Damascus to set out a joint military strategy, Syria's state news agency reported, a sign of deepening Iranian influence that has alarmed Israel.General Mohammad Baqeri said Iran was determined to continue supporting the ...

Editorial »

Mr Xi`s new vision for China


CHINESE President Xi Jinping has laid out a far-reaching vision for a more prosperous nation and a dominating role for China in the world as the US President Donald Trump is working on a reverse way isolating his country from the world leadership role. In the domestic front he has ...

International »

May to urge EU leaders to speed up Brexit talks


AFP, Brussels :British Prime Minister Theresa May will appeal to European Union leaders at a crunch summit in Brussels on Thursday to push forward the deadlocked Brexit negotiations.At a meeting moved to a new venue at the last minute due to an eruption of toxic gas, May will urge her ...

Cricket »

Rangpur Riders recruit Brendon McCullum


Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders have recruited wicketkeeper-batsman of New Zealand Brendon McCullum for the up coming fifth edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).Chief Executive Officer of Rangpur Riders Ishtiaq Sadek said to the newsmen, " We have confirmed that McCullum will join our squad on November 15. He will play ...

Entertainment »

Titaan Chowdhury hosting `Sampan`


'Sampan' is one of the popular programmes of Chittagong centre of Bangladesh Television of present time. Dance, music, magic, etc are presented in this show. Popular face of the small screen Titaan Chowdhury is hosting this programme. Positive side is Titaan is hailed from Chittagong. So it becomes easier for ...

City »

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia appeared before the Alia Madrasha Special Court in the city's Bakshibazar on Thursday seeking bail on Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust Graft cases.


International »

Threats to start war with North Korea `dangerous, short-sighted`: Hillary


Reuters, Seoul :  Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that "cavalier" threats to start war on the Korean peninsula are "dangerous and short-sighted", urging the United States to get all parties to the negotiating table.Clinton also called on China to take a "more outfront role" in enforcing ...

Sports »

U-12 School Handball Tournament begins tomorrow


Sports Reporter :The Atom Gum Under-12 School Handball (Boys' & Girls') Tournament begins tomorrow at the Shaheed (Captain) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium.Bangladesh Handball Federation will organize the handball meet under auspices of Pran Confectionary Limited.In this regard, a press conference was held at the Dutch-Bangla Bank Auditorium in ...

Editorial »

Diplomacy must work in Korean peninsula


THE Korean peninsula is closer to war again as a North Korean official reaffirmed on Monday Pyongyang's commitment to developing a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching "all the way to the East coast of the mainland US." He said his country is currently not interested in diplomacy with ...

Entertainment »

Only Sunny Leone could dare to wish Diwali in this unique manner


Sultry actress Sunny Leone who has millions of die-hard fans around the world has come up with a new video and that too in her own style. Sunny Leone has posted a new video in which she is wishing a Happy Diwali, especially to the boys. This video is, in ...

City »

Liberation Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haq speaking as Chief Guest at a discussion meeting organised by the BADC Sramik -Karmachari League on the occasion of its 56th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) at its Conference Room yesterday.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news