Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 02:30:39 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

Editorial »

We welcome Islamabad for awarding Bangladeshi-origin refugees Pakistan`s nationality


PAKISTAN government has decided to grant nationality to all Pakistan-born refugees of Bangladeshi and Afghan origins staying there for decades. Prime Minister Mr Imran Khan on Sunday made this announcement during his maiden visit to Karachi, saying the Bangladeshi and Afghan refugees who were born in Pakistan would get National ...

Sports »

Argentina's Facundo Conte (left) and teammate Alexis Gonzalez celebrate during the Men's World Championships' volleyball match between Argentina and Slovenia, in Florence, Italy on Monday.


Football »

FIFA president Infantino has doubts about La Liga match in Miami


AFP, Barcelona :FIFA president Gianni Infantino has expressed concern about La Liga's proposal to stage a fixture between Girona and Barcelona in the United States.The two clubs have each approved a request submitted to the Spanish Football Federation for the match to be played at the Hard Rock Stadium in ...

Entertainment »

Annie Sekhon all set to shine in Bollywood


Actress Annie Sekhon who has worked in many television shows and Punjabi films is having the time of her life. Off late she's been enjoying the success of her latest Punjabi film, 'Punjab Singh' opposite Gurjind Maan. The hangover of this film hasn't even faded yet and she's taking a ...

Entertainment »

2018 Emmy winners list


Best Drama Series: Game of ThronesBest Comedy Series: The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselBest Actor, Drama Series: Matthew Rhys, The AmericansBest Actress, Drama Series: Claire Foy, The CrownBest Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Peter Dinklage, Game of ThronesBest Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Thandie Newton, WestworldBest Writing, Drama Series: Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, ...

Business & Economy »

Md. Momin Ud Dowlah, Chairman and Managing Director of Eon Group of Industries Limited, inaugurating its 18th anniversary celebrating programme by cutting cake at Eon Convention Center in the city on Sunday. Major ABA Mesbah Ud Dowlah, Vice-Chairman, ABA Shahid Ud Dowlah, Executive Director, Sayeeda Dowla, Director and Dr. Tamim Ud Dowlah, Group Director were also present.


City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a discussion on 'Voting Rights-Fair Justice and Human Rights: Present Bangladesh' organised by Bangladesh Jatiya Manobadhikar Parishad at the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday.


International »

US slashes refugee admissions to 30,000 for 2019


Reuters, Washington :U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday the United States would cap the number of refugees allowed into the country at 30,000 for fiscal year 2019, a sharp drop from a limit of 45,000 it set for 2018."We proposed resettling up to 30,000 refugees under the ...

Editorial »

Journalists` concern for free speech should not be ignored


EDITORS' Council on Saturday expressed its surprise, dissatisfaction, and shock at the final report of a parliamentary standing committee on the draft Digital Security Act which totally ignored the concerns expressed by journalists. Following disapproval from journalists, rights campaigners and foreign diplomats in Dhaka, the Law Minister earlier had admitted ...

Sports »

Japan's Osaka blames US Open tears on 'notorious' nerves


AFP, Tokyo :Naomi Osaka has put her US Open tears down to shredded nerves and her natural awkwardness, rather than the tantrum thrown by Serena Williams that overshadowed a historic Japanese win.The 20-year-old melted hearts when she burst into sobs as boos rang out following her emphatic 6-2, 6-4 thrashing ...

International »

Floodwaters rise as killer storm stalks southeastern US


AFP :Catastrophic floods raised the threat of landslides and dam failures across the southeastern United States on Monday, prolonging the agony caused by a killer hurricane that has left more than a dozen people dead and caused billions of dollars in damage.Downgraded to a tropical depression, Florence crept over South ...

International »

Imran Khan pledges citizenship to Afghan and Bangladeshi refugees


Al Jazeera News :Karachi, Pakistan - Prime Minister Imran Khan has pledged to implement existing Pakistani laws that would grant citizenship to all Afghan and Bangladeshi refugees who were born on Pakistani soil, a major departure from previous policy.Pakistan is home to more than 1.39 million registered Afghan refugees, according ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a protest rally organised by Nasir Uddin Ahmed Pintu Smriti Sangsad at the Jatiya Press Club on Monday demanding release of BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia and other leaders of the party.


Entertainment »

Radhika Apte turns adviser for AndhaDhun director


AndhaDhun director, Sriram Raghavan holds Radhika’s opinion in high regard when it comes to working on a project. Radhika being an omnipresent character in the entertainment world, the filmmaker feels that seeking advice from the actress always works in favor of him. According to sources, Sriram Raghavan said, “Since Radhika ...

Editorial »

DUCSU election is desirable but subservient party politics must end


ACADEMICS and former student leaders have emphasised favourable environment and immediate announcement of schedule to hold the long-awaited election to Dhaka University Central Student Union (DUCSU). While Dhaka University authorities initiated a discussion with student organisations over the issue yesterday, the participants welcoming the DU's move pointed out that flexing ...

 
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