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Post Cancel. There are no Independent Minds comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. Time for TV must be stolen from magazines and newspapers. Time for specialized entertainment must be stolen from time devoted to generalized entertainment. Sure, there is an equivalent to the Sun in the picture. We are running out of the equivalent of oil: high-energy-concentration pockets of easily mined fuel. The next displacement will fragment the attention even more. When found, each new pocket is less valuable. There is a lot more money to be made in replacing hand-washing time with washing-machine plus magazine time, than there is to be found in replacing one hour of TV with a different hour of TV.
We know this idea as shorter product lifespans. So one effect of Peak Attention is that every human mind has been mined to capacity using attention-oil drilling technologies. When Asia hits Peak Attention America is already past it, I believe , absolute size, rather than big productivity differentials, will again define the game, and the center of gravity of economic activity will shift to Asia.
In those terms, sure, China and India have a long way to go before catching up with even Southeast Asia. But standard of living is the wrong variable. It is a derived variable, a function of available energy and attention supply. China and India will never catch up though Western standards of living will decline , but Peak Attention will hit both countries nevertheless.
Within the next 10 years or so. What happens as the action shifts? Once again, it is the oceans, rather than land, that will become the theater for the next act of the human drama. While American lifestyle designers are fleeing to Bali, much bigger things are afoot in the region.
And when that shift happens, the Schumpeterian corporation, the oil rig of human attention, will start to decline at an accelerating rate. Lifestyle businesses and other oddball contraptions — the solar panels and wind farms of attention economics — will start to take over. Ronald Coase turned in He is best known for his work on transaction costs, social costs and the nature of the firm. Where most classical economists have nothing much to say about the corporate form, for Coase, it has been the main focus of his life.
Without realizing it, the hundreds of entrepreneurs, startup-studios and incubators, 4-hour-work-weekers and lifestyle designers around the world, experimenting with novel business structures and the attention mining technologies of social media, are collectively triggering the age of Coasean growth. Coasean growth is not measured in terms of national GDP growth.
That is a Schumpeterian growth measure. Coasean growth is fundamentally not measured in aggregate terms at all. It is measured in individual terms. How do we measure Coasean growth? I have no idea. I am open to suggestions. All I know is that the metric will need to be hyper-personalized and relative to individuals rather than countries, corporations or the global economy. The fundamental scarce resource that Coasean growth discovers and colonizes is neither space, nor time. It is perspective. The good news: you will likely need to colonize your own unclaimed perspective territory.
No collectivist business machinery will really be able to mine it out of you. Note 2: I hope those of you who have read Tempo got about Note 3: Yeah, I am opening up a new blogging battlefront, after nearly two years of pussyfooting around geopolitics and globalization via things like container shipping and garbage. Venkat is the founder and editor-in-chief of ribbonfarm.
Follow him on Twitter. Coasean growth will be measured in how well each individual is maximizing their own utility function. The next years will include much balkanization of sub-cultures. You can discover and coordinate with like minded individuals to form flash corporations for however long an idea is viable.sinsmillgoformi.ga/sequential-art/swingers-group-sex-swinger-erotica-erotic.pdf
This already exists in a sense. Think about Kickstarter, a website that allows individuals to contribute to interest-specific projects in exchange for the resulting product. When governments stop harassing and taxing and extorting corporations, corporations shall roar back into prominence. Until that day, there is no alternative structure more capable of withstanding this assault.
What happened to natural persons? WE cant both live on this earth. We must strive and venture back to our roots in aligning all perspectives of gain, business, and purpose to serve the greater good of all. The future of humanity requires a shift in fundamental principles that acknowledge a unilateral field of interconnectedness.
The impetus that will herald a collective shift in consciousness reigns by our intuitive understanding of who we are. Deeper contemplation of Self reveals an indistinguishable source which permeates throughout all of matter and existence. Consider for one moment that gasoline, oil or combustible fuel is a volatile but crude fire technology, which is a compromising and very limiting form of energy transference. Upon careful speculation one will realize that Hydrogen is the catalyst in all combustible fuels. Crude Oil as we know it, has a higher concentration of carbon and for this reason when speaking in terms of exhaust is referred to as hydrocarbons, or unburnt fuel.
Notice that water is an abundance of Hydrogen without any sort of waste material… In fact, all combustible engines can run on water over fuel, with some slight modifications in the manufacturing process and blueprint. Go even further along this line of thinking and it becomes apparent that all of biological life contains a liquid, which in most cases is water, a very conducive vessel to house the proper parameters of causal interplay known as life.
All plants produce energy through a process identified as photosynthesis, the process in which, requires water as well…. Its not about business, in as much as it is about perspective and mirroring the cyclical approach explicit in nature. Words are an interpretation of what have you. Firstly, for corporations and any sort of economic order to progress, we must rectify and absolve all our fundamental misconceptions of value and symbiotic exchange, namely recreating the standard which we have long forgotten and as a result given power over to select few to monitor, control and manipulate.
Secondly, we must realize that free energy is not a theory, but the law of Life. I stood there bemused for a solid 3 minutes, watching them handout food before a single, sympathetic passer by finally asked who they were actually with. I spend my days in bafflement at the sheer degree of effort marketers now put them through to capture my attention.
Despite this, people still complain that there is not enough on the internet to fill their days and huge and growing wells of attention sit, unexploited. Ever watch a FPS player? Take this essay. It ought to absorb plenty of your attention. The economics is worth investigating is the decline of the corporation really true?
And how does the Great Stagnation come in? But all of this is intellectual work. No wonder surfing Reddit can be so unsatisfactory! Yes indeed the question is: What approach can empower a personally relevant, viscerally effective, universally reusable, cross disciplinary, powerfully collaborative, set of organic-relationship framing-tools for the rest of us.
The same organic-network synchronization-dynamics that nature so effectively demonstrates when maintaining homeostasis cyclical dynamic equilibrium among complex arrays of mutually interdependent, mutually adaptive, biological subsystems networked participants all in the context of continual internal and external environmental stresses. We need a new globally accessible, shared metaphor and lexicon that properly captures our new organically-interdependent networked social reality. Everything that is important when discussing our new social reality and the dynamics of social commerce in a network based economy are now best framed as instantiations of organically interdependent social-systems.
Applying an organic-process framing-metaphor to all human activate catalyze the development and adoption of mutually adaptive social-network structures that can over time effectively morph mutually adaptive into mutually beneficial, best fit, utilitarian homeostasis. A universal organic-social-metaphor and lexicon can serve as an organic-relationship framing-tools. We need a new metaphor and lexicon to helps us effectively visualize and speak about the basic recurring processes that will dominate our lives in an organic-complex network-based economy.
Time is handed to us by nature in recurrent patterns daily, weekly etc. Post-lunch hour will always be fundamentally less valuable than a well-rested early morning. Each kind of natural empty time is recycled through different attention uses by different production or consumption activities. Entropy increases through this process.
So not all attention is actually usable, and all attention gets less usable over time under Schumpeterian mining. You have to lower entropy for the whole lifestyle first. So the large available attention pools may be deadpools of max-entropy attention that are no longer usable for production or higher-margin consumption. After all, the traditional attention commodity of television advertising mined the attention of exactly the most passive attention that is captured by these vast pools today.
As a result, from the consumer side, attempts to use up their excess attention become less efficient since the SNR of all of their channels is decreasing. This is what I think explains this dichotomy of both increasing desperation on the marketer side and increasing boredom on the consumer side. In the aftermath of the bubble, it became accepted, standard, best practice that engineering drove the company because technological innovation was what pioneered new markets.
Facebook, IMHO, marked the phase shift where companies moved from engineering driven to product driven and Twitter was the final stake in the heart because now product insight was what pioneered new markets. What I predict will be the next phase shift is moving from a product driven company to a channel driven company. Companies will innovate on discovering new attention channels and then constructing an entire startup solely around best exploiting that channel. I agree with much of what was said by everyone above.
If someone is bored at work he knows he only has a certain amount of time before the next interruption. Low-grade mindless material is certain to fit within that small window of time and the context switch is relatively easy. When dealing with new material not only is the context switch potentially more difficult but the difficulty of the context switch is also unknown.
Merging comments from everyone above, when entropy is high we return to channels that are familiar because we understand intuitively how to fit them in, consume them with a minimum of effort. It just means it fits in easily. Instead you flip to espn or cnn or some similar material that can be consumed in small chunks. Perspectives can be conceptualized and measured by approval or rejection of major ideologies and isms.
My Ideology Inventory has been a fruitful exploration of different perspectives that merits further development. Piget found infants are unaware of different perspecties. Perhaps mankind has also had limited awareness of differnet perspectives. What you said reminded me of a post that I recently read that deals with viral loops, where the author says….
We need concentrations of low-entropy attention in order to be more productive. But in order to complete this analogy for a potential a-ha moment, we need to address the idea of entropy moving from one area to another. One quite notorious overlook here is the creation of the modern limited liability LTD corporation. This occurred in the middle of the 19th century.
Some sources say , others place it as an evolution that occurred from the s through the s. This precisely the era in which the EIC fades out of existence, by-the-way. Limited liability was an enormous change. The LTD corps were smaller, perhaps, but more resilient and replicated into all sectors of the economy, not just trade and agriculture.
The EIC may have been enormously powerful at its zenith, but it was one of only a few corporations though out most of its existence. Most people were sole proprietors or in partnerships. There are reasons for this: one does not want to be liable for what one does not control. It took state action to make the corporation viable. In we went to war to fix that, and yet 25 years after a successful outcome, wealth was more concentrated than ever.
The biggest reason was the limited liability corporation — it had become pervasive. Intent of the LTD corp was to facilitate capital formation, specificially called for in the creation of railroads. Only with the LTD corp do you have the giant industrial trusts. The LTD corp was definitely a post industrial age creature. And the reason they are so comfortable with technology is that they were created to concentrate capital to make use of technology and push it along.
I would submit that the East Asians are on to another kind of corporation altogether. Yes, they are LTD corporation, yes they ovstensively have the same rules, but in practice they behave quite differently. They have tenured employees, and that causes them to behave much more differently than Anglo-American style LTD Corps. Under both Japanese and American law, LTD corps are supposed to be run with shareholder primacy rules the interests of the shareholders comes first.
In both cases, this is not what happens. In the U. The average American CEO has only a 4 year or less tenure. If you make it to CEO, it is probably your last gig. Therefore you are highly motivated to pad your estate in preparation for retirement. As a result American Corporations are notoriously and highly short term oriented. In Japan, because of tenure, the interest of workers comes first: what do workers want? They want to keep their jobs 20 years hence, and protect their retirements beyond that.
As a result Japanese corporations are focused on long term market share growth. As it turns out, stock markets value market share. As a result, Japanese workers turn out to be a better proxy for long term shareholders than American Board of Directors and Executives do. Likewise, the Corporation appears to be a communitarian construct for a variety of stakeholders — not just fungible shareholders.
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If this model has a competitive edge, and it appears that it does, at some point it will manifest itself in being adopted in the west. The corporation was and is a product of modernism. The reason for this, is all the things this essay has pointed out as happening around the renaissance itself the result of economic growth in agricultural productivity in Europe which fostered the demand for Asian products , the age of exploration, the reformation, and the Enlightenment which gave us reason, secularism, reason, impirism modern science.
Separation of tasks occurred in Europe because it was already pre-disposed to it philosophically and politically speaking. Europe embraced a religious philosophy that saw three gods in one, and one of those entities embracing a separation of church and state, and political fragmentation in Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire meant separation of secular power from non-secular power. The reformation perhaps was THE inflection point that turbocharged this trend, eliminating the monopoly on thought held by religion paving the way for science, reason and logic.
In this environment, a state wanting to advance its wealth to protect its security, might see the advantages of granting monopolies to corporations to pursue trade, while it concentrated on security. The modern age can be neatly identified as having to distinct chapters: mercantilism and industrialism, with the later springing out of the former. Mercantile trade expands the value of land, but industrialism expanded the value of land even further still to the extent of making extensiveness of area less important than intensiveness of the area.
This gave Britain 50 years of global hegemony allowing it to claim and turn distant Australia, Canada and New Zealand into English speaking countries the former two of continental proportions, the latter of European nation-state proportions. The modern age, with its academic capacities, is unique in many ways from all ages prior to it. One of those ways is that academics began pondering what comes next, after Moderism? No one wondered what came after Agriculturalism. There was much speculation. One reasonable aspect of this speculation was that it would not be western centric.
And here we seem to come full circle. The Japanese models that are spreading throughout East Asian periphery are a combination of Western Modernism and Eastern Confucian notions of communitarianism.
Manhattan is an island, and this is your best hope for getting off
I am tiring here, so let me say, that Ronald Coarse ideas seem to explain the genius of these new institutional arrangements. They are definitely not Confucianistic. Moreover, India has more intensively imported European modernistic institutional and organizational arrangements. All of this suggest to me that Neo-confucianistic with its inherent communitarianism fusion with modernism is what comes after Modernism, economically speaking, and the location is going to be East Asian Centric.
Perhaps India will once again adapt, and perhaps more quickly it is quite good at this, though not nearly so as Japan was otherwise, India might have to await for a different age. Meanwhile, what happens in Europe remains a bit of a mystery. If I were to guess about what happens in America, I would say, we will probably become something of a new age banana republic — even as the old banana republics begin to rise. America is the ultimate expression of Modernism. Our age, is most likely, over. Indeed, as this is being written, American corporations are basically taking control of the government — the milestone being Citizens United and Arizona Free Enterprise Club.
As suggested above, the Neo-Confucian-communitarian-corporation has already proven to be much more resilient than the Anglo-American version. But yes, an important thread. The post-corporate future in a sense will be a creation of any new laws that evolve to govern Internet-enabled businesses. And they were an attribute of the Mercantilist era of the more broader and still in effect Modernist Era.
The corporation evolved into another body: the modern limited liability corporation. This is an altogether different animal. Chapter 3 is coming at us. That is the style crafted in East Asia. The corporation is an ownership collective — a singular collective. It gets attached to a singular union a company union. That Union is empowered by tenure and board representation. It is also more moral and more human. Modernism, as Charlie Chaplin so vividly demonstrates, was, in many ways, de-humanizing to the individual, by denying them the traction that comes with community, properly defined.
The human need for community, especially to cure human evil, is vividly defined by Dr. All of this is made more poiniant by the recent shootings in Aurora, Colorado. We need a new and better economic organization. Instead, it will evolve. Now we are going to move into a new era, and with that will come a new kind of corporation, and hopefully this corporation will be more kinder and more human centric.
More likely, they opposite will occur — because it is a better model. Executive primacy will give way to the Singularity Corporation and employee primacy. Please note that employee primacy is a better proxy for long term investors because they both want the same thing, long term market share growth. Fascinating, thanks. I am exploring some of this in much greater depth in my next book project. You may be interested in that.
Isaac: Gronk is right. Plenty of experiences can help you realize that most of us have just scratched the surface when it comes to manipulating our attention. The physical strenght of an athletic person is much bigger than that of the average coach potato.
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Your analogy only makes sense if you effectively compares an olympic athlete to a master of attention. Very true! Manipulating is more in line with what Public Perception Management firm do to shape the public mind using media ecology techniques. Isaac, giving mindfulness meditation a go for a month is practically the only way to understand what he means by that. Paradoxically, you may notice as you practice that with the increased focus and attention you actually gain more time than you put in. Do you have any recommendations for beginning resources?
Both, for instance, focus on maintaining emotional equilibrium through both highs and lows, good fortune and bad. This is based on application of mindfulness techniques used and scientifically proven as therapy for people suffering from depression and is free from any religious dogma. Coasean growth is already happening where people are reaching peak time by getting involved in creating zero marginal cost goods, not to just to gain economic value but to gain social capital and get better at their trade; where they can achieve craftsman like skill sets faster than allowed by Schumpeterian corporation.
Essentially the big corporate pyramid is getting inverted into lots of small, self sustaining activities that are driven more by the individuals interest and passion than an external requirement. Makes me feel extra sad for India my country, that we are not scooping up the resources and building up infrastructure, the way china is doing right now, in this last gasp for fossil fuels. This is the force driving mega-urbanization around the world. Megacities organized around neo-urban lines are extraordinarily efficient in information vs. China is way ahead in terms of raw numbers, but India has a few key strategic trump cards, the main one being its dominant ocean-facing location that China has to work around.
I dunno about that. Planned cities are hard to humanize. Grown ones are already humanized. Christopher Alexander had the same insight James Scott did re the rational forests , starting as early as five decades ago. Outstanding post, and also excellent and well thought out comments all-around.
My brain got some much needed exercise after reading it. As for the leftist idea of local utopias, in my opinion I think they were never meant to be scalable in the first place. China can sustain its growth by rigging the system for only so long. It is possible. If you remember 15 years ago or so everyone thought natural gas was running low in the America, now with new technology huge reserves are opening up , unfortunately the same problem remains, it is just pushed further into the future.
The easy to obtain energy will be gone, and difficult energy will be all that is left, with all that entails. Society as a whole will absolutely restructure after some pain and maybe a few temper tantrums expressed as wars simply because we will have no other choice.
As with so many other situations in history, we will find a way. A fabulous article! More than merely an overview of the history of the corporation… but an essential perspective for understanding current trends and where they are going. I think and other may disagree on this point that memes are the core, currently we have or are reaching a state were memes are filling all our available attention.
In that context perception and as you put it mindful meditation can help in achieving this goal is nothing else than the ability in us to control our attention instead of letting it be controlled by memes. And I think services will arise or already exist in a primitive form as in social networks to help in managing our perception, training our minds and exposing it to new memes and then lets us think critically if we want to replace existing memes by the newer memes. Thank you — great post and thought-provoking in my shallow consumption of it. Have you read this? I was a big fan from Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon going into it, but got bogged down in the first book and was disappointed to ground to a halt about halfway through.
But I picked it up more than a year later and finished the series and loved it. Thanks again for all your great posts here. A very deep and interesting post. Truly breathtaking post. And their activities were illegible for the most. They created nation states to facilitate trade. The salient structure was not national borders but networks. Buckminster Fuller figured them out. The pirates were the only ones who could connect the dots and see the big picture. Everyone else limited their attention to their little sphere of interested, which worked out well for the pirates, because if everyone knew what they were doing it would be a lot easier to jack their gold.
Time and space is just a way of organizing attention. Roaming the seas, roaming big grasslands, lends a broader perspective. Values become more relative. Using lateral thinking, you make connections that are invisible to others with more limited perspectives.
The pirates knew the world was round long before everyone else. The global perspective is not really invisible any longer to anyone with an internet connection. But it lends a potentially broader perspective to anyone and appears to transcend time and space. Perspective is the momentary alignment of all of those attributes. And I think you miss the amount of waste in both time and money taxes occurring within the public sector. Advertisers are simply interloping middle men who in the aggregate force us all to pay for these services indirectly, while executing negative control of our experience.
Responsible capitalism will, by political necessity, in the long run be forced to dovetail there corporate-transaction-cost analysis with our societal-transaction-cost analysis. Fascinating read. I believe your point ultimately was that individuals or small businesses would be able to better satisfy an individuals limited attention span or perspective than corporations would. Venkat — first comment here. Great post — looking forward to the followup posts.
IMO this decline will also mark the final nail in the coffin for the high-modernist project and maybe even the entire Enlightenment project as John Gray argues. A very thought provoking post, well-worthy of attention. Perhaps the measure of Coasean growth should be the Human Development Index, or some iteration of it.
It purports to quanitify indiviual human flourishing better than GDP or other measures of economic output. One of the things participating in the forums associated with the Early Retirement Extreme blog has shown me is that many thoughtful people who are disenchanted with the effects of the Shumpeterian corporation are struggling valiantly to define what a meaningful life in a post-peak-oil society would look and feel like. Maybe another good measure would be global social-homeostasis, as homeostasis is generally a good indicator of health in any complex living system.
A good proxy for measuring homeostasis in any complex system is distributed redundancy of form and function. A workable metric for social-homeostasis could be the distributed redundancy of wealth, power, education and control. In either case, Peak Perspective feels like an awfully enlightening state for our society to reach. You could certainly find an interesting story about quality, entropy and the laws of nature and this in turn becomes the new-big-picture. Isolating a single concept and telling that it is what the society is all about seems wrong to me, not empirically wrong but philosophically.
It is such a fundamental and fertile variable that you can hang a lot on a time-based view. It highlights some dynamics, de-emphasizes others. I am not claiming it is anything deeper. I find this approach very fertile, others may not. Instead we observe a resurrection of the craftsman who delivers home made mini-products to App-stores. Is this the Coasean economy which is ought to replace the Schumpeterian of the industrial age? The thing is this very resurgence relies on some of the skills internet marketing, tribe building of the lifestyle design crowd….
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Time can indeed be exchanged for money, but time is the bedrock currency, it is like a gold standard it is much harder to counterfeit. Fiat money may be more fungible but lacks any real zero-sum control mechanism. The singularly mandatory mediation channel that facilities exchanging time for money is attention. I understand these came from other sources.
One of your final points, how each stage of growth is measured, seems to be one central theme. I disagree though that national GDP would be the correct way to measure mercantilist growth. GDP relies on the sames fundamental concepts as stock market growth and therefore both would be measures of Schumpeterian.
Related to the above point, there is a trend in the economic dynamics at play. In the Mercantilist era production capacity is fixed and control of it is therefore zero sum though the existence of trade implies positive sum allocation effects. In the industrial era neither attention nor fossil fuels are effectively fixed in supply though both exhibit diminishing marginal returns. In the current era we often find increasing marginal returns network effects.
To use your terminology, the more people share a given perspective the more valuable that perspective becomes. I may well have misinterpreted but I was visualizing growth in perspective as the increased relevance and efficacy of relationally linked sets of perspective facilitating a more symbiotic integration of personal, corporate, social and environmental transaction cost analysis under the influence of network-effect synchronicity. Brilliant analysis and exposition. A Corporation is one of the protocols of Finance Capital which define the Property relationship between the subject individual and the object eg land.
The other protocol of the Twin Peaks of Finance Capital is Debt: and the fact that our money is an interest-bearing credit object creates the exponential which, with the profit maximisation of the Corporation, has driven the environment and the economy to their current crises. I think of the first — Capital — as Static Value, and the second — Money — as Dynamic Value, with Value being undefinable or definable only in relative terms. My work has been in relation to a new generation of associative mutual, interactive, reciprocal, consensual protocols which may act as frameworks for economic interaction in a world of direct instantaneous connections.
It struck me that the work we are doing here may be of interest to you. The next step from the corporation as it is will require a change to the accounting mechanics, and that may well be the deciding factor. I think that our core economic problem is the fact that the financial industry tail is now waging the industrial production dog. The financial industry no longer focus on financing industrial production they just concentrate on leveraged arbitrage of their own paper assets. They have deep captured the industrialist and political-governance flags.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely and their corruption is busy killing the industrialist goose that laid the golden middle class egg. What they fail to realize is that the concentration of wealth is not so much immoral as it is mathematically unsustainable in an organic network homeostasis kind of way. All successful perspective shifting comes about that way.
A lot of good marketing is that way too. How does nationalization fit into your history? In the oil industry, for example, I read recently that only 2.
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