d.garcia on Mon, 12 May 2014 15:52:22 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> tensions within the bay area elites

> To me, it is somehow super clear that Facebook is evil. Not hard to
> understand. But Google? Why are tensions rising so high lately around
> them? Look at the tone of the Cory Doctorow blog post to Boing Boing?
> Don't get me wrong. But have they really gone down lately? In my
> humble view they are as evil as were a decade ago... What happened?
> Have we changed?

Which company is currently in the spotlight and today's designated Dr. Evil 
is less important than the legitimate hostility and generalised anger at the 
winner takes all economy of info capitalism that these companies collectively  
represent. Its a political economy which has even departed from Adam Smith, 
as the creation of monopolies is increasingly seen as a necessary condition 
for survival in a world where transaction costs are near zero. In fact the 
imposition of 'temporary' monopolies was even proposed by dreadful Larry 
Summers as a last ditch policy to save capitalism in 2001 after the first 
dotcom bubble burst. In the event he needn't have bothered it happened 

The older heavy industries (even IBM) had to borrow heavily and issue equity 
to invest in ways that drove productivity and relatively secure employment. 
Today a company like Whatsapp (to take just one example) employs around 50 
people and has a market value that is said to exceed Sony Corporation.. Once 
they reach critical mass the new info-companies do not need to borrow to 
invest. On the contrary, Smauglike, they sit on infinite piles of gold. The 
money is just not circulating.

The hoarding vast piles of capital, the avoidance of tax, the employment
tiny numbers, whilst simultaneously disrupting (and shrinking)
established industries across the board is not an obvious recipe for
winning any popularity contests.


d a v i d  g a r c i a

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