Evolution of Economics

Verna Alle

Economic Theory free-fall – there are no good models of the knowledge economy. All our ideas are based on product and commodity

If we create new ideas and share, all people come away enriched.

We have an opportunity to reconcile economy with fabric of life.

Drucker: The Corporation as we know it is unlikely to survive the next 25 years..legally and financially, yes, but not structurally or economically.

Zuboff: value resides in individuals, networks infinitely configurable.

Transparency – 360 degrees – to stakeholders of organizations  – Reputation is everything.

XBRL – data tagging of business data

If revenue service can look into my company and see all my data, why need an audit firm?

People are not our greatest asset  – on balance sheet they are an expense – which is why it is so hard to fund people programs. Knowledge economy  – what if this wasn’t a lie– it was the way the balance sheet worked – allows a different way of looking.

If you want to see how your company is moving you have to look at non-traditional and leading indicators, intangibles – but they’re real.

They are real assets that accumulate as a result of specific activities. They can be traded (I’ll help you with excel, you help me with powerpoint).  THey are deliverable and build relationships. This would be called ‘barter’ in economic terms.

If you look at an organization as a value network – intelligent pattern of an organization – an autopoietic network. Like a living system.

Questions about how organizations realize value – how do we realize created and outputed value?

Huge amount of stuff to think about. Difficult to blog. Hope she puts up her slides.



Meshforum – David Levinson

Transportation networks – networks (like railroads) can’t easily be reconfigured  – you can’t turn a rail station to an airport.

We have fast, empty trains – we don’t think about empty trains when no one is there to use them. Bureaucracy runs trains regardless of who rides.

Ocean travel – Containers=packet switched networks. Longshoreman shut down west coast ports – this is an issue. And, there are not uniform packet sizes, example, lumber from BC – trees are different sizes.

Transportation enables communication (large passenger ship repurposed to lay trans-atlantic cables.

Canal system in England – first links built are generally the longest-lasting.

Street cars– peaked in 1920s, spike in the WWII timeframe, then people bought cars, and transit ridership declined for 50 years. Late 70’s with oil price spikes ridership increases, and now with oil prices high again, ridership is up, but transit only serves 5% of commuters.

Judge Doom and Roger Rabbit – GM buying street cars and converting to buses. Buses were the new technology.

Turnpikes– at the toll plaza someone laid a weapon across the barrier, and until you paid money, he wouldn’t turn his pike. Shun pikes and route-arounds became common.

New tech of Turnpikes bring about new businesses like Motels and ‘fast food’ as well as cemetaries.

Autos – 1780s– steam engines, 1840s in London steam carriages. Takes years to perfect, early autos did not have all working controls.

Boom in Plank Roads in the 1850s – cut lumber across roads, much smoother than gravel. Popular in large forest states. They lasted for 7–8 years when predicted to last for 16 years, doubling costs. Revenue didn’t justify it.

Toll roads – discussion of net neutrality vs quality of service. Gas tax financing vs toll road financing – By the 80’s faded out.

Gas tax money goes to maintainince.

Flat fee for net service and you get any bits you want = net neutrality – once you subscribe you should get whatever bits you want – this is lke paying for road with Gas Tax, so it should pay for all serivce.

Toll roads have a ‘higher quality of service’ – they differentiate – they should provide better pavement (especially true in developing world). In some places they’re doing HOT links or High Occupancy lanes – old HOV lanes, and allowing single passengers to use it when paying a premium and lets them go faster. San Diego is trying this. Called “managed lanes” in the Transport world.

Idea of ‘Magic bullet’ – quality+demand + economies of scale minus cost (Chart – this doesn’t show it well). The more people using transit, the more frequent it will show. Diagram of how networks work.

Tech changes but gauge stays the same – the Roman Cart width doesn’t work as well now with modern trains – wider carriage trains would be more stable around curves and carry more people faster (if it were required).

Tankers were smaller in WWII, now new tankers are bigger, many ports can’t handle these super tankers (Baltimore can’t handle, Panama Canal is too small for some of them).

On highways, lanes are 12’ wide now. Cars are 6’–7’ wide. With no passenger, Half capacity is unused if we reconceived cars for one or two, and we could have narrow lanes or mixed lanes.

Segway – larger range than walking but more efficient than Cars.

Personal Rapid transit idea – need to build both network and vehicle. The only other time we’ve built transport and network was the 1830s for the train system.

Automated highways – can’t build without automated cars – and vice versa, no one buys automated cars w/o highway.

Boom bust cycle – people look backwards to forecast – we miss early upside and late downside.  The Transportation Experience 

The Diffusion of Innovation – Evert Rogers




Broadband Mechanics

 Marc Senasac of Broadband Mechanics – user generated content using open standards as much as possible.

Examples – Structured Blogging, Our Media (as part of the Internet Archive).

People Aggregator project – different ways to connect to each other – groups, individuals and heirarchy rules – based on standards and open source. Will include structured blogging, multi-level access controls to your stuff and your media.

Free download for non profit and student, one time fee for commercial use, and also as a hosted service. Free for hosted of 128 member network, some fee will apply above that.





Aaron Burcell, Podshow

Podshow, 18 months of growth, top 100 indie content creators, partnerships with Sirius and iTunes.

Audience creates or co-creates the content

movement will be driven not by tech but by consumer demand. The nature of the content people consume will change dramatically.

In Q4 2005 – hit shows had 500k per month, now they have 1.5 MM downloads per month.

Podsafe Music Network – artists allow podcasters to play tunes, consumers buy them in pure mp3 format.

Advertising 2.0 – Hasbro and Earthlink – allow audience to create the ad content

Talks a little about working transparently– the managment states their plans publicly.

Podsafe music network – artists allow listeners to listen, and podcasts to play with proper attribution.


Large scale social networks panel

Anil Dash:

when typepad started most people had ratio of blog to readers – 40:1 now it is closer to 1000:1 at Typepad.

LiveJournal – huge community – primarily or 2/3rd woman 18–24, very geographically and technologically disparate. Communities like this allow interest groups (That guy who loves cars can talk to car lovers) without boring people. Live Journal ratio of writer to reader is about 1:8 – much smaller ratio.

Almost no one on Live joural has more than 150 connections in an organic fashion.

Many people check their live journal “Friends” page many times a day– to see how friends are doing, what they’re writing about, if people left them comments, ect.

I realize I’m more interested in listening to Anil than taking notes now.

 Christopher Allen: Life with Alacrity

The Dunbar number – here’s Chris’ blog about this. Smaller the neo cortex in a primate, the smaller the groups people collect in.

People can handle about 147 to 150 people in a group on a regular basis. -this tends to apply to nomadic tribes, sustinance villages, terror organizations, ancient armies (Roman Centurion – 100 soldiers).

To maintain a group of this side, you need to spend 40% of time social grooming – glancing, listening, talking, responding. If you don’t do this with a group, you can’t maintain the connections.

Groups don’t scale – what are the limits to group size in modern culture – based on Christopher’s research –

from Online games – ultima online – guild numbers – most guilds are 37–85 in size, 61 is the major high point in a histogram. World of Warcraft – Xerox Parc – 250k users, all data for month – how did groups interact – Subgraphs – max is 6 for a particular guild – for all guilds – it is more difficult to get people together after around 77, and very large groups it is very difficult to maintain cohesion. Easy to form group of 10, but it gets harder after that.

Groups that behave in particular way – between 5 and 11 (7 is the peak) and another one at between 50–70, but around 12–15 there is a problem with 12–15 – the ‘judas number’ small group dynamics don’t work and large don’t work – it is a dangerous time in a group.

Too small– insufficient critical mass, unable to sustain conversations, group think or echo chamber, feels like you’re alone.

Too Many People –

Too noisy, not enough signal, lack of trust or unequal trust, clicques and bad gossip,  inappropriate politics

Other social contract failures – flames, trolls, tragedy of the commons

 As software gets to understand this number – they’ll be able to design for it. One example: YackPack – BJ Fogg – software for intimate social networks.

Electric Sheep:
A cyborg mind – 30k computers, plus people and a genetic algorythm. Runs on evolution and mathematics.

It would have taken 100 years to create this video using single computer, but with collective power, you can get it in a few months by itself.

It is a distributed screensaver using same architecture as SETI at Home. This project doubles every 9 months. The animations are each called sheep – each has 250 floating points as its’ “genetic code” – they reproduce with other animations and there is family resemblence. If people like what they see they vote (up arrow key)– the animations that recieve the most votes “live” longest and reproduce.

In 2003 people created editors,and people could manipulate and see their creations, and this introduced an element of “intelligent design”  – people upload what they like and if others vote for them, they live.

Half audience votes for humans vs half for the genetic algorythm.

There is also mutation and crossover.

To deliver all sheep to all users – 20Terrabytes/day would be needed  – so they need to build in bit torrent in some way.

The main network is the lineage of each sheep – there are hundreds of thousands of them.

He did go from a linear model to logrythmic model for voting -because reproduction was following a power law – so he changed it to log, and that works better.

Each video gets rendered to 1000 clips, each clip is related to 5 others, so you get almost seemless transitions between the clips – true nonlinear video.