New Economy: The market for information

By | October 10, 2013
But where is regulation?

You hear it over and over again: Data is the new currency. But have you ever wondered what that means for you and me?

Let me share an ancient secret with you. To control the world, you need to restrict the flow of currency. If you are a bankster, you need to make sure more money ends up in your coffer than the money going out – and that will make others increasingly dependent on you, little by little. But there's another currency now. It's data. So, following the analogy, there's an alternate path to controlling the world: If you can't restrict the flow of money, then restrict the flow of data.

There are a few problems there of course.
1. Who gets to control the world: Tech firms or banksters? Of course, it's possible there are other alternatives, but the increasing significance and power of technology companies is undeniable.
2. How will you put bread on your table? Paying with data simply doesn't give you food, nor does it pay your taxes. So while an alternate currency does allow additional power concentration, it leaves the consumer in a trap: the consumer has to pay both data (and associated personal privacy, partly mandated by government branches and partly of free choice) and money (partly mandated by government branches and partly of free choice) in order to maintain a reasonable life, but doesn't have a data income and a money income is increasingly difficult to maintain with the increasing specialization and lower demand, thanks to 'free services' offered by… well… your fellow citizens.

And who is left to regulate these two economies to prevent any group from becoming abusive? It's certainly time to solidly think through public economic policy, both in terms of data as well as money. It's time for some modernization.

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21 thoughts on “New Economy: The market for information

  1. Guy Ngantio

    I do understand we need to debate in order to find solutions to our daily issues. However, when I follow this debate, it is clear that all the participants are not business men.

    If you want to make little profit then you can play it safe at all your investment opportunities. But real money comes from high risk transactions. And this is exactly what banks do, so do most successful people.

    Formal education theories are great, but real life operations are a lot more twisted, sometime very far from theories

  2. Peter Strempel

    Bottom line: when hard assets become so much outnumbered by speculative currency like paper or information assets that in a rush to convert they don't match by about 100:1, we get recessions. What do you suppose the crash from a rush to cash in on 1,000,000,000,000:1 will be?

  3. Tihomir Stoev

    the second +Francois Demers, The first is also true but I am referring the second. The value of a currency is actually calculated as abstraction to large amount of data that can't be normalized otherwise- from actual goods like cow, metal etc over the products(some additional processing) a steak, a phone, a car, to services like, cooking, phones and cars get more complex, since they are next-level(compared the previous examples)  and represent a set of services, partially in the unit itself(building) and in the way the unit works(networks, providers, roads, gas-stations..etc).

  4. Tihomir Stoev

    +Sophie Wrobel yes we can but do we want? Currency has very strong data representation, and the flaws of the system we now have actually represents how we handle data. 

    The institutions were divided to answer society needs not to stop corruption. Corruption is an issue for the society,  not a problem of the institutions(although it occurs there)

     I agree on what you say but at the end those same institutions work for us the people, and even if some of us don't like the way they work doesn't mean the others of us are not a majority and don't like it.

      We can change stuff but the economy provides frame that links all institutions and this makes the change not so easier.

     You have a strong point with the regulations, however remember that if a system operates outside the stable area and if those deviations are big enough, a regulation will cause more issues focusing too much power in the same institutions or maybe in new ones which will re-trigger the same problem. In engineering there is an area referring the regulation of processes. There the same processes are described mathematically and I believe that they describe the dynamics we are discussing quite accurately (qualitative not quantitative).

    My point is that the change must start inside, not at the top. Any severe change at the top will not bring that much, which given the public effort needed to make the change will generate distrust and lead the overall system state towards revolution, not change.
      I don't want a revolution, i want evolution. It is slower but steadier, more hard to follow/control but pushes up the best results to stay..which is actually my point from the first post.
      We are evolving in any aspect of our society, nevertheless evolution tends to promote successful individuals in the context of the environment(our society) and I see an issue there..we are evolving in the wrong(or better said- not optimal) direction

    as bottom line 🙂
    Who watches the watchman +Sophie Wrobel? And if we go down the chain how deep does the rabbit-hole go… 

  5. Peter Strempel

    Couldn't agree more, +Sophie Wrobel. We are a post-globalised world, but without effective regulatory regimes that can address flows of capital and information across national boundaries, particularly in response to 'creative' selection of preferred national rules used to avoid laws in not-so-preferred jurisdictions.

    This is not acceptable business behaviour, as many people would argue. It is amoral, mercenary, and unsustainable.

    A great deal more needs to be done on international legal frameworks, but in the interim, local regulatory bodies can certainly insist that local operations conform with local requirements, including strictly limited capacity for schemes like transfer pricing to avoid taxation, and compliance with local laws on data privacy, collection, storage and disposal, regardless of where the data may be routed, of where any particular organisation may be  headquartered.

    The matter of ominously paranoid and unaccountable security organisations must be addressed by each nation at a local level; that means we, the citizens, actually have to say: 'Hang on, officers, you work for us, not against us, and you've gone too far.'

    That is our responsibility. No conspiracy about it. And the signs are we have failed as individuals to exercise our political rights and power to demand that organs of state work for the public benefit as defined by the public, not according to some shadowy agenda worked up as classified game-play by professional sociopaths.

  6. Sophie Wrobel

    +Tihomir Stoev I do think +Peter Strempel hits the nail on the head: we seem to overlook the fact that we can change the way we organize ourselves and our societies.

    There's an ancient adage, that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That's the reason why we started devising systems of organization and regulation, to prevent absolute power from corrupting absolutely. And I think we are reaching a time when change is occurring – thus the introduction of data as a new currency (meaning: data is something you can exchange for good and services) – but that we don't have a regulation system in place to prevent absolute corruption from reiging this new currency system.

    Thus, my point isn't that we live in a conspiracy-theory-world. My point is more, that since we have started to change the fabric of our society, we need to make sure that our regulatory systems keep pace with that change – and if we don't, we run the risk of allowing absolute corruption to reign free.

  7. BAG GAB

    +Tihomir Stoev I've been riding a bike for seven years now…riding in a car is a luxury that I relish…I've been reminded of the value of  society and the pitfalls of fitting in

  8. Tihomir Stoev

    I am not referring freedom +BAG GAB in a society that complex freedom is defined related to all services you use…gas, electricity, food, transport, internet, telephones..but at the and we chose it want real freedom..pack your bags and head for the open there however you will have to hunt to survive, to search for water, and so on and so all comes with responsibilities 

  9. Peter Strempel

    While I'm not certain I entirely understand you premiss, +Tihomir Stoev, I think you might enjoy Herbert Marcuse's One Dimensional Man in which he talks about the dominance of organisational logics which impose themselves on individuals in a kind of subversion of liberal ideas about individuality.

    Where this could lead was looked at by Adam Curtis in his documentary series Century of Self and The Trap.

    Interestingly, Curtis illustrates that most people, rather than changing organisational structures and intrusions into their lives, are more than willing to find the fault about their unhappiness in such systems in themselves, and to seek psychiatric and pharmaceutical solutions so they suit the requirements of the system, not the other way around.

    What all this means to me is that we seem to overlook the fact that we can change the way we organise ourselves and our societies: we built those systems in the first place, and nothing that happens in them is inevitable or fixed.

  10. Tihomir Stoev

    >> If you are a bankster, you need to make sure more money ends up in your coffer than the money going out

    no you need to ensure the stability of the structure. Remember the money in the bank are people and organizations capital. It is wrong to think that the banks own the money. They need to ensure the money flow and yes they need to ensure that the flow is positive..this where you make the difference between bank and pyramid(the way you see banks).

    Data is no follows similar principles since it provides abstraction to items/actions related to humans. As such (abstraction) it projects itself in economy but at the end data flow is as important as currency flow. 

    Your overview generally tends to lean towards the concept of bad-people that rule and lie to the same time people are spending 14+ days sleeping in front of the store just to get the next iPhone which is..well just a shiny toy..

    The world is not controlled in conspiracy manner(although I sometimes think I must be..soo many stupid and irresponsible people out there pointing the finger), it is a complex ecosystem in both economical, social and ecological sense. You are being controlled by your own way of thinking..You can't/don't want to do it by yourself so if it is not working you blame the others doing it. 

    No one actually evaluates the fact that the data collected on all levels, along with the professionals that process it to generate analyses along with the applications where the analyses are used, are improving the efficiency of the system in any possible way..The system world is affected by each separate system where the efficiency is improved. Lower car exhaust, lower pollution, lower production costs. At the same time because a lot of people like products including palm oil a company somewhere wants to replace a huge amount of forests along with the species there so that you can have your product..and it is want it and there is somebody to give it to you..this is called market economy. you do not want to take responsibility but yet is has to be taken for the things to move forward so why complaining? Why pointing the is all about supply and demand, this how nature works, abusing the principle can lead to exterminating species and given the impact of our own kind on the system guess about which species we are talking about..

    And again data is no currency it just follows the same principles. The world is heading extremely fast towards augmented will not be able to be effective in the society if you reject your online presence..It will become more centralized but this will lead to easier ways for your data to be reused by any means..this is the price we will have to learn to pay..the other option is shutting down your phone, shutting down your PC and literally each piece of electronic equipment (which will include clothing quite soon), take the tent and go out in the open..not a bad option if you ask me, sometimes I am getting tired of the electronic shit and want to hid the road and explore what is out there..

  11. BAG GAB

    If you are not paying for the product, you are the product – Silicon Valley Buzz (via Science Friday podcast)


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