Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mind, the Gap - addendum II - Ecomonics

While reading "Mind, the Gap" again, I felt the need of explaining the usage of term 'economics'. The classical definition of the terms goes somewhat like the following:
economics (ĕk'ə-nŏm'ĭks, ē'kə-)
n.
1. (used with a sing. verb) The social science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services and with the theory and management of economies or economic systems.

In other words, it is classical trade but in a much advanced and re-defined form. All throughout 1900's, economics remained the force of forces, surfacing in clear sight in forms of capitalism, especially towards the last couple of decades of the century (whilst communism was being defeated by its own self).

In the current century, however, the term has to expand event more that "production, distribution and consumption" to encompass the new dimensions of technological proliferations of the society - namely, Web 2., et al.

In the sense that I would like to use the term economics whilst talking about 'the Gap' should also include not just monetary-economy (though it remains the flagship), but also the "attention economy" (how Google makes money by having you to give attention to all those sponsored contents and ads), and "reputation economy" (how Google 'pressurises' you to improve you hit-count of your online presence - your website, blog, social-networking profile - that should feature among top 20 Google hits when someone fires a relevant query. That, and also Google PageRank.)

Technology is raw. Net is the medium by which technology would interact and interchange information with society. Whilst technology has to prove itself (by turning profitable) economically, it could only do so if (and perhaps the only if) it would get the tune of the psychology of the society.

When the inventors start to really master the tune of psychology of the society their technology is serving, you find that the society is 'hooked' to the given technology. People are so wound up into it that almost no questions are asked. The hook is attached to a line, and the sinker is usually heavy (with right marketing). The spin of the spindle wounding up the line is actually the economy making profit.

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