From MIT’s Technology Review
Tech companies are trying to hasten the spread of the digital revolution, but a new study suggests it could do more harm than good.
As the New York Times writes, this contradicts some of the assumptions behind Silicon Valley efforts to spread Internet access to poorer nations, such as Google’s Internet-by-balloon effort, Project Loon, and Facebook’s subsidized Internet service,Internet.org. In India, Facebook’s effort, which provides only limited access to the Internet beyond the social network, has indeed already come in for some severe criticism.
It also seems like an important counter to an overarching philosophy of techno-optimism that sometimes seems to pervade the tech industry. Richer countries need to bear this in mind as well. The spread of more advanced digital technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics could start giving some companies huge advantages, while eradicating or fundamentally changing many jobs.
Continue reading Sadly, the Internet Isn’t Making the World a Better Place
Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone continual change – economic cycles that lurch from boom to bust – and has always emerged transformed and strengthened. Surveying this turbulent history, journalist and Channel 4 economics news editor Paul Mason wonders whether this time capitalism itself has reached its limits and is changing into something wholly new.
At the heart of this change is information technology: a revolution that has the potential to reshape utterly our familiar notions of work, production and value; and to destroy an economy based on markets and private ownership. Almost unnoticed, in the niches and hollows of the market system, whole swathes of economic life are changing. Goods and services that no longer respond to the dictates of neoliberalism are appearing, from parallel currencies and time banks, to cooperatives and self-managed online spaces. Vast numbers of people are changing their behaviour, discovering new forms of ownership, lending and doing business that are distinct from, and contrary to, the current system of state-backed corporate capitalism.
This talk was organised by and recorded at the RSA.
The orignal article was posted in Social Europe Journal, click on