Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…
"After studying 314 million transactions within the fantasy world of Norrath in "EverQuest II," including trading in-game goods like armor, shields, leather, herbs and food, the researchers were able to calculate the GDP of one of the game servers (the back-end computer that hosts thousands of players in one world).
As more people opened accounts and flocked to Norrath, spending money on new items, researchers saw inflation spike more than 50 percent in five months." Castronova is out in the trenches again, which is good news. Smart MF, that one.
"A well-run city lets millions of people come together and enjoy the benefit they can get from working together and trading with each other. The benefits per person increase with the total number of people; this is why big cities are more productive than small cities or villages. Of course, none of this is new. Adam Smith was referring to the power of exchange and the importance of increasing returns when he wrote that, “the division of labor is limited by the extent of the market.”
There are many signs of the value created by all the exchange that takes place in a city. We see it in productivity and wage data. We also see it in the increase in the value of the land. Millions of people are willing to pay high rents just to live and work around millions of other people who are also paying high rents. Why? To get the benefits that come from exchange and interaction with so many others."
"Today’s world offers little chance for large-scale migration. The hundreds of millions of people who want to move to places with better rules aren’t allowed in. Charter cities will become the places where they can go.
Cities are the right scale for implementing entirely new rules. A coherent set of rules can let millions of people work together and create enormous value on a small tract of land. Because cities are also relatively self-contained, the internal rules in one can differ from the rules in all of its trading partners.
Urbanization is the key to the predictable transformation from an economy where most people earn a precarious living in subsistence agriculture (doing great harm to the environment in the process) to one in which most people work in manufacturing and services. The transformation is inevitable; current estimates suggest that an additional 3 billion people will move to cities this century." This just pressed a dozen of my buttons at once.
"The anonymous campaign against Scientology, better known among its participants as Project Chanology, continues to this day. In the months since it launched "Message to Scientology," Project Chanology has employed a variety of tactics, including pickets, pranks, and propaganda that ranges from the purely informative to the ferociously satirical. It has waxed and waned and waned some more, and yet, improbably, it has endured, evolving into a peculiarly instructive case study in the dynamics of online protest. Project Chanology may well be the first movement to realize the kind of ad hoc, loosely coupled social activism that many have hoped the ad hoc, loosely coupled architecture of the Internet would engender. But it's also the first one founded on the principles of the most obnoxious innovation that architecture ever produced: trolling."
"The flattening of music’s distribution cycle has created an environment where new sounds and styles come and go much more quickly than ever before. For example, I was stoked a couple of weeks ago to discover a promising unsigned band called Freelance Whales only to read yesterday that they are already one of Stereogum’s ‘Bands to Watch!’
“Trends aren’t transmitted hierarchically, as they used to be,” explained Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory, in a recent interview with the Independent. “They’re now transmitted laterally and collaboratively via the internet. You once had a series of gatekeepers in the adoption of a trend: the innovator, the early adopter, the late adopter, the early mainstream, the late mainstream, and finally the conservative. But now it goes straight from the innovator to the mainstream.”"