Category: the market

  • The destruction of money

    Money is a created thing. We create it by issuing loans or by authorizing government expenditures in fiat currencies. But what happens then? If we can only create money, how does money not become worthless over time? Obviously, we must also destroy money. The destruction of money happens in two ways. First, a lender can…

  • Ahead of its time

    Today I learned that in 1983 I could have downloaded games into my Atari 2600 using a modem, stored them in ROM and played them off-line. In 1983. And that the company that offered that service only offered it because their original idea to allow you to download music over a modem to listen to…

  • Autocracy isn’t socialism

    FWIW, all the people who say they are against socialism because they’ve lived under communism and their lives were hard or ruined, suffered because they lived under totalitarian autocracies. If they want to make a nuanced argument about how socialism _leads_ to totalitarian autocracies I’m receptive to unpacking that argument, just not while they are…

  • Abundance obsoletes Efficiency

    Efficiency often gets framed as inherently good by economists and engineers, but that obfuscates any consideration of Enough. Trying to find Efficiency on the abundant side of Enough is waste; all you are striving for is Excess.

  • Failure

    Every failed project I’ve been around can trace its failure back to a lack of agreement among the participants about what problem the project is trying to solve.

  • Is there a relationship between market stability and market fragility?

    There this argument in economics that big, interconnected markets are more stable than markets without inter-dependencies because can make it through economic shocks better when they can dissipate the impact of those shocks more widely. This makes sense on a macroeconomic level where you don’t actually look at the individuals and where the low level…

  • Two kinds of software creation

    There is a fundamental discord between software creators and the businesses that want them to create software on their behalf that really just boils down to something like the following: Programmers at all levels of experience want to believe they are artists, while businesses of all sizes want to believe that software can be manufactured.…

  • No Capital Opportunity in Social Problems

    Because social problems cannot be solved by technological solutions, there are limited opportunities to invest capital into the solution itself. This is a problem for capitalists, since investing capital for gain is what they do. Once the opportunities to provide the tools that make implementing the solution to a social problem are exhausted or the…

  • There are two economies – the sharing economy and the capture economy

    If you own something you have two choices – share it or don’t share it. That’s it. If you share it — and by share it I really mean, “let other people use it for free” — then it isn’t capital in any classical sense, though you may be mining social capital through the act…

  • Taylorism and Software Manufacturing

    When we make software like it is a commodity that is manufactured, and that can be managed like a manufactured product, we are bringing in all the baggage of Fredrick Winslow Taylor’s ideas that dehumanize the labor force in service of an efficiency-centric view of labor productivity. The first problem with that is that creative…