Down south

Hobart-based readers are invited to hear my Giblin lecture on the topic “The Information Revolution and the Post-Economic Society”. It’s mainly a look at the role of non-economic motives in Internet-based innovations, including open source software, blogs and wikis. At the University of Tasmania, 5:30 pm this evening.

Just to confuse matters, there are two Giblin lectures, both in honour of the same Giblin. The other used to be presented at ANZAAS meetings, and has now migrated to the Economic Society. But, looking at his Wikipedia bio he did more than enough for two; and the entry omits his role in the Premiers Plan and his work on the export multipler.

8 thoughts on “Down south


    Q said: It’s mainly a look at the role of non-economic motives in Internet-based innovations, including open source software, blogs and wikis.

    Presumably Q is going to talk about altruism, vanity and other non-monetary motivations, but, if so, is it really correct to call them “non-economic”? After all, they can fit – even if not simply – into economic welfare frameworks. More broadly, I’d be interested to hear how Q differentiates between the economic and the non-economic, and what he sees as falling within the latter category.

  2. Well i went, and got home to see th e kiddies to bed, so I did not quite make it to talk to John at the Nibblies afterwards. (met an old friend, and I can comment anytime) Though I did ask the last formal question.

    Basically the growth of the web may well have accounted for economic growth since the eighties. Most other areas of the economy have stagnanted or gone backwards (transport – think Concorde).

    Three recent stages of the web are the late eighties/early ninties WWW explosion, followed by the dotcom bubble as old style economic heavies tried to move in, with little to show for it, and now we are moving into a post-economic lead economy where things like Web 2.0 (though John says wait for 2.1) will further drive things and shift our activities from 20Cent models, where govies do pure research, corporates develop and market newfangledness, and households passively consume, and decide only by rekjection, to a place where households decide what’s what in their (currently) sparetime.

    Blogs, wikipedia

    Why? because the transaction costs are cheap.

    He mentioned the more utopian visions of (most recently (Ray Kurzweil) and basically panned them.

    I asked What about Web 3.0 when production starts to be affected too, ie you download a design from a design wiki, and print out a new car, except for commodities the passive consumer is gone?

    That post scarcity. For my grandchildren I expect.

  3. Argggh! I would have love to have come but only read the entry after the event.

    meika: I’m entranced with the idea of 3D printing and have often wondered whether the development models for open source software would translate to an engineering project like a car. Not only would this technology be fairly disruptive to the economic structure (disclaimer: I’m a geek, not an economist) but woud maybe allow for fairly radical customisation and personalisation of all kinds of ‘stuff’ things and maybe a flowering of creativity (but hey, the technology to print your own t-shirt slogan is widely available but how many people do?)

  4. well at the moment ‘modders’ and ‘hardware hacker’ (old style tinkerers) would take it up first in the garage and then for the suburb and the street, before everyone does it at home the local geek handy man would set up a local mill style outlet.

    In hobart the first car was put together from an engine and drift kit and local body at the Cramp Bros Body Works (carriage makers) in Harrington St, they have survived (with their Georgian shopfront) in panel beating & re-spraying through the years, but who knows perhaps if they bought the first 3d multi-ink printer workshops in town they will be putting cars together again.

    I do think the massive factory is going. i do not think the factory bonus scheme of added little extras to the stock standard model will keep up with it in the long run, if Quiggan is right, the consumers ill have it over the Unions of Equity that currently try to serve them. What is good for the company is that it goes away and dies quietly like a good elephant with no more teeth to grind. It could be bad if they thrash. Like the music industry is. Fools.

    This far away from the singularity (how long is a piece of string) nanotech is a long way away from affected the economy compared to a proved tech like printers. Even if the singularity never happens, printer will leave a mark.

  5. Intriguing.

    Over the last few years I have been learning about my birth family, and one of the strands of my family is Giblin. Incidentally most of them still live close to Battery Point, re your next post, and yes its a really nice area. Has a couple of the best bakery/cafes I’ve ever experienced.

    I wonder.. more questions to ask I guess, it’s a long process.

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