The Local-global Flip, Or, “the Lanier Effect” is a long, wide-ranging muse on some potentially negative effects of the rise of the internet, “free” services and information concentrators. Some thoughts:

  • I like the idea that what Google is doing is not advertising, but gatekeeping. It may take advertising spend, but that doesn’t mean that it is advertising in the Mad Men sense of the term (such as changing peoples behaviour).
  • I’m not sure that people’s injections of content and services into the world wide web are undervalued, as I think good stuff still needs a lot of hard work to be good, and most injections don’t have that effort put into them.
  • I think there are some very important questions around the distribution of wealth and the growing imbalance between people who are sorted for at least some considerable time and those who aren’t sorted for tomorrow. Per capita GDP doesn’t address this issue.