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Links 1 through 10 of 35 by Simon Phipps tagged economics

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Warren Buffet has always been an atypical billionaire, and I think he's speaking sense here given the system we have (rather than some ideal system we don't have).

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Very interesting and provocative article asserting that the problem with the US economy is that control is now in too few hands, both government regulators and the corporations to which they funnel control or by which they undergo regulatory capture.

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Watched this on iPlayer and found it captivating. This looks like it is building into a narrative about digital liberty. The first episode works from Ayn Rand's philosophy and links through her relationship with Alan Greenspan to explain the financial market meltdowns. Captivating - I'll be watching the series.

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Another ingredient to weave into the story the BBC2 series is telling.

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"regulatory capture occurs when a state regulatory agency created to act in the public interest instead advances the commercial or special interests that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. " -- This also applies to standards bodies and to procurement policies. The only solution in my view is a combination of extreme transparency and a fixed life for the agency after which it has to reboot.

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Interesting project that could make quite a difference if the result is lighter weight both in terms of code size/complexity and processing/bandwidth requirements.

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$3 million extra in licensing costs that clearly no-one had budgeted for, and lock-in that means there's no alternative but to pay up and then cut staff to make up the budget difference. Had they used open source software, CSIRO would be free to cut their subscriptions and handle the support and downtime risk internally while they rebalanced.

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Important essay by Clay Shirky explains why complex systems must collapse, rather than adapt or simplify. He writes about Television but the lessons seem to me to be generally applicable.

"But there is one compensating advantage for the people who escape the old system: when the ecosystem stops rewarding complexity, it is the people who figure out how to work simply in the present, rather than the people who mastered the complexities of the past, who get to say what happens in the future."

Unless they convince people outside the system to prop them up somehow, that is. In that case those people become part of the complexity, part of the system, and when the collapse comes collapse with it. This is our collective fate if we allow our legislators to prop up the complex but obsolete business models of the past. It's why the Digital Economy Bill - and its inspiration, ACTA - are so toxic to society, way beyond the scope they appear to hold.

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