Re: Future Commerce Re: Erik's Fallacy

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin (
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 23:42:58 +0000

> From: Bernard Hughes <>

> >Commerce would be by trading, buying, and selling the templates for
> >controlling the manufacturing machines.
> I don't see that "commerce" is needed in an information society. As I see
> it, commerce is you giving me some object or benefit in return for me
> parting with some object or benefit. However, the unique thing about
> information is, if I give it to you I don't part with it. So why should I
> want something in return?

To compensate for the work you put into acquiring the information
and making it available.

> Taking something from you is an extra hassle I can do without.

That's a "transaction cost". If the value to you does not exceed
your transaction costs, you don't trade. But often, it does.

> I think I do get something from you "automatically" if you take
> information from me. I get your attention. And in an information based
> economy, as others have pointed out, attention is the scarce resource.

But of what value to you is that attention?

> Thats my personal experience on the Web and on mailing lists anyway.
> The problem is trading information for real objects and resources that
> people have to part with for you to have them.

Who said you had to trade information for real objects? Why can't
you trade information for information? Information for time spent
arranging and organizing information?

> Being by nature lazy, I hope Dan is wrong about people wanting allows to
> work. For myself, I find play more satisfying, and more creative in the
> long run.

For fun, I program computers. Some people think of this as work --
in fact, they pay me for the privilege of dictating what my
programming projects will be.

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