Monday, October 11, 2010

Escravos cognitivos?

 Cognitive Slaves, por

The companies that have created the most new value in the last decade, are Internet companies like Facebook, Google, etc.  They've created hundreds of billions in market value, driven by billions in financial profits.  Good for them, but bad for us.

Why?  IF these companies represent the most valuable new industry of the early 21st Century, where are the jobs that will provide prosperity for millions today, and potentially tens of millions in the future?  They don't exist.  These companies create few real jobs.

The distressing part is that in reality these companies actually employ hundreds of millions of people, particularly young and otherwise un or underemployed superusers.  People that work for them day in and day out for free: finding, sifting, sorting, connecting, building, etc.

Let's take Facebook as an example.  Currently it's valued at ~$25 billion by the market.   However, it could be argued that ~100,000 superusers out of 500 million part time users, are the reason that Facebook is valuable.  They generate the core network that is the backbone of the tool.  Their devoted use, high levels of connectivity, and loyalty forms the engine that grows Facebook, year in and year out.  They are the materials, labor, and product of Facebook's assembly line.  Yet they aren't paid for their effort.  They aren't generating wealth for themselves or their families. 

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