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The $100bn Facebook question: Will capitalism survive 'value abundance'?

The $100bn Facebook question: Will capitalism survive 'value abundance'?
Chiang Mai, Thailand - Does Facebook exploit its users? And where is the $100bn in the company's estimated value coming from? This is not a new debate. It resurfaces regularly in the blogosphere and academic circles, ever since Tiziana Terranova coined the term "Free Labour" to indicate a new form of capitalist exploitation of unpaid labour - firstly referring to the viewers of classic broadcast media, and now to the new generation of social media participants on sites such as Facebook. This term was recently relaunched in an article by University of Essex academics Christopher Land and Steffen Böhm, entitled "They are exploiting us! This line of argument is misleading, however, because it conflates two types of value creation that were already recognised as distinct by 18th century political economists. But Facebook users are not workers producing commodities for a wage, and Facebook is not selling these commodities on a market to create surplus value. Engineering scarcity Related:  Hyperglobalization and Finance Capitalism

The Nature Of The Firm and Work Markets Those who watched the video I posted on Sunday saw me talking about this. But I didn't do it justice so I'm going to do a full post on this. The brilliant Nobel prize winning economist Ronald Coase (who is still alive!) The entire essay The wikipedia page on the essay In The Nature Of The Firm, Coase investigates why "individuals choose to form partnerships, companies and other business entities rather than trading bilaterally through contracts on a market." Coase argues that transaction costs that make "trading bilaterally through contracts" expensive spur the organization of firms. Enter the internet and having a computer in your pocket into this model and things change. Our firm is seeing these work markets sprout up all around us and if there is a single investment theme that is dominating our deal flow right now, this would be it.

Comment les contenus générés par les utilisateurs menacent-ils le capitalisme La lecture de la semaine prolonge le texte d’il y a 15 jours, qui tentait de comprendre pourquoi Facebook était valorisé à 100 milliards de dollars. On se souvient que la réponse était que la valeur : c’est nous, les utilisateurs ! Le texte d’aujourd’hui est un entretien donné à Al-Jazeera par Michel Bauwens (Wikipédia, @mbauwens), le fondateur de la Peer-to-peer Fundation, qui cherche à analyser les effets à long terme de contenus générés par les utilisateurs sur le capitalisme. « Ce qui est important, explique Bauwens, c’est que Facebook n’est pas un phénomène isolé, mais participe à une tendance plus lourde de notre société : une croissance exponentielle de la valeur d’usage produite par le public. Il est important de comprendre que c’est là un énorme problème pour un système capitaliste, mais aussi pour le travail tel que nous le concevons traditionnellement. Image : Typography Power par Charis Tsevis. D’où une série de questions qu’il pose : Xavier de la Porte

Jungle Ethics Financialism vs. Free Market Capitalism Proposals for adequate regulation and enforcement in the financial markets often run into objections from advocates of free-market capitalism. Like any discussion that involves “isms,” a lot of confusion and hard feelings can be generated by a failure to examine the assumptions and preconceptions that cluster around the central conception. We need a definition. For the sake of clarity, I will first detour into a discussion of what this form of capitalism is not, describing its antithesis – jungle-ethics financialism. Financialism is an economic system where the primary activity consists of creating and manipulating financial instruments. However, when financialism sets in, financial instruments become progressively further removed from their role in supporting commerce in the real world and develop a life of their own, a weird shadow dimension, a hall of mirrors, a distorted alternate reality that intersects and reacts with the real economy in unpredictable and destructive ways.

Essay of the Day: From Product-centered to People-centered economic development (Michel Bauwens: The following is a crucial distinction to make, we strongly recommend you read this) By Sam Rose, Paul Hartzog and informed in part by collaborations with Steve Bosserman. Production centered supply chain business development depends on: unlimited growthexclusive access to resourcesartificial scarcity around actually abundant resourcespeople filling roles in a linear systemhoarding of surplus This way of operating focuses on what is being produced, and requires people to be largely fixed into roles to serve the linear supply chain model. People and natural systems are generally considered to be “resources” that are raw materials and labor for production and distribution, end-points consumption. Markets for product-centered supply chain business development tend to look at statistics and averages of different factors of people and resources, in order to identify the largest markets. People centered business network ecosystem development Steve Bosserman comments:

Newsletter - Vol 9 Issue 6 - International news from the Cultural Contact Point The Arts Council hosts the EU Cultural Contact Point Ireland: your resource for European funding for culture The Culture Programme 2007–2013 was established to enhance the cultural area shared by all Europeans, which is based on a common cultural heritage through the development of cooperation activities among cultural operators from 37 eligible countries. The Programme offers funding opportunities to all cultural sections and all categories of cultural operators contributing to the development of cultural cooperation at European level, with a view to encouraging the emergence of European citizenship.With a total budget of 400 million EUR for 2007 – 2013 the Programme co-finances around 300 different cultural actions per year. CCP Ireland to host EU funding info day in Cork When: Tuesday 6 March, 11amWhere: Triskel Arts Centre The aim of the event is two-fold. Communicating Europe Initiative: funding available  The promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural

Analysis: Euro zone strugglers lack innovative knack Watching Open Source Destroy Capitalism | The Blog of J.D. Moyer Theft, or post-capitalism? About twenty years ago one of my college housemates, Jerry, had an idea. “What if you could send music over the internet?” This was the age of 2400 baud modems that made crazy high pitched noised while they tried to connect to the internet. So I forgive myself for my lack of vision at the time. Jerry persisted. Jerry didn’t go on to invent Napster, but he was absolutely right. Jerry saw it coming early on, but I actually lived through it. Selling music digitally turned out to be more profitable, because production costs were so low. Recently, we’ve seen streaming services (like Spotify and Pandora) and sharing services (like SoundCloud) cut into digital download sales the same way digital downloads cut into vinyl and CD sales. Strangely, Loöq Records is more profitable than ever. For the most part, file sharing (voluntary and involuntary) and music streaming have destroyed music sales revenue. Open Source and Capitalism are Incompatible Systems Pretty much.

John Lanchester · Marx at 193 · LRB 5 April 2012 In trying to think what Marx would have made of the world today, we have to begin by stressing that he was not an empiricist. He didn’t think that you could gain access to the truth by gleaning bits of data from experience, ‘data points’ as scientists call them, and then assembling a picture of reality from the fragments you’ve accumulated. Since this is what most of us think we’re doing most of the time it marks a fundamental break between Marx and what we call common sense, a notion that was greatly disliked by Marx, who saw it as the way a particular political and class order turns its construction of reality into an apparently neutral set of ideas which are then taken as givens of the natural order. Empiricism, because it takes its evidence from the existing order of things, is inherently prone to accepting as realities things that are merely evidence of underlying biases and ideological pressures. I, on the other hand, am an empiricist. He was right: no alternative has developed.

Save the Greeks from their Saviours! says Alain Badiou | European Conference Against Austerity & Privatisation At this moment, that one out of two Greeks is unemployed, 25.000 homeless wander in the streets of Athens, 30% of the population is living below the poverty line, thousands of families have to put their children in institutions so they won’t die of hunger and cold, and refugees and newly poor citizens struggle for garbage bins in public places, the “saviors” of Greece, under the pretext of the Greeks “not putting lots of effort” impose a new plan of help that doubles the given lethal dose. A plan that eliminates the labor law, and condemns the already poor people to extreme poverty, while vanishing the middle classes. There is no chance this idea is the “salvation” of Greece: all the -worthy of the name- economists agree on that. But in order that the counterattack of neoliberalism to achieve its goal, needs a system to established, that abolishes the most basic democratic rights. We are at a no turning back point. If not us, who will? If not now, when will it be? Translations:

Funding - The European Cultural Contact Point Ireland In this section of the website you will find information on every aspect of funding under the Creative Europe Culture Sub-Programme 2014-2020 including: making an application; funding deadlines;guidelines for each funding scheme and how to find project partners. Don't forget to visit our frequently asked questions (FAQ) section, where we list commons issues related to funding and the Culture Sub-programme. Funding deadlines The Creative Europe Culture Sub-Programme has a fixed calendar of deadlines for the funding period 2014–2020. More information and links to where you can download guidelines for each funding scheme can be found in the available funding section. *There will be one more call for proposals for the duration of the Creative Europe programme under the European Networks strand in July 2016 for 4 year framework agreements. Back to top