Negroponte II

Ann Zelenka has a reflective review of Nick Carr’s new book The Big Switch over at GigaOM.

(The reference to Nick Negroponte is because of the term "switch" – back in the late 80s, Negroponte predicted that what was going through the air (TV) would go through cable, and what went through cable (telephone) would go through air, known as the "Negroponte switch".)

I, too, remain unconvinced that the move to net-centric computing will result in job losses overall. More people produce more content to be consumed by markets that previously did not consume at all or could only afford a little.

Have you sat down with your friends for a Youtube-based rock video night yet? I have. Would have cost a fortune just five years ago, now you can do with an old TV, a laptop with an S-video cable, and some $80 speakers.

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One thought on “Negroponte II

  1. Anonymous

    Very good from Zelenka. The middle class was in many ways the holy grail for politicians (many voters) and political theorist in the 20th century (because of the stabilizing element of the society). Carr is perhaps one of these believers in the middle class. That was perhaps ok in the 20th century, but the world has changed. I was in China for exactly 10 years ago, and I have heard that a few things has changed since then. Because of the voting system and different kinds of pressure groups, it has become a subtle middle class fetishism in western countries. I am not suprised by protectionistic arguments when this order is challenged. Carr seems to represent the white-collar version of the blue-collar American protectionism. We have not seen this phenomenon before because these groups has not before in history been confronted with globalization and competition. Now they are, and now we see the reaction that is strikingly similar to old-fashioned workers unions opposition to international competition.

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