Remixed Timber

by Henry Farrell on March 5, 2009

This “Andrew Sullivan link”: to a Hexstatic song reminded me that Hexstatic and Coldcut’s “Timber”: is surely the best video of all time, and that I should look for it again online (the last time I looked was a couple of years ago, before YouTube really got going). Found sounds meets mid-1990s-vintage video-editing tools and it’s awesome! Fools who disagree with this claim can of course nominate their preferred alternative in comments (and should even be able to embed YouTube links, I think) …

The end of the cash nexus

by John Q on March 5, 2009

Tyler Cowen has a short post which covers a number of themes I’ve been going on about for ages, though never with a fully satisfactory analysis. He starts by pointing to work by Michael Mandel suggesting that much of the measured productivity growth in the US has been bogus (see also Matt Yglesias on this). I agree, particularly as regards the financial sector.

More interestingly, Cowen goes on to note that

there was some productivity growth but much of it fell outside of the usual cash and revenue-generating nexus. Maybe you will live until 83 rather than 81.5 and your pain reliever will work better. In the meantime you will read blogs and gaze upon beautiful people using your Facebook account. Those are gains to consumer surplus, but they don’t prop up the revenue-generating sectors of the economy as one might have expected.

I agree and I think the implications are profound, if still hard to predict with any accuracy. There has been a huge shift in the location of innovation, with much of it either deriving from, or dependent on, public goods produced outside the market and government sectors, which may be referred to as social production.

Some suggestions, not fully argued, over the fold

[click to continue…]

I’m back at NU for a few days with about 20 (no, really, I counted) meetings in the next two days so no time to comment at length on the following, but I thought they were definitely worth a mention. Here are two recently released resources from a couple of great organizations:

* The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a resource on Surveillance Self-Defense.

* The Berkman Center for Internet & Society (my host for the year) has released a 2007 report on circumvention tools.

Both are carefully-written, interesting and helpful documents worth a look.