The space-economy

Organism and Mechanism - The Natural Economy, by John Young - A sound economy is impossible while the economic order is seen as a mechanism rather than an organism. For an organism is from Take a physical organism, say the human body. It is composed of diverse parts, each having its own operation, and all contributing to the good of the whole body. Now, at first glance it might seem that it is essentially the same as a mechanism, say a motor car. This is not so, most basically because the physical organism is one substance, whereas the car is many substances combined by art. The car is an artificial whole, not a natural whole.
In the strict sense, an organism is a physical entity, such as the human body; and the word is being used analogously when we apply it to an association, such as a social club or a political society or the economy. But the comparison is worthwhile, for it throws light on the nature of these groups. Let us apply it to the economic order.
Consider some characteristics of a physical organism which also apply, analogously, to the economy. 1. It is heterogeneous: it has many parts, each different from the others. 2. Each part has a special operation. 3. Each is so related to the other parts that its operation tends to the good of the whole body.
The economy has many parts in the sense of the millions of individuals who constitute it, and also in the sense that it is made up of many groups such as workers, investors, consumers. Each of these has a special part to play in the whole. This part tends, from its nature, to the good of the whole.
The social organism which is the economy is more than a mechanism, a machine. What is a machine? It is a human invention, a product of art, constructed from physical substances like metal and wood. Hans Andre, comparing a biological organism with a machine, says: "Whereas a machine functions by man and for man, the organism constructs itself by the forces which lie hidden within it".
The economy is from nature in the sense that it is required by human nature and its essential features are from human nature. And like a living body, it too "constructs itself by the forces which lie hidden within it".
  • Organism and Mechanism - The Natural Economy, by John Young - A sound economy is impossible while the economic order is seen as a mechanism rather than an organism. For an organism is from Take a physical organism, say the human body. It is composed of diverse parts, each having its own operation, and all contributing to the good of the whole body. Now, at first glance it might seem that it is essentially the same as a mechanism, say a motor car. This is not so, most basically because the physical organism is one substance, whereas the car is many substances combined by art. The car is an artificial whole, not a natural whole.
    In the strict sense, an organism is a physical entity, such as the human body; and the word is being used analogously when we apply it to an association, such as a social club or a political society or the economy. But the comparison is worthwhile, for it throws light on the nature of these groups. Let us apply it to the economic order.
    Consider some characteristics of a physical organism which also apply, analogously, to the economy. 1. It is heterogeneous: it has many parts, each different from the others. 2. Each part has a special operation. 3. Each is so related to the other parts that its operation tends to the good of the whole body.
    The economy has many parts in the sense of the millions of individuals who constitute it, and also in the sense that it is made up of many groups such as workers, investors, consumers. Each of these has a special part to play in the whole. This part tends, from its nature, to the good of the whole.
    The social organism which is the economy is more than a mechanism, a machine. What is a machine? It is a human invention, a product of art, constructed from physical substances like metal and wood. Hans Andre, comparing a biological organism with a machine, says: "Whereas a machine functions by man and for man, the organism constructs itself by the forces which lie hidden within it".
    The economy is from nature in the sense that it is required by human nature and its essential features are from human nature. And like a living body, it too "constructs itself by the forces which lie hidden within it".
  • The 10 Driving Principles of the New Economy
  • Twelve dependable principles for thriving in a turbulent world
  • A Market Economy without Capitalism - The collapse of state socialism in Central and Eastern Europe has led to the temporary triumph of Western capitalism in the ideological struggle between competing economic models. However, as long as the disparity between rich and poor continues to increase, as long as exponential economic growth continues to cause accelerating environmental destruction and as long as the "developed" nations of the Northern hemisphere continue to ruthlessly exploit their "undeveloped" Southern neighbours, it remains necessary to search for alternatives to the prevailing economic order. Under these circumstances Silvio Gesell's Free Economy model retains its relevance and may yet begin to receive the wider recognition which it deserves.
  • Infotronics in a global knowledge-based economy - The important thing to note is that linkages are constantly emerging between and across forms. In our current technology, the linkages arise from digitization.
    Recording technology provides us with a very straightforward example. In 1877 Thomas Edison pioneered a form of analog sound recording. To record a sound, a membrane in a microphone is used to copy that wave onto some surface. To replay the sound, a needle is forced through the groove created by the recording process. This needle is attached to another membrane in a speaker. When the speaker membrane vibrates, the membrane sets nearby air molecules into oscillations and the original sound wave is recreated. The process is entirely analog. No numbers are involved, the process is completely mechanical, and there is infinite precision, but very limited accuracy and much room for error in the sound recording and reproduction process. Compact disk technology uses digital means to record and play sounds. The sound waves are read by a computer which analyzes each instance of the sound, and assigns it a numerical value. When the music is played back, it goes through another computer, which retranslates the numbers into the sounds that the numbers represent. Since they are recorded at such frequent tiny intervals, the lack of precision is not a problem, and we find digitally recorded music more accurate.
    The above is, but one example. Because of digitization, linkages across forms emerge constantly. Industries for decades not related to each other suddenly find themselves in the same sector, and with it comes a redefinition of competitors. Thus we see Silicon Graphics Computer Systems (started as a graphics computer company) swallowing up Cray Computers (a number crunching supercomputer company), AT&T acquiring Digital Cable Network, Napster Inc. using MP3 technology to change the landscape of music industry, and other examples.
  • Virtual economy - The Net is a self-organizing system which has no goal, no predetermined scope or shape. Different projects, intentions, strategies may conflict and merge, without imposing a dominant structure. But the capitalist semiotization is trying to impose a direction, through the superimposition of Infobahn and the creation of the Info-Econo-Sphere. Capital is not a system, but a semiotic Code, a paradigm regulating the production of interfaces. Actually we see that the capitalist semiotization of the Net is proceeding through the creation of interfaces of simplification. Making thing easy is the way to technological dependency, and to economic domination. The economic paradigm is being inoculated in the net through the building of the Infobahn, and the present creation of the cybermarket is tightening the connection between technology, productivity and competition; and this connection produces an acceleration of the info-production leading to a hypersaturation of neuro-social pathways. The unlimited expansion of cyberspace conflicts with the organic bounds of cybertime.
    In any way, the possibilities of free utilization of the net cannot be destroyed - because the net is not a territory: it is irreductable to the law, and to any kind of domination. Probably we are exaggerating the effects of the Internet in the future transformation of the society. Probably the social and cultural effects of this phenomenon will not be so important, and the Net will not change so deeply the daily life and the social landscape. Probably this technology will be overwhelmed by new discoveries, will be abandoned or marginalized. But, in any case something very important has happened, thanks to the Networking revolution: a social paradigm has experimented, that will not be eradicated. The paradigm of rhyzomatic society, a proliferating web of temporary communities, sharing the same unlimited non-territory of the Cyberspace. The present shape of the Net may be a transient experimentation, but the direction is set towards new adventures in autonomy.
  • Borderless Worlds: Problematizing Discourses Of Deterritorialization - The digerati see state bureaucracies, old-fashioned border builders, as a threat to progress on the bioelectronic frontier. Governments in the cybernetic knowledge age need to get out of the way of the pioneers of the information age. Their industrial policy should focus on "removing the barriers to competition and massively de-regulating the fast-growing telecommunications and computing industries". Freed from the constraints of the old spatial order, cyberspace promises to open up closed markets and liberate repressed peoples, to unify an increasingly free and diverse world. In another irony lost on the neoliberal digerati, the future of human freedom lies in cyberspace, that most machinic and surveillant of domains.
    These different examples of discourses of deterritorialization are, of course, sweepingly superficial representations of the complexity of boundaries, territory and the world map at the century's end. Seriously flawed as conceptualizations of the contemporary world, the confident hyperbole of these discourses nevertheless has considerable ideological power and rhetorical force. This paper seeks to problematize such discourses of deterritorialization in a general way by examining one of the more precise articulations of the phenomenon of deterritorialization, the so-called 'end of geography' in the domain of financial markets. On the face of it, the case of global financial integration would seem to be a particularly strong instances of deterritorialization. Rather than understanding the issue, however, as a mere confirmation of an unproblematized deterritorialization, this paper makes three arguments about deterritorialization discourses generally using the case of global finance. The first argument is that discourses of deterritorialization are ideological discourses that do not describe actuality but seek to discursively constitute and represent certain complex tendencies as both inevitable and positive developments in contemporary capitalist society. Discourses of deterritorialization, in other words, are part of the self-interpretation of contemporary informationalized capitalism. They combine elements from many longstanding Western discourses (con)fused in a contradictory and unstable unity. For example, digital culture discourses combine a strong humanistic inheritance emphasizing human freedom, liberation and fulfillment; a capitalist discourse concerning the virtues of open and transparent markets, and a discourse of technophilia which celebrates technological systems as wondrous entities which enhance human capacities and capabilities.
  • The Internet Age: Latin America's Borderless Future - Since the language is not a missing link but rather a unifying factor, the Web is undoubtedly the keystone to this profound change in the world's economy ­ a change as significant as the very discovery of the New World. Countless surveys show that Latin America is the one market where the Web grows at the fastest rate. Brazil in particular is firmly ensconced in third place, right after the U.S. and China, with prospects of receiving billions of dollars in investments over the next few years.
    The most revealing finding in the latest survey, made by the Laredo Group for StarMedia, in which 22,000 Internet users were interviewed between December 1999 and January 2000, is that 90 percent of respondents feel that the Internet is already breaking down the barriers between Latin American countries. This may not be all that surprising, but it should give food for thought to those who claim that Brazilians have no cultural affinity with Argentines, that Argentines have little in common with Chileans, etc. And there is more: two-thirds of the respondents said that the Internet was going to fuel economic and political changes in Latin America - proving that, in the common perception, the world is to be restructured not in a future revolution, but in the present. And the revolution is driven by the power of the Internet as a compelling new business media, in a geographically unlimited economy.
  • Teleworking in a Borderless Economy: Managing the Virtual Enterprise - This paper will examine Malaysia's attempts to implement teleworking and E-Commerce through various mega projects, not least of which is the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC). 3 The MSC concept will be discussed and an assessment of the project will be made in relation to E-Commerce, including the potential of telework and teletrade. The second section of the paper will discuss the attempts of the Malaysian Government to facilitate as well as to regulate the dynamic and ever-changing IT industry as seen in the formulation of several cyber laws, three of which were recently passed in Parliament. The final section attempts to assess Malaysia's prospects in capturing a share of IT-led international commerce.
  • Cybertax - The Internet, the fastest growing communications medium or consumer electronic technology, doubles its size every six months. Within a few years the number of citizens in Cyberspace will outnumber all but the largest nations. The borderless world of the Internet extends its reach to all corners of the world. Best of all, it is almost free. Hardware costs aside, once on the Internet a user can surf anywhere for the price of a local phone call. But what about all the foregone tax revenue that electronic commerce could facilitate? Although Internet commerce is in its earliest stages, its rapid growth is anticipated. Some estimate that in thirty years time, consumer activity online could represent more than thirty percent of total consumer activity. This leads to the erosion of national tax bases. In this paper we show that as a measure of last resort the bit tax can be implemented. Although the exact implementation of such a tax is not yet clear, the general idea of a tax on information from the point of view of an eroding tax base and the changing society is certainly worth considering. Furthermore, the tax revenues could be directed towards improving access to the Internet, educating individuals to become acquainted with the Internet and providing additional needed bandwidth.
  • Citizens of One Economic World - You tend to think of those people who look at screens all day and all night and watch the movement of numbers as seamlessly currencies change and resources flow across nations in this borderless, seamless economic environment in which we operate. But in so many ways now, we are all citizens of the one economic world and there is no turning back. Any idea that any of us might have that you can go back to some kind of comfortable, more cloistered domestic economic environment is totally unreal. The nature of the world in which we live now means that all countries can no longer do other than simply compete and compete and compete again in order to stay in front of or at least equal with their economic rivals. It's of no comfort to say to yourself we're doing better than we were doing 10 years ago or 20 years ago. That's irrelevant. The only thing that really matters now is whether you are doing better as against those that seek the same markets as you seek in these early years of the 21st Century.
  • Internet Genome - This Web site is the home of the Internet Genome developed by Xqsite. It is a project intended to serve as the preeminent forum on the current and future state of the business Internet through recognition and examination of its component parts.
  • European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) - Final and full text version of the document setting out guidelines for spatial development in the EU, agreed Potsdam 1999. These are quite large PDF files, containing full colour maps etc. The report itself consists of analysis of spatial development in the EU area as well as some guidelines which form a cautious attempt at physical planning at a European scale.
  • Economic TeleDevelopment Forum - Links - Numerous links pertaining to teledevelopment and wired communities.
  • Digital Work CyberTrends - This document contains a list of trends based upon quotes from managers, professionals, consultants, journalists, futurists, and educators who study the ways we will work in the digital age.
  • Virtual Networked Teams in Future Organisations - Building Blocks for a Knowledge-based Culture - Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in a team that speaks different languages, eats and sleeps at different times, and has different views on the world and getting things done? A Virtual Networked Team (VNT) includes all the above characteristics, born of a blend of different cultures, business perspectives and motivations and enabled by Knowledge Management approaches.
    Globalisation, increased competition, shorter time to market and pressure to innovate are some of the drivers for organisations to adopt a knowledge-based culture. One of the consequences of this is the need to change organisational structures and behaviour: creating VNTs for specific purposes is one way of achieving the necessary organisational change. This brief article aims to explore VNTs as a viable form of organisational structure for enterprises committed to adopting a knowledge-based culture and to provide some hints and tips for establishing successful VNTs.
  • Managing a company without walls: Management of relationships in a virtual organization - The first chapter of this paper provides a description of the virtual organization and describes virtualness as a strategy. The second chapter describes the history of the virtual organization. The third chapter is about the implications of societal changes and the virtual strategy for the management of relationships in the virtual organization: In which way do relationships in the virtual organization have to be managed? In the fourth chapter a conclusion about virtual management is drawn and discussed. The goal is to provide some guidelines for managers in an organization that's becoming virtual.
  • SECTION I: What's New About The New Economy? - The term New Economy refers to a set of qualitative and quantitative changes that, in the last 15 years, have transformed the structure, functioning, and rules of the economy. The New Economy is a knowledge and idea-based economy where the keys to job creation and higher standards of living are innovative ideas and technology embedded in services and manufactured products. It is an economy where risk, uncertainty, and constant change are the rule, rather than the exception. Part I of this report highlights 13 indicators that collectively illustrate the emergence of the structural roots of this New Economy.
  • The Knowledge Economy: Knowledge Producers and Knowledge Users - There is widespread agreement that a defining aspect of the New Economy is the increased importance of knowledge. But what exactly does this mean? There are two important types of knowledge industries to consider: First, there are those industries whose major product is knowledge itself; then there are industries that manage or convey information.
  • Nine Myths About The New Economy - For many on the right, the dawn of a digital era automatically means the twilight of government. These New Economy optimists emphasize-and exaggerate-the upsides of the New Economy, while overlooking its problems. While viewing it correctly as an era with great possibilities for growth and creativity, some on the right seek the elimination of virtually all regulation of technology, oppose government funding of research and development (excluding defense), and argue that government should simply "get out of the way," a stance that leaves Americans to fend for themselves during a difficult, often wrenching transition. Their "land of milk and honey" is made up of small firms and individual entrepreneurs in dynamic markets; higher income inequality that encourages hard work; a vastly reduced role for government, including reduced roles in technology, education, and skill development; and little effort to expand the winner's circle so that all Americans share in the benefits.
  • GBN Book Club: The Tipping Point - The Power of Context says you don't have to solve the big problems to solve crime. You can prevent crime just by scrubbing off graffiti and arresting fare-beaters; crime epidemics have Tipping Points every bit as simple and straightforward as syphilis in Baltimore or a fashion trend like Hush Puppies.
    Editor's aside: Identification of "context" requires skill in pattern recognition - "seeing" implications of the cross-currents of social and technological trends. Some of these are: collapse of hierarchy in many different areas: political, military, business, etc.; proliferation of networks in diverse contexts; appearance and spread of wireless devices of all kinds and their interconnection; apparent increasing violence in electronic games, TV programming, educational institutions, domestic situations, ethnic frictions, neo-national movements; empowerment of the individual and the linking of individuals into work teams. The cross-linking of genetics and memetics, of physiology and economy.
  • Working in a networked economy - The question follows: What happens to the Rhine model of capitalism, to the German social state, when companies have less and less use for full-time permanent positions, when they buy the online services of professionals in other parts of the world, when flexibility and speed of response are more important than stability, when cross-border competition of labor occurs without any legal barriers. The new economy demands ever more flexibility, and the labor market follows. The speed of change accelerates. And the basis of the social state erodes. Classical organization structures dissolve as companies try to move closer to the market and decentralize the flow of information. Long-term personnel planning and pan-German wage agreements are certainly not the right instruments to ensure success. Neither are multi-layer hierarchies or fixed organization units.
  • Bandwidth for dummies - Consider this. In the last twelve months, 2.7 trillion e-mails were sent, 70 million voice mails were placed and $40 billion was transacted through e-commerce. The bandwidth capacity of submarine cables is to grow by 4000% from 300Gbps in 1999 to 12,000Gbps in 2002. To put this in perspective, this is enough to stream four million DVD quality movies at once, or to transmit the text of every newspaper ever printed in a single second. More importantly, for every 50% decrease in bandwidth price, in general, ISPs have purchased a 100% increase in capacity. In September 2000, bandwidth began to be quoted on the Dow Jones commodity market. So bandwidth is the commodity of the moment, but unlike for example petrol, the full importance of bandwidth to our economy and society are not immediately evident. Instead of blockading my local telephone exchange or cable landing station to bring its relevance to the fore, I will instead attempt to outline its benefits and revolutionary potential via this document.
    Bandwidth is the railway that transports intellectual capital. However it is more than this, it is in effect tied up in a symbiotic relationship with that capital, as it facilitates its creation. Once an area has access to bandwidth, it is on the network, and now becomes a more economically viable venue for the creation of ideas and innovation, able to participate in the new economy. The degree of this participation will have a direct relationship with the quantity of bandwidth available for access. This is why Enterprise Ireland, a state development body, is creating a number of digital business parks in Cork, Limerick and Galway, that will be connected onto a broadband network. By putting these rural areas on the network they have connected into the new economy, with the aim of attracting start-ups in digital media, e-business and software. Cisco systems is now the largest company in the world in terms of market capitalisation; this is because they are market leaders in the production of  networking technology. The network is becoming the economy.
  • Digital Economy - Our current society is characterized as an 'information society', 'a knowledge society' or as a 'postindustrial society'. The prefix 'post' refers to a fundamental change in the industrial system. In an industrial society the focus lies on energy, human phyical power is replaced by mechanical systems. In our current society the main focus lies on the manipulation of information in complex systems through automatization. Economic core activities have shifted from manual labour to intellectual labour, from 'manufacturing' to 'mentofacturing'. Information managing services are becoming more and more important, the demand for information analysts, technologists and managers is steadily growing.
  • Organizing in the knowledge age: anticipating the cellular form - Business history has evolved from the machine age since the industrial revolution into the information age and then the knowledge era. New organizational trends kept on emerging. Vertically integrated entities paved the way for network organizations. Companies try out a new way of organizing known as the 'cellular form.' Cellular organizations such as Technical and Computer Graphics and the Acer Group are founded on the principles of entrepreneurship, self-organization and member-ownership. This type will be used in an environment where learning and innovation are continuous.
  • Bioconvergence: Progenitor of the Nanotechnology Age - Global economic indices of valuation, by which the major sovereign nation states and trading cartel entities--which have been correlated with primary commodity assets such as energy, telecommunications, IT (information technology) resources and infrastructure--are in a stage of transition, toward the next global standard of valuation. Ultimately, entirely new classes of synthetically contrived organisms, which would not evolve under "natural" circumstances, can be conjured up as protein-sequence codes, mapped onto a chip, and cloned out on demand. Enter the era of artificially enhanced evolution, synthetic organisms, genetically derived and targeted pharmacopia, cellular cybernetics, intracellular "corrective chemistry" systems, and bioengineering on demand, as a commodity resource.
  • Kurzweil on Nanotechnology
  • Nanotechnology Industries - Sources of information on nanotechnology.
  • Hello Nanotechnology, Bye, Bye Money! - Nanotechnology, the science of building structures (including cars, food, houses, and space ships) by the manipulation and placement of individual atoms and molecules, is coming. It will be a social and technological revolution exceeding in significance any before it, including the Neolithic and Industrial Revolutions. The most fundamental social change nanotechnology will bring will be the elimination of all things economic. The "anything box", a device which will allow anyone to produce anything with freely available resources, designs, and energy, will be one of nanotechnology's gifts.
  • Zyvex: Nanotechnology: what will it mean? - In a few decades, this emerging manufacturing technology will let us inexpensively arrange atoms and molecules in most of the ways permitted by physical law. It will let us make supercomputers that fit on the head of a pin and fleets of medical nanorobots smaller than a human cell able to eliminate cancer, infections, clogged arteries and even old age. People will look back on this era with the same feelings we have towards medieval times - when technology was primitive and almost everyone lived in poverty and died young. Besides computers billions of times more powerful than today's, and new medical capabilities that will heal and cure in cases that are now viewed as utterly hopeless, this new and very precise way of fabricating products will also eliminate the pollution from current manufacturing methods. Molecular manufacturing will make exactly what it is supposed to make, no more and no less, and therefore won't make pollutants.
  • An Economy Without Employment - As the labor-saving devices of our world improve, the need and value of human employment decreases. So far, the decrease in employment has been nearly matched (and sometimes exceeded) by the work required to keep machines doing their work. However, with better software and greater technological integration, the need (and ability) of humans to compete with machines is beginning to disappear. I have already gone on record as predicting that our future economy will be automated and that "employment" in the traditional sense will probably be eliminated resulting in a hoped-for lifestyle of relative abundance and leisure. Here I will begin to speculate in a more precise way about how this may come about and how people may adjust. I will try to devise some more detailed models about how automated ecomomies might work.
  • Hyper-Economy I: Combining price and utility communication in multi-agent systems - Symbolic communication mechanisms played a significant part in the evolutionary process by allowing plants, animals and humans to exchange individual experiences and thus turning collections of relatively isolated organisms into adaptive distributed cognition systems. A crucial role in this process belongs to schemes of aggregating and generalizing individual experiences and utilizing the obtained knowledge for optimization of behavior of individual agents. Most recently, money as aggregate symbolic representation of value allowed efficient distribution of economic information in the society. By providing aggregated information on comparative values of goods and services to participants with bounded interests and rationality, the economic signaling mechanisms give them incentives to adjust their consumption and production efforts in accordance with the collective requirements of all other agents in the system. This allowed the complexity of the value exchange system to increase by orders of magnitude, while improving its adaptability.
    With still greater complexity and scale of the system, it becomes crucially important to assure that the agents focus on the right tasks, form reasonable expectations of the utility of various goods and services, and set up stable and mutually beneficial relationships with each other. These focusing and utility assessment mechanisms have been traditionally provided by individual experiences and unmediated sharing of knowledge, similar to value exchange mechanisms before the appearance of money. Further progress of signaling instruments depends on availability of standardized semantic descriptions of quality and utility of various resources, and needs and abilities of different agents. It also requires efficient methods of data acquisition, aggregation and analysis, and low-cost communication and processing tools.
    We are presenting an example of such a collection of signaling instruments. The suggested model of a "hyper-economic" system combines flows of globally aggregated scalar information on prices with mechanisms for sharing knowledge about situational utilities of groups of resources. The project presents methods for combining value and utility signaling mechanisms, introduces non-scalar representations of common experiences analogous to derivative financial instruments and researches their efficiency in different types of economics environments.
  • Hyper-Economy II: Combining price and utility communication in multi-agent systems - Agent-based systems modeling is a new and increasingly popular field of information science. An agent represents not only static features of an object, but its behavior, goals and methods of interaction with other agents and the environment. The agent approach has proven useful for studying many different kinds of complex systems, from natural environments to economic processes. Automated multi-agent systems let us model large numbers of agents interacting with each other and changing environments, to study the dynamics of various environments, to test existing theories of social organization, to represent conflicting corporate and individual interests, and to control the behavior of distributed automated systems.
    New digital environments flout our expectations in dramatic and essential ways, and will force us to reconsider many of our views on multi-agent systems. The internal structure of a computing environment is significantly different from that of the physical space. There is no concept of premium location here, or differential rent. Software systems differ in methods of agent replication and deployment, transaction costs, and many other essential characteristics from both natural and artificial physical environments. To take advantage of the peculiarities of multi-agent computing systems, we need new architectures with new, adaptive regulatory and resource-allocation mechanisms.
  • Future Technology - Physics was the science of the 20th century, biology will be the science for the 21th century. The economic incentives for researching the possibilities in genetics is too great to be disregarded. Genetherapy, genetic engineering and cloning causes ethical challenges that might be overwhelming, but highly important. Gene Therapy is the ability to cut and paste the human genome, to remove genetically inherited diseases and augment genetic functions. Nanotechnology, the ability to structure molecules with mechanic precision will have critical consequences for medicine, manufacturing and industry. The potential of constructing nano size industrial plants able to produce every known substance is mind boggling. The Singularity will possibly create an artifical intelligence more able to adapt than humans, consider the increasing amount of speed and number of computers. The technological singularity implies a super organism that may evolve beyond humans the same way humans evolved beyond animals.
  • Network Economy - Numerous ideas and links pertaining to a changing economy.
  • Wealth & Work: Ten Thousand Year Old Pattern - When we think back to our ancestry in the stone-age we sometimes pity them; we pity the poor people who had it so rough that they had to work their every living moment just to find enough food to keep them alive. But ironically, our ancestors typically worked much less than we do today. They had less work, less stress and less depression. Indeed, it is sometimes said that you could hear the laughter of a native village from two miles away!
    Anthropologists have documented that cultural advancements usually result in people working more, not less. For example, studies in the 1960's of the !Kung people, a hunter-gatherer society in Africa, showed that they worked roughly half as much as people in industrialized societies. The !Kung worked only about twenty hours per week, or three hours per day, for their subsistence. Their other chores, such as building shelters, making tools and cooking, added up to another twenty-some hours per week for a total of 40+ hours per week. By contrast, those of us in industrial cultures work about 40 hours per week at a job and 40 hours more at home and after work (commuting, shopping, cooking, washing, cleaning, fixing), for a total of roughly 80 hours per week.
  • 21st Century Markets: From Places to Spaces - Throughout history, markets have always re-created themselves, shifting the economic fortunes of those present at the creation. In this paper we discover how e-commerce alters the dimensions of time, place and form to alter fundamental notions of what a market is and how it operates. We explain what the shift from marketplaces to marketspaces means - and, what it portends. We look at new forms of intermediaries, cybermediaries. We explore the need for companies to appear in multiple, simultaneous roles in multiple, simultaneous marketspaces. Then we drill deeper to look at the business case for I-markets, their inter-enterprise business processes and the agile software needed to support new and changing business models. Armed with this framework, we move on to describe the key dimensions of strategy that companies will need in order to succeed as 21st century markets transform from places to spaces.
  • Managing information for development in The 21st century: prospects for African libraries, challenges to the world - The paper discusses the vital role information can play in the development of African countries in the 21st century. It stresses that development information can only be guaranteed when libraries in Africa computerize their systems, form networks for resource sharing and take advantage of the numerous benefits of IT, especially CD-ROM and the Internet. An indepth review of the information management climate of African libraries was made and this was found to be very unfavourable. Problems found to be inhibiting IT application by African libraries include apathy and inadequate funding by governments and their officials, undeveloped information and communication infrastructure and shortage of technical manpower.Despite the bottlenecks, African libraries have the challenge to efficiently and effectively manage information in the 21st century in order to facilitate technology transfer, support teaching, learning and research, and project Africa's achievements and potentials to the rest of the world for mutual benefits. Considering the widespread democratization in Africa, blueprints for improved economy, better provision of information infrastructure, and progress already made in IT application and networking in Africa, it was established that the chances of African libraries to automate their services in the 21st Century are very bright.The paper concludes that both Africa and the rest of the world need mutually beneficial information from each other. The challenges, therefore for taking positive steps to promote modern information management in the new millenium is not only for African libraries but for the world at large.
  • A weightless economy - The weightless economy - also described as the knowledge economy, the intangible economy, the immaterial economy or simply the "new" economy - comprises four main elements. First, there is information and communications technology (ICT) and the Internet. Second, intellectual property, which includes not only patents and copyrights but more broadly, brand-names, trademarks, advertising, financial and consulting services, financial exchanges, health care (medical knowledge), and education. The third element consists of electronic libraries and databases, including new media, video entertainment, and broadcasting. The fourth element comprises biotechnology, traditional libraries and databases, and pharmaceuticals. These four elements constitute the fastest-growing sectors in modern economies­whether measured in value added or employment and job growth. Everything on the list contains elements of intangibility and can be regarded as knowledge. However, we should not over-emphasize the importance of ideas and knowledge in trying to understand the weightless economy. Economies have been knowledge-based for at least five thousand years. Sumerians in the Mesopotamian river basin began carving cuneiform financial records onto clay tablets 5,000 years back. During the first Industrial Revolution, deploying spinning Jennies and steam engines significantly boosted economic performance. Such machines were the physical embodiment of new knowledge. But while steam engines or clay tablets are physical objects which contain knowledge, they do not resemble knowledge in their use. Their uses are bound by geographical and physical constraints. An oil supertanker is not part of the weightless economy, but computer software is.
  • Cluster emergence on a global continuum - This paper models spatial economic development, making explicit both time and space. Locations are not just points---which would leave unanswered the question, What happens in between?---but instead a continuum. Equilibrium is a law of motion in spatial distribution dynamics, or a transition kernel in measures on geographical space. The paper provides a model of economic geography without transportation costs; it is used to study the evolution across Earth of financial, Internet, telecommunications, and computer activity.
  • ICT clusters in development: Theory and evidence - This paper analyzes the impact of information and communications technologies (ICT) on economic growth and agglomeration, emphasizing outcomes for regional inequality. ICT significantly displays the same features---increasing returns, knowledge spillovers---that drive both growth and agglomeration. However, in the data, cross-economy inequality has been rising for longer than has ICT been perceptibly influencing economic performance. In Europe, nation states show no special advantage in using ICT as a driver for economic growth; ICT clusters seamlessly transcend national borders.
  • What Will Replace The Internet? - So many appliances, vehicles and buildings will be online by 2020 that it seems likely there will be more things on the Internet than people. Internet-enabled cars and airplanes are coming online, and smart houses are being built every day. Eventually, programmable devices will become so cheap that we will embed them in the cardboard boxes into which we put other things for storage or shipping. These passive "computers" will be activated as they pass sensors and will be able to both emit and absorb information. Such innovations will facilitate increasingly automatic manufacturing, inventory control, shipping and distribution. Checkout at the grocery store will be fully automatic, as will payment via your digital wallet.
  • Capitalist Information Spaces and the Geography of Corporate Disclosure - The large, multi-locality capitalist firm has been associated with vital gatekeeping functions in society including providing access to important economic, social and environmental information. It is suggested that, for a variety of reasons, this access has worsened for many constituents. The geographic complexity of modern organizational structures is generally not matched by geographically differentiated disclosures of corporate events, economic and social performance, inter-organisational dependencies or corporate plans for the future. It is also posited that corporations have an inherent interest in "disconnecting" information thereby restricting its usefulness. The paper discusses corporate disclosure strategies as they relate to geographic segmentation and consolidation of information and focuses on some of the pros and cons of harmonizing disclosure practices across national boundaries.
  • Geography and Economic Development - This paper addresses the complex relationship between geography and macroeconomic growth. We investigate the ways in which geography may matter directly for growth, controlling for economic policies and institutions, as well as the effects of geography on policy choices and institutions. We find that location and climate have large effects on income levels and income growth, through their effects on transport costs, disease burdens, and agricultural productivity, among other channels. Furthermore, geography seems to be a factor in the choice of economic policy itself. When we identify geographical regions that are not conducive to modern economic growth, we find that many of these regions have high population density and rapid population increase. This is especially true of populations that are located far from the coast, and thus that face large transport costs for international trade, as well as populations in tropical regions of high disease burden. Furthermore, much of the population increase in the next thirty years is likely to take place in these geographically disadvantaged regions.
  • Global And Regional Economics - Economic transformation in most of astern Europe and the former Soviet Union is moving forward despite mounting challenges. The most advanced states have moved beyond the most basic reforms to concentrate on a new, more detailed round of economic adjustments to become eligible for their ultimate goal -- membership in the European Union. Other states are still struggling with their first round of privatizations and rely heavily on international lending organizations to meet budget goals. The least advanced are stagnating under unreformed polticial systems.
  • World: Expert Sees Electronic Commerce Enhancing Liberty, Democracy - An expert on the Internet contends that its users are now organizing electronic communities that will, among other things, offer the same economic services traditionally offered by nations. He explains his views in an interview with our correspondent.
  • Trends in Retail Trade - This fact sheet identifies and describes 10 major trends in the retail trade sector. Details and statistics for the following trends are discussed: the growth of e-commerce, kids in the retail market, building customer knowledge files, the American mall in decline, challenging the category killer, precision shopping, entertaining the customer, globalization of retail trade, smart cards, and the general decline in retail sales growth.
  • The Internet and the Small Business - This paper is taken from a study of the use Information Technology in a range of small and medium sized businesses in the UK and elsewhere during late 1996 and early 1997. It focuses on the impacts brought about in these businesses by the introduction of the Internet. In particular, this paper describes the construction of an impacts model built as a part of this research that enables a structured approach to cross business analysis of impact. It describes two cases of application of the model in real businesses and gives some details of other cases undertaken and of the findings of the wider study that are useful to those considering or assessing the use of the Internet in commercial environments. The paper also gives some details of future research that is being undertaken to extend the understanding of business impact of this technology in the small business sector.
  • The Future of Automation Control - It's about time we put this all in perspective - we need to step back and evaluate the future of automation control not in a vacuum, but in the context of what it will do for tomorrow's manufacturing enterprise.
  • Shape of Manufacturing - The most important technology for manufacturers in the upcoming years is software, according to a Delphi study conducted by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (Ann Arbor, MI). More significantly, the types of software manufacturers will be most concerned with are those we think of as "intelligent," i.e., neural networks, autonomous agents, expert systems, chaos theory, object-oriented, etc.
    According to Dick Morley, president of Flavors Technology (Manchester, NH) and the keynote speaker at the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Conference held last month in Cleveland, Ohio, "Only one thing creates wealth - technology and the ability to use it. In ten years, computers will be 100 times more powerful than they are now, at one/tenth of the cost."
    Morley, a well-traveled technology futurist, expounded on the Japanese view of manufacturing in the first decade of the next century:
  • Agent-Based Intelligent Manufacturing System - The intelligent manufacturing system is a solution to the problems of the 21st century’s manufacturing industry. In this paper, the historical evolution of manufacturing industry is outlined. According to the literature published during the last decade, 34 modern manufacturing systems and production modes and 35 mathematical methods for modern manufacturing system modeling are listed and summarized. An intelligent object called Manufacturing Agent (MA) is proposed based on the conceptual model of an agent that is being discussed and studied in Distributed Artificial Intelligence (DAI) technology, and an agent-based intelligent manufacturing system architecture is presented.
  • Information Society for All (Report of IST Conference, Nice, November, 2000) - a pdf document. IST 2000 topics ranged over cybercrime, entertainment and nano-technology. The information society's global aspects were debated by representatives from all over the world and the Internet generation met the 68 generation. The conference was concentrated on. Building an Information Society for All, as reflected in the eEurope initiative, and had four themes : a chance for everyone, strengthening competitiveness, technological challenges and changing rules.
    The global message was that technology alone is not enough to create an information society with a chance for everyone. Inclusiveness must be encouraged and Europe is achieving this goal. Old social problems such as unemployment and new ones like the digital divide must be solved. Lack of general awareness leads to exclusion and skill shortages slow down technology development. But as well as posing problems , technology gives us the means to solve them. Technology can bring education to everybody, strengthen democracy and help everyone into a global society. The leisure industry is also important and IST 2000 did not forget games, culture and entertainment.
    Many discussions focused in the New Economy. ICT can bring business transformation, changing work environments and global economy; changes with unique prospects for strengthening competitiveness but bringing questions about privacy, security and accessibility and the fundamental issues of education and training. ICT can improve skills and knowledge creating an educated and knowledgeable workforce, a fundamental requirement for a successful economy. Creating competitive advantage from intangible assets was recognised but so was the need to measure the value of intangible assets such as knowledge.
    Gaston Zongo addressed the theme of building the Information Society for all but wondered how people in a remote African village could be included in a society that truly was for all. But there are already real examples of how this revolution is coming about such as e-mails being sent in connection with buying sheep for the family back home, teleworking already being used in Africa to support work on the Paris Metro and the provision of a teleservice in Senegal transcribing the minutes of Canadian courts. The three main issues currently facing Africa are capability building, the weak development of local content and the sustainability of CT projects.
  • Digital Paper from Anoto - If (this) network rolls out as scheduled, within a year you'll be able to make a check mark beside a magazine ad to receive information about a product, or even to buy it. Visualize ecommerce without the click-and-wait: Browsing through a printed catalog, you'll purchase items - software, a subwoofer, or a trip to Paris - by ticking them off with a pen. Circling your destination on a city map will display, on your PalmPilot or mobile phone, the quickest route from here to there, movie showtimes, or tonight's menu at the best bistros in the area.
    To do these things, you'll need an instrument like the Chatpen that contains technology developed by Anoto. (By 2003, other Anoto-enabled pens, including Pilot rollerballs and a characteristically elegant offering from Montblanc, will be available.) You'll also need a supply of the special paper that Anoto has christened digital paper. It won't be hard to find, and it won't cost much more than standard copy stock. Unlike Xerox PARC's electronic paper or MIT/E Ink's Immedia, Anoto's technology employs real paper and commonly available inks. By the time Chatpens appear in office-supply shops and mail-order catalogs this fall, digital paper sporting the Anoto logo will be turning up everywhere.
  • Sustainable Global Communities in the Information Age - (Book review). The thesis advanced by the editor of this collection is that because the information age is radically different from the industrial age, a new socieoeconomic system is needed that is sustainable, community based, and can accommodate and use new information technology. Twenty three contributors and 20 chapters later, the reader has been informed of why the cognitive revolution in psychology is important, what future-oriented projects UNESCO has taken on recently (in what seems like a three and one-half page infomercial), how the spinning wheel and pit loom can revitalize communities in India, and where a proposed futures-focused university to be called The Network University of the Green World should be located (answer: on a small island in Japan). The book is challenging to read. Futures studies combines research, assessment, and policy making as it pulls from a wide range of academic disciplines, including sociology, political science, and economics.
  • Public Policies for Food Supplies in Belo Horizonte City (Brazil) - For the time on the agenda of social politics, Belo Horizonte City Hall discussed about a basic right of a citizen: access to quality nutrition. The Secretaria Municipal de Abastecimento (SMAB) expanded and structure the city's supply capability by establishing popular projects, many of them in partnership with the private sector, as a marketing regulator in food production and in actions to fight hunger and malnutrition. It developed programs to support direct production as well as incentives to the production geared to self consumption, through cooperatives therefore generating jobs and income. This inversion in the priorities resulted in a greater participation of the population in the food market offering alternatives to quality products and reasonable prices Information regarding prices, nutritional value and a better use of the food is given.
  • The Real-Time Economy - In the real-time era, companies are focused on finding new ways to collaborate with not only their customers but also their suppliers and business partners. This turn toward "enterprise relationship management" or "collaborative commerce" promises to dramatically improve the capabilities of companies, enabling them to address the preferences and priorities of their customers in an increasingly impressive way. As companies place ever more attention on their relationships with partners in their networks of supply, they are becoming ever more effective at generating customer value and staving off competitors. Such trends are paying off big in terms of productivity and economic growth. As Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan explains, "the remarkable surge in the availability of more timely information in recent years has enabled business management to remove large swaths of inventory safety stocks and worker redundancies. Information access in real time Š has fostered marked reductions in delivery lead times and the related work hours required for the production and delivery of all sorts of goods."
  • The Challenge of Space Mining - The biggest impediment to space industrialisation is the cost involved getting raw materials back to Earth orbit. Unfortunately, at least five infrastructure challenges need to be met before we can move space mining from science fiction to economic fact.
  • The Internet for Small Businesses: an enabling infrastructure for competitiveness - In an increasingly global world, both information and information technology are of great significance to organizations of all sizes. Small business, however, suffer from the additional problem of limited resources - financial technological and human. For this group of organizations, information technology and the direct use of information itself can be of crucial use, provided that they can be made use of readily, cheaply and without recourse to expensive expert assistance. The Internet offers such a cost-effective and readily accessible approach to both information technology and the competitive use of information - and offers further benefit by opening up the global marketplace to companies which would normally not have the financial resources to reach potential trading partners or allies. This paper discusses the opportunities which the Internet makes available to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), building on both the still comparatively limited research available in this area and on the resources currently existing within the Internet itself to draw conclusions about just what a typical SME can hope to achieve from its use. The paper summarizes the range of activities which are available for SMEs and considers the additional benefits which may be obtained from "virtual alliances" with other small (or large) organizations. We discuss the need to align the organization's existing business strategy with its Internet usage strategy and look at the impetus which government initiatives in information infrastructure are providing for the SME group, summarizing the whole-of-government approaches being taken in Australia, Canada, the European Union and the U.S. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of the most effective approaches which small businesses wishing to make use of the Internet might consider.
  • Information and Communication Technology: Entrepreneurs' Handbook - If you run a small business there will be endless demands on your time and resources. Self-employment also brings new and exciting challenges and the chance to improve your skills and the means to provide increased income. Running a small business also means facing the responsibilities that go with the job. You are likely to be the only decision-maker, and if mistakes are made, the buck stops with you. New information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as computers, mobile phones, email and the Internet are providing a new challenge for the business community in developing countries. Unfortunately, for many businesses even a telephone line connection remains unobtainable. However, the costs of access to new communication technologies ­ such as mobile phones - are falling rapidly, and investment in such technologies may benefit your business. This handbook is designed to assist you in understanding the new technologies and how they may be applied to your business. However, it is also recognised that the technology may not be a solution to business problems, and may produce both costs and benefits in the running of your business. The handbook, therefore, is aimed at a range of businesses ­ new start-ups, businesses with access to new technologies, and those without.
  • The Future of Community Development - In the past, most jobs have been tied to a given location and provided limited flexibility. The ideal "dream" job would have been to be able to work anywhere, doing what you love, and to be successful at it. Today, this "dream" is becoming a reality for more and more people who have explored the profoundly new opportunities the Internet brings to those with Internet access. In 1999, 150 million people were estimated to be on the Internet. New satellite and wireless systems are making it technically and economically feasible for any community, worldwide, no matter how remote, to have Internet access. In short, billions will come onto the Internet over the next couple decades, creating a huge consumer marketplace with new dynamics and possibilities. The most important new dynamic is every consumer can now also become a producer.
  • Beyond Symmetry: State Sovereignty in a Networked Global Economy - There is no question that the late twentieth century world economy, the "second global economy" differs significantly from the first. It is broader in terms of the number of national markets included (albeit to varying degrees) as constituent units and deeper in terms of the density of interaction, of flows of trade and investment. Furthermore, the dominant mode of organization of international economic transactions has changed significantly since Mackinder's time from the market (trade and portfolio investment) to hierarchy or the internationalization of production through the MNE. By the early 1990s 37,000 Transnational Corporations with world-wide sales of about $5.5 trillion controlled about one-third of the world's private sector productive assets and the United Nations Programme on Transnationals could conclude that "...international production has become a central structural characteristic of the world economy." The question remains, however, whether globalization defines a change in degree or kind, an extension of the modern international world economy into somewhat unfamiliar territory or a systemic transformation which defines new structures and new modes of functioning. As Peter Dicken notes, while there is general agreement that major changes in the scope and organization of international economic activities are taking place, there is considerable disagreement over their interpretation. Does lobalization (and there is little agreement about its meaning) imply a systemic transformation of the world economy--a qualitative evolution beyond the international system--or does it merely represent a quantitative extension in breath and depth accompanied by an evolution of mode of organization?
  • Re-Mapping the World of Consumers - What does a middle-aged mother in Mexico have in common with a young man in Russia, but not with a middle-aged mother in Brazil? You'd be surprised. Why does it matter? Because in an increasingly global business environment, it becomes critical to maximize marketing efforts across markets, both demographic and geographic. Finding common ground is the key to creating effective and efficient messages that provide the most bang for the marketing buck. (For the answer to the question posed above, see end of story.)
  • Redefining Progress - Despite seemingly expensive gas prices, drivers pay less than half of the costs created by the use of their automobiles when the total costs of driving - including increased congestion, space covered by pavement, accidents, and pollution - are considered. A Redefining Progress issue brief released today explains how everyone (non-drivers, taxpayers, and other drivers) pays every time a driver gets behind the wheel.
  • Explorations of aspects of an open source economy
  • An Entrepreneurial City in Action: Hong Kong's Emerging Strategies in and for (Inter-)Urban Competition - There is widespread interest among policy-makers and observers alike in the entrepreneurial city. It is less obvious what exactly being an entrepreneurial city involves. To help resolve this conundrum our paper first provides a Schumpeterian analysis of the entrepreneurial city and then illustrates it with the Hong Kong case. We first offer a three-part definition of the entrepreneurial city in capitalist societies. This relates urban entrepreneurship to changing forms of competitiveness, changing strategies to promote inter-urban competitiveness in both the economic and extra-economic fields, and entrepreneurial discourses, narratives, and self-images. Schumpeter identified five ways in which entrepreneurs innovate in normal economic activities; our analysis identifies parallels in urban entrepreneurialism. We then critically consider how far such an analysis is valid given the differences between the types of actor involved and the objects of their innovation ­ answering affirmatively in both respects and suggesting the conditions in which cities can be described as strategic actors ith entrepreneurial ambitions. This theoretical analysis is further refined and justified from recent developments in Hong Kong and East Asia. Conventionally regarded as a paradigm case of laissez-faire and officially described in the decades before 1997 as practising 'positive non-intervention', Hong Kong actually has a long history of urban entrepreneurship based on public-private partnerships. But its strategies have been modified as the economic and political environments have changed. Our contribution is particularly concerned with the recent period, when Hong Kong's entrepreneurial city strategies have been developed against the ackground of an emerging cross-border regional space (Greater China) and its favourable insertion into the global circuits of capital. In this context we introduce the concept of 'glurbanization' as one form of the more general phenomenon of 'glocalization' and show how it can be used to illuminate current entrepreneurial city strategies in East Asia.
  • Reflections on Globalization and Its (Il)logic(s) - This chapter critically addresses globalization in four ways: (a) contesting the often unstated assumption that globalization comprises a coherent causal mechanism -- or set of causal mechanisms -- rather than a complex, chaotic, and overdetermined outcome of a multi-scalar, multi-temporal, and multi-centric series of processes operating in specific structural contexts; (b) questioning the intellectual and practical search for the primary scale -- whether global, triadic, national, regional, or urban -- around which the world economy is currently organized as if this would somehow be directly analogous to the primacy of the national scale in the thirty years of postwar growth in the circuits of Atlantic Fordism; (c) relating the resulting 'relativization of scale', i.e., the absence of a dominant nodal point in managing interscalar relations, to some basic contradictions and dilemmas of capitalism, the changing bases of accumulation, the changing relation between the economic and political, and the increased competitive importance of the social embeddedness of economic activities; and (d) noting how these problems are being addressed through economic and political projects oriented to different scales -- with little consensus as yet on how these projects and scales might be reconciled.
  • Towards A Global Information Society - Advances in technology are fast transforming OECD countries into information societies and, over time, are expected to boost productivity and create jobs. But beyond economic gains, Global Information Infrastructures - Global Information Society (GII-GIS) -- which means the development and integration of high-speed global communication networks combined with a set of core services and applications whose access is fully interactive within and across national borders -- may generate changes in organisational and work structures, in public services, and in social and cultural activities. While the development and diffusion of GII-GIS will be driven by the private sector, governments will need to put into place new policies designed so that all sectors benefit to the fullest. Towards a Global Information Society details the developments in GII-GIS and sets out policy recommendations, endorsed by OECD Ministers last year, for developing and diffusing national and global communication infrastructures as well as for their access and use, for multimedia content and applications, and for electronic commerce.
  • Where are the Web Factories? : information technology and the future of urban environments - The Internet has been considered the great equalizer for business, allowing distant locals to compete with large metropolitan regions. Recent research points to a different geography, where domains and connectivity cluster predominantly in large urban areas. The question remains are new businesses of the Internet economy doing the same or avoiding metropolitan areas. This paper will examine the head and branch locations of the top forty e-business integration firms in the U.S. The analysis of the distribution of these locations will provide insight to what regions most benefit from the Internet Economy. Further the data should provide a useful comparison to metropolitan trends for domain and connectivity agglomeration.
  • Grounded Capital: The Geographic Nature Of Venture Financing In The United States - A number of researchers have demonstrated that rather than simply dispersing, the Internet in fact has exhibited an uneven spatial pattern throughout the United States and world. Although the use of the Internet is rapidly decentralizing, the majority of Internet industry firms remain concentrated in key locations in the United States. This pattern of uneven territorial distribution of the Internet industry is demostrated in this paper with the introduction of two new indicators, the location of top web sites and the location of dot-com firms. This paper uses this distribution as the dependent variable in a multivariate regression of a number of regional attributes that are often used to explain the location of new and innovative industries. This analysis shows that one variable in particular, venture capital investing, has played an important role in determining the location of the Internet industry. Although capital is often described as footloose and fungible, the manner in which venture capital investing takes place is strongly tied to location. The ability of venture capital to create successful Internet content firms is dependent upon regional systems of personal contacts and networks through which scarce information is quickly exchanged, flexibility is maintained and resources can be invested expeditiously.
  • IICD - The International Institute for Communication and Development promotes development through increased use of (electronic) communication. The website has some full text publications on ICT development and access gaps (between and within countries, rural/urban etc.) and describes projects in some focal countries.
  • MegaTrends in Interactive Information Technology - Within the next few years, hundreds of interactive technologies will emerge. Which ones will become commercially successful and popular? A key task for executives and decision makers will be to sort out all these technologies and determine which markets to go after, which information products to develop, and which alliances to form. Seven basic technology megatrends will influence everything related to information flow and usage: digital, interactive, integrated, networked, object-oriented, portable and multimedia to virtual reality. These megtrends inevitably enable I3 concepts that will come much sooner than many think.
  • Taking The Business Elsewhere - While CEOs and hiring managers admit it takes a bit more effort--and strong doses of recruiting creativity--to lure IT folks to remote locations, they claim the paybacks are great. Not only do IT staffers stay longer and discover a better balance between work and home, which boosts productivity and employee loyalty, but the reduced operating costs can significantly help a company's bottom line.
  • Executive Manufacturing Technologies - Information has evolved into the most potent business force on the planet. But just gathering data isn't enough. Especially in manufacturing facilities, where daily operations are often remote from corporate decision makers, who need accessible, real-time information about what's happening on the plant floor. When manufacturing intelligence is communicated instantly to all points along the supply chain, it stimulates systemic response to operational challenges. It becomes a powerful business tool - one that can bring a razor sharp edge to competitive advantage. And the consequence of not realizing the importance of a supple, system-wide corporate intelligence flow? A system that lacks the agility to respond to shifting production needs and processes. Wasted time. Wasted resources. Wasted profits. By transforming the speed and efficiency of corporate intelligence flow, EMT technologies have revolutionized manufacturing and offer a new slate of options for increasing profit, encouraging investment, and deploying human and physical resources.
  • North of England Partners in TeleRegions - Northern Informatics was established with the support of the Regional Office of the UK Government Department of Industry, Universities, Local Authorities (NEA), TECs, ICL, Northumbrian Water, Northern Electric and BNFL Westlakes. It is registered as a company limited by guarantee with a non-profit distributing clause. The member organisations appoint the Board of Directors which comprises some of the leading figures from industry, education and commerce as well as the public sector in the region. It was set up to provide a focus for regional co-ordination and co-operation to improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of the process by which advanced telecommunications, telematics infrastructures and applications is established and promoted in the private and public sector in the North of England. Thus NI can provide a legal framework where individual members organisations can work collaboratively on regionally based projects.
  • The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism - Global capitalism is not democratic and it systematically violates every principle of a market economy. Which sets up an interesting juxtaposition because it points to the possibility that there really is an alternative.
    Living capital, which has the special capacity to continuously regenerate itself, is ultimately the source of all real wealth. To destroy it for money, a simple number with no intrinsic value, is an act of collective insanity -- which makes capitalism a mental, as well as a physical pathology.
    To create a world in which life can flourish and prosper we must replace the values and institutions of capitalism with values and institutions that honor life, serve life's needs, and restore money to its proper role as servant. I believe we are in fact being called to take a step to a new level of species consciousness and function.
  • Virtual Engineered Composites (VEC) - Distance and distribution complexity have long created problems for manufacturers, but today companies have new tools with which to tackle the challenges. The problem of shipping parts to where they are needed has always gotten in the way of faster cycle times. Distance creates particular challenges for companies making products from materials that are molded to make Jacuzzis, Jet Skis, automotive parts and the like -- materials such as fiberglass or plastics. Because molds are expensive and consistent quality is difficult to achieve, manufacturers requiring molded parts have been forced to rely on a handful of suppliers, adding shipping time and coordination complexities to their burdens. So imagine how life would improve for some manufacturers if high-quality molded parts could be made in a portable minifactory placed in their own backyard.
    Inventor Gene Kirila believes his system for producing molded plastic products may usher in a new era. Formerly the CEO of Pyramid Composites and now head of GK Ventures, Kirila is co-inventor with Robert McCollum of VEC cells. VECs are transportable factories for manufacturing molded parts. They run a patented manufacturing process whose operating system is best described as a controlled process-in-a-box. VEC cells provide operators with computer controls and simple visual and audio instructions that guide operators through the molding process. Because the software can be upgraded and controlled centrally over the Internet, VEC cells can deliver a consistent process regardless of where they are located or who is operating them.
  • LetsLink: The economic miracle of Woergl and the successful experiment of Schwanenkirchen - Slow money circulation is the cause of the present economic paralysis. Money as a means of exchange is increasingly slipping out of the hands of the working people. It seeps into the channels of interest and ends up in the hands of a few, who don't invest in the goods market but keep it as a means of speculation. As money is the necessary wheel in the production machine, the accumulation of large sums in the hands of a few is a terrible danger for the functioning of the production process. Money accumulation means a merchandise jam and unemployment. An insecure economic situation frightens the holders of money. They don't spend their money anymore or only reluctantly, they distrust every investment, the money circulation slows down, the total turnover in goods and services shrinks, the standard of living of the working people decreases. If the situation doesn't change, the nutrition of the people will be paralysed, peace and wealth will be destroyed. Thus whole peoples and states are threatened with destruction. As we cannot free the world from this danger, we can at least give a sign.
    The "emergency-aid program" of the mayor was unanimously supported by all parties. But now? Could it be possible that a "commoner" who had attended school only until his 12th birthday, and who never studied any kind of economics, know better than all experts, politicians and interlectuals? Had an unknown, who didn't even have a doctor title, found "the source of knowledge", "the magic recipe", said to be impossible to find?
    The people of the neighboring community Kirchbichl laughed at the Wörgl inhabitants who wanted to produce their own money. A small miracle happened, however, that was to astonish the world.
  • New Supply Chain Business Models - Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are increasingly outsourcing core manufacturing operations and focusing on other strengths such as marketing, customer relationship management, or R&D. Many interconnected specialized firms are stepping up to carry out operations once completed by larger vertically integrated corporations. The reason is, once again, these three measures: time-to-market; time-to-volume; and time-to-profit. In this particular case, the solution is downstream of the design process. The electronics industry provides a dramatic example of these trends and demonstrates the evolution that other industries may also experience. Traditionally, OEMs used electronics manufacturing service (EMS) providers for capacity overflow and retained the manufacturing of printed circuit assemblies and final product assembly as core competencies. But OEMs now look to product innovation, customer and channel management, brand marketing, and sales for competitive differentiation. With the increasing complexity and cost of capital equipment, many are divesting themselves of capital-intensive manufacturing operations - thereby effectively converting fixed costs to variable costs. This allows rapid scale-up when markets are good but buffers them against economic ownturns and seasonality. EMS providers, in turn, can build similar products for competing OEMs in the same facility, thus spreading their risk across a portfolio of customers.
  • The Lexus and the Olive Tree - This book is an effort to explain how this new era of globalization became the dominant international system at the end of the twentieth century --replacing the Cold War system -- and to examine how it now shapes virtually everyone's domestic politics and international relations.
    For a contrary view, see the next item:
  • The Anti-Thomas Friedman Page - This page is dedicated to demonstrating that Friedman's understanding of globalization is in fact extremely narrow, one-sided and misleading. His frequent and vociferous denunciations of those protesting against neoliberal globalization, and the arguments which Friedman advances in his book, are singularly ill-informed, poorly reasoned and, in many cases, demonstrably false.
  • Connecting Networks Together - As businesses grow, networking demands increase: Departments consolidate, partner relationships become more integrated, and isolated networks need to be connected. Companies might need to link a satellite office to the company network. And it might become important to create a new network for finance and protect the links to prevent unauthorized access to data as well as improve performance during month-end processes. The way organizations use networks continues to evolve. For example, companies are starting to benefit from connecting partner information systems to better manage inventories.
  • The Hi-Tech Gift Economy - During the Sixties, the New Left created a new form of radical politics: anarcho-communism. Above all, the Situationists and similar groups believed that the tribal gift economy proved that individuals could successfully live together without needing either the state or the market. From May 1968 to the late Nineties, this utopian vision of anarcho-communism has inspired community media and DIY culture activists. Within the universities, the gift economy already was the primary method of socialising labour. From its earliest days, the technical structure and social mores of the Net has ignored intellectual property. Although the system has expanded far beyond the university, the self-interest of Net users perpetuates this hi-tech gift economy. As an everyday activity, users circulate free information as e-mail, on listservs, in newsgroups, within on-line conferences and through Web sites. As shown by the Apache and Linux programs, the hi-tech gift economy is even at the forefront of software development. Contrary to the purist vision of the New Left, anarcho-communism on the Net can only exist in a compromised form. Money-commodity and gift relations are not just in conflict with each other, but also co-exist in symbiosis. The 'New Economy' of cyberspace is an advanced form of social democracy.
  • Gift Economy - The only economic system that supports the minimal flexibility necessary to implement a gift economy is anarcho-capitalism. As the basis of interchange, extended with the ethics of rational anarchism, such a system would enable the operation of a gift economy. The gift economy derived from this system would then provide the means of ethically supporting the variations of economic interchange needed for all individuals. This gift economy can be thought of as a kind of private-socialist-anarchism. It is private in that individuals maintain their private property and are not used against their will as means to end outside of themselves. They are free to accumulate wealth and dispose of it as they see fit. It is a form of socialism in that the ethics underlying the system encourage productive individuals to give some of their surplus, as a personal expression of ethical principle, to those who need it. Any other form of socialism would constitute exploitation of the productive. Any other kind of capitalism would constitute neglect of one's fellow human beings. Thus, we conclude that a gift economy, or a private-socialist-anarchism, is the only just economic model for human society.
  • Cooking pot markets: an economic model for the trade in free goods and services on the Internet - It has long been assumed that there is something beyond economics involved in the proliferation of free goods and services on the Internet. Although Netscape's recent move to give away the source code for its browser shows that the corporate world now believes that it is possible to make money with free software - previously eyed with cautious pessimism - money is not the prime motivator of most producers of the Internet's free goods, and neither is altruism. Efforts and rewards may be valued in intangibles, but, as this paper argues, there is a very tangible market dynamics to the free economy of the Internet, and rational economic decisions are at work. This is the "cooking-pot" market: an implicit barter economy with asymmetric transactions.
  • Global Sustainable Development Resolution - The Resolution aims to synthesize into one package a wide range of proposals that have emerged in the international dialogue among NGOs, social movements, and scholars for reforming various aspects of the global economy.
  • The Post-Corporate World - Over the nearly 600 years since the onset of the Commercial Revolution, we have as a species learned a great deal about the making of money and we have created powerful institutions and technologies dedicated to its accumulation. But in our quest for money, we forgot how to live. Now, on the threshold of the third millennium we find our planet beset by growing climatic instability, disappearing species, collapsing fisheries, shrinking forests, and eroding soils, while the institutions of family, community, and the nation-state disintegrate around us and the gap between rich and poor becomes more unconscionable by the day. Our obsession with money has led us to create an economic system that values life only for its contribution to making money. With the survival of civilization and perhaps even our species now at risk, we have begun to awaken to the fact that our living planet is the source of all real wealth and the foundation of our own existence. We must now look to living systems as our teacher, for our survival depends on discovering new ways of living and making our living - that embody life's wisdom.
  • 'Free' markets nothing but a dangerously flawed ideal - ... every comparative advantage entails a comparative disadvantage. Indeed, in a world without trade barriers any comparative advantage creates a disadvantage somewhere else. Other people naturally resist the creation of that disadvantage and seek to correct it, both through trade barriers and the local industry they foster. They resist, for example, having tonnes of lamb dumped on their market just when they have started to make a living from sheep. Maybe American farmers aren't as good at growing lamb as we are, but it may also be the best use of some of their land and its best development for the future. It's their country, isn't it? (Editor's aside: This raises the issue of the appropriate size of the areal units engaging in trade, and does size change over time?)
  • Digital Infrastructure Report: Implications For the Chicago Region - The size and traditional boundaries of firms have become more permeable and fluid, as common information resources are pooled and made available via internal and external networks among the far-flung units of multinational corporations, their suppliers, and clients. Businesses that have realized strong productivity gains and growing profit margins from the use of information technology are most often those who have "re-engineered" their production and business processes: for example, "just-in-time" computer inventory management allows for supply decisions to be made on the basis of the most current information on demand, input availability, and capacity utilization. Such flexibility allows firms to provide "mass customization of products" and the "speedy delivery of goods and services" . Production processes are also made more efficient as the evelopment cycle for products is shortened, reducing costs and permitting better matching of product designs to market demands. Finally, successful firms have altered their internal incentive structure as well as marketing and outreach activities to take advantage of the ways in which information technology and advanced information infrastructure collapse time, geography, and in some cases cultural or political impediments to economic growth.
  • Resist WTO, APEC, economic globalisation - Large number of links to relevant sites.
  • An analysis of governance as a topic of study - All living systems maintain a semi-permeable barrier between themselves and their environment. Indeed, it is the boundary that demarcates the passage from the dynamics of one environment to another. What is critical to the sustainability of any living system is its ability to control what passes and what does not pass through its semi-permeable barrier. We can think of the cell wall as being the quintessential example of organizational closure. Moving to the scale of human society, there is a battle going on between those who favour the dropping of all barriers in order to create "the level playing field" in which profit can be pursued without the constraints that respect for humans and their habitat entail and those who feel that the sovereignty of a placed people offers the only protection, at this time, from the exploitation inherent in the practive of free market capitalism.
    The MAI, for example, specifically targets the ability of place-bound governments to require transnational corporations to modify their corporate behavior so they do not adversely affect the quality of the environment or the social sphere. Instead, the TNCs want to move politics offshore, so that the important decisions, like the quality of the food you eat, will be decided by unelected technocrats working for the World Trade Council.
    The second point concerns the idea that TNCs are extremely centralized. Although s were, the rise of the digital economy has enabled them to change their structure to something more akin to an internetworked enterprise. For example, a car company which has its shares traded world wide on the net of global stock exchanges decides to build cars in Mexico to be sold in Asia from which a portion of the profits go to pensioners living in the Midwest whose pension fund had invested in the company. Considering the trend to move towards the virtual corporation structure, I would venture to say that where the TNCs have gained their competitive advantage is that they have, for the moment, outflanked place-bound governments by moving from centralized control structures to ones that embrace the concept of distributed control.
  • On Economic Developments in the New Millennium - In the new millennium, the corporation as we've come to know it in the past 150 years will cease to exist. Gone will be the militaristic management hierarchies, the cubicle-dwelling clerks and the disgruntled factory workers. Corporations will be little more than brand names, covers for frequent-flying, cyberspace-cruising free-lancers who form virtual teams on wireless networks. There will be factories, but nobody will admit to owning them. Best of all, there will be no meetings. E-mail will make them obsolete.
    Anyone who works at a big company, or even a medium-size one, knows that this vision of the "virtual corporation" is a stretch. Like hammers, conveyor belts and computers, corporations are tools that mankind uses to create more from less. Until we've abdicated our eagerness for efficiency -- not likely, even in the expanse of an entire millennium -- corporations will remain fixtures of economic life.
    But they will change -- and how. For one, the emerging global economy means that a company working according to the standards and practices of one region will have to adapt to the realities of the next. For another, there will be more industries built on knowledge rather than physical stuff. And companies that rose to eminence by inventing or exploiting the technologies and social trends of the past century will find themselves having to repeat the act but with altogether different methods. As business heads into the next millennium, will big corporations get bigger, or will smaller cyber-entrepreneurs become the wave of the future? The big will get bigger through mergers and acquisitions, like the recent CBS-Viacom and Exxon-Mobile deals in the United States. With barriers to entry declining, entrepreneurs will play an increasingly large role in our economic future.
    In the future, corporations will define more of their value by intangibles -- the creativity of their designers (Intel Corp. comes to mind), the proficiency of their software architects (as at Sun Microsystems Inc.), the knowledge of marketers (Procter & Gamble Co., for instance) and even the strength of the internal culture (as in the case of Hewlett-Packard).
  • Global Inc. An Atlas of the Global Corporation - Global Inc. maps a small fraction of the 60,000+ multinational corporations. What we sought to do in this first atlas of the global corporation was to achieve as wide a breath of coverage as possible, conveying the scope and scale of the global corporation within the limits of a modest research project and the attendant budgetary restrictions - as well as the constraints of a book and the modern publishing business. We sought to give a perspective and overview on the history of the global corporation and the forcing functions that allowed it to come into being with such rapidity and impact. We also sought to examine the impact that the modern global corporation is having on the world - as well as some of the prerogatives that the nation state, city and community have for encouraging the most constructive aspects of the global corporation and discouraging or avoiding the negative qualities.
  • The Region: A Basic Concept For Understanding Local Areas And Global Systems - Regional science is the only field integrating explicitly the notion of region. Through an analysis of the basic regional concepts, such as natural region, homogeneous region, historical region, fonctional region, growth pole, milieu theory, this paper develops the logics of the new regional orders confronted with the economic and political globalization.
  • American Demographics / PARALLEL UNIVERSE - For 15 years, geodemographic sleuth Michael Weiss has been sizing up Americans' generational proclivities, regional peculiarities, and other distinguishing features, often in the pages of this magazine. Why do more guys in Gainesville than Grand Rapids dye their hair? Where do the Brie eaters live? Weiss uses cluster analysis, which categorizes neighborhoods by their shared demographic, social, and economic characteristics, to solve such mysteries. In his last book, Latitudes and Attitudes, he profiled America's consumption habits - everyone from the wok wonks to the metal heads. In his new book, The Clustered World, due out from Little, Brown and Company at the end of the year and excerpted here for the first time, Weiss maps the new cartography of global consumption, and highlights the changes that have redefined the United States in the last decade.
  • Postmodern Economics, etc. - The term "Postmodern Economics" is the creation of Barbara Brandt as described and used in her book: "Whole Life Economics", 1995. This work presents new material and perspectives (women, addiction) combined with an informative survey of a huge and growing topic.
    The "modern" world view, dating back at least to Descartes' publication in 1637, is one in which rectangular, quantitative, "masculine", rational, scientific, individualist (e.g., evolutionary) thinking takes precedence. Over four centuries this modern view has edged out more "feminine", nurturing, human, spiritual, holistic, and social ways of "knowing" and being especially in Western Europe and the USA.
    It appears that the "modern" era started to crumble on many fronts quite clearly during the 1960s and early 1970s when it also hit its peak, one might argue, with the landing of a man on the moon. The sixties and early seventies encompass a host of events and movements: civil rights movement, anti-war protests, environmental concerns (Silent Spring in 1962), E.F. Schumacher's "Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered" (1973), women's movement, etc.
    The period to follow the modern era is the "postmodern" - note that the timescale here is centuries and so the postmodern period is only beginning and the coming century is likely the first fully postmodern!
    By "postmodern economics" Brandt thus implies all that is to be expected from an economics which is in service to a postmodern society; progress toward such an ecomonics must go hand-in-hand with the progress of postmodernism in general.
  • Canada-US Free Trade Comments - Even though I would classify the migration of the computer industry as primarily an historical accident, there has also been a broader, more general shift of the center of gravity of the U.S. economy to the south and west, away from the Chicago-Boston-Baltimore triangle which is so close to the major Canadian manufacturing regions. [For example, upstate New York population and labor force were lower in 1998 than in 1990] In other words, the center of Canada's population is now further away from the core of the North American economy than it was several decades ago. This may be a continuing negative factor for the Canadian economy.
  • Zen and the Art of Information Technology - e-manufacturing is about the increasing need for communications to and from the factory floor. I have often said in this column that information is power, and that the information bottleneck, i.e., getting the right information to the right people at the right time in the right form, is a key strategic challenge for our industry. In the bad old days (more recent than you may think), the factory floor-the heart of manufacturing-was disconnected from the rest of the enterprise. There was an information blackout between the time an order entered the plant to the time product rolled off the assembly line. In this day and age of build-to-order manufacturing, an OEM must have clear and detailed visibility to every order and of the individual products within the order as they move through production, even if the contract manufacturer now owns the productive assets. In fact, for the build-to-order model to be successful, visibility down to the unit level on an "as built" basis is required throughout the extended supply chain.
  • Mass Customization: How logistics makes it happen - The more things change, the more they are the same, said 19th century French writer Alphonse Karr. Karr, writing during the Industrial Revolution, was referring to the immutability of human nature in the face of social and technological change.
    Today, as society faces similar challenges, Karr's words still make sense. The human race has seen more technological change in this century than it has in the entire course of its existence, yet some aspects of human nature remain constant.
    Book Reviews: Net Future - The author states that the Internet is causing a revolution in ALL aspects of business. He visualizes 7 trends that make up the "Net Future".
  • A Short History Of Neo-Liberalism - In 1945 or 1950, if you had seriously proposed any of the ideas and policies in today's standard neo-liberal toolkit, you would have been laughed off the stage at or sent off to the insane asylum. At least in the Western countries, at that time, everyone was a Keynesian, a social democrat or a social-Christian democrat or some shade of Marxist. The idea that the market should be allowed to make major social and political decisions; the idea that the State should voluntarily reduce its role in the economy, or that corporations should be given total freedom, that trade unions should be curbed and citizens given much less rather than more social protection--such ideas were utterly foreign to the spirit of the time. Even if someone actually agreed with these ideas, he or she would have hesitated to take such a position in public and would have had a hard time finding an audience.
  • Combining Comparative Advantages: Multivariate Regressions VIsualisations and the Dynamics of International Trade - There is little doubt that multivariate regression analysis is among the most appropriate tools to test hypotheses if sufficiently reliable data is available. During the last decades statistical analysis has been refined and an ever growing set of statistical tests and sophisticated approaches enable the researcher to cope with all kinds of ambiguities in the analyzed data sets. Crucial for obtaining valid parameter estimates with regressions is the degree to which the common assumptions of regression analysis are met, especially that of the independence of the error terms and whether these have the same variance. While statistical analysis provides tests to check whether a given model meets these assumption or not, these tests are not very instructive on how to improve a given model in case the assumptions are hurt. To cope with these problems within the research process we suggest to extend the researcher's toolkit by a second technology. Tools for visualizing social structures can improve the specification of a given model if there is structure in the error terms. These visualizations allow not only to monitor the spatial organization of the resulting estimation errors but also guide the researcher how to improve the quality of the parameter estimates. In this article we will show how the visualization of the overall structure of world trade provides a very useful tool to enhance and analyze gravity models. The problem of international trade analyzed in this paper can be considered as fairly typical for the use of quantitative estimates. Crude estimates for trends in economic processes can be obtained by comparing parameter estimates cross-sectionally and between different points in time. The ratio of corresponding estimates provides an insight into the dynamics of international economic activities. Furthermore, since the internationalization of economic activities can easily be measured y an analysis of the bilateral trade flows between countries, the widely acknowledged standard problem of social research - the small-N problem, does not occur.On the other hand, the large number of observations makes an interpretation of error terms problematic. This is, where network visualization tools can help. The fruitfulness of the interplay of both technologies for that purpose is based on the fact that both extract different kinds of information gravity models are usually based on. While statistical tools treat flows as independent units, visualizations can make use of any relational information that describes the pairs of the observations as they are used for the regression analysis. Visualizations provide the researcher with a view of the overall system. Our purpose here is twofold. First, we link statistical analyses and visualization techniques and use both tools in parallel for a stepwise improvement of gravity models. And second, we apply the method to the analysis of international economic processes, showing that concepts aimed at the explanation of global economic processes grasp just aspects of global economic processes. We conclude, therefore, that economic integration is best studied by a non-eclectic mixture of seemingly competing theories.
  • Tele-Manufacturing Facility Project - Our vision of the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) is as a vehicle to raise the standard of living through productivity improvements that come about by sharing information-based resources. Nowhere is a productivity increase more crucial than in mechanical product design, and in particular, manufacturing of consumer goods. In recent years, a number of industrialized nations have lost ground in what used to a major strength: the ability to design and produce consumer products quickly, cheaply, and with a level of quality that makes them competitive worldwide. This project is motivated by the belief that it is important to develop new ways of enhancing design and manufacturing productivity by taking advantage of the Internet.
    This document describes a research and development project called the Tele-Manufacturing Facility (TMF). The TMF is creating an automated rapid prototyping (RP) capability on the Internet. It is undertaking the necessary research and development to ensure that it is viable for engineers and scientists to use over long distances. One portion of the effort is the connection itself and how to allow users to easily submit jobs and have the system automatically maintain a queue. Another effort is to reduce the need for human-checking of RP part files. Rapid prototyping STL files are notorious for containing geometric and topological flaws. Special attention is being paid to automatically checking for such flaws in STL files, and in many cases, automatically fixing them.
  • Intentional Biology: Intentional Biology Topics - Intentional Biology is about the use of biology as technology. Humans have explicitly herded, farmed, and bred plants and animals for thousands of years, and now this effort is moving to the molecular level. Biology is a medium for creation. But because we don't yet know enough to manipulate biological systems with either certainty or safety, IB is also about the science we need to do to get to that point. The portrayal of current genetic "engineering" as precise and well defined is inappropriate today. Few genes are known quantities and the process of introducing a foreign gene into an organism produces uncertainty about both the gene's function and the function of the DNA into which it is inserted. Genetic engineering techniques are abysmally primitive, akin to swapping random parts between random cars to produce a better car. Yet this ignorance will fade. To be clear: the portrayal of future efforts as "intentional" is not meant as disrespect to the biologists on whose shoulders the future stands. However, progress in understanding the molecular details of biological systems and making use of that knowledge will require new experimental techniques and, more importantly, new ways of thinking about what measurements to make and how to interpret the results. When we can successfully predict the behavior of even simple biological systems, then building new things is the next step. Therefore, to begin, the scientific foundation of an Intentional Biology is a Predictive Biology, and improving human health, resource usage, and human interaction with the world around us will be but the initial benefits of this endeavor.
  • Smart Growth In Canada - The term "smart growth" was coined in the United States to suggest an alternative, not just to "problem growth," but to "no growth." In the mid-1990s, the suburbs of American cities like Atlanta and San Diego were expanding rapidly, sprawling across the landscape. Environmentalists had long deplored this trend, but as the economic costs of sprawl began to be felt, the demand for a new approach was taken up by businesspeople, commuters, and local governments. State officials, searching for a middle way that would allow for necessary growth and development, but in ways that were less wasteful of resources and less likely to encounter opposition, came up with "smart growth."
  • Flexibility and Uncertainty in Retail Location Decisions - In our world, humans have certain needs in life, whether it be food, clothing, furniture, automobile, etc.  We obtain these necessary items in life through stores and shops that carry these goods for our consumption.  How do these goods get there?  These shops are stores and what we refer to as retail establishments.  Their sole purpose is to maximize utility (utility is defined here as net profit).  In order to achieve this, they must consider a number of criteria that can dictate their success as a retail establishment.  These criteria/principles are well outlined by R. Nelson, the author of the book, ³The selection of Retail Locations².
  • Choosing A Retail Location (Part 1 of 2)
  • Choosing A Retail Location - Shopping Center Location (Part 2 of 2)
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