This chapter was a very insightful read in terms of showing me a different way to look at IT advancements in regards to economy and profit.
The interaction between computers was of particular interest to me. We tend to frame the discussion about interaction just around people and objects – not between two objects. That’s why the experiment regarding the searches for housing and consequent increase in the prices introduced a new way to look at it for me. It sounded a way too familiar to the experience I – and pretty much everyone – keeps encountering when buying flight tickets.
Under no circumstances can I let the algorithms know that I need the tickets for a specific day, to a specific destination – otherwise the prices always skyrocket the next time I search for the same thing. Therefore I always feel like an ultimate criminal, using a different browser in an incognito window to look for and compare flights. I never looked at it from the perspective of interaction – that pretty much with no human interference whatsoever, the portals are able to communicate and exchange the information of when and where I want to go and make a profit out of it. This a force that was not even thought of a couple of years ago.
It’s fascinating how such advancements in the field of IT can be transferred into the advantage of economic profit. This is also reflected in the approach the authors take at the beginning of the chapter when describing how innovations in software can be costly initially, but replicated and reproduced with almost no cost. The analogy of atoms in products and products made of bits made it very easy to understand.
What is more, the redefinition of “time is money” really resonated with me. As discussed in the chapter, since people can publish anything pretty much anywhere online, a lot of them do it without seeking profit and produce information freely. However, the world of the internet created new conditions that laws have troubles adjusting to – especially in terms of copyrights. Since anyone can create, copy and share, when it comes to actually claiming what is supposed to be yours, it becomes increasingly more difficult.