Lapizuli - 1:48 am on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)
Great points by folks here.
...the algorithm increasingly reflects the way the world at large has always been working...
I'd modify that to "increasingly reflects the way the world at large worked from mid-to late- 20th century." I'm seeing many statements that assume that the way the world was trending in the 20th century represents an inexorable progress toward a corporate-centered growth economy, and more and more, I'm tending to doubt that assumption. Historically, periods of super-production following energy/technology watersheds such as we experienced in post-industrial times have been time-limited, capped by the availability of the energy sources (whether it's human labor, wood, coal, oil, etc.) and other resources.
I'm not seeing any indication that the same won't apply to this period in history. Certainly, the economic climate we were in before seems to be struggling to sustain itself in its desired state of continuous growth.
How our various businesses fit into that is tougher to say.
It looks like some centralized commercial entities will fragment and decentralize while new ones will arise. The "long tail" is not just a marketing artifact. It's a new framework for action. We'll have more power and less power at the same time. (a la Michel Foucault and his "panopticon" effect and suchlike.)
Large corporations may continue to grow for a time but will not be able to sustain themselves at some point and will have to enlist government help (already happening, obviously). Something not nice is going to happen, then. Hopefully not too not nice. But small businesses, even micro-businesses, are where things will be in a few decades, I believe.
...says your neighborhood Cassandra-wannabe, flinching as she looks up at the hostile stares around her...