Tag: monopoly

  • Deflating the concept of ‘surveillance capitalism’

    I thought this was an interesting critique by Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow in their Chokepoint Capitalism, arguing that the concept of ‘surveillance capitalism’ suggests a break with (past) capitalism whereas we are instead seeing a familiar modus operandi undertaken by new commercial actors: This is the true heart of “surveillance capitalism”—not the idea that […]

  • Tech Platforms and the Knowledge Problem

    My notes on Pasquale, F. A. (2018). Tech Platforms and the Knowledge Problem. American Affairs, 2(2) The most philosophically important aspect of Hayek’s work was his epistemological objection to central planning. He argued that the market was indispensable because it permitted distributed knowledge of a sort which a centralised decision maker couldn’t possibly hope to reconstruct. In this […]

  • The collapse of the tech mythology

    There’s a wonderful piece in the Atlantic talking about the accumulating scandals through which “the tech industry has gone from bright young star to death star”, with increasing public knowledge leading to a recognition that “Silicon Valley companies turned out to be roughly as dirty in their corporate maneuvering as any old oil company or […]

  • Denaturalising digital capitalism

    One of the most pressing issues we confront when analysing the digital economy is a pronounced tendency towards oligopoly which makes a lie of an earlier generation’s utopian embrace of the Internet as a sphere of free competition and a driver of disintermediation. There are important lessons we can learn from platform studies about the […]

  • The price fixing conspiracies of the platform economy 

    A great analysis of a hugely important case being heard in the near future: The immediate threat takes the form of an antitrust class action lawsuit against its co-founder and CEO, Travis Kalanick, which will be litigated in the Manhattan courtroom of Federal District Judge Jed Rakoff starting on November 1. At issue is Uber’s […]

  • The Coming Monopolies of Digital Capitalism

    From Humans Need Not Apply, by Jerry Kaplan, pg 101-102: there’s another reason the financial markets value the company at more than six hundred times earnings (2013), when the average is around twenty times earnings: they look forward to the inevitable time when the company extracts monopoly prices after locking in its customers and scorching […]