Thursday, September 27, 2001

What tragedy of the digital commons? Nobel Laureate Daniel McFadden writes on why the Internet needs a pricing mechansim to compensate content producers. I think he's wrong. As the WTC attacks demonstrated, the world is full of people who will happily create content without needing to be paid for it. Instead of fixating on traditional publishing models, think of the Internet as a way of harnessing all the unused mental cycles out there. Just as people don't need to be paid for keeping diaries, they don't need compensation for maintaining blogs.

Moreover, I find McFadden's assertion that "the Internet tends to fill with low-value information" ridiculous. Has he wandered into a Blockbusters, or seen a magazine rack in a supermarket? Low-value inforamtion is pretty ubiquitous. Personally, all the best things I've ever read have been online.


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