Friday, December 4, 2009

No need to pay

According to Tom Foremski, as much as we complain about how expensive things are getting, we're surrounded by forces that are making them cheaper. Forty years ago, the principal nutritional problem in America was hunger; now it's obesity, for which we have the Green Revolution to thank. Forty years ago, charity was dominated by clothing drives for the poor. Now you can get a T-shirt for less than the price of a cup of coffee Also for toys, gadgets, and commodities of every sort. Even cocaine has pretty much never been cheaper (globalization works in mysterious ways).

It seems to be accurate the notion that Internet devalues everything it touches. Anything that can be converted or made digital. You should notice that we use the word devalue with a materialistic connotation and not in the cultural value sense and that we use the word internet to refer to a class of distributed technologies and applications. The truth is that as you take the friction out of the economic system pricing goes down; Internet remains the ultimate economic lubricant.

Internet made possible the following devaluations:

  • The price of a 10 song CD was around $20. Now If you use you can pay 10 cents per song for lifetime streaming rights.
  • The money spend on buying software application was possible to reduce due to the large percentage of or nearly free applications available online. This trend is likely to continue. Given that companies like Google plan to buy software companies and then offer those products online for free — this instantly devalues competing software applications.
  • Telephone communications are much cheaper today thanks to services such as Skype and other VOIP based products. It used to cost $2 a minute to make a transatlantic telephone call but now it’s only about 5 cents.
  • Public relations are being devalued because now fewer people can do the work of more people than before and small teams can do the work of the previously used large teams.

Internet allowed depriving from monetary value products and services such as:

  • Music by offering it for free (which ended up being really successful for musicians such as Trent Reznor, and the Radiohead band members).
  • Online games can be played for free because parts of the gaming industry are ad-supported.
  • Some newspapers like "The New York Times" since the year 2007 can be read for free (This reminds me of an aphorism from 1984: "Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive ... That tension will not go away.")

According to Chris Anderson, the fact that money is not the only scarcity in the world becomes evident now. Chief among the others are your time and respect, two factors that we've always known about but have only recently been able to measure properly. The "attention economy" and "reputation economy" are too fuzzy to merit an academic department, but there's something real at the heart of both. Thanks to Google, we now have a handy way to convert from reputation (PageRank) to attention (traffic) to money (ads). Anything you can consistently convert to cash is a form of currency itself, and Google plays the role of central banker for these new economies.

There is, presumably, a limited supply of reputation and attention in the world at any point in time. These are the new scarcities — and the world of free exists mostly to acquire these valuable assets for the sake of a business model to be identified later. Free shifts the economy from a focus on only that which can be quantified in dollars and cents to a more realistic accounting of all the things we truly value today.


ANNA-LYS said...

LOL first I read the title as seeing the picture the title became "No need to play" and I could sense a little sad feeling ... mixed with the reason to enter Your blog today:

Happy Birthday (a little late)

... and now back to the "real world" - meaning Your content in this post.

~otto~ said...

Will "free" work? Hard to say. But I loved this: "the others are your time and respect"

Oh man. Immeasurable. But for whatever it is worth, you have my time and respect.

ANNA-LYS said...

On Your content:
Very well put forward but one question arises - Isn't Internet itself a tool only for those that got electricity and money to pay the supplier?

I don't think Internet is a global tool, even if I myself live in the country where we by capita has most computers and Internet ... we still have homeless people. Some of them has actually built a home online, that the can reach by some shelters in the communities. We also have computers at our libraries, but to get access You must have a homeadress ... the same goes for the cellphones etc.

Mariana Soffer said...


It is funny how we tend to see at a glimpse what we expected beforhand. Our brain tricks. And you are right a life with no playing is one of the saddest things I could think of

Mariana Soffer said...

I am not sure free will work, time will tell. But I am really proud and happy that you got the most important point of the post, that not all that shines is gold.
and that not so aparentlly bright things can be really valuable is fue look a little deeper

Take care friend

Mariana Soffer said...

great question, of course it is, that is cause of a long controversial debate called "the digital divide", and the issues that you mention in your second
paragraph all refer to it. I recomend you to read something about it starting by wikipedia and

"The term digital divide refers to the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology and those with very limited or no access at all. It includes the imbalances in physical access to technology as well as the imbalances in resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen. In other words, it is the unequal access by some members of society to information and communication technology, and the unequal acquisition of related skills. The term is closely related to the knowledge divide as the lack of technology causes lack of useful information and knowledge. The digital divide may be classified based on gender, income, and race groups, and by locations"

Thanks for your contribution my friend

guillermo said...

What do you think are among the most afffected sectors of this trend?

Mariana Soffer said...

- Well as I already mentioned there is the music industry (and a few others)


- Movies and TV shows cost less to watch. I used to pay Comcast about $60 per month for basic cable service. I ditched the service more than a year ago and watch TV programs through a variety of Internet based services such as Hulu.

Instead of renting movies from my local video store at $4 each, I switched to Netflix, which lowered my DVD rental costs. Even better: Netflix Direct — I watch tons of movies — as many as I want for just $8.99 a month. My per movie costs have fallen dramatically.

- Newspaper and magazines are available online for free. I used to subscribe to daily newspapers and many magazines. I don’t anymore yet I get nearly the same access to those products for nearly free - just the cost of my ISP. I save several hundred dollars a year - that’s a lot of value taken out of the publishing industry. Take a look at books and the disruptive power of Kindle and vanity publishing web sites.

And I think that there are much more yet to come

ines,gato@yahoo,com said...

Does the crisis influence?

Mariana Soffer said...

With so many examples to be found, the cumulative effect will be shown as a deflationary trend. Do we see it today? Yes, we do see a large deflationary trend. Is it caused by the use of Internet technologies? Yes, a large part of it is being caused by Internet technologies but it is not clear how much because we are in the midst of an economic crisis.

ANNA-LYS said...

Thanks for the Wiki info.
But, I do not like the concept of "Digital Divide" (in Swe. "Digitala klyftan", because in-bedded in that thinking about it lays things I don not either ontological or epistemological share. But, You and I understand each others approaches anyway.
I like Your posts and the issues You put forward, and I guess we are working in a rather close field of interest ;-)

Mariana Soffer said...

I am please to have been able to show you some new information.
I see that you do not like the concept of digital divide. Why I do not understand is what is exactely that you refer to ontologically (is it the categories and relation they define in the theory? ) and by epistemological (What is it that you disagree with exactely?). Sorry I am really curious

I also like and I am very interested in your posts and think we have very close interests. We can also help each other thing deeper about them.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the internet. i takes the will to revolution and make people bourgeoinaus. I spend a lot of time there myself. Stupi. I listen to free music and then meets girlfreinds on the internet. but what do we need fleash and muscles for ifwe are on the internet. better with real men adn womean. I like bodyies better

J said...

Mariana, what do you think about the free-ness of this blogger service?
Google apparently must get some revenue from it, but many people do not support that by monetising their blog. Are they going to pay in other ways? Many people share anti-capitalist sentiment on blogs, but it always seems that there is a contradiction because that is how their blogging is paid for, by google's advertising revenue... I think.
I agree that the internet is making a lot of things very cheap, for the price of a broadband fee. Just on youtube there is just about any piece of music that I would otherwise have to buy.
There are some moves taken to counteract the free-ness, Murdoch wants people to pay fo his horrible news service for instance, and then there are the record companies and their famous squabbles.
I found the early fight by metallica against napster to be ironic because I distinctly remember reading a biography of the band in which it says they used to tape songs and share between each other. I don't remember reading how they handed themselves into the police for that and paid back royalties to their victims. I think there is an enormous amount of hypocrisy around the subject.
I can't imagine many musicians never having pirating materials themselves, but so many start to complain when it's their own stuff being copied and it seems good that some find more creative ways to deal with change.

Rick said...

Hello, Mariana! Compelling topic as always.

Just a thought for you to consider: the idea that there is a limited supply of reputation and attention in the world is just a bit pre-digital.

We are no longer limited by linear models that involve personal interaction. So we are able to achieve exponential growth in both reputation and attention.

And, of course, we are no limited to reputation and attention models that are bound to human beings. We can be admired (ranked) and respected (preferentially interacted with) by software, AI, and such. As in the case of human interaction, neither of these two values need actually based on real respect and concomittant attention- it's enough that the ranking and interaction occurs based on the software system's needs. This happens all the time with people.

So I'm afraid that there is a virtually (no pun intended) inexhaustible supply of both respect and attention. Now if only the same were true of fudge!

Mariana Soffer said...

Let me write a little bit about your very interesting comment:
1. I do not like the internet, so then why do you use it? there is no need to write blogs or comments, nobody forces you.
2. Most supposedly revolutionary things end up being on the bourgoised side.
3. I think people are getting each time more phobic of having inter-personal contact and to relate to each other for real

Hope you find this thoughts interesting, thanks very much for your collaboration

Mariana Soffer said...

Very good point the one you made in your first paragraph about the "anti-capitalists" of the internet, they do not realize that in the fight for tearing down the system they are at the same time supporting it. They should get out of the capital system to really be able to fight it.
Regarding metallica and related issues all I can say that "it is incoherent to try being coherent".
I think that most people fight or protest for the things that are convenient for them, not for ideals, that is why there are so many incoherences. I agree new ways of goods and services distributions need to be put in practice.

Thanks a lot for your interesting reflection

Mariana Soffer said...

Thanks a lot for the compliment.
Very interesting the first to sentences, the only thing I am not fully sure is that you can grow in an exponential
way attention, But I think you can with reputation.

Very interesting proposal about how to measure the value of things, I liked a lot your example. Well there is a hole
are that is pretty hard (at least for me) that involve the creation of metrics that help quantitatively measure things.

Even if there is an inexhaustible supply of those metrics, other metrics based on the previous one can be taken
and used for measuring what we want.
I loved the ending, you are great dude.
Take care and bring ice cream next time.

Jo said...

Interesting topic. It is a treat to read an intelligent blog. Lately the internet, and blogging in particular, has been reduced to the lowest common denominator, and has been taken over by what I refer to as "the ladies of the tea parties". They are so busy promoting themselves, they have forgotten what an wonderful forum they have -- for free -- to exchange ideas.

Your blog is brilliant.

JanetK said...

I know some people think you can put a money value on anything, and some even try to - especially economists. I find it hard to put a price on my time, friendships, communication, information, laughter and a host of other things. They certainly are valuable and if I have to, I will pay to have them. But I value them more when they are free. Exchange of money seems to devalue and cheapen them.

aditya said...

Money was the silliest of the inventions. Of course, my ideas make a little sense now. Money was invented. irrevocably.

It is shite. Utter shite. Sheer shite.

To measure, everything .. the fame, the fortune, the life in terms of money. Crazy, I may sound. But this is sense, pure sense, I am talking.


Mariana Soffer said...

Thank you very much for your marvelous comment, to tell you the truth I was needing it because one professor told me today (and he is right) that my posts are not properly quoted and referenced, which made my self-esteem feel a little bad, although thanks to him I am able to learn how to do those kind of things in a proper way.
You crack me up with the tea ladies, it is exactly like that, I can not understand being so many interesting things in life why aren't people interested in them.

Always a pleasure to see you here.

Mariana Soffer said...

Very interesting reflection, I like the idea that money can lower how much the most valuable things are worth.
Remember what Lennon said in the song called Money "The best things in life are free" (but then he claimed bills anyway)
Thanks a lot for stepping by Janet

Mariana Soffer said...

I can perfectly understand why you have money, but I am not so sure you can blame it all on it's existence, I think money is just like any other tool or human invention that when is misused it can produce harm.

No-one knows what money is, which seems odd. We know about strange things like quarks and quasars. But not about money. Everybody claimed wisdom, starting with Economists and ending with academics. Money is 'nothing but numbers', a 'measure', a 'means', a 'liberator', 'money is, what money does'. In fact, money can be anything we believe it to be.

I really appreciate that you share with us your thoughts and are willing to discuss them.
Take care

Joe Bloggs said...

Good artykill

And many good comments.

Money is a pyramid-scheme and is based on unequality, ie: If everybody was paid the same nobody would be able to afford anything.

Freedumb is good!
Workless is priceless!

aditya said...

See you are *trying* to taking the top view of things.

Such views at the end of the day, will leave you with one question.

"What for?"

Over huge periods of time, man has amassed "knowledge", galore ! What for? Such Nietzsche, asked once.

Money is 'nothing but numbers', a 'measure', a 'means', a 'liberator', 'money is, what money does'.

that's weird u say that Mariana. Is it any other number to you. Nahh .. to me ?? Nahhh ...

If there had been no money today, I won't have been getting my asses kicked off in this silly engineering college. I would have lived a life, enjoying what I enjoy the most. Life today, has been (un)intentionally designed, such that the roots of bliss emanate from money. And money, you cannot earn any, by doing things, you enjoy the most. It is a tough road.

This is an irrevocable invention, like the most.

Money is evil. No two ways about it. There is not even an utterly optimistic view/reason that I can think of to satisfy your argument:-

"but I am not so sure you can blame it all on it's existence, I think money is just like any other tool or human invention that when is misused it can produce harm."

Putting money to good use. No. Not possible.

I have felt such. Over whatever small time I've had on this planet.


ps: It is nice reading you, Mariana.

Dave King said...

An absorbing post, and if there is nothing astoundingly new, what is new - to me at any rate - is to see it all collected together in one article. Your post does give a new perspective on a topic of very real value. Thanks for the effort you've put in.

otin said...

For all that the internet has screwed up and the way that it has driven some things into obscurity, like the News Paper industry, for example, It has allowed other great things to surface. Like the fact that I now know you! :)

cecilit said...

true! I know I am not spending money now in a lot of items I did it before, but I am sure that this money is not in my pocket always fly away of my is in its nature

ArtSparker said...

Heh, vegetables (the essential) and membership (the intangible) reamining as valuable, with the disappearance of the middle ground. Seth Godin is quite an interesting rabbi/philosopher on the subject of the internet and marketing.

Val said...

Hi mariana,
My favourite part of this post was this line: Google plays the role of central banker for these new economies. So the illusion of money now has google as the illusion of a bank! Weird.

All this is very indicative of a drive to equalize everything. I wonder if in order to do this we will have to restructure our attitudes to determine what really does give value to an object or service.

Anonymous said...

Great post, as always, but I can't get over this line:

"Forty years ago, the principal nutritional problem in America was hunger; now it's obesity"

Damn - that says a lot, doesn't it? I think I can find a poem in that.

Little Lamb said...

I've never seen it in that light before. This is a very educational blog.

Andy Coffey said...

Ah, Mariana you and your whole ship of merry "Lullaby Heads" are fantastic to read. You must be having the most intelligent conversation I've read in weeks.

My only comments on this interesting conversation (and thanks for quoting rather than adopting Mr. Anderson's views... pshew.) have to do with the manner in which the debate is couched. It seems to me that people want to draw broad conclusions on the phenomena of freely distributed services and information, and yet the "freeness," it would seem to me is not employed to achieve business, academic, social and economic advantages, but rather a function of the establishment of anti-scarcity, by players who traditionally would have been scorned, or ignored, at a local level. While any of the endeavors that employ "free" can be seen, in their particulars as "business" or as a discipline such as "the study of scarcity and demand," the real drivers of this phenomenon of free are no business considerations, but almost existential questions (oddly enough, about silicon, and electricity.) The internet exists due to distributing the previously centralized mechanisms of desire, to a completely decentralized, and profoundly more powerful clearinghouse for anything that can be digitized. That such a system has powerful economic effects, creations, impacts, and consequential huge swings in valuation on previously stable "digital" markets, has, I think, more to do with the nature of the creation, form, and substance of the system, than any particular, of it's nature, such as "free."
That said, your blog is as good a value as imaginable. Thanks.

geek said...

Aah..well, I hope that internet devaluing everything hits us here in my country. Basic necessities are so freaking expensive with our 12% Value Added Tax. And mind you, everything is taxed! From sugar, to rice, to clothes -- everything!

Anonymous said...

te dejo este articulo: una vision del por qué la cultura no es gratis... y la net:

J said...

Mariana, I was wondering today if the spread of cultures is like the spread of gas into a low pressure area, if globalisation of cultures and the spread of free stuff is a sort of move towards entropy for the various aspects of culture.
I wonder if entropy applies to money too in the same way, whether we (or our ancestors) are all destined to have a similar amount simply by diffusion?
I wonder if that will be an effect of monetizing CO2, which everyone seems to have a share of whether they want it or not!
We do, after all, live in a fluid world- atmosphere and oceans tend to spread and mix anything that gets within them, even land is moving and mixing very very slowly

J said...

Of course I am not the first to wonder about these things as I found here, which you may like to look at if you have time Mariana...

Mariana Soffer said...

joe blogs:
Glad you like it, aren t the comments great? I love my readers.

I liked your 2 last sentences, they are really cool

"Freedumb is good!
Workless is priceless!"

do you have more for me?
thanks and be well

Mariana Soffer said...

True I always try to think stuff beyond the terrenal-everyday level (not only about money). Maybe is useless, most of the time I end up asking myself "why, why? how?" or as you say what for.

There are kids who are born without any material posessions, no chance of any education, and almost no options in for their lives. That freaks me out, makes me mad, takes away all my hope in humans. Money plays an important role in this situations, it enables them to happen.

But I really want to fight this kind of unjustices, I am always thinking how, and I belive I can do a difference, but it is not easy, you have to think about how to do that real hard, I am still not sure about how, but I have faith that it will present to me someday how to do that.

Thanks for the last compliment, by the way I would like to someday a little more about you and your experiences in life and with money to get to understand you better.
Take care

Mariana Soffer said...

Dave King:
thank you very much Dave for your kind words, you understood perfectly what this post was about, I just putted together a bunch of facts and ideas that where already there and tried to give them a very small twist of my own,to make people think about what was there in a slightly different way.
Take care my friend

Mariana Soffer said...

you are a sweetheart, you are right all human inventions have their desired and their undesired effects.

Mariana Soffer said...

I am happy you agree in the fact that we do not spend money in what we used to, that is interesting, at least to me.
If it is of some comfort to you I can tell you that mine always does fly away, and I am perfectly happy with it.
Love that you stepped by
Take care

Mariana Soffer said...

Thanks for your interesting comment. I used to read a lot seth godin, he always used to leave me something interesting to think about. I do not know why I stopped reading him, but I am definitely going back now that you mention him. Here is something he said that is related to this post
"The internet has allowed ease of entry into the market. You can advertise anything, any service, any good, any piece of junk in your garage--essentially for zero. You can go into business effortlessly, telling yourself you'll just hang out on the long tail and do just fine. Understand that zero is a very real probability, perhaps even a likelihood."
The guy is smart!
Thanks for your collaboration

Harlequin said...

I loved the line: that tension will not go away....
I agree!!
funny how time is also one of the scarcities... lived time is one of those amazing things.... 30 minutes waiting in line is nothing like having " only " 30 minutes to get my groceries on the way to somewhere...
another great post!

Mariana Soffer said...

Always nice to see you arround.
If I understood well what you meant by your second paragraph, I guess the problem is that nowadays people do not have a clue about how much something is worth, there is a big confusion among providers and consumers about how to evaluate the value of something. Before it was easier do discern but now there seem to be no rules or guidelines for that. I was wandering how can we start being less disoriented about this, maybe it has to deal with the increasing individualization of society and the lack of common interests/needs/...
Maybe values should be relative to each situation/case/individual.
I am not sure.
Send you hugs

Mariana Soffer said...

Thanks a lot poet, you boost my self esteem.
I agree that the line is disturbing and thought provoking. Indeed it might be interesting for me to do a hole post about it, and for you to do one of your marvelous poems.
Love cutie

Mariana Soffer said...

Little Lamb:
thanks dude
as I said to dave "I just putted together a bunch of facts and ideas that where already there and tried to give them a very small twist of my own,to make people think about what was there in a slightly different way." so my intentions with this post was to provoke in people exactly what you told me.
Send my regards to baba black sheep!

Mariana Soffer said...

Andy Coffey:
I really appreciate your kind words about my post.

Extremely interesting what you say is the real importance of "freeness", stating that the biggest importance of it resides in the decentralization, individualization, the possibilities that provides to the single individual regarding being heard, and its global effect on society (which is a long topic to discuss here), but not so much in how it affect the economic market.

Thanks a lot once again, specially for your wonderful and open minded reflections that add lots of value to my posts.
Take care

Mariana Soffer said...

nice to see you.
Well regarding taxes you do not want to know how much they are here, 21% for most things, and 27% for everything that deals with communication such as cell phone calls, internet, etc. I do not even think about it cause it makes me awfully mad. But you can see there are worst.
Love for you my friend

Mariana Soffer said...

cerdotopia has left a very intersting link to an article about

"Andrew Keen is the author of The Cult of the Amateur and an international lecturer on the challenges of our digital future. In this essay for the Quarterly, he examines how the Internet has given rise to a generational revolt that is changing not only the economics of the film business but how the public perceives films. The result could be a cacophony of user-generated content in which individual artists lose their voice—and livelihood."
I strongly recommend you to read it

Mariana Soffer said...


Very interesting article, it really left me thinking, I still have some issues that need some time to settle in my head. I wrote a couple of posts related to that that you might be interested about:

And I also think you should read Andy Coffey comment, which goes towards the precise point this article does.

Thanks a lot for the collaboration

Mariana Soffer said...

I think that the mixing and influencing on each other of cultures is a move towards the increase of cultural entropy.
Maybe money is also following this past although desperate and titanic attempts to avoid that to happen have been done for ages.
Sorry but I do not understand what you mean by monetizing C02, it is hard to me to understand the analogy. Please feel free to clarify it for me.
I agree with what you say at the end, which is just the well known natural tendency of the universe towards entropy.
Great new way of thinking about this issues, you really open my mind here, I think this ideas might lead to something really important.

Mariana Soffer said...

Here I copy the beginning of the article so people know what is it about:
"entropy and dialectic

The world grows more alike. Global culture is more uniform today than at any time in the past. Ecosystems are more similar, thanks to human interventions and the mixing of species. Although there are countervailing trends toward diversity, the pressure for similarity is palpable and powerful."

Maybe you weren't the first to think about this, but you certainly where smart enough to understand that there was something relevant and interesting in that article (not many people did). That is almost as valuable to me than the invention itself.

Take care

Mariana Soffer said...

Glad you liked that part, I find it real as well.

Well I think that time is a different kind of scarcity (a scarcity nonetheless) than material goods. Maybe because there is no way humans can produce or alter it, maybe because it is not tangible, maybe because it is just a concept, maybe because it is an artifice made by humans.

Big times!

julochka said...

if reputation and attention are indeed limited, then i would say they're being wasted on so-called "reality" t.v. "stars" and the like...i hope that trend evolves into something else. and soon.

Mariana Soffer said...

Good point, that is a great reasoning extention that follows some of the implications of my post. People do not even know that they are wasting something
valuable probably, they still think that THE value is provided by the money measure, so I hope we all understand what is also valuable nowadays pretty soon.
thanks a lot for your interesting comment

Harnett-Hargrove said...

You have a thought-provoking blog.... and after reading all of the comments, I don't have time to comment! -Jayne

the walking man said...

Not ever having been one much for being bought or sold I am certain now that both my attention and my reputation deficits have turned into a personal resource for never having to scrabble for wealth.

Anonymous said...

fascinating piece of work marianna. it seems a complete and original unfettered view. i love the clarity and the logic with lateral means to a thoughtful and stimulating open conclusion.

Mariana Soffer said...

Thanks harnett, glad it made you think.
I checked your main site and found it really neat. kind of darky, with lots of interesting things said there, did not have time to comment either but at least to become a follower

Mariana Soffer said...

the walking man:
Hi. Nice to see you here.
I see paradigms change, trends change, modalities change but anyway you manage to remain yourself in any possible scenary. Probably because you are really an integral person.

Mariana Soffer said...

thanks a lot, you paid me such a nice compliment, I am almost proud of myself now (kidding). But remember I mainly take ideas from other people and try to give them just a small twist.

Anonymous said...


it's a parallel universe

a cheaper parallel universe! :)

× × ×


Mariana Soffer said...

t you always make wanderful comments, I love them

A Cuban In London said...

Google is already facing opposition from certain quarters because of its software design. Since they will be using flash technology that means that you won't need to boot up your computer or laptop. One of the downsides will be that you will be at Google's mercy if you try to download a software their system is not compatible with. They have the right to wipe it from your system without so much as a warning. I always trust the human within the animal. But then, I' also a cynic. :-)

Greetings from London.

Mariana Soffer said...

A Cuban In London
I know google is quite dangerous I think, because it is becoming a monopoly in more than one industry at the same time and it has no oponents.
Another dangerous thing about google is that it has an incredible amount of information about the global web surfers behaviours, about individual surfers, It has the power to settle the authorities of the websites as it whishes, and many other dangerous advantages in the cyberworld that are impossible to fight against.
I like a lot the end of your comment, regarding trusting but also being cynical, I guess I felt identified.
Thanks a lot for stepping by my friend

Jon said...

Nice post... thanks Mariana

But you watch... new departments will be springing up in universities any time now to wade into the task of quantifying reputation and attention...

I was also reading Andy Coffey's blog just yesterday where he seems to be taking up the thread on the idea of "free" and freeness here... it's an interesting back and forth... though I think that you're closer to the mark by distinguishing between this as a cultural value, versus a materialist value... a linchpin, in my opinion...

thanks again for a thoughtful post... as always


Mariana Soffer said...

Thanks a lot Jon, it is always nice to read you.

I see you enjoy irony as much as I do, maybe that is why we understand each other so well.(Regarding the deparments)

I just read andrew coffey's blog and I see he might have been a little influenced by my post, but like you said he is pointing towards other direction
with his reasoning. And I am really happy that you understood where I was pointing at with my argument, which is what I consider important about all this
talks about free and freeness. Please feel free to colaborate with ideas to explain it better or add other viewpoints.

Thanks to you Jon

human being said...





Mariana Soffer said...

human being
I just replied to your other comment, hope you already read it, cause I said some things that at least for me are important.
I am going to say part of that here again. You are an incredible artist, the way you express yourself with words/letters/spaces is amazing and I really like and agree with almost everything you say. I think you have a great clarity to see what things are important in life.

human being said...


when i read you
when i talk to you


J said...


I am not quite sure what I meant by monetising CO2, now I come to give you a reply, but I know I was thinking of things like cap and trade schemes and carbon taxes. I don't know muc about these things so my thinking is not clear on it.

Mariana Soffer said...

human being
That is the sweetest thing anybody told me in many many years. You made me feel really good, happy.

I read your last post and found it incredible, I had so much to say that got scrambled, but I am gonna.

By the way I would love to talk to you at least by email, why don't you contact me at so I can have the pleasure to know you better.

Looking forward to that

Mariana Soffer said...

Human being
sorry is

human being said...


the pleasure is all mine!

i'll be glad to read your words even if they are scrambled...

i will write to you soon...

Mariana Soffer said...

dear friend thanks a lot for your good intentions.

Regarding moetizing CO2
There are now around 750 million vehicles in the world collectively polluting around 3 billion tons of CO2 per year. Only 12 % of people own a car. Projections show that in 15 years there will be 1.1billion cars in the world1. If all of these new automobiles are to be burning fossil fuels the situation ishighly unsustainable. The world will have to suffer withdrawal for some time to solve this. It is up togovernments to organize the needed changes in order to make the world’s withdrawal symptoms aseasy as possible.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an essential part of the plan to mitigate this potential increase in CO2 emissions. Action must be taken now to accelerate the adoption of CCS through the development of commercial scale projects demonstrating CCS, advancing technology for the long-term improvement in cost and performance and developing policy monetizing CO2 and certifying the storage of CO2 in geologic formations.

What it means is that they need to make an economic plan to reduce CO2 emisions. And there are tons of ways that this can be done.

Hope it clarifies at least something

Mariana Soffer said...

human being

Got you email, have many thinks I want to tell you.

I flil joy when I see you wroet to me.

By the wya thansk for beearing fro my scrambling probelm.

J said...

A lot of cars, for sure, and a lot of CO2, whatever the truth about that is!
I do have my doubts about any projections of car use because we face constraints in oil supply soon if not already, unless there are significant breakthroughs in extraction technology. Many people expect a big energy crisis soon.
Some of them have managed to get the town I live in to be designated a transition town ( )in readiness for a post carbon future.
Unfortunately 98% of the population seem unaware of this, and they might be a bit upset when they realise it, depending on what happens and how severe it is.
I don't know what the future of energy is exactly, no one seems to be able to give accurate figures. I've recently become more aware of the exponential nature of the development of technology and I think it may be that we have some positive surprises in the future regarding this. It seems like the oil powered car is on it's way out.
Certainly I think you are right about the need for carbon capture, even though I am a bit sceptical about the climate change as it is presented by authorities, and their money making schemes for it's mitigation.
I like the idea of things like fuel from algae which consume CO2 and can take it straight from power plants, and be grown on otherwise useless land. With the development of solar technologies we may see some wealth developed by poor tropical countries, for a change.

Thank for the reply Mariana, always good to see what you have to say and be stimulated.

Mariana Soffer said...

I really like hearing your opinions, and getting to know people who cares and wants to know more.
One think I completelly agree with you which I consider very important is that people need to be educated and well informed about what is going on, which as you pointed out does not happen in most cases. That should be seriously addressed along with the other scientific/economic/politic topics.

Regarding how technology evolves I think that there is a lot we could learn by reading the history of it, it's influence, how innovations always end up having a different impact/usage than the one that was plan for it.
I could recommend you a book by Nicholas Carr called "Does IT matter", it is a good introduction to all of this.

I consider that doing research on how to take advantage of alternative energy resources is really exciting and interesting. I did worked on that doing assisted breading of a certain plant (based on molecular markers, which are part of their DNA) and think it is a new technology which can be and is being implemented, that produces real benefits. Here is an article about related to my work at the company:
and you can also check the company's website for more details about the process.

J, your welcome, my pleasure talking to you, and thanks a lot for your interest.

J said...

It's good work, though it does make me a bit uneasy to see land being used to grow fuel crops. I don't know much about the subject to say if controvrsies over this are based on fact.

Looking at algae, companies are giving figures of 6,000 to 10,000 gallons of fuel per acre, or more, which is a lot higher than crop based fuel I think although I couldn't find proven figures.
I checked out the Ceres yield here;

And an algae company here;

If biofuels are to replace oil I would think the opportunity to use desert and perhaps seawater instead of farming land is a good thing.

Of course every technology has it's dangers and I would hate to think of someone releasing a crazy species of algae into the ocean, or something like that.

Thanks for the link Mariana.

Mariana Soffer said...

Sorry I just realized you wrote to me recently

Well for me the idea is not use the land to grow things, because that will use resources, the idea is taking what is available and useless.

I think algae is an interesting option also, but watch out for the ecosystem. Nice that you checked the websites.

Well I think we are still too far away for being able to replace farming land with desert and sea water even less at a reasonable price. But who knows maybe it will happen soon enough.
That is what I told about ecosystem

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